What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions camping? If you’re like most people, you’re already picturing clear blue skies, starry nights, and gorgeous sunsets. It’s understandable considering that most people think of camping as a summer activity.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the freedom of the outdoors during winter.
While you might dread the idea of winter camping, there’s a unique charm to it. That’s because most campgrounds are sparsely crowded throughout winter. You get the entire campsite to yourself. On top of that, you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the snow-clad surroundings.
If you’re someone who enjoys solitude and stillness, winter camping is just the right fit for you. Nevertheless, if you’re planning your first winter camping trip, it’s important to know how to do it the right way.
In this blog, we’ve outlined a few common winter camping mistakes that you should watch out for while planning your getaway. Let’s take a look.
1. Not Checking the Weather Forecast
The spontaneity of packing your camping gear and heading into the heart of a nearby forest might seem like a good idea on paper. But you wouldn’t want to be stranded in the woods because of sudden blizzards and thunderstorms.
The last thing you want is to shiver inside your sleeping bag at night while heavy snowfall wreaks havoc on your camping gear. Apart from being uncomfortable and exhausting, bad winter weather could jeopardize your health and safety.
Unfortunately, inclement weather is more common during winter than you might expect. For instance, if you’re camping in a place like Snellville that’s known for its cold and wet winters, you can expect the temperatures to take a sudden dip after a night of snowfall.
That highlights the importance of checking the temperature in Snellville and keeping an eye on the weather forecast before you head out. Also, you need to have a fair idea of how the weather is going to change throughout the day.
It’s a good idea to use a hyperlocal weather forecast app that provides you with a ton of useful data, including average temperatures, wind speed, and precipitation levels, for your campground. Make sure you check the hourly temperature and precipitation breakdowns to better plan your winter camping escapade.
2. Choosing the Wrong Campsite
If there’s one thing you should know about winter camping, it’s this – loose, powdery snow traps less heat than packed snow. So, it’s a good idea to walk around your campsite for a while before pitching your tent. It’ll compress any snow on the ground and provide better insulation against the cold.
Additionally, you should take time to carefully choose your campsite. One of the biggest winter camping mistakes amateurs make is to set up their tent at the first empty place they find. Before you know it, you might have settled for a spot at the foot of a mountain that’s home to cold-air troughs.
Ideally, you should avoid the mountain peaks and foothills because these areas tend to be extremely windy. Also, make sure you set up your tent on a flat surface. A thick cover of snow often makes it difficult to identify inclined surfaces.
3. Not Packing Enough Clothes
You don’t need someone to tell you about the importance of dressing up in layers to insulate your body from freezing cold temperatures. But a common mistake many people make is to only carry only one set of winter clothing items while camping.
What they forget is that it’s fairly easy for your clothes to get wet even during winter. A fresh spell of snow or rainfall could drench your quilted jacket and fleece trousers. Worse still, your socks could become soaking wet after walking for a bit in the snow.
Even if the weather is fine, you might get sweaty after a hike or while preparing your meals. The slightest bit of sweat trapped in your clothes will make you feel colder than usual.
That’s why it is always wiser to pack a few changes of clothes whenever you go camping in winter. Make sure you carry a pair of extra trousers and backup thermals. Also, pack more socks and footwear than you think you’re going to need.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or some calm and quiet, winter camping is a great way to relax and rejuvenate. You simply need to check the weather forecast at your campground.
Also, it’s important to bring backup clothes in addition to your camping gear. Lastly, be wise about choosing your campsite, and make sure you compress the snow before pitching your tent.