The unpredictability of the weather and the impact of climate change means that winter camping and spring camping aren’t always that different any more. Winter campers can pack for the cold, rain and snow, and find themselves faced with unseasonable warmth. Spring campers can look forward to longer days and sunnier spells, and end up in a blizzard. Snow doesn’t have to ruin a trip if campers are prepared.
Check the weather forecasts and follow updates where possible. That way even if snow is early, or unexpectedly deep, you are not completely caught out . A campsite with wi-fi access means access to online forecasts and apps. Keep track of any incoming storms and cold fronts and prepare appropriately. A risk of light snow doesn’t have to be a problem with the right equipment, a warm tent and the right attitude.
The Right Equipment
There are different ways to prefer for snow with the right equipment. The first is with the tent. This is your front-line protection against bad weather and your secure shelter. If you know that there is the potential for snow in the forecast, it might be best to take a four-season tent that is strong enough to handle the snow load. You also want to take the right equipment for cooking and water provisions, as well as the right clothing. Remember that metal water canisters can be uncomfortable to drink from, and the water may freeze on cold nights. You can always melt the snow for drinking water. Clothing means waterproofs, a good pair of shoes and sunglasses for the glare off the snow.
The right clothing also means enough layers to stay warm. If the snow hits, you want to be toasty and minimize any risk from the cold. Hats and gloves are a must. But, it helps to be able to remove an outer layer if the forecast is misguided and it turns out nice. Staying warm is also crucial at night. A snug, insulated mummy style sleeping bag is a great place to start. Extra mats on the ground, such as yoga mats, are also helpful. Then there will be those that quite fancy the idea of sleeping out in snow den/igloo if it gets deep. Just make sure it is structurally sound before trying anything like this.
The Right Attitude
Snow can be a fun part of the adventure outdoors, rather than a hindrance. It can change a landscape, allow for fun activities and sports and offer a whole new experience to spring camping. If the snow does come, and your camping party embraces it, it will allow for great photographic opportunities and memories.
Whatever the forecast for bad weather– whether a light dusting or a heavy blizzard – it always pays to be prepared and to respect the conditions. Be careful with camping in the wilderness in snow, as the snowfall could alter the look of the landscape and cover tracks. Always stay warm and safe in any activity. Most of all, enjoy it and look at camping in snow as a strange, beautiful experience.