Winter Camping Tips

Dressing with Layers

Greetings Fellow Trappers,
I hope you are as excited as I am for what is guaranteed to be a memorable winter rendezvous! To make sure everyone in attendance has a positive and healthy experience this year, I share the following thoughts with you:
At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of all unit leaders and parents to work together preemptively to ensure that all of your Scouts – youth and adult alike – are well-prepared for the character-building weather we can expect this weekend. Give special consideration to your new and younger Scouts and Leaders. What gear should they purchase in order for them to BE PREPARED to have a positive experience? What steps should be taken now to guarantee that all of your Scouts will join us again for Trappers Rendezvous 2025? 
Below my message you will find information on suggested items to pack, tips for staying warm while sleeping and during activity sessions, and an informational graphic (with accompanying video) on how to properly dress in layers for such an event as this. Additionally, make sure you’re prepared with these winter camping tips. Check out the BSA’s Safety Moments on Winter ActivitiesHypothermia and Frostbite. Review the Guide to Safe Scouting’s section on winter camping.
WATER SOURCES at Harvey County Park are expected to be frozen and unusable. ALL UNITS AND ATTENDEES should bring their own water supply. It will also be necessary to have a contingency plan for PROPANE FREEZING during meal preparation in campsites.
Please take a moment to review the Trappers Herald before arrival. If you are not already, follow the Trappers Rendezvous Facebook page for the latest updates and information.
Finally, I remind everyone to HAVE FUN! This will be a great weekend of fellowship and an adventure for our Scouts to tell their children around the campfire many moons from now. Our attitudes – not the climate – ultimately determine whether they will tell the tale as one that will inspire.
See you very soon,
Ol’ Blue Knees
Good video explaining the above graphic.

Staying Warm While Sleeping

Change into a new set of dry clothing before going to bed.
Double up sleeping bags to improve temperature rating.
Use a thick sleeping pad, cardboard, foam or other ground barriers (or improvise a thick pad with blankets or another sleeping bag).
Sleep with a stocking cap and thick socks.
Sleep 2 or 3 or more to a tent.
Wake up your buddy if you are shivering and cold. Get help from a leader if you can’t get warm.
Be careful with (or avoid) hand warmers in sleeping bags while sleeping as they can cause burns.
Do some sit-ups or pushups before climbing in your bag to help you warm it up.
Follow the buddy system; camp at night can be very disorienting – don’t get lost alone in the cold!

Staying Warm During Activity Time

Wear layers!
Do not wear your sleeping clothes, change your clothes when you get up.
Stay hydrated. You may not feel thirsty in the cold, but it’s important to drink fluids.
Try not to sweat. If you are working, add/remove layers or take breaks as needed to avoid overheating.
Pay close attention to toes, fingers, and ears for signs of frostbite.
Waterproof shoes can cause a buildup of moisture in the shoe. You may need to change socks during the day to keep your feet dry and warm so bring extra. Breathable shoes may perform better than waterproof in dry conditions.
Avoid fibers that hold moisture (Cotton).
Take breaks to warm up in a tent or shelter.
Use the buddy system and look out for each other.

Suggested Articles to Pack:

Stocking Cap
Coat (not a hoodie)
Long Underwear
Warm Wool Socks (bring 4-5 pairs)
Boots (in good working condition; not running shoes)
A good sleeping bag and extra blanket(s)
Sleeping Mat
Chap Stick
Extra Dry Socks