Winter Camping


What keeps you warm?
When you really study what keeps you warm, it becomes clear that it is you! Your body produces all the heat you need. Your clothing is designed to hold in whatever heat you need to feel comfortable under a variety of conditions and activities. You will notice all you clothing is loose. That is because tight clothing constricts the flow of blood so the body heat cannot move around — just like when a faucet is turned off. That is why tight boots mean cold feet and a tight belt means cold legs.

Cold
C.O.L.D. That is an easily remembered key to keeping warm.

C Clean. Keep yourself and your clothes clean. Dirt and body oils which build up on clothing destroy its insulating properties.
O Overheating. Avoid overheating. Clothing is designed to be taken off or added to in layers to maintain an even body heat.
L Loose layers. Wear clothes loose and in layers.
D Dry. Keep dry. Wet clothing removes body heat 240 times faster than it will dissipate through dry clothing. Wet is trouble!

Shelter
Wind and moisture make you cold. A tent or snow cav3e will protect you from the elements and help keep you warm.

Fire
A fire or propane heater will assist in warming the outside of your body, but is no substitute for proper clothing and food. The body itself is like a big furnace. You stoke your furnace with good food;  it burns the food then provides the heat which your heart circulates through your body. Layers of insulation determine how much of that heat you retain and how warm you feel.

Good clothing
Buy the best clothing and equipment you can afford. They are essential for your enjoyment of the outdoors in winter. Dress in layers and wear only enough clothing to keep you warm. If you overdress, you may perspire which can make you feel cold and quite possibly can cause hypothermia.
Your clothing is your key to winter comfort.

Headgear. Have at least one stocking or knit cap for use under a parka hood or in the sleeping bag.

Eye protection. Goggles are best but sunglasses and homemade snow shields will reduce glare from sun off the snow, a situation which can cause painful problems, even snow blindness.

Scarf. A long wool or synthetic fiber makes an excellent cold weather protector.

Long underwear. Best if wool or wool and synthetic fiber.

Shirts. Wear full-cut, loose wool, or wool blend shirts.

Sweater. Use wool or wool blend sweater to layer.

Vest. This insulated garment keeps vital organs warm.

Jacket. A lightweight jacket used in combination iwth other out garments makes for better layering.

Parka. Windproof pullover, should reach almost to the knees, large enough to fit over all the other garments. It should have a hood.

Hand covering. Wool or synthetic. Mittens will keep hands warmer than gloves.

Pants. Wear full cut, preferable with suspenders. Wool or wood and synthetic fiber.

Snow pants. Snow pants or lightweight windproof pants may be worn over everything.

Socks. Wool or wool and synthetic blen are good. A pair of synthetic fiber stretch socks worn under the wool socks will provide added warmth and help to wick moisture away from your feet.

Boot liner. A specially cut piece of 1-inch foam can be wrapped around the foot. Also, quilted synthetic liners or felt liners can be used.

Boots. Proper footwear is essential. A boot should fit somewhat loosely for warmth, but the adage cool is comfortable is true; the feet should not sweat profusely. Use a light boot for travel and a thickly insulated boot for camp.