Friday, November 29, 2019

   Tips to Stay Warm this Winter Camping Season
With the upcoming winter, it is important to have the necessary gear in order to keep warm. I will list all the gear and explain why they are so important.

Synthetic base layer pants (ie: tech wick, Under Armor material)
o Synthetic base layer shirt (ie: tech wick, Under Armor material)
o Insulating middle layer pants (ie: fleece, scout pants OK if something covering them)
o Insulating middle layer shirt (ie: fleece)
o Outer windproof layer pants (ie: snow pants, rain pants - scout pants OK)
o Outer windproof layer shirt/jacket

Layering is important during winter camping because they preserve your body heat and keep you from turning into an ice cube. It’s important to have layers because they prevent the cold from entering and block wind or rain depending on what you are wearing. After all, who would want the cold to ruin your experience :(

o 2 wool or fleece hats (1 daytime, 1 sleeping)
o Balaclava or scarf
o 2 pairs of gloves or mittens (one should be insulated/waterproof if possible)

Hats and balaclava are important because most of your body heat is located in your head. If you don’t have a hat or balaclava, heat will escape from your head, which is why you must insulate that heat so it won’t escape. Gloves are important because within seconds without gloves, your hands become extremely cold and that can be very uncomfortable. However, sometimes you will need to work without gloves (like tying knots) as it is very difficult to work with gloves.

o Waterproof boots(insulated is better)
o 3 pairs of wool or synthetic winter socks (one pair for sleeping placed in waterproof ziplock bag)
o 2 pairs of sock liners (or thin nylon sock, ladies knee hi’s)

You probably understand how uncomfortable it is when your feet are cold or wet.  That’s why shoes are there to prevent your feet from getting wet! Socks are important, but only get wool or synthetic ones. Never wear cotton, as you can sweat and cotton can absorb that sweat and you can get frostbite/blisters.

o Sleeping bag (20 degree or less) (OR can use two sleeping bags, one sleeping bag plus liner, other approved combo)
o Sleeping pad (1/2’’ think closed-cell foam pad, mandatory) (inflatable camping pad, optional)
o Eating utensils, bowl, insulated mug
o Headlamp with extra batteries (or small flashlight with extra batteries)
o 1 large (32 oz) water bottle
o Compass
o Emergency survival kit or personal first aid kit
o Lip balm
o Toilet paper and hand sanitizer in ziplock bag

Everything you do in winter camp outs, such as sleeping, eating, hiking, and doing other activities will require these equipment. For sleeping in low temperatures, get a winter sleeping bag and pad. Don’t use an inflatable sleeping pad as the cold from the ground will enter. Use a foam or mat, but nothing that includes air. For eating, bring utensils, plates, cups, etc. And just because the weather is cold, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to bring a water bottle.  For hiking or at night, bring headlights since it can get dark. And there is always a chance of an emergency, so a first aid kit is a must.

Some other things you can get are hand, leg, or chest warmers. If you’re like me who can get cold very easily, it is a good idea to bring a couple of hand warmers, they really help! They aren’t required but it is always good to have some while camping.

Lastly, here are some tips you might need to know:

Don’t waste hand warmers if your hands aren’t cold.

Cover your head with your sleeping bag with some space between the bag and ground.When you breathe, your breath will warm up the inside of the bag, and you will stay warm.

If you start feeling cold, do some exercises! Don’t overdo it as you can sweat, but it can warm you up! (Push-ups, sit-ups, jogging in place, jumping jacks, etc) Once you start feeling warm, you can stop exercising.

Nature is alluring, but at times it doesn’t have mercy, either. If we are prepared, and respectful, we can overcome the harsh weather and there will be no excuse not to campout. Troop 12 is ready for camping. Are you?

Shohum Raina
Troop 12 Webmaster

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