How to Backpack Comfortably in Cold Weather
Did you know that backpacking isn’t just for the warmer months of summer and fall? It’s not only possible to backpack and camp in cold weather, but it can offer a unique and one-of-a-kind outdoor experience. There is a peace and stillness to late fall and winter that is unrivaled by any other season.
However, backpacking in the cold requires a hefty amount of initial planning to ensure you’re comfortable and safe. With preparation, you can ensure you’re controlling your climate and not the other way around. Read on for our top tips for conquering the cold and backpacking in the winter.
Cold Weather Clothing Tips
You might think it’d be all about the bulky clothing, but the real trick to cold weather backpacking is in the layers. Gear up with a three-part system that includes a moisture-wicking base layer that won’t get damp when you perspire. You’ll want to add a warm, insulating middle layer, and finally, a water-resistant outer layer that will protect you from the elements.
Opt away from cotton, which can be difficult to dry once it gets damp. Lastly, make sure as much skin as possible is covered:
- Wear fleece gloves to protect your hands.
- Get a windproof jacket to protect yourself from the cold weather.
- Wear well-fitting wool socks.
- Add a hat or headband to protect your ears and keep your head warm.
- If wind chill is an issue, consider adding a neck gaiter to protect your face from the cold.
Also, don’t forget sunglasses — sunlight reflecting on snow or ice can make it hard to see and can eventually damage your eyes, too.
Take Steps to Stay Hydrated
Whether you’re backpacking in summer or winter, you need to stay well-nourished and hydrated. Follow these tips to ensure you’re eating and drinking well no matter the temperature:
- Without the blistering heat to make you feel thirsty, it can be easy to forget to drink enough water. Get into the habit of taking regular breaks for snacks and water.
- Drink from your water bottle or tube frequently to keep the water from freezing.
- Keep your bottle inside your pack instead of an outside pocket to keep it warmer.
- Bring a thermos filled with a hot drink of your preference.
How to Camp in the Cold Weather
Camping in cold weather can be a wonderful experience — but it requires the right gear to be a positive experience. You’ll want to make sure you have a high-quality, sturdy tent that is built to handle cold weather camping or a seasonal camping hammock! You will also need a warm sleeping bag, thick sleeping pads to keep your body insulated from the cold ground, and a stove that’s built to function even in frigid temperatures.
It’s also important to carefully consider where you decide to pitch your tent. Find a spot that’s sheltered from the wind, and don’t forget to pack down the snow before setting up your tent. Keep an eye out for slopes that may pose an avalanche risk and stay away from any trees that look unstable.
Purchase Your Cold-Weather Gear From Dutchware
No matter the season, Dutchware has the right gear to give you the backpacking experience of a lifetime. Prepare for a comfortable and safe cold weather backpacking trip with our selection of outdoor hammock gear and equipment you can count on. Browse our selection today!