"Ice, Ice Baby": How to Keep Warm While Camping

By Avery Nicol, Girls Who Hike Central Coast Ambassador

My boyfriend and I had been planning a trip to Iceland to visit some of his relatives; that was until I found out how freakin’ freezing cold it was gonna be during the month of April. Daytime highs of 30-35 degrees sounded absolutely miserable to me and since I would be spending a good chunk of that week watching him surf I knew my body wouldn’t be happy sitting on the sidelines shivering. After that revelation, (and some convincing on my end) we had re-routed our trip to beautiful Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island for something that would be a tad less extreme at a daily 45-50. Not going to lie, I feel a bit sad with a side of FOMO (fear of missing out) that I opted out of what I’m sure would have been the most amazing adventures I’ve had in my life thus far. With that said, I started to do research on measures that I could take next time an opportunity comes up for a trip in a cold climate so I can confidently say “yes!”

Image courtesy of https://expertvagabond.com/tofino-vancouver-island/

Image courtesy of https://expertvagabond.com/tofino-vancouver-island/

As someone who grew up in sunny San Diego, I admit that I am not at all accustomed to temperatures that require little more than a light sweater. But seeing as how I love to hike backpack and camp.. I needed a real solution for the times I would be outside my element; quite literally! And here is what I came up with; a few goodies that I will definitely be adding to my shopping cart and a few tips I will be putting into action for the next chilly trip that comes my way.

Tip #1

Pick a sleeping bag that is fitted for a woman’s body. I was surprised to find out that women’s bags actually have extra insulation around the feet and bust.

Tip #2

Drink something warm. Pack yourself a lightweight thermos if at all possible. Hot Cocoa or Chai Tea anybody? (Option to add Bailey’s by the evening campfire) Yum!

Tip #3

Go Pee! Your body expends a good amount of energy keeping the liquids warm inside of your body. I know it’s the worst realization that you have to climb out of your warm cocoon in the middle of the night to go potty but it’ll be worth getting rid of it so you can sleep like a baby for the remainder of the night. Buy yourself one of these Go Girls to make it a little easier! (No splashing)


Tip #4

Get a thicker sleeping pad to keep extra buffer between you and the cold ground .

Tip #5

If you get desperate enough you can use extra socks as gloves. Who knows, maybe this is the next fashion statement for 2018!

Tip #6

Set up your campsite and shelter away from windy areas. Areas with the most trees are usually the best set up.

Tip #7

Wear wool. This fabulous material (and unfortunately expensive option) is the ultimate choice because it wicks the sweat which will keep you dry, and dry = warm!

Tip #8

Munch on the go. Taking long breaks will act to cool the body.

Thanks for reading. Hope this helps!

Avery is the Ambassador for our Central Coast, California chapter. You can join her local meetups and discussions through the Central Coast chapter by clicking here.

To become a member of Girls Who Hike, click here.