“There’s no bad weather you just don’t have the right gear” ~random inspirational quote I saw on facebook. It sums up how I’ve approached the outdoors the last few years though. I’m not letting the weather stop me. I’ll hike in the sun, rain (got a raincoat), and snow (use snow shoes or yak traks). So this attitude has expanded towards camping. I’ve wanted to winter camp for a long time but schedules and life circumstances haven’t allowed it but now the time has come!
Since this is a new thing for me and my friends we are aren’t jumping in full force. Many things can go wrong quickly when in the woods even without snow. We want to go out but we also want to make it back to our families. Safety First!! The extra level of preparation the snow requires has us going about winter camping in phases to get us comfortable. My husband has many reservations so phase 1 is my friend and I camping in my field. It didn’t seem as cool as hiking but it gave us a chance to test our gear and have a warm house to go to if we chickened out. *Spoiler Alert* we didn’t bail! The high for the day was 25° F and that night temps dipped to 10° F. Here’s what we used to stay warm.
Gear: My Eureka timberline ‘A’ frame tent that my dad got me years ago. I love the fly on it! My friend and I had REI down blend sleeping bags with outer shells. We both had foam sleeping pads as well. I put a space blanket in between the tent and the fly to help keep the heat in. We also put a space blanket over our sleeping bags. We looked like burritos. We layered up and hoped for the best. Yoga pants and nylon blend long sleeve shirt then my vest, snowpants and down Jacket, hat and thin gloves. I stayed warm!! And so did my friend! She didn’t go with the snow pants but it worked for her. I woke up a few times but not because I was cold!
We woke up to a chilly morning and enjoyed coffee in our tent.
The frost had crept in during the night and as it warmed up started to melt. If we were going to stay multiple nights we would have to find some way to either dry out the tent a bit or make sure our sleeping bags stayed dry. I don’t see a multi-day winter camping trip in the near future so I think we have some time to figure that out.
With our first attempt a success we are moving on to phase 2: planning a real snowshoeing camping trip next weekend. Again keeping it simple we will only be hiking 2 miles in. Once we get more comfortable we will move to phase 3!