Camp Tricks

A Guide to Winter Camping Survival Gear

January 16, 2017
©istockphoto/Zozulya

©istockphoto/Zozulya

Winter is upon us, and for many people that means it’s time to pack up the tent. But for many hardcore campers, this just means it’s time to pull out the cold-weather camping gear. If you’re the type who can’t resist the call of the Great Outdoors and are still willing to hit the woods when the snow starts falling, here is some gear you can’t camp without.

Survival Blanket
A strong, comfortable sleeping bag is a necessity for winter camping, but you also need to have an emergency sleeping bag on hand in case on inclement weather. A survival sleeping bag is made of reflective material that bounces your own body heat right back at you so you stay warm throughout a harsh winter night. It’s also great for providing ground cover and, if properly made, helps keep water and wind from invading your quarters. The Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag from Stansport is a must-have tool for cold-weather camping.

Emergency Radio
Anyone who lives in an area prone to wintery conditions knows that a small snowstorm can turn into a blizzard in an instant. Always check the weather before heading out on a camping trip, but you also need to know about any changes that are occurring while you’re out in the woods. An emergency radio with keep you up to date on any sporadic shifts or approaching storms and can even help you keep in contact with family and local authorities in case you get stuck out in the wild. Opt to a crank-powered tool like the Dynamo Multi-Function Emergency FM Weatherband so you can call for help in a pinch.

Thermal Undies
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed by the amount of people who head out into the wild in winter without properly bundling up. Thermal underwear should always be worn underneath your regular camping clothes when the temperatures drop below freezing. Keeping your body heat regulated is essential to avoid hypothermia and other illnesses out on the trail and a thick jacket isn’t enough. Also, make sure you wear something on your head to keep heat from escaping.

Heater
Making a fire in the middle of winter often a difficult endeavor, if not downright impossible, so your best option is to bring along a portable heater. An outdoor propane heater can help warm you up in just a few moments and eliminate the need for hovering over a campfire that you may or may not be able to get lit in the first place. It’s a safer option for many people and will greatly help if you find yourself trapped in a snowstorm and needing heat. Just be careful not to burn your tent down if you try and use it inside.

Extra Food
When a blizzard sets in you could find yourself trapped for days. If you haven’t got enough food on hand to last you can’t expect to go out and hunt while the snow is pouring down. Make sure to always have extra calories that you can consume in an emergency. Survival foodbars could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

Survival Whistle
Sometimes the smallest items that we don’t even think about can end up saving our lines in a bad situation. That’s why you should never head out into the woods without a whistle. That’s a right, a whistle. If you’ve done your due diligence your family and friends should know when you’re out in the wilderness. If you become trapped you might have to rely on them to report you missing and often emergency crews will be trying to find a needle in a haystack out there in a blizzard. Having a whistle on hand you can blow on throughout the day and night could alert them to your presence and help get you home.

Safety Light
Even when trapped in a blizzard you’ll still need to sleep. But how are emergency crews going to find you if you’re not awake to alert them to your whereabouts? That’s when a safety light comes in handy. One of these can provide a light for up to 12 hours so it’s a good idea to have a few on hand. They’re safe to leave glowing through the night in your tent and can help you stand out against the darkness.

While these tools are the minimum pieces of gear you should have on hand there are plenty of other items that could help you stay alive in an emergency. If you’re unsure of what all you should take along on your winter camping trip, Stansport has a variety of emergency preparedness kits that are equipped with most of what you need.

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