Hypothermia sets in at any temperature below 50 deg.F. BSA considers this winter camping, and
"wet" cold. "Dry" cold sets in at 16 deg. F and below.
The key to staying warm is staying dry. Make sure your clothes are in plastic bags so they dont
get wet Layer your clothes, and only use cotton for underwear, if possible. It is best to use polypro, arctic fleece, etc. If you don't have this, use wool.
Cotton, once it gets wet, freezes into the shape it froze in, and won't dry out for days
without a standard dryer so use a quick drying alternative.
Don't go to bed with wet clothes. If possible, change into new underwear, PJ's, etc. If your feet
sweat a lot, use any underarm antiperspirant spray. This will prevent your feet from sweating and
keep you more comfortable.
Drink plenty of water or other non-caffeinated liquids. Caffeine is a diuretic, and will cause you
to lose more water than you take in. A cup of coffee will make you lose two. Try warm Gatorade or water,
fruit juice, etc.
Keep your sleeping bag dry. What keeps you warm is the air trapped in the insulation. If that gets wet,
you will be cold and miserable. Line your sleeping bag with a large trash bag to keep your body's moisture
on or near you, and not going into the bag. This is a little clammy at first, but it helps keep you warm.
Cover the outside of the bag with an over-cover. This will add 10-15 deg. F to the bag's rating, and will
keep you warmer. When you wake up, take the inner liner out, let it freeze, and shake out the frozen
droplets before going to bed the next night. This will keep you warmer and dryer in the long run.
Eat plenty of high-carbohydrate foods, fairly often. Crackers, bread, pepperoni & cheese, etc. This will
help your body generate enough fuel to keep you warm.
Keep your head covered. You lose 70% of your body's heat through your head. If your feet get cold - put a
SUGGESTED CLOTHING AND GEAR
- Minimum 2 pairs of mittens or gloves
- Heavy winter boots - waterproof
- Minimum 4 pair socks - wool or fleece, polypro, etc.
- Winter hats covering the ears
- Muffler or scarf if you want
- 2 Acrylic or wool sweaters or fleece shirts
- Long underwear, top & bottom, fleece or wool
- Polypro or non-cotton Underwear & tee shirts, 3 each
- Sweatshirt and pants to sleep in
- Fleece or acrylic hat to sleep in
- Snow pants or wool pants, or fleece with nylon wind pants
- Gaiters to go between bottom of pants & boots (optional)
- Heavy winter coat, nylon outer layer that can get dirty
- Combination of TWO sleeping pads
- Inner sleeping bag liner, can be lawn/leaf bag
- Sleeping bag outer cover
- Chapstick & sunscreen
- Mess kit, cup, utensils
- Small games, cards, etc.
- Flash light
- Matches(water proof or storm proof are the best)
- Hand warmer
- Day pack
- Rain grear
- Water bottle(1 liter)
- Sleeping bag(at least 20 degrees)
- Knife(if you have a totem chit)
- Extra pair of shoes
- plastic bags(to put in shoes)