How To Start Winter Camping

Perhaps you are intrigued by the thought of winter camping because:

  • You want to visit a popular location, like the Adirondack High Peaks, without crowds.
  • You have good warm weather camping skills and want to extend your skill base.
  • You are a gear junkie who needs an excuse to acquire more equipment.
  • You have a crazy friend/relative/boyfriend who wants you to accompany them.

Where do you start if now you want to try winter camping? Assuming you have some camping gear (e.g. stove, backpack and sleeping bag) and at least some warm weather camping experience it doesn’t have to be complicated.  Try adhering to these guidelines, which are elaborated upon in subsequent sections, to start winter camping.

  • Your primary goals should be making the trip enjoyable.
  • Prepare prior to your trip.
  • Rather than purchasing, borrow, rent or improvise gear for your initial trips.
  • Start by extending your current camping season.
  • Take extended day hikes and prepare a meal outdoors.
  • Join experienced friends and/or hiking organizations to learn winter camping skills.
  • Keep your initial trips close to your vehicle and/or home.
  • Know and take the 10 essentials.
  • Consider a sled to tow your gear.
  • Use a checklist, go winter camping, discuss your lessons learned, modify your checklist and go again.

We will expand upon these guidelines in subsequent posts.

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