Just because the weather has gotten colder doesn't mean your camping vacations have to end. Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors in the cooler months. Simply abide by these straightforward suggestions to have a fun camping vacation in the winter.
Know the conditions from the outset
The first step in planning for your winter camping trip is to check the temperature range you'll be camping in (Bureau of Meteorology being a great site for this) and any other likely weather events. You should not only check the weather forecast for the place you intend to visit, but you should also call the national parks ahead of time to enquire about any additional warnings (they'll probably have some additional advice tailored to the region).
Plan the trip
You should be aware of the circumstances as well as how long it will take you to travel from one campsite to the next. In warm weather, it's not a big concern to set up camp in an exposed spot you hadn't intended to stay in; in cold weather, these details matter. Your days are shorter, giving you less time to hike, and setting up camp quickly in an exposed location puts you at risk of hypothermia or frostbite. Additionally, trails will be more challenging to follow in the event of snow or rain, so keep an eye out for trail markers and bring a guidebook. Also ensure family or friends know about your trip.
The ideal location for setting up camp will be dry, flat, and protected from the elements. When planning your hike, attempt to locate areas with tent platforms on your map. (These areas won't be as cold as the ground).
Inclement weather makes having a good tent even more crucial. Your tent will lose heat in the snow, wind, and rain, therefore you need one that was made for the situation. To preserve heat inside as much as possible, a tent of this type should feature double-layer doors and walls.
The temperature will be at its lowest at night because you won't be generating as much heat inside your tent as you would while hiking. Consider your camping tent, a 4 season tent in this situation is a much wiser choice.
Sleeper bag and mattress
Make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the proper temperature, and think about bringing a sleeping bag liner as well, in case you need to add a few degrees of warmth. Stuff your clothes inside at night to reduce the amount of empty space there; you'll also appreciate having warm clothes to change into in the morning.
The sleeping mattress is essential for adding another layer between you and the icy ground, despite the fact that it may appear that having a particularly warm bag is sufficient.
When it comes to camping in the winter correct layering is essential. Try to stick to only wool or synthetic base layers, mid-layers made of fleece, down, or synthetic down, and outer layers that are waterproof and breathable. Try to avoid cotton as it will just cause you to perspire more and cause quick heat loss.
Food and water
Imagine your body as a furnace that burns food at a higher temperature as you provide it with more fuel. Are you sitting about camp and feeling a little chilly? Enjoy a snack. Are you cold at night in your sleeping bag? Eat a snack and sip some liquids. Too chilly in the morning to crawl out of your bag? Take another bite!
It's better to eat too much than not enough while winter camping. Think of sugars, fats, and carbohydrates when you need to feed your body so that it can stay warm. Although it's still necessary to eat in moderation, you'll be burning off a lot more calories than usual each day, so don't feel guilty about treating yourself to a few more indulgences.
Even though you might not think to drink when it's cold outside, maintaining adequately hydrated is crucial to keeping warm. Drink frequently throughout the day, and at night, have a water bottle nearby in your sleeping bag (if you leave your water bottle in your HIKING BACKPACK overnight, it will freeze).
Additionally, you should bring extra water than you anticipate needing. Even if there might be locations to refuel along your trip, you need to take it into account. In contrast, keep in mind that you can boil and treat snowfall to add to your water supply in an emergency if it's snowing.
Understand health risks
Make sure you are able to spot cold-weather-related symptoms quickly, usually frostbite or hypothermia.
Lack of coordination, shivering, a change in attitude, notably silence, and a low body temperature are the hallmarks of mild hypothermia. It can be fixed by taking off any damp garments and putting on dry ones, by exercising for brief periods of time, or by using someone else's body heat.
Usually, the ears, nose, feet, or hands are affected by frostbite. Skin that is grayish-yellow or white, or that feels hard to the touch, scratchy, or numb, may be signs of the illness. To treat frostbite, stay away from direct heat sources like fire or camping cooking equipment. Remove yourself from exposure and use instead.
If you are prepared with the right planning, knowledge and quality winter camping gear then camping in the winter in Australia can be a really different and rewarding experience.
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Camping Australia proudly stocks the camping essentials from tents, sleeping bags, camp cooking, hiking and climbing clothing and equipment, fishing gear, caravanning, 4WD gear and much much more all to help you enjoy this great country. Shop for thousands of products delivered all around Australia.