Staying Warm in the Mountains

Check out this article our friend Jennifer Dawson wrote. Around 600 people die in the US each year from hypothermia, nearly all of those are preventable. Below are some simple tips for avoiding such an untimely demise.


How to Keep Warm on Your Mountain Camping Trip

Camping in the mountains can be an unforgettable experience, but without the right gear, your nature retreat can get uncomfortable fast. As you trek higher up into the mountains, conditions start to get colder and colder, which can ruin a camping trip for underprepared travelers. Luckily, there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that your campsite doesn’t get too cold at night.

Packing Your Bags 
When preparing for your camping trip, you should expect the unexpected. Bring plenty of clothing to layer so that you can warm up and cool off as needed. Your bottom layer should be a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric to prevent the buildup of sweat, while your middle layer should be made of an insulating material such as fleece. Your outermost layer should be weatherproof to protect you from rain and snow.
If you’re worried that you might get cold in your tent, it’s a good idea to bring a hot water bottle with you on your camping trip. Tucking it between your legs at night is an easy and eco-friendly solution that will help to warm up your entire sleeping bag.

Setting Up Your Campsite
Your sleeping arrangements are just as important when camping as they are at home. You should arrive at your campsite early enough to get everything set up and in working order. Your tent should be properly assembled and anchored, with all zippers and vents are closed. Any sleeping bags should be laid out on top of an insulating pad, as the ground can steal a great deal of heat from inside your tent as you sleep.

Cooking and Dining
When you’re out camping it can be easy to let the hours pass you by and to forget important meals, but in cold weather, going hungry can result in much more than just a rumbly belly. Without enough food each day, our metabolism slows down, which makes it harder for our bodies to keep extremities such as the hands, feet, and nose warm. Eating plenty of healthy snacks as you camp can help you to avoid health complications from cold-related stress, such as hypothermia or frostbite. You should aim to bring high-protein foods that are stored and wrapped securely to avoid piquing the interest of local wildlife.
Camping in the mountains can be chilly business, but by taking certain precautions when you pack, you can avoid getting cold as you reach higher altitudes. Bringing the right gear can make a world of difference for you and your fellow campers when the temperature starts to drop.

AMGA Accredited Business

Colorado Department of Human Services

Association for Experiential Education Member