Comfortably Cold

Winter and camping aren't two words that usually go together for most people. Coming from someone who is cold in the summer, I don't know how I was ever talked into camping in the winter, but someone did talk me into it, and I'm hooked.

You have all of the benefits of summer camping; campfires, sunrises and sunsets, elaborate camp meals, the lack of cell service, and ultimate disconnect from a very viral world.

And then you also get the benefits of less people, more space, sleeping in if you so choose (because its cold, and no one is denying that getting out of a warm sleeping back is easy), eating as much food as you can muster (because .. food -> energy -> warmth!), no bears, no campfire bans.

What else.

With the proper gear, camping in the winter can be a great experience. I remember hearing once that being outside in the cold isn't always about being warm, but being "comfortably cold". Its about making sure you have the right amount of layers on, the right amount of wood piled in the fire, and as much as I hate to say it, the right stuff.

It took me three years of being cold to realize that while yoga pants go with everything, they are not in-fact, warm. Some good items to have,

Thermal baselayer pants and top
Midweight top
Down jacket
Fleece lined pants
0 Degree sleeping bag
Four season tent
High R-value sleeping pad
Baselayer socks, and heavy weight socks
Well insulated shoes/boots
Firewood (one bundle=roughly two hours)
The ability to get out of your tent in the AM

Winter sports replace summer sports, but why replace camping with sleeping at home? Don't forgo every winter clothing item you own from smelling like campfire, just because you're afraid of the cold. Pack some camp games, find a good book to read, invite your friends, plan a delicious meal, and remember that everything tastes better outside.

(except for Folgers instant coffee, because its unanimous that it is not good).