This is even more true in winter camping: for an expedition to be a success, it is imperative to prepare it in advance. Here are some precepts to keep in mind if you are planning a first snow camping outing, according to Charles For-tin and Nicolas Roux, from the Akron expedition and Emile Richard, certified mountain goat nutritionist .
1) BE DRY BEFORE BEING WARM
The biggest challenge is managing your clothes and their humidity. Above all, avoid sweating. “As soon as we are warm and active, we take off a layer. When we calm down and start to feel cold, we put it back on. The best way to dry your clothes is on yourself, thanks to the heat given off by the body.
2) DRINK EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT THIRSTY
Dehydration is more sneaky in the winter camping, because the cold gives the false impression of being hydrated. The trick is to drink throughout the day. The color of the urine makes it possible to evaluate the degree of hydration: we want it clear.
3) USE THE MULTIPLAYER SYSTEM
Stacking the layers allows for better heat management. “The first layer should be thin, breathable and moisture winking. Wool works well because it stays warm even when damp. The middle layer stores heat, we want down or synthetic. The third layer serves as a shell against the weather, it takes something waterproof or windproof. »
4) PLAN BALANCED MENUS AND SNACKS
In winter camping, we expend a lot of energy even when we are not moving. You have to take back the calories burned. “We want meals that are consistent, hot and high in energy. » Oat flakes, nuts, dried fruits and legumes are to be prioritized. Dehydrated food is also an option, but costs more.
5) PREPARE WELL FOR THE NIGHT
It is recommended to choose a sleeping bag warmer than the expected temperature, to be comfortable. You can also fill a hot water bottle before going to sleep and place it at the bottom of the bag. A small step also allows the heat to circulate. And above all, do not forget to go to the bathroom before going to sleep.
6) MAINTAIN GOOD PERSONAL HYGIENE
Cleaning wipes do the trick for short periods of time. Beyond a few days, consider washcloths and rubbing alcohol, diluted as needed. Once every 3 to 5 days is enough. “You also need to air your feet every day, a few minutes before going to sleep, to get rid of the humidity. » Baby powder helps keep feet dry.
7) TEST THE TYPE OF SHELTER CHOSEN IN ADVANCE
The tent is the simplest and most effective choice, but if you want to test the fifteen or the simple tarp, it is important to experiment in a safe environment. Don’t forget to ventilate the shelter to get rid of humidity.
8) AVOID SCATTERING
“When you go to bed, you need to know exactly where everything is stored. » Do not leave anything lying around, at the risk of finding your equipment frozen or flown away.
9) AVOID LEAVING TRACES BEHIND
Provide bags to bring back your waste and leave the site as you arrived. This also applies to toilet paper, which takes time to decompose.
10) DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE COMFORT OF HOT MEALS AND BEVERAGES
“Food is the reward, you have to have fun. » Bring foods you like, and take the trouble to heat water for tea or coffee: it’s good for morale!