3 Essentials for Extreme Cold Expeditions and Camping
By: Jessica Marie
You look up at the scenery before you, a frigid landscape of ice, snow, and frost. You can see your breath with every exhale. The trees are hibernating, the scenery is almost black and white in the contrast of trees and snow. The landscape flows upwards into a mountain, whether you prefer hiking, running, climbing, hunting, or camping this stunning piece of nature is teeming with the adventures you seek. While many a person would turn back, only to return to this place come spring, summer, or fall, you press on. Ready to see this place in all its glory in the midst of its wintery, frozen existence. You versus nature in the most primal way. You versus the cold.
If this gets you excited for another adventure and you’re ready to head out the door let me stop you for just a minute. What do you need to not only survive this expedition, but to thrive in it? Believe it or not there are others like you that have tested it and found that some gear makes these conditions bearable. Here are the three essentials you need to tackle this winter beauty and still come back in one thawed piece.
Number One: Vapor Barrier Clothing
In warmer weather many an adventurer will wear breathable, wicking layers and undergarments. In extreme cold these types of layers are deadly. The breathable, wicking or other types of layers simply move the sweat your body creates to upper layers of clothing. The sweat, water, is now trapped inside your insulating layers, creating conditions that can make you cold or more serious, hypothermic.
A Vapor Barrier layer keeps the sweat at your skin, protecting your insulating layers from becoming damp. A vapor barrier layer can also increase temperatures at your skin up to 20 degrees F. This can make quite the difference when outside temperatures are in the negatives, and at night when sleeping.
Number Two: The Right Air Mattress
Did you know that an air mattress can keep you warmer? Most air mattresses are simply that, a sack filled with air that is in very close contact with the ground. If the ground is cold then the air inside the mattress is cold, even in the best sleeping bag you can become chilled. If you enjoy sleeping or camping in extreme cold try to find a down-filled air mattress, working the same as a down coat or down sleeping bag, a down-filled air mattress can help keep you warmer and ward the cold ground off.
Number Three: Plenty of Water
Even in the cold we still sweat, and with any extreme exertion we are losing a lot of water. The higher in altitude we go the more water our bodies lose. It is important to ensure you are drinking the right amount of water for your size, weight, and exertion level. If you are concerned about your thermos or other bottles leaking, try keeping them inside a water-proof bag to protect any other gear you are carrying.
Okay, now you can head out the door and chase after that winter scene you’ve been dreaming of since you started this article. You can find all of this gear and more on our website. Enjoy the beauty of nature this winter then come back and tell us your stories.