Sunday, November 4, 2012

The ABC’s of Winter Camping – Chantal Macartney

Rating: ***

This article illustrates how to have a safe and wonderful time when going winter camping. I chose this article because our class will be going winter camping soon and it seemed like a good idea to have some background knowledge before we start that unit. Chantal really emphasises the importance of planning ahead and being prepared. All equipment and food should be pre-portioned and easy to access. Tents should be inspected and the weather forecast should be checked in order to pack appropriately. When setting up camp, ridges and low-lying areas should be avoided. Ridges tend to have strong winds and low-lying areas allow cold air to be drawn in and settle.  An insulating layer of about 15cm of snow under your tent is vital (with the use of a ground sheet of course). Chantal also suggests constructing a small snow wall as a windbreaker to protect your shelter. Something that is often overlooked when camping is the complete extinguishing of the fire. Winter winds are strong and can send hot ambers flying, igniting anything in their path. Since the weather is so extreme during the winter, make sure you are prepared; an appropriately insulated sleeping bag, extra socks and gloves, and warm meals packed with calories and carbs (note: stay clear of ANY alcohol) will be of utmost importance. If all of these tips are followed, you are aware of your body, and you constantly keep the safety of you and your fellow campers in mind, your winter camping trip should a great success.

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