Choose the right location: Winter camping can be a great way to experience many popular national or provincial parks without all the summer crowds. However it can require a rigorous trek through the snow, so it’s important to camp somewhere that suits your skill level. If you’re a beginner, consider renting a yurt or spending a night in your backyard to test the elements.
Wear lots of layers: It goes without saying that you will need warm clothing, but it’s not enough to wear a heavy jacket. Wearing lots of layers is the best way to stay warm. This will make it easier to adjust your body temperature as your activity level or the outside temperature changes.
Create a winter proof shelter: Make sure you bring a tent that is able to cope with all four seasons. If you have some camping experience and are feeling more adventurous, try constructing a Quinzhee. This is a hollowed out mound of snow that can provide good shelter if constructed properly.
Take proper sleeping gear: Snow cover on the rocks and roots will make for a smoother ground, but bring a foam pad to keep you insulated from the cold. Sleeping bags should have a hood for extra insulation and be able to handle a temperature below what you are expecting.
Don’t forget tools and supplies: When facing the winter elements, it’s important not to forget the little things that could come in handy. A first aid kit, compass, flashlight, whistle and multi-tool should all be packed safely in your bag before you head out. Consider taking a camera along to take photos of your winter adventure. Why not share them with the Nature Explorers community or Nature Canada’s Flickr page when you get back?
No matter when you go camping, preparation is key, so make sure to check and re-check the weather report and register your name with park services before heading to your campsite. Have fun!