Scouts Canada’s 10 Winter Survival Tips for an Unforgettable Winter Camping Getaway
Snow, ice, below zero temperatures and lots of shoveling can bring about dreams of flying south and indoors activities. Rather than hibernate through the duration of the season, why not embrace the winter and enjoy all it has to offer?
Scouts Canada’s youth flock to campgrounds in the winter to enjoy everything Mother Nature has up her sleeve. These young outdoor experts know that the best way to fall in love with winter is to be prepared. Scouts Canada has 10 winter survival tips for a safe and unforgettable winter camping experience.
1. Think onion
Onions have layers! Layering is important. Having the ability to get in and out of layers easily will help you to regulate your body temperature and avoid sweating.
2. Be prepared
Camping in the winter requires greater caution than in other seasons. For example, hazards may be hidden under the snow. Be cautious on ice, especially near running water. Always pack essentials, such as an emergency kit, water and snacks.
3. Keep everything covered
Wind chill can make or break any outdoor activity. Stick to sheltered areas. Any exposed skin results in a significant amount of body-heat loss. Waterproof material is key. Purchasing a quality pair of boots, parka, mittens and hat is best for keeping warm.
4. Check the weather
Winter conditions can be tricky and snow squalls are dangerous. Weather can go from cool to cold very quickly, especially when the sun is setting.
5. Snow blindness
Sun reflecting off the snow strains your eyes, causing nausea and headaches. Wearing sunglasses will help reduce glare off the snow.
6. Always bring a friend
By sharing the adventure with others, you can combine food and gear, and you’ll have support if you have an emergency.
7. Stay hydrated
With all the clothing on your back and trucking through the snow, you expend loads of energy and your body needs water to function better. Dehydrated people are more likely to get hypothermia. A good Scout tip: store your water bottle upside down in your pack; water always freezes from the top.
Have a proper breakfast to start the day off right and carry plenty of food with you. Eat protein bars, hearty soups, chili… Calories are needed for your body to create heat.
9. Share your plan
Let others know where you’re going, and when you plan to be back. A good online resource: https://www.adventuresmart.ca/tripplan/tripplan.php
10. Cotton kills
Cotton fabric is made from a plant, so it soaks up water and holds on to it. Wearing cotton in the winter will make you wet and cold. Try to dress in wool or synthetic layers from head to toe, and from your base layer to your outer layer.
Go ahead, unleash your inner adventurer, load up your gear and travel into the great white north this winter!