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Tips: Snowcamping

Don’t think that a few feet of snow prevents the backpacking season from being year round.  Use these tips to snow camp in comfort and warmth.

  • You Will Travel Slower in the Snow – even if you have snowshoes, hiking in the snow is more exhausting and more laborious.  You will not be able to do your favorite summer route in the same time.  Assume it will take you twice as long in the snow as you would estimate it would take you in the summer.
  • Stay Warm and Dry – keep your hands warm.  Not only are the a necessity, but frostbite sucks.  Any wet skin will feel colder as the moisture evaporates.  Sweat will turn to ice against your skin, so avoid over exerting yourself.  Make sure you have waterproof and insulated boots.  Cold toes are no fun.
  • Setting up a Tent – stomp out the area you want to sleep on.  As you lay in the same position for a long period of time, the snow will melt in the shape of your body.  Double up on the footprint.  It will help.  You don’t want to find that the snow has started to melt under your body heat and has puddled on your floor.  When staking out guylines, dig a hole for the stake about a foot deep.  Place the stake in the hole followed by a rock.  Fill the hole with snow.
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