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Best Tips for Camping In The Winter

From being pestered by fewer bugs and having no crowds to deal with to admiring the tranquil beauty of a pristine winter wonderland, cold-weather camping has its perks. But if you aren’t prepared for cold temperatures and are missing vital gear, camping in the winter can be challenging or downright miserable. 

Here is what you need to know to prepare for a successful winter campout — from must-bring items and tips on staying warm to common challenges you may face in snowy terrain and unpredictable weather. If you have wisdom to share about cold-weather camping, do it in the comments.

Important things to know while winter camping

Stay warm by dressing in layers. Perhaps a no-brainer, but cold injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite are concerns while winter camping, so being properly dressed is crucial. When preparing your wardrobe, make sure to pack: base and mid layers to wear underneath, fleece or ski pants, a puffy coat and waterproof jacket, warm socks (thermal preferred), a hat or beanie, gloves, and sunglasses. 

Remember that as you move through the activities of the day, you’ll work up body heat. As your core temperature rises and you start sweating, the sweat can dry and cool quickly — wrapping you in a cold, uncomfortable cocoon. Managing body heat by adding or subtracting layers easily helps you stay warm and comfortable while out on winter adventures. 

Stay hydrated and eat foods with lots of calories. In cold climates, your body burns calories faster to stay warm, so snacking on high-protein foods (think energy bars, peanut butter, and assorted nuts) will help keep your core temperature up. At night, high-fat and high-protein foods such as meats, cheeses, and butter will burn slower than high-carb foods and keep you sustained (and warmer) for longer stretches of time. 

Hydration is also key in how well your body functions in the cold, as being dehydrated hinders the body’s ability to generate heat and function at its best. Drinking enough…

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