Camping out on Valentine's Day is not as crazy as people make it sound. Nothing is more romantic than a relaxing winter wonderland getaway. Spending some much-needed quality time outdoors with the love of your life is one of the best ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. It's peaceful, romantic and very intimate. Not only do you get to take in the beautiful winter scenery. But you also get to a break away from the hectic city life and experience the trip of a lifetime with your partner right there beside you.
However, camping out on Valentine's Day isn’t for everyone. It requires proper preparation and can be a challenging activity for some. So, to help you plan the perfect Valentine's Day winter campout, we've created a comprehensive guide with all the things you need to keep in mind before heading out.
Planning for your trip early ensures you have a great time outdoors, especially when you're camping in the month February. The temperatures can get very low and make it even more difficult. So, you need to plan ahead of time and prepare yourself for a chilling wintery night.
1) When packing, prepare for the unexpected. Always carry all the required emergency essentials like extra food, water, and clothes just in case you get lost, the weather changes or the unexpected happens. If the elements will become awful and you will be going off the beaten track, consider delaying the trip.
2) Research the area and where possible get maps of the area. How long will it take you to get there? Is the camp near a village? Is there a thicket for firewood? If anything goes wrong, what are the closest emergency services?
3) Let someone at home know all about your trip details so that they are always aware of your whereabouts all the time.
How to keep warm when camping out on Valentine's Day?
The basic rule of camping in the winter season is to stay dry and warm. The proper clothing will make your Valentine's Day camping experience enjoyable. Pick clothing layers that dry fast, insulate, wick moisture and are waterproof and breathable.
Every outdoors adventurer loves layers. Several layers are more effective at confining heat and ensuring you remain warm than one thick layer. Avoid anything cotton because cotton soaks up moisture making you feel cold quickly. There are 3 main layers:
Base layer: This is your underwear which is worn next to the skin. The best fabrics are merino and synthetic. Keep off cotton. These fabrics taper sweat from the skin to outer layers, so it evaporates. They dry fast, so you spend the least time in wet clothing. When it’s freezing, you may consider wearing several pieces of the base layer.
Mid-layer: It insulates. It’s meant to assist the body in retaining its heat. The mid-layer can be thick fleece or clotheslined with fleece.
Outer layer: This layer should be waterproof and breathable to ensure you remain dry when not in the tent. Laminates like Gore-Tex provide the best protection. Cheaper alternatives use polyurethane-coated fabrics that are also waterproof but less breathable.
Note: If this layer gets wet, take it off before getting into the tent to prevent everything else from becoming wet.
Do not neglect your feet. Numb feet aren’t amusing, so ensure you put on heavy socks with a thin pair beneath a thick pair. Be sure to bring extra pairs in case they become wet.
Note: Put socks or insoles in the sleeping bag to warm them for the following day.
If you will be going for a walk and there’s snow, get walking boots that come with crampons. Gaiters are functional and will prevent snow from getting into the boots. They also serve as a barrier from the frosty weather. If you are only walking from the car to the campsite, snow boots will be ideal.
Wear gloves and hats. Most of the body’s heat gets lost through the head so having a hat on will keep you warm. A snug-fitting hat is perfect when outside the tent, while a hand-knitted hat keeps you warm in the tent, as well as on freezing nights. Pack several pairs of gloves; it can be a challenge doing any chores with chilly hands. Wear a thin pair when in the tent.
Wrap up well during the night. In winter, temperatures decrease because of wind chill. Apart from only layering, you should ensure the sleeping bag you have is ideal for low temperatures. Such sleeping bags are usually rated 3 or 4 seasons.
Note: when going to bed, wear the clothes you intend to wear the next day; they will be warm, so you won’t have to put on unwelcoming clothes when you wake up.
When camping out in the wilderness during Valentine's Day, these essentials are a must-have for your safety and comfort.
- First-aid supplies
- Nutrition (extra food)
- Hydration (extra water)
- Sun protection
- Repair kit and tools
- Insulation (extra clothing)
- Emergency shelter
Setting up your campsite
If you select the proper tent and spot, setting up will be easier.
Get there early. Relax, take a snack and layer appropriately. This will help you set up a tent in the daylight.
Use a sturdy waterproof tent. The tent may have to withstand unyielding winds and heavy rains while ensuring you remain warm and dry. A weak pop-up tent cannot be ideal when the weather becomes extreme.
Don’t just set up a tent anywhere. Take into consideration the following:
- Will there be natural wind protection?
- Is the area clear from avalanche risks?
- Is the area located near a steady source of water supply?
- Is there a landmark near that will assist you to locate your tent in the dark?
Hydration and Food
Always drink your water. It doesn’t mean because it’s cold, you do not need to hydrate. You may not be perspiring, but you lose water breathing with the dry air. Bundle your water bottles in a towel to protect them from freezing. When using a metal water bottle, don’t fill it to the brim; when the water freezes, the metal bottle may enlarge and crack.
Take spares with you. Do not depend on a campfire or one stove. Carry an extra stove because the cold can interfere with their performance.
Eat high-energy foods such as chocolate and nuts as they help in fueling the body and keeping it warm.
Consume warm meals. A hot meal is such a welcome when it’s freezing. You can try cooking stews in advance which you can reheat and enjoy when the need arises.
Carry a windbreaker to help protect you from the wind while cooking.
Camping out on Valentine's Day is not what most couples do. It's a little bit out-of-the-ordinary and can seem risky at times. But if you were to keep all of the above-mentioned things in mind and take necessary precautionary measures, then you will have nothing to worry about.
So, go out and explore!
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