Camping is one of America’s favorite pastimes — in 2011 alone, more than 42 million Americans went camping. But there is no doubt that summer and early fall are the most popular times to go rough it in the woods or glamp out in a cozy cabin. However, the colder months out in the great outdoors have a lot to offer, from stunningly colorful displays of fall foliage to the beauty of a snow-blanketed forest. You’ll need special gear, even if you opt for cabins at family campgrounds. Check out some of the most helpful tips and tricks right here:
Wear a Fireproof Shell
On cold winter and late autumn nights, you’ll want to get very close to the fire, but you don’t want to risk flying embers making holes in your shell and ruining your layering system. Wool is naturally fire resistant and will keep you warm and dry.
Chemical water filters are a lot slower in the winter, so your best bet is to boil snow or ice. Plus, you could probably use endless cups of tea anyway.
Invest In a Great Sleeping Pad
You will be much likely to get a good night sleep if your body isn’t in contact with the freezing cold ground. Invest in a great sleeping pad, and don’t be afraid to throw down a closed cell foam pad underneath it if you still need to.
Use Lithium Batteries
Lithium batteries perform much better in colder temperatures compared with alkaline or NiMh batteries. They’re lighter, they last three times as long, and they don’t decay as fast. End of story.
Flip Your Water Bottles
Try this trick: if you have a large water storage container, turn it upside-down over night. Ice forms top down, so the spout of your bottle won’t get blocked up. This is also helpful to use in tandem with water-bottle insulation.
Your exposed skin will definitely get dry, so bring along a big tub of Vaseline to prevent painful cracking, windburn, and frostbite.
Whether you check into vacation rentals to get some winter sporting in, or you’re on a backpacking trip with your family, make sure to come prepared to battle to cold.