I was lying in 20 degrees. I’d been in colder weather, but this time, I intended to sleep in it.
And I was warm.
This weekend, Austin and I went winter camping – a goal I had for my 2018 bucket list. Here’s how we stayed warm:
- Layered ourselves up, the way we usually do for snowboarding
- I swapped out my thin top shell for a thick coat I got from my job
- Ate tons of pizza
Okay, maybe the pizza wasn’t a direct contributor – although it helped a lot. Here’s what we did with the tent:
- Laid out a tarp on the snow
- Put the tent on top of the tarp
- Placed sleeping pads in the tent
- Put two blankets over the sleeping pads
- Used -25 degree sleeping bags (a Christmas gift from my very generous sister-in-law)
- Had some more layers on top of us
- Slept in our layers, although I removed my thick coat and slept just fine
For my feet, I actually just slept in wool socks – one layer. I’d slept in freezing temperatures before (although it was in Yellowstone and still the fall, so I never called it winter camping) and I wore so many socks that it restricted blood flow and my feet were freezing. So this time I just had one layer, and it was very warm.
We camped up by Sundance ski resort in an area called Aspen Grove. We came up just after getting off work and set up the tent after sunset, so things were dark and cooling down significantly.
After setting up the tent, we went for a hike in the snow. We turned off our flashlights and let the whiteness of the snow, the overcast sky, and the distant ski resort lights be our light instead.
Occasionally Austin and I would stop and just breathe – looking at the mountains, seeing the dark silhouettes of the trees, listening to the silence. We would slightly jump at random sounds – was that a large animal waiting to kill us? Was that a serial killer? But we also knew we’d be okay, and we kept on walking, enjoying the night.
When we returned to our tent, I took off my boots and snow pants and climbed into my new, toasty sleeping bag. It was so cozy. I loved the slight softness of the packed snow beneath us and slowly fell asleep.
The mountains were beautiful and the evening silent. I was warm, and it was amazing.
2 thoughts on “Winter camping was not miserable”
Ahhhh I’m so jealous! I’ve always wanted to winter camp. In fact, I just took a class on how to do it last weekend! I just don’t have the right tent for it and don’t know anyone who does that I could borrow from. I am hoping I get the chance to try it next year, although we’re having perfect weather for it right now!
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Our tent was technically a 3-season tent, although we bought it in Scotland when we hiked the West Highland Way and that thing was MADE for horrible storms. We still had condensation that froze in our tent in the morning, but it wasn’t too bad.
Overall, I think because of the tarp and ground insulation we did, along with our amazing sleeping bags and sleeping in our coats, we were able to do it. There still may be hope for you!