How to Camp in the Snow

Snow Camping Checklist

When beginning your snow camping adventure, you'll want to make sure that you have all the proper gear. A major difference between snow camping and summer camping is that the cold can truly ruin your trip if you're not careful. By gearing up properly, you'll ensure that you spend your time enjoying yourself instead of desperately trying to stay warm.

The first thing you want to make sure you have is the right clothing. The first step when packing what to wear is to make sure that you bring lots of layers. Doing so will ensure that you stay warm when temperatures are at their lowest, but you'll also be able to shed some clothes when you start to get a bit warm. Keeping a moderate body temperature is key, since overheating in the snow can be just as bad as being too cold. Some great fabrics for winter camping include wool, fleece and some sort of breathable base layer.

After you have your clothing sorted, it's time to begin thinking about how you're going to get all of your stuff to and from the campsite. When picking out your pack, you want one that's large enough to carry all of your stuff, but light enough to lug through the snow. Remember, hiking through snow is going to be much more difficult than hiking across summer trails, so you'll want to keep things as light as possible. Pack more fuel for cooking than you think you'll need, and take along one-pot meals, since trying to fix various portions of a meal wastes heat and fuel in the winter [source: Washington Trails Association].

Finally, you'll want to decide how you're getting to and from your campsite. Are you going to be hiking? If so, will you need snowshoes? Or perhaps you're going to cross-country ski to your destination? Having already figured out the type and quantity of snow you'll be dealing with, deciding between tramping or shredding should be pretty straightforward. No matter what you chose, make sure to check your equipment before you get going so that when you arrive at your campsite, you'll be ready to go.

And what to do once you arrive? Read on to find out some great snow camping tips.