City lights become glaring, bustling noise becomes deafening, and your boss has just thrown another stack of papers for you to file so it’s another night of working late in the office.
You look out the window with a sigh. A peek outside and you notice snowflakes gently falling upon a restless concrete jungle. You wish you could take in that cold fresh air, maybe feel the snowdrop on your tongue.
For a few moments, you close your eyes, take deep breaths, and decide that is enough. The realization strikes like lightning. You are in urgent need of a retreat to reconnect with the elements and make it far from this town. You are setting out on a winter camp!
Winter Camp Retreat
This might be your first-time camping in the winter, or it might not be. Regardless, the important thing is to make this camping trip a successful one. The goal is to enjoy it while you can. Especially if you cannot remember the last time that you had a chance to disconnect.
No matter what the landscape is, exploring the cold wilderness expends the energy that you need to stay full of. To enjoy camp time, here are some food and drink tips to guide you that are often overlooked. Follow them to make this trip a memorable experience.
Food Tips for Winter Camping
- Eat what you can. Why do bears gobble up as much food as they can before hibernating in the winter? The answer is that the act of digesting food generates body heat. Do as bears do, have some food if you are feeling a bit chilly, and treat yourself before sleeping to keep your metabolism going through the night.
Keep the food simple.
- Do not go out of your way to make a 5-star 3-course meal as if it were a French restaurant. You do not want to be cleaning up after yourself in icy weather, so do not make your breakfast, lunch, or dinner complicated.
- Focus on eating calorie-dense foods, such as avocadoes, nuts, candy, and fatty meats. Additionally, a simple stew can provide much-needed nutrients and keep you warm.
- Food must be kept safe.Remember how I mentioned that bears eat up as much as they can find for the winter? While you do not have to contend with them, you still have other of nature’s residents wandering around. It is not uncommon to hear stories of unsuspecting campers getting their food stolen by animals who stumble upon a free meal. Keep your food in a location that is inaccessible to critters, like a tightly sealed backpack or a sack hanging from a high branch. For extra security maybe store your food in plastic containers with snap lids or something along those lines? The last thing you want to find yourself short of in the winter is food, especially if you use it to stay warm.
- Do not snack for too long. Eating is important to stay warm but avoid making meals long. Idly eating can cause the body to cool down, so prevent inactivity. As a suggestion, keep chowtime short or eat while you move if possible.
- Have a secure setup. You want to arrange a secure zone where you can prep food or eat in peace. Placing a tent over it may prove useful if it rains or snows. Additionally, having a designated spot for this will keep lunchtime organized.
- In case of emergencies, keep an extra stash. Keep extra food stored away because it is always good to be prepared for the unexpected. You may find yourself trapped in inclement weather, short on food, or even injured. An emergency stash can keep you nourished until the situation improves. Granola, dried fruits, and jerky are examples of the recommended food to keep in your stash due to having sufficient nutrients, long shelf life, and no cooking required.
Drink Tips for Winter Camping
- Stay hydrated. This might seem like a no-brainer but because it is cold you might not feel as thirsty as you would on a summer camping trip. Nevertheless, it is essential to stay consistently hydrated throughout the course of the day.
- Make hot drinks. Brewing tea or preparing any other hot beverage is an excellent way to stay warm in the wintery outdoors. Personally, I don’t notice the cold when I am peacefully staring into nature while sipping on warm herbal tea.
- Have Fire. This can be said for food too, but you will need to bring a source of fire in order to make hot beverages. Waterproof matches or a butane lighter are some suggestions to get the fireplace running.
- Melt ice and snow. If it wasn’t obvious enough, you have plenty of ice and snow around to make water. Determine an area of clean ice or snow. Then set up a fireplace with a stove over it. As a side note, this means you will want to bring a stove. Dump the snow or ice you find to melt it. As the snow or ice in the pot melt, continuously add more. Once you have melted the appropriate amount fill up your bottle or bottles for the next day, which brings us to our next point.
- Bring bottles. You will need to somehow carry your drink, right? Luckily, in this day and age, they even sell insulated bottles, mugs, etc. Popular brands like Yeti sell these products online or in-store at various retailers.
Ultimately, though it is important to have fun, it is just as important to stay safe, fed, and hydrated while away from the big city. With these tips in mind, I hope you are able to enjoy your next camping trip during the winter season. Happy camping!