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Winter Camping in BC

Now that you can actually see the white stuff up there on the surrounding mountains, I suppose we have no choice but to admit that winter has finally arrived. That doesn’t mean we need to stop camping and RVing though! Far from it! Done right, winter camping is a ton of fun for the whole family. And if hiking into the mountains isn’t your thing, scroll to the bottom of the article for links to a variety of RV-friendly winter campgrounds!

Courtesy of Super, Natural British Columbia, here are the top tips for winter camping in BC:

MINDSET:
First and foremost, you must have a proper frame of mind. Getting to your destination is going to be slower and harder because you might need to break trail. You are going to feel cold frequently. Your fingers will numb when you stop to eat a snack and then sting badly as warm blood rushes into them when you start moving again. Being prepared for this helps to offset the experience.

TRANSPORTATION:
Whether you’re RVing or heading into the backwoods, Winter camping requires the ability to move on snow, and there are a few ways of varying difficulty to do this:

1. Snowshoe: Easy to use but slower.
2. Ski: Harder to use but much faster.
3. Crampon: Moderately difficult to use but can be as fast as hiking given the right snow conditions.

TIPS TO STAY WARM:
Feeling warm is crucial to your enjoyment while winter camping. If you’re in the backwoods, having a fire is generally not an option. Many popular winter camping destinations will not allow fires. They also tend to quickly burn down through the snow and lose their heat. And if you plan to camp above the treeline, there will be nothing to burn anyway unless you bring your own wood.

Fear not, there are other ways to stay warm:
1. Bring plenty of clothing layers to trap air and reduce the loss of your body heat.
2. Puffy jackets are a must, preferably ones filled with down feathers.
3. Stoke your internal fire; keep well-hydrated and eat well, this will aid your body’s ability to generate heat.
4. Go to the bathroom before getting into your sleeping bag. If you don’t, this can actually make you get colder quicker.
5. Get into your sleeping bag warm; do stomach crunches or jumping jacks before hopping into that bag.

SAFETY:
If you want to enjoy the mountains in winter, then taking some form of instruction on how to go about it safely is necessary. Taking an Avalanche Safety Training course and spending time with experienced Mountaineers in BC comes highly recommended.

For Avalanche Training, check out the courses at your local ski hill. For getting out with experienced mountain goers, you can join any one of the established Mountain Clubs in BC. You can find a full list of them here: Mountain Clubs of BC.

**You can view the full article on hellobc.com by clicking HERE.

WHERE TO GO:
If hiking up mountains to find a decent campsite isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of RV parks and campgrounds that offer year-round camping opportunities in BC. And due to less people getting out and camping in the winter months, the weekly and monthly rates tend to be a lot less. For a full listing of campgrounds and RV parks that are open in BC during the winter, check out http://www.travel-british-columbia.com/camping/winter-camping/.

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