[List of 30] 0 Degree Camping Tips

Random Observation/Comment #495: Overnight 0 degree camping in the Catskills will grow hair on your chest. Ladies, you have been warned.

see lemons frozen

I’ve gone camping before, but I’ve never done it in freezing conditions. I’ve also never gone with such an awesomely prepared group like DBA (Destination Backcountry Adventures run and led by Dave DiCerbo).

As a spontaneous and over-trusting type, I agreed to an overnight 0 degree camping conditions in the Catskills this past weekend. While filled with doubt in the beginning for ways to stay warm and not die, I decided to gather some key tips and lessons learned:

  1. Being Over prepared is better than being under prepared
  2. Pick the right gear for your trip
  3. Avoid camping alone (it’s also more fun with others)
  4. Pick a campsite slightly off the beaten path on a flat area near fuel
  5. For the campsite, take into account wind and cold air drafts down the mountain
  6. Pack headlamps
  7. Boil all water and wash out all bottles that held possibly contaminated water bring a saw and hatchet to collect wood
  8. Bring camping stories
  9. Find good dry tinder wood (hemlock) and dense maple.
  10. Wear the right shoes
  11. Bring extra socks and shirts
  12. Use rocks piled on the back of a fire pit to reflect the heat towards the group (directional campfire)
  13. Be careful of fire being too close to the rocks because they can exploded
  14. Stay hydrated
  15. When cutting wood, use the weight of the wood against it. Wedge the hatchet in first and then turn upside down and throw the wood into the blade.
  16. Pack your sleeping bag with spare clothes and a hot water bottle
  17. Avoid wearing too many layers in the sleeping bag because it will keep the heat trapped in before reflecting
  18. Work as a team to get stuff done
  19. Use a beacon to tell people in the real world where you are
  20. Sleep in huddles
  21. Turn off your smart phone and enjoy the wilderness
  22. Don’t keep your wet gear too close to the fire or it will burn
  23. Keep layers and change them if they get sweaty
  24. Tie food away from the campsite
  25. Prep food that can be thrown next to the coal
  26. Bring baby wipes to feel cleaner
  27. If it’s cold, keep busy and chop wood or break sticks
  28. Wear good shoes that are insulated, water resistant, and have the right treads
  29. Pack extra socks because wet socks suck so bad
  30. Go with someone you trust

I survived with all my fingers and toes, but I can’t emphasize the people you go with enough. I wouldn’t of been able to tie the knots to setup the tarp!

~See Lemons Frozen