Tips for Safe Cold-Weather Camping

girl with coffee on snowy mountain

Expanding your camping season into the colder months is a great way to get the most out of your investment in your RV and take advantage of less crowded campgrounds. But, with colder temperatures comes a new set of challenges and weather patterns. To ensure your trip is unforgettable for all the best reasons, here are some tips and tricks to keep you safe this winter.

  • Be prepared: Make sure you have plenty of food, water, and fuel to last your entire trip, plus a little extra just in case of emergencies.
  • Think layers: While you might be inclined to throw on your thickest sweater and call it a day, it is actually better to dress in several thin, light layers. This provides better insulation and allows you the option to remove layers when you need to (more on that in a second).
  • Stay dry: You will want to change out of any wet clothing right away (whether it is from precipitation or perspiration) to prevent your core temperature from dropping.
  • Mind your surroundings: Avoid setting up camp or parking under snowy tree limbs. While it makes for a pretty picture, the weight of the snow can cause branches to break and cause costly damage and injury.
  • Have an exit strategy: When the ground is wet and temperatures are shifting between freezing and thawing, your RV and tow vehicle may get stuck. If you know you will be at your campsite for an extended period of time or are expecting drastic temperature changes, make sure to put traction mats under your tires to give you a little insurance against that sinking feeling.
  • Keep it clear: Removing snow from the top of the RV will help maintain the heat inside as well as reduce weight strain on your roof. It is also important to make sure your roof chimneys are clear of any blockage. You will want to regularly check your heater’s air intake and exhaust openings for blockages as well.
  • Be weather aware: Make sure to keep an eye on the forecast to avoid getting caught in inclement weather.
  • Same rules apply: In the summer, we know we have to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen, and the same is true in the colder months. You will want to make sure you drink plenty of water and apply (and reapply!) sunscreen to exposed skin to protect from UV rays.