Just because it's cold outside does not mean family camping adventures have to wait. In fact, having a positive winter camping trip as a family can be one of the best experiences for kids.
However, since it is cold out, there are a few extra steps that need to be taken to ensure everyone has fun and stays safe. The following are 5 tips to help get you started on your next winter family camping trip.
1) The Right Gear
Regardless of the season, having the right gear is essential to enjoyment. In the winter though, it's extra important as keeping warm is key. You will want to make sure everyone has a sleeping bag that is temperature rated for the conditions you expect. Additionally, make sure everyone has a sleeping pad or mattress to sleep on. Separation from the ground is what will keep you the warmest.
Winter clothing such as hats, gloves, jackets, long underwear, etc. all needs to be considered based on conditions.
Also, make sure you have the right tent for your family. While there are many options out there, keep in mind that setting a tent up in the cold can be a much different experience then setting one up on a nice summer day. A Wildcat tent will set up in minutes and won't even require you to take off your gloves or mittens to do so :)
2) Do a Trial Run
Once you have your gear squared away, test it out by camping in the backyard for a night in similar conditions. This will ensure everyone knows what to expect and that you have the gear you need. If anything goes wrong, everyone can head back to the house and regroup.
3) Check The Weather Ahead Of Time
This is so important and can sometimes be overlooked. You need to have a good idea of what the weather conditions are going to be before you head out. What are the overnight lows, daytime highs, is it going to rain, snow, etc. It might not be the best idea to take your maiden winter family camping trip if blizzard conditions are in the forecast.
4) Have A Backup Plan
If you did a trial run in the backyard, you likely worked out a lot of the kinks. However you know that Murphy's Law is real and if anything can go wrong it will. So make sure you have a plan if you need to make changes. Will you be close to your car? Is there a lodge near by?
5) Have Fun With It
Winter family camping is much different, but can be equally enjoyable in it's own right! Getting everything ready, testing gear, and making plans can all be great family fun. Including everyone in the planning stages can be an excellent bonding experience and also ensure everyone is on the same page and expectations are similar.