Winter Camping Tips
Some tips to keep in mind when your troop takes on winter camping.
• Fail to Plan = Plan to Fail
• Always bring a bit more than what you think you'll need – water, food, clothes.
• Make sure that you have a good knowledge of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. You should be able to recognize it in others and in yourself. Tell someone right away if you or another scout is showing signs of cold-related problems.
• Stay hydrated. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the winter. Eat and drink plenty of carbs.
• Keep out of the wind if you can. A rain fly for a tent can be pitched to serve as a wind break. The wind chill factor can often be considerable and can result in effective temperatures being much lower than nominal.
• Bring extra WATER. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the winter. You aren’t visibly sweating, so you don’t think to drink water, but since the air is so dry, you lose a LOT of water through breathing. Drink lots of water!
• Bring extra food that doesn’t need to be heated or cooked. Granola bars, trail mix, etc.
• Keep a pot of hot water available for cocoa or Cup-a-Soup – these warm from the inside.
• Always eat hot meals (breakfast, lunch, & dinner.) Dutch ovens are the best – they keep the food hot longer. It doesn't need to be fancy DO cooking. Meals should be 1-pot meals to keep cleanup to a minimum. Don't get too fancy with the meals - it's hard to chop onions & carrots at -10ºF with gloves on. Prep all meals at home in the warmth of the kitchen.
• Shelter the cooking area from wind (walls of tarps, etc.)
• Fill coffee/cook pots with water before bed. It's hard to pour frozen water, but easy to thaw it if it's already in the pot.
• Remember C O L D:
C Clean - dirty clothes loose their loft and get you cold.
O Overheat - never get sweaty, strip off layers to stay warm but no too hot.
L Layers - Dress in synthetic layers for easy temperature control.
D Dry - wet clothes (and sleeping bags) also...