A few words about having a WARM and SAFE winter camping adventure:
Go with experienced winter campers for your first adventure. You may want to go in the late fall or early spring when the temperatures can be more “mild”. Go to a park that has a heated shelter less than one mile from your campsite: it is always good to have a bail-out plan.
Its more about moisture management (staying dry) than about trying to stay warm. Sounds goofy but its true.
Wear wool or synthetics to wick away moisture. “Cotton kills” because it dries slowly and drains heat from your body.
Fleece is one of the greatest inventions of the last 20 years – it is lightweight, wicks water away, comes in several weights (thicknesses), and let’s not forget the hundreds of colors available!!
Layer your clothing for easy adjustment.
Stop and unzip your jacket, switch to lighter hat, or otherwise adjust your clothing when you begin to overheat.
When you take a break – put more clothing on.
Mittens are warmer than gloves.
Wear a hat. You lose 80% of your body heat from your head. Plus frostbitten ears hurt and look nasty. (PS Darlin’, never mind about “hat hair”, have you seen yourself in that Michelin Man outfit??)
Drink a lot of water, tea, or cocoa. You can dehydrate more quickly in winter because you are not aware of how much water you lose through respiration. And don’t forget all that sweating you do skiing up hills!
Bring extra fuel. It takes a long time to melt snow to make water. (HINT: pour a little water in the pan before you add snow. It will speed the melting process.)