Winter Camping

There are many brave souls among us that enjoy winter camping.  As a Boy Scout I spent many cold, snowy nights in a floor-less tent, with only a plastic sheet and a pile of pine needles between me and the cold hard ground.  I remember well the stillness of those cold nights, the roaring fires, and the feeling that somehow we were sharing an experience that few would dare to try.  And that even fewer could survive if they did try.  Certainly there were some kids who didn’t make it, and who probably never camped again even in summer.  It was like learning to ski in a pair of blue jeans.  Your first time out, you’re gonna spend a lot of time on your butt, your pants are gonna get wet, and you will end up feeling cold and miserable.  Chances are you won’t be back for more.  Same with camping – the right equipment makes all the difference, especially for beginners.  One wet night in a leaky tent is usually enough to turn all but the more dedicated lifetime campers away.  And nothing tests your gear more than camping in winter.   Most gear will work well on a warm summer day, but will it perform just as well in sub-freezing temperatures?  When covered with snow or when damp?  Stoves, tents, lanterns are all susceptible to cold or moisture, some more than others.

What is your favorite piece of foul-weather camping equipment?

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