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Scouts Canada's Top 10 Winter Camping Tips

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Winter Camping is a fun and inexpensive way to get outdoors and experience winter. Outdoor Scouting adventures provide a great outlet for youth to stay active and to embrace the great outdoors at a time of year where many opt for indoor sedentary activities. 

These young outdoor experts know that the best way to fall in love with winter is to be prepared. 

Watch as GTC Scouts share some winter camping tips with the CP24 Breakfast team.


Scouts Canada 10 Winter Tips for a safe and unforgettable winter camping experience.

1. Think onion

Onions have layers! Layering is important. Having the ability to get in and out of layers easily will help you to regulate your body temperature and avoid sweating.

2. Be prepared

Camping in the winter requires greater caution than in other seasons. For example, hazards may be hidden under the snow. Be cautious on ice, especially near running water. Always pack essentials, such as an emergency kit, water and snacks.

3. Keep everything covered

Wind chill can make or break any outdoor activity. Stick to sheltered areas. Any exposed skin results in a significant amount of body-heat loss. Leaving the house in a poorly insulated pair of shoes, thin gloves and earmuffs just won’t cut it in cold weather. Waterproof material is key. Purchasing a quality pair of boots, parka, mittens and hat is best for keeping warm. One trick to keep your cheeks warm is to chew gum--but gum can be a choking hazard during some activities. Use good sense.

4. Check the weather

Winter conditions can be tricky and snow squalls are dangerous. Weather can go from cool to cold very quickly, especially when the sun is setting.

5. Snow blindness

Sun reflecting off the snow strains your eyes, causing nausea and headaches. Wearing sunglasses will help reduce glare off the snow.

6. Always bring a friend

Share the adventure with others. The more the merrier. You can share the load of food and gear, and you’ll have support if you have an emergency.

7. Stay hydrated

When you are cold, you don’t typically think of drinking water. With all the clothing on your back and trucking through the snow, you expend loads of energy and your body needs water to function better. Dehydrated people are more likely to get hypothermia. Avoid caffeine as it dehydrates and stick to de-caffeinated or herbal hot drinks to keep warm. A good Scout tip: store your water bottle upside down in your pack; water always freezes from the top.

8. Eat

Have a proper breakfast to start the day off right and carry plenty of food with you. Eat protein bars, hearty soups, chili… Calories are needed for your body to create heat. Keep your sandwich in your jacket; it will freeze in your pack.

9. Share your plan

Let others know where you’re going, and when you plan to be back. 

10. Cotton kills

Cotton fabric is made from a plant, so it soaks up water and holds on to it. Wearing cotton in the winter will make you wet and cold. Try to dress in wool or synthetic layers from head to toe, and from your base layer to your outer layer. 

Go ahead, unleash your inner adventurer, load up your gear and travel into the great white north this winter!

Registration for Scouts Canada's programs are open year round. Find a Scouts Group near you!

Scouts Canada, the country’s leading youth organization, offers challenging programs for boys, girls and youth age 5-26 in thousands of individual groups in most cities and towns across Canada.

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