The Two Most Important Winter Camping Accessories

Winter camping is awesome. The stillness and starkness of the world around you during the cold months can lead you to a deep sense of awe and inspiration. There’s just something so profound about sitting on the shore of your favorite lake while nature has wound-down to a slow creep.

There are some other benefits as well. Like being able to build a roaring fire and sit close beside the flames. Or feeling the warm companionship of your wife while snuggling inside your tent.

There’s also one very significant drawback to winter camping… it’s so damn cold!

For me, camping in the cold is all about finding ways to moderate the chill to a tolerable level so I can enjoy the experience. There are two little accessories that help.

Socks

Yes, believe it or not, many a camper has forgotten to bring along a nice clean, dry, pair of socks to wear inside the sleeping bag. I’m not a socks to bed kind of guy, but when it’s 30 degrees outside they make a big difference.

It doesn’t really matter what type of socks you wear as long as they’re dry. Even the slightest dampness will reduce the benefit greatly.

Knit Hat

Carheart Knit Hat You loose a massive amount of body heat through your head so keeping a lid on your noggin is a really good idea. I’ve got this old Carheart knit cap that I picked up years ago that works perfectly.
When choosing your hat look for one that has a tight weave that that is elastic. The tight weave helps retain body heat better and the elastic guarantees you’ll be able to pull it down over those ears.

Choose a hat that has no ribs or ridges woven in for decoration. Those will just annoy you while your head is on your pillow.

Two Footwear Overheating Solutions for Cross Terrain Hiking

A guest post by Mike Smith from Hi-Tec UK.
Specialists in walking boots and tactel socks.

When setting out for a day’s hiking, you are often able to work out which is the right footwear without too much deliberation. As long as the terrain of your planned route doesn’t change too
much, you will only require one pair of hiking socks and one pair of walking shoes. However, some hikes may involve a variety of terrains, from easy walking through grassy fields, to clambering over more challenging rocky ground. Such a situation is more likely to arise if you are going on a hike that is going to take days rather than hours. Of course, a solid pair of walking boots will be able to handle all types of terrain. Yet, if hiking in warm weather, walking boots can cause your feet to overheat. As your feet perspire, it can make walking uncomfortable and even cause soreness. So, what can you do to overcome the problem?

Take Two

The first and perhaps most obvious option, is to take along two pairs of footwear. If you are likely to experience extreme terrain, then it is advisable to take walking boots to provide support to the ankle and sole areas. You could then pack a pair of walking shoes, which can be worn when the trail is less demanding. Of course, there is the weight factor to consider. Taking a pair of sandals can help keep your backpack weight down, whilst being the ideal solution on especially warm days. Be sure to avoid fashion sandals and source out a specially designed model that is suitable for hiking. These sandals should be comfortable, well-cushioned and manufactured from wicking materials to keep your feet dry.

hi_tec_shoes

In instances where you will encounter mid-difficulty terrain, you can further reduce the weight of you pack by taking walking shoes and your sandals; leaving your boots at home. Whichever two footwear models you decide to take, do not overlook the weight issue. Whilst your backpack may seem manageable when you try it on at home; you will soon feel the extra weight once you set off on your hike. Try to shed as much weight form your pack as possible, without leaving yourself short of the essentials.

Midway Approach

hi_tec_tactel_socksIf you don’t like the idea of taking two pairs of footwear, or simply can’t shave enough weight from your pack to make it a viable option, then you could instead opt for taking only walking shoes. This, of course, means that you will have less support around your ankles and soles when you reach the rougher terrain. To counter this, you should be wearing walking socks, which will offer some support to these areas.

In addition, you could also take along a pair of insoles, which can be added into the walking shoes as required for additional cushioning. Just remember to adjust your laces accordingly to make a little extra room for the insoles, or you may end up making your feet sore. Whilst the insoles will add a little weight to your pack, it is only minimal. In terms of the overheating issue, you could try a strong antiperspirant, such as Dove or Rexona. Just remember to get a little one can so that you can squeeze it into your backpack without losing too much room.