Five ideas on staying warm outside this season
Don’t freeze your water
As temperatures dip below zero, it’s common for your water bottle to freeze and for the lid to freeze shut. A way to prevent this is when you’re at camp store your Nalgene upside down in the snow. The snow will act as an insulator and prevent the lid from freezing on. Adding hot water will to your bottle just before bed and tossing it in your sleeping bag (make sure the lid is on tight) will make your sleeping bag nice and warm before you crawl in, as well it will prevent your bottle from freezing overnight.
Moving through snowy or wet terrain can be a grind, especially when you’re breaking fresh trail. Prevent getting sweaty by dressing in layers that can be easily shed when you are active and warm and then added back when you take a break or get to camp.
Get off the ground
Avoid contact with the cold snowy or wet ground as it will wick the heat right out of you. Use an insulating butt pad when taking breaks on the trail. When settling in for the night doubling up on sleeping pads will provide you valuable insulation from the cold ground and help keep you warm at night. We like to use an ensolite foam pad with a Thermarest on top. Using a space blanket or emergency tarp to line the inside of your tent can also provide you another layer of insulation and it’s light in the pack.
Get rid of dead space
Fill the “dead space” in your sleeping bag with dry clothes or other items, if you’re a smaller person even consider folding the end of your sleeping bag over. The less airspace you have to heat, the warmer you’ll be. Also don’t forget it’ll be way easier to heat your sleeping bag if get in it warm. Go for a jog, do jumping jacks, have a hot drink, do something to get warm before you climb in your sleeping bag for the night.
Feed the furnace
You’ve got to eat and drink to stay warm. Think of your body as a furnace, burning those calories is going to help keep you warm. Add more fuel to the fire! A cup of soup is a nice warm up when you get to camp, helps hydrate and allows you to sneak in a few more calories before dinner. Remember it takes way more for your body to function in the cold so remember you may need to consume more than you would normally and don’t skip the dessert.
Have fun and stay safe on all your winter adventures!
– Tips shared by Clay Webb, Curriculum Coordinator