Cool Weather Camping Tips

Feb 11, 2015 View Comments by

Cool Weather Camping TipsI’ll take the crisp, cool days of fall, spring, or even winter over the summer heat any day, and nothing puts me in a good mood faster than strapping my camping gear on the bike for a long weekend. We found ourselves camping in Pennsylvania a while back, and had a great time riding the back roads and hiking. The days were perfect, but we got a surprise at night when temperatures dipped into the upper thirties. Here are a few tips for dealing with the wide fluctuations in temperatures you’ll likely encounter while cool weather camping.

Since extra clothing takes up lots of precious room on the bike, make what you take pull double, or even triple, duty. Your zip-out jacket liner can be used as a coat in the mornings (don’t worry about the fashion police) if it has its own zipper or other closure, and it can also be used to bump up the warmth of a marginal sleeping bag if worn at night. I usually wear socks while sleeping, and some thin long underwear, such as that made by Under Armour, can also be worn day or night. I’ve also wondered if one of the lightweight foil type survival blankets might help if placed under your sleeping bag to prevent heat loss.

Once you’ve made it through the night, there’s nothing like a morning campfire to send Jack Frost packing. Don’t forget to take some fire starters to speed up the process. You can take a standard fire starter block and cut it into one-inch squares to save space, or purchase some of the starters in small packets about the size of a hand-wipe.

Keep in mind that you usually can’t gather the larger pieces of firewood from around the campsite. It is forbidden in most places, and people who ignore the rule usually have the area clear of any combustible wood anyway. You’ll probably have to purchase some wood at the campground, so be sure to take some straps to secure it to the bike. Bundle of firewood: five bucks. Holding a cup of steaming coffee while staring into a morning campfire: priceless. Get out there and make some memories!



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