A. The North Face Mountain 25 2-Person Winter Tent | B. Clif Bar’s | C. Mountain Hardwear 3rd Dimension Sleeping Bag | D. Benchmade D2 Steel Mini-Griptillian Knife | E. Cabela’s WindShear Trek-Tech Wool Fatigue | F. The Outback Oven | G. MSR MIOX Water Purifier | H. Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray By: Terrence Keller – Alrighty gents, winter is finally past an unbearable temperature. Backpacking and camping aren’t far fledged ideas and I’m pretty stoked to hit the trails again. I’m writing this piece for Gear Patrol because they asked me to share with you a nuts and bolts list of what it takes to get ready for winter camping. First, you gotta know it ain’t easy. If you think it is then you’re an idiot. But if you plan ahead, gear up and follow some simple rules it’s fun as hell and can possibly make for the best weekend of the year.
You’ve got to have a plan. Going camping in the winter without a plan is idiotic, at best. Give yourself a route, weather contingency plans and timing. Know where you’re going to be and how you’re getting there. Know what your party is capable of doing and always underestimate. That good buddy of yours you thought was a rugged sonofabitch may turn out to be a complete pansy when the tides are tough. You don’t want that when the weather is dropping one degree every ten minutes. Make sure people know where to find you using something unobtrusive, yet life saving, like SPOT personal satellite tracker.
2. Gear up
Of course we’re going to say that, but no gear = ill equipped. Ill equipped = frostbite on extremeties. No extremities due to preventable frostbite = dumbass. Layering is the way to go. Boots, wool sweaters (no cotton), jackets, and insulating socks.
2.5. Gear up more
Get your pack, sleeping bag, pads, and tents or shelter in order or get ones appropriate to your level of excursion. Listed are recommendations for gear you can buy for both winter or three season camping.
3. Food & Water
Cooking over a fire? Fine. Got the right equipment to cook with? Cooking over a stove? Got a stove? Oh, and food – that’s an entirely different matter. Keep in mind that if you’re eating on a winter camping or backpacking trip you’ll need anywhere between 4,000-5,500 calories. Keep it a mix of simple sugars to get you rolling, complex carbs folowed by proteins and fats. Ever wonder why trail mix has peanuts, M&M’s and raisens in them? Not to mention it’s a good excuse to eat food you wouldn’t otherwise just sitting at the desk. Plan your meals in advance. Here’s a list of recipes you can start with. Of course, you can always get a kit too. As for water, take a look at this guide for different sources for water. Don’t skimp, plan on having more than you’ll need. Don’t eat snow, you’ll burn too much energy doing it. Let it melt in a tarp you sink into the ground. Obviously this isn’t comprehensive. You should study in far more detail, but it should give you a general start to one damn good and cold time. Gear and prices after the jump. A. The North Face Mountain 25 2-Person Winter Tent | Cost: $498 @ REI
B. Clif Bar’s | Cost: $1-2 each @ Google Shopping
C. Mountain Hardwear 3rd Dimension Sleeping Bag | Cost: $210 Altrec
D. Benchmade D2 Steel Mini-Griptillian Knife | Cost: $80 @ Cabela’s
E. Cabela’s WindShear Trek-Tech Wool Fatigue | Cost: $80 @ Cabela’s
H. Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray | Cost $30 @ Forestry Suppliers