Camping might sound idyllic from the comfort of our homes: the peacefulness of nature, the distance from all of our stresses and cares, and the quiet to hear ourselves think. However, all of that relaxation and enjoyment can quickly turn into a nightmare if we do not take the proper precautions to stay warm. Insulated as we are from nature in our everyday lives, it’s easy to forget how cold even a balmy summer night can be when spent outdoors. Here are some important tips about how to stay warm when camping.
1. Make Sure You Have the Right Gear
Before you start out, check the weather conditions for the area in which you are going to be camping. Pay special attention to the minimum temperatures expected, and make sure that your tent and your sleeping bag are rated for those temperatures (and maybe even a little colder). Remember that it can snow in the mountains even when it is warm in low-lying areas, and a three-season tent or a summer season sleeping bag might not be enough to keep you warm.
2. Use a Sleeping Pad
Even if your sleeping bag is properly rated for the weather conditions you are facing, you can still find yourself freezing during the night if you do not use a sleeping pad. Your weight will compress the filling of your sleeping bag during the night, reducing its effectiveness. Furthermore, the ground can be very cold, even through the thin protection of your tent. A sleeping pad helps you retain a far larger amount of heat.
3. Take Precautions Against Rain and Water
Rain is not only uncomfortable while camping, but it can also decimate the warmth of your clothes and gear. Down sleeping bags and cotton clothing are useless for warmth if they get wet. Make sure that you have rain covers for your gear, ponchos or other rain protection for yourself, and extra wool or synthetic clothing that stay warm when wet, just in case.
4. Bring Extra Warm Clothing
You can never really have enough warm clothing on a camping trip. Even if you expect the weather to be warm, you should prepare for the worst-case scenario. Bring extra pairs of socks, long underwear, a hat, sweaters you can layer, and a scarf and gloves. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
5. Make Your Own “Hot Water Bottle”
Bring a heat-proof water bottle with you when you go camping. During the day, you can fill it with drinking water to carry with you. At night, you can fill it with boiling water, wrap it in some extra clothing, and use it as a hot water bottle. Put it in your sleeping bag before you go to bed to warm it up, and keep it with you overnight for extra warmth.
If you follow these few simple rules your camping trips will be fun for all the family and you will be prepared for all the conditions of the area that you are going to visit.
Article provided courtesy of Outdoor Heating Guide – a resource for outdoor fireplaces, patio heaters and chimenea.