Sent: Thursday, November 9, 2017 10:51 AM
To: Troop 22
Subject: Campout this Weekend
With the weather being in the teens this weekend, I was wondering if there is anything in particular my boys need to bring to this campout? Besides extra clothing etc.
Do we need a 4 season tent?
My boys don't have any experience camping in cold weather, and would appreciate your advice.
From: Troop22Braintree [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 9, 2017 12:17 PM
Subject: RE: Campout this Weekend
The key to being comfortable on winter camping is obviously staying warm and dry. Wearing clothing in layers is key, as you can remove layers to keep from sweating (staying dry) and still staying warm.
I can pass down my experience for what I have found keeps me warm. I use wicking thermal undergarment full leg pants, then fleece or flannel pj’s under scout pants. Layers for my core include wicking thermal undergarment long sleeve shirt, then scout shirt followed by fleece sweatshirt(s) and wind breaker and/or insulated coat. Keeping the core warm and dry is very important but should also include keeping head/neck, hands and feet warm. Hybrid Wool socks and hat work best as they don’t agitate the skin as much and continue to keep my feet and head warm (wool material will keep you warm even when it gets wet! :). I spent a little more money on ski gloves than I would have liked but it was money well spent. Making sure the gloves fit is important; I found slightly loose fitting works best. Socks should fit well with the boot, if your socks are so thick that the boot is now tight it will reduce blood circulation and your feet will get cold.
The scouts will have the option of sleeping in the cabin or tent. If tenting, a standard tent with a good rain fly and properly staked to the ground is all that will be needed. A tarp under the tent will act as a vapor barrier to prevent condensation from occurring on top of the tent floor. Be sure the tarp does not extend beyond the footprint of the tent otherwise when it rains the water will hit the tarp and run right under the tent resulting in a wet floor.
Note: 4-season tents can be very costly and are for tenting under heavy snow conditions so not necessary for our campouts. If these conditions did occur at a campout we always have a cabin available as a backup :). Also with tenting outside it is very important to have a thermal insulated pad to insulate your sleeping bag from the cold tent ground. A zero degree mummy style sleeping bag (encompasses your head with pull ties so all that is exposed is your face) is recommended but these can be very expensive. I tend to run hot so I use two standard 40 degree bags and a 5 degree thermal sleeping bag liner. I double up the sleeping bags as needed. I also use a fleece head cover that covers my neck and head with nothing exposed but my nose and mouth.
I have found that it is best to change into your sleep wear (to include fresh dry undergarments) while within the sleeping bag, it can be a bit of a struggle but it results in building up body heat that stays in the insulated sleeping bag:)
Hope this helps.
Troop 22 Scoutmaster