Winter Camping: A Beginner’s Guide
Approximately 42.5 million Americans went camping in 2011. Although some people think that fun family vacations need to happen in the summer months, the truth is that you can enjoy a trip to family campgrounds throughout the year. In fact, going to family camping resorts in the wintertime can be a welcome respite and will make you see that winter is anything but dull! If you’re planning to enjoy some camping in South Dakota this winter for the first time, follow these beginner tips:
Dress in layers
If you’re heading out on a Sioux Falls camping trip this winter, the number one rule is to bring adequate clothing. Layering is important year-round, but it’s especially so in winter when temperatures can be quite rangy. You’ll need to be prepared while working up a sweat during a daytime hike or hunkering down in your tent in the negative-temperature evenings. Wear a breathable synthetic or bamboo fabric layer as your base; these work better than cotton in terms of retaining heat and wicking away moisture, so you’ll be much warmer and dryer. Ski pants can provide vital insulation and ventilation during the day. Synthetic fleece or layered wool tops work well, but you could also try a down vest or jacket. Don’t forget a windbreaker, gloves, and hats.
Get a four-season tent
Three-season tents are designated that way for good reason: they’re often made of lightweight, non-insulating fabrics and feature lighter poles. Using these tents during the winter is a bad idea, as you’ll have trouble retaining heat and could suffer a tent collapse if it snows overnight. Four-season tents are made of heavier fabrics and have sturdier poles. These features will keep you warm at night and will ensure your tent can withstand most winter weather. Of course, you won’t always need to worry about bringing a tent when you stay at family camping resorts, but this is a good rule for all winter camping.
Make sure you’re prepared to “make” water
If you’re out in the wilderness during the snowier months, you’ll likely need to melt that white, fluffy stuff to “make” drinking water. It takes time and fuel to melt snow, so you should plan ahead and make sure you have plenty. Liquid fuel stoves are typically best for this job, as canister stoves may not work well in cold temperatures. You should also still filter that water to be on the safe side. Store water bottles in your sleeping bag at night to keep them from freezing.
Whether you spend your trip at family camping resorts or head to a national park this winter, make sure you do your research and are prepared for weather conditions or unexpected occurrences. If you plan ahead, you’ll have nothing but fun on your trip! We’d love for you to join us this winter. For more info, call us today!