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  1. #1

    Default Tips for early spring camping?

    Hi, ladies. I'm here for some advice about back country camping in the shoulder season.

    I'm a pretty experienced spring, summer, and fall hiker and camper, all over the US. I've camped out in the middle of winter once before, on snow, but long ago and not far from the safety of my car and a well-plowed escape route! This past winter, I did a lot of hiking in the higher peaks with snowshoes and microspikes to test my gear and figure out my layering plan. I even did a test run of setting up my tent on about 3' of compacted snow.

    So, I scoped out a nearby section of trail and have been biding my time for the beginning of spring when temps will be a little less deadly. There are lean-tos and open camping areas along the trail. There is still snow on the ground, but a little rain in the forecast this week, nighttime temps in the 20s and low 30s. No rain this weekend, so I'm gearing up to give it a shot.

    Do you have any words of wisdom *specifically* for early-spring back country camping for me? How to keep dry as the snow melts and runs off? How to stay warm? What to look for when I choose where to pitch my tent? (I'd rather use my tent than the lean-to) Must-haves that you think I should bring for the shoulder season in particular? Any particular dangers that you've encountered and want to pass along?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2


    Hello and welcome. I suggest you post this in the general forum, I think youíll get a lot of good tips and suggestions. A lot of WB members have cold-weather experience in your part of the country but they may be reluctant to answer as the guys recently got their hands slapped for posting in the womenís forum.

    Regardless, here a few of my tips (with your experience you probably know these things). I live in the southeast so staying warm for me requires managing moisture.

    Insulate from the ground up (quote from Mountain Mike). I use two sleeping pads, a CCF and a self-inflating.
    Have a snack handy and eat something if you wake up cold in the middle of the night.

    Keep the bladder empty. Having to pee will make you cold.

    Change out of sweaty clothes as soon as you get to camp...bra and briefs included.

    Ventilate the tent to lower condensation and periodically wipe off condensation from the tent walls.

    Donít get so warm in your bag that you sweat and donít breathe into your bag.

    Donít camp next to streams or in low-lying areas.
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 03-26-2019 at 19:37.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Spokane, WA


    Dry sox, and plenty of them.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  4. #4


    You will hate this some dark chocolate before bed. As you metabolize the fat it will help keep your body temp up.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by SC_Forester View Post
    You will hate this some dark chocolate before bed. As you metabolize the fat it will help keep your body temp up.
    who could possibly hate that advice even if it's not exactly correct? Always a good thing to eat dark chocolate. 85% + is my choice.

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  6. #6
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Upper East Side of Texas


    Youíre late.
    There are ladies on the AT who have already passed into North Carolina. No cold related injuries reported yet.
    Be dry. Be warm. Be safe.

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