COLD WEATHER CAMPING TIPS
Cold temperatures do not usually require nearly so many clothes as people
think they need. Most people do not become cold because they don't have enough
clothing, but because it is the wrong type or is not used properly. All clothing
should be roomy/loose fitting instead of tight. Socks should be neither too tight
nor too loose.
When temperatures plummet and snow starts to fly there's no reason to shiver
and shake - that means layering our clothing from the inside out. Choose
loose-fitting clothing that will meet the most extreme weather you expect to
encounter and be sure you can put it on and take it off a layer at a time. The
trick to layering is to combine the right clothing in the proper order, trapping
the air warmed by your body heat while letting moisture vapor from your body's
perspiration be conducted away from your skin. Versatility in your clothing is
the key to successful layering. Several shirts, a sweatshirt, and a jacket will
allow you to adjust your garb in many more ways than a single heavy coat.
It's not necessarily the insulation of a boot that keeps your feet toasty,
but the fit. Poor fitting boots cut off circulation, and blood flow keeps you
warm. Resist the urge to cram three pairs of socks into your summer hikers;
you're better off with less sock and plenty of wiggle room. A thin polypro,
silk, or wool liner sock worn next to skin, topped with a medium-weight lofty
sock of wool or synthetic knit helps. Keep boot linings dry with VBL socks - plastic
bags work too.
Drink your fill. Blood is to your body what water is to a hot-water heating
system in a house. Run low on fluid and your blood pressure begins to drop as
the volume of blood decreases. Another side effect is that blood thickness
increases and flow becomes sluggish, which slows its progress in your
extremities. This means you'll begin to feel cold. Drink even before
you feel thirsty and hydrate in a big way at dinnertime.
Care of Sleeping Gear & Equipment
It is important to keep your sleeping gear free of snow, ice, dampness, & dirt.
Keeping warm depends on this. Your sleeping bag should be stored in a waterproof
bag with your name on it. Do not unroll until you are ready for bed. Your
equipment should be stored in small plastic bags, one for each day or by item.
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