Keeping Warm on Your Next Camping Trip
by Jennifer Dawson, Freelance Contributor
Outdoor camping can be chilly business, even during summer months. It’s important that campers properly prepare themselves for dropping temperatures at night so that they can avoid exposure to conditions that could lead to freezing injuries. Here are some tips on how to make sure that you and your campmates stay safe, warm, and comfortable on your next outdoor excursion.
Dress in Layers
Dressing in layers allows you to prepare for any sort of weather conditions. When packing, include breathable, moisture-wicking clothing for your bottom layer to avoid any sweat buildup. Your middle layer should include clothing designed to insulate, preferably made of a material such as fleece or wool. The outer layer of your outfit is designed to offer protection from wind and weather, and so you should choose clothing made of a waterproof material.
When it starts to get cold, you can simply dig into your pack and add layers to warm yourself up, day or night. Conversely, layered clothing also allows you to quickly cool off as days warm up, helping you to avoid complications from overheating.
Bring Plenty of Food
When you’re hungry, your metabolism slows, and your body isn’t able to maintain its core temperature as efficiently. This makes you more susceptible to the cold during your camping trip, and so it’s essential that you eat enough to keep your body firing on all cylinders. Along with main meals, you should pack plenty of snack foods. It’s best to stick to low-sugar, high-protein options such as nuts, granola, and jerky. If you start getting cold in your tent at night, you may find that nibbling on one of these snacks helps to warm you up.
Don’t Sleep on the Ground
It might sound like sacrilege, but when camping in cold conditions, it’s best to avoid direct contact with the ground. If your tent is roomy enough, you can bring a cot or small futon, but many campers have the most success with flat insulating pads. These absorb cold to help protect you and your sleeping bag from losing heat to the ground. You can find pads made of foam, or opt for an inflatable mattress. Just remember that most inflatable mattresses require a source of energy to operate their pump.
Cold weather can ruin any camping trip if you’re not properly prepared. When packing, it’s essential that you bring the supplies that you need to stay safe and warm in your campsite.