by Ted Levin
The holidays are coming; and while others are singing the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” campers will be crooning to this version:
On the first day of camping,
My true love sent to me
A hammock to tie to a tree!
Believe it or not, there really is a “Twelve Days of Camping” version of this classic tune. So after the hammock in day one, here is the rest of the gear you’ll need to prep for winter camping:
Day 2: Waterproofness
Being outdoors in winter brings the inevitable need for waterproof protection. Whether this is an occasional shower or a snowy campground, then a rain tarp that can pop over your hammock to keep you cozy and dry is a must. Along with making the water roll off, these tarps will also serve as a wind break and outer layer of insulation.
Day 3: Stay Three Times as Warm
Another add-on to your hammock setup is extra insulation. Thick padding can protect your from the elements. With an underquilt, your ordinary hammock can quickly become a hot cocoon that you won’t want to leave.
Day 4: Serious Camp Stove
Perhaps more than any other season, winter makes fire an absolute necessity. Pack a quality camping stove so that you will be prepared to boil water, cook warm meals and warm your hands. A cooking stove provides the advantage of gas flame when a wet environment makes traditional fire building difficult.
Day 5: Boots
When trekking through mud, cold ground or snowfall, your pair of hiking boots will become one of your closest friends. You can add an extra layer of Scotchguard to keep them waterproof. Letting hiking boots dry properly at night is essential for dry, cozy toes the following day. Effective footwear is truly important for a successful trip.
Day 6: Beanie Hats
In the battle for warmth, keeping your head toasty can make all the difference in your happiness and safety. Thick knitted beanies provide a buffer against wind and water while protecting your ears and cranium from the cold. Heating up the head soon translates to a balmier body temperature. Beanie hats insulate by trapping the heat your body produces and making sure that less escapes.
Day 7: Hydration Is Still Important
Another key factor in allowing your body to properly regulate its temperature and other functions is hydration. Make sure that you pack plenty of water for your adventure. If you plan on using melted snow, take safety precautions like boiling it first and using iodine tablets.
Day 8: Pair of Socks
The perfect companion to a good pair of hiking boots is a thick pair of wicking socks. Synthetic materials will dry much quicker than wool. This is a plus in many situations, such as when your feet sweat or you cross through an icy puddle.
Day 9: Warm Winter Layers
Speaking of warm clothing, winter outerwear is a fantastic place to start. Layers are probably the most effective way to prepare. Start with a wicking base layer and then build out including a fleece layer and an outer waterproof shell.
Day 10: Spoonfuls of Butter
It may sound a little unorthodox, but while you’re layering, you can add an extra layer on the inside, too. One of the most serious ways to stay warm in the winter is to add a tablespoon of butter to your oatmeal, soup and hot drinks when out camping in frigid air. Preferably these doses should be spread out at mealtimes and just before going to bed. The fat calories are exactly what your body need in extreme temperatures.
Day 11: Speakers
If you love singing along to Christmas camping tunes, then bring along your own speakers to play other holiday songs while you hang out in your hammock. This is a great way to enjoy downtime in the evenings while fixing a hot dinner and drying your boots.
Day 12: Twinkly Lights
The last touch you need to decorate for Christmas camping are these fun Twilights. They come in colored and white lights and will hang in the trees with twinkly light to warm your spirit.
With these great equipment and tips for keeping toasty, you are ready for an incredible winter camping trip this season!