Most people associate the summer months as the outdoors season and it’s the ‘boom time’ for everyone embracing our great outdoors. But despite the obvious changes in the seasons and the challenges the winter months bring, there are lots of things that you can do to extend your outdoors season and maintain a decent level of comfort whilst exploring nature during the colder months.
The right equipment – you’ll hear this a lot from us, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you have the gear to keep you there! You will need bedding that gets you off the ground like a well-insulated sleeping bag and sleeping pad or camping bed. It is important to keep yourself off the ground and a sleeping bag that keeps you dry along with a well-insulated pad is the difference between sleeping and shivering.
You can also increase the warmth of your sleeping bag by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit by just getting yourself a good sleeping bag liner, which can be a simple and inexpensive upgrade.
Clothing is also another important factor with layering your clothing system perhaps the most important thing that you can do for comfort. From the thermal bottom layers and clothing that wicks away moisture like polypropylene close to your skin through to mid layers such as down around the torso. From there jackets and over layers will only keep you warm and dry if you get the base layers right. Thick socks and a quality beanie (fleece or similar) are critical to comfort due to heat loss from these parts of your body being the most extreme. And it really does make the experience more enjoyable when you get your gear right. Always wear dry clothing too, you will regret it otherwise.
Preparation is the key to an enjoyable experience during the colder months. Why not go to locations renowned for being warmer? Travel to locations where your comfort isn’t completely tested during this time. Plan somewhere that you can light a decent fire and the facilities are available for you to do so, for instance somewhere with the availability of dry firewood. Get that fire going nice and early in the evening and you will always appreciate is so much more when it’s cold outside!
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