For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s never a bad time to venture out and go camping with friends and family. But as beautiful as camping can be during the warm months of the year, there’s just something about camping in the winter that can’t be topped.
If you haven’t gone on a winter camping trip, you may want to add that to your to-do list before the end of the season. In addition to the gorgeous scenery and crisp air, you’ll experience peace and serenity with minimal crowds and creatures nearby. As long as you dress warm and prepare for the cold conditions with the necessary gear, you and your camping buddies will have a trip you won’t forget.
So, have we convinced you to plan your winter camping trip yet? Good. Before you start packing, here’s a checklist of essential items you and your fellow campers will want to bring along.
Well-insulated sleeping pads
If you’re camping somewhere you know will be a bit on the chilly side, you’ll need to make sure you’re warm and cozy when you sleep. The best way to ensure a good night’s sleep while camping out in the cold weather is by bringing well-insulated sleeping pads. One soft insulating sleeping pad put under your sleeping bag will provide warmth while also making you feel comfortable throughout the night. It should go without saying, but you’ll also want to be sure to bring a sleeping bag appropriate for the cold weather.
Depending on where you’re camping, the sun could set hours earlier than it would during a summer trip. That means you’ll be spending a fair share of time in the dark, so headlamps will be even more important for you on this adventure. Don’t forget to bring some extra batteries along with you too!
Unless you want to spend hours rubbing a couple of sticks together, you’ll want to bring tools that can start a flame. It isn’t a true camping trip without cooking by the fire, so matches and lighters are a must. Of course, that goes for all camping trips, not just the winter. There’s no need for a separate section for this, but don’t forget to bring some utensils and cookware as well.
Radiate Portable Campfire
Now that you have your matches and/or lighters ready to go, you’ll want to make your campfire experience as simple as possible. Look no further than the Radiate Portable Campfire.
Radiate Campfires are compact, portable, and long-lasting. You won’t have to worry about the mess that comes with building a conventional campfire, or the need to bring enough fire wood. Simply light the paper briquets, enjoy your campfire experience for up to five hours, and extinguish the fire by sliding the lid over the top of the can. It doesn’t get much easier or more convenient than that.
First Aid Kit
Another item that you should be bringing to any camping trip, but especially during the winter. The cold weather brings another element of danger to the trip, so you will want to come prepared with the necessary tools in case of an emergency.
Extra food, snacks, and warm clothes
For a winter camping trip, you will want to pack slightly more of the necessities than you would in the warmer months. Extra food and easily-accessible snacks are a must, as you’re likely to burn more calories in the cold. We also suggest packing more clothes than you usually would as you’ll really want to layer up!
As for specific types of clothes, be sure to pack a warm winter hat, gloves, winter boots and socks, sweatshirts, and insulated pants and jackets. Snowshoes may be necessary as well depending on your destination.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking sunglasses and sunscreen are made for the beach. You’ll want to bring both of those items along with you no matter where your camping destination is. You’ll be spending all of your time outside, so the sun will be beating down on you throughout the day. And if there’s snow on the ground, you can expect it to be bright. Don’t be the person who’s stuck squinting because they left their sunglasses at home.
Water bottle insulator
The problem with bringing a water bottle during the winter is the water will likely freeze before you even have the chance to drink it. That presents an obvious problem as you will need to stay hydrated throughout your trip. A bottle jacket or other items such as a wool sock or mitten can help prevent the water from getting too cold.
Winter Camping Destinations
Now that you have all of your essential gear, it’s time to pick the perfect winter camping spot. Here’s a shortlist of popular winter camping destinations in the USA:
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
A good spot for someone wanting the winter camping experience without the freezing conditions. White Sands National Park has plenty to do, such as sledding down the dunes or simply experiencing the unique scenic views. Winter temperatures at White Sands typically sit around 25 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 65 during the day.
South Padre Island, Texas
Another one of the warmer winter getaways, South Padre Island offers a little bit of everything. The sightseeing itself makes the trip worth it, but you can also enjoy a nice fishing trip or a day at the beach. It might not be the true winter experience, but it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for you and the family.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone has a reputation as sort of a tourist trap, but that isn’t totally the case during the winter. You can expect fewer crowds and frigid temperatures when you visit Yellowstone in the winter months. Make sure to bring your skis, snowmobiles, and snowshoes because otherwise, you’ll be missing out on the perfect winter experience.
Yosemite National Park, California
Another one of the most popular camping destinations in the United States, Yosemite is the perfect place to visit during the winter as you won’t find nearly as many crowds as usual. Whether you’re a fan of cross-country skiing or you simply want to take in the breathtaking scenery, Yosemite National Park deserves to be atop your bucket list.
There are many more prime winter camping spots where that came from. Do your research and start planning your winter camping trip before it’s too late!