Your new favorite season for camping.
For many outdoor enthusiasts, camping and backpacking season is over once December rolls around. In reality, winter's a great time for these activities—don’t let the cold temperatures scare you off.
Despite what you may think, camping and backpacking in the winter can be downright cozy. Dressing in layers like Merino wool will help keep you dry and warm. Amp up the coziness by ensuring that your sleeping space is as warm as possible. Building a snow wall around your tent is not only fun, but it can help block out any icy wind blowing your way. Cuddling with a bottle full of hot water that was boiled over your campstove is another great way to stay toasty while snuggled up in your sleeping bag. In the morning, enjoy a hot mug of coffee at sunrise and soak in the beauty and quiet of your surroundings. Or, enjoy an ice-cold beer as the sun goes down. No cooler required.
Soak Up the Sights
Getting outside and into the wild during the “off season” will expose you to entirely new scenery. The bare trees, ice, and clear air are refreshing and stimulating, as well as beautiful. Camp in an area that you've been to during the summer and compare the two seasons. Silence takes on a whole new meaning when there is a blanket of snow on the ground—startling and soothing all at once. The colors and brilliance of a winter sunrise or sunset are unparalleled, and the stars seem to shine even brighter in the crisp, inky night sky. Photo opportunities will be everywhere, so be sure to bring along your camera.
It’s easy to think that when the snow falls, life in the wild is put on pause—but that's far from true. The wild is very much alive in the winter, and witnessing the patterns and habits of animals during this time of year is fun and exciting. As an added bonus, there are fewer bugs, and that right there is enough reason to give cold-weather camping a try.
Don’t let this season pass you by. Take advantage of the beauty, challenges, and thrills of camping and backpacking during the winter. Pristine beauty and solitude await you. May your coffee be hot, your beer cold, and your camera always at the ready.
For more from Anna M. Cohen, visit annamcohen.com.