Camping in the Cold

April 20, 2010

The seasons are in transition, and the winter coats, hats and gloves are gradually being swapped for shorts, tees and sunglasses. We are entering camping season, and whilst everyone’s fingers are crossed for a spring and summer of full or blue skies, scorching sun and balmy humidity , be warned not to pack away your thermals just yet.

The evenings out by the campfire can get a little bit chilly, and cold snaps are all too frequent.

Have a look at these tips to ensure you are prepared for a great camp, however cold it may get!


After all that has just been said, no prizes for my first tip; Take some extra layers with you! For best insulation, wear wool and synthetic materials rather than cotton. Pack an outdoor fleece, preferably in a dark colour as this will attract warmth from the sun. Plenty of socks are advisable; you may even end up using them as an emergency pair of mittens! Wearing a hat and scarf in bed will also keep you warm as the head and neck area allow body heat to escape.

Inside Your Tent

If you are anticipating things getting really chilly, taking two sleeping bags with you might not be such a bad idea. Even if it isn’t cold enough to warrant their proper use, the spare can be laid out as a makeshift picnic blanket. Before you slip into your sleeping bag(s) for the night, fill up a water bottle with hot water and stick it near your feet. As tempting as it might be to curl up around it, let your scarf and hat take care of your upper regions. Before bed, have yourself a hot drink and eat something. Marshmallows round the fire anyone?

Health Issues

Uncontrolled shivering, poor co-ordination, mental confusion and mumbling are all symptoms of hypothermia, so be alert and on the look-out should things get particularly frosty. In emergencies, get the person in question into dry clothes, and have them huddle up close to someone to contain body warmth, and hand them a hot drink so sip on.

The last pointer is quite extreme, but worth having in your thoughts nonetheless. Simple steps can easily prevent such events.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy April 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm

This is the time of year in places like the desert of Moab when it is really hot by day but gets very cold at night. This can throw off campers so they are not prepared to stay warm.

Camp Master June 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Winter camping is great. We do it in Ohio. 9 times out 10 we are the only ones at the state park. Just remember to bring a board to stand on next to the fire. When the ground thaws, you’ll be standing in mud. The hot water bottle in your bunk will do the trick. I like two 2-liter bottles myself. Good Post. Thanks

Dan September 11, 2010 at 2:32 am

Excellent article. I love camping and I do it in all season. Believe it or not but nothing can stop me when it comes to camping adventure. It is my passion and my year is not complete without at least 20 camping trips. Ha! Ha! That means at least 1 trip a month.

Jessica September 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

I love the outdoors and I love listening to other people’s ideas too. Camping is something I love to share with my family and I am enjoying it a lot. It is a family tradition that I will never sacrifice.

Paul June 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Camping season is near to drive us crazy. I am also planning for a trip with my friends, and your tips helping me to have easy way to deal with. Txs!

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