Monday, May 27, 2013

Winter Camping 101 - Patrice Halley

Rating: **

Being an outdoor lover in Canada forces you to be prepared for summer and winter activities. If you’re a camper, then winter takes up a solid chunk of the year and you’ll probably be out doing some winter camping at one time or another. Winter camping can be a very enjoyable time if you’re prepared. In this article, it gives various tips on how to be prepared for a winter outing.

The first rule to winter camping is to know your gear. Make sure that before you head out on your adventure, you test out all your gear so that when you get out there, you’ll be able to set everything up without having to sit in the cold and read a manual. Also before you leave, it’s a good thing to look up the average temperature patterns for the area your staying at and the time of year. This doesn’t mean to count on these though because extremes always happen. When choosing a shelter, it is very important to try to choose a shelter away from the wind. Wind can accelerate fatigue and drain energy and calories (convection loss) so try to choose a shelter out of the wind. It’s important that you bring a good sleeping pad/ temperature appropriate sleeping bag. The pad is very important because you need to keep off the ground the keep from the cold. When choosing what to bring for clothes on the trip, it is very important that one understands how base/wicking layers work. A wicking layer allows for the body to breath, and wick away any moisture the body may release. It is important to always have a set of emergency dry clothes and to have a set of designated sleeping clothes (should include a toque). Hypothermia and dehydration are two things you do not want to encounter but are two fast acting things you do not want to happen. Make sure you under stand the symptoms of both and that you know what to do if any of these symptoms appear. A quick trick to know if you need to hydrate is that if you’re a whistler try whistling because if you can’t, it means your lips are too dry and its time to take a break and hydrate.

This article has been very interesting to read because winter camping is something we have all experienced with our schools Outdoor Ed Program. It taught me that when you’re winter backpacking, it is important to understand that one must intake around 5000 calories a day. It has also taught me a very meaningful quote to live by when winter camping. “Eat often, drink plenty and be merry.” I’ve learned that it is very important to be prepared and plan in advance. Simple things like knowing how to set up your tent is something that can save you a lot of time in the cold. Even though I won’t be winter camping with the school anymore, I do expect to go a couple times in the future and this article was a good eye opener.

Halley, Patrice. "Winter Camping 101." Adventura Winter 2012: 10-11. ESPACES | Éditions Numériques | Adventura | 2012. Web. 27 May 2013.

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