Camping Yosemite National Park in the Winter. Tips and suggestion for camping in the snow.
So I went to bed in the rain and woke up in the snow!
Now I’ve been camping and backpacking in some not so friendly weather before, but camping in actual snow?!? Now that was a first for me!
And this wasn’t just a little bit of snow. The snowflakes were massive and by the time we really woke up and made our way out of our tents there was already about 3-4 inches on the ground!
Most of you already know I’m a total freeze baby. I was very concerned about the weather being below freezing at night, and of course the snow that was expected to come with it worried me as well .
I tried to do my best to be prepared. And even though I was extremely prepared, there was still so much to learn about sleeping under the stars in 19 degree weather.
So I wanted to do this post to help you in case you find yourself as cold as ice on your next camping trip.
Staying Warm in Upper Pines Campground Yosemite National Park:
•Take Your Bed With You
The more comfortable you make you tent the better you’ll be able to sleep. Bring an air mattress, invest in a quality sleeping bag, and bring extra blankets.
Here’s what I had with me.
(1) Air mattress with a sheet and blanket over it. (You need to make sure that you have warmth surrounding you, not just as a top layer, that’s why it’s important to put some layers below you!)
(2) A Quality Sleeping Bag. We’re talking something that actually has the power to keep you warm. On this trip I used the Teton Trailhead +20 Ultralight.
In cold weather you’ll be better off with a mummy sleeping bag, it’ll help to retain more heat. However, since I’m cold in 75 degree weather, this wasn’t warm enough on its own I still needed added warmth
(3) Bring on the Comforters. Over my sleeping bag I also had a down comforter and a regular comforter. Just more to add to the warmth. Best thing is if you get too hot, just remove a comforter!
So if you’re always frozen, like me, just go ahead and bring all the blankets you got. Let’s put it this way if you’re too hot you can just leave some blankets in the car. But let’s be honest you’d rather be toasty hot and take off some layers instead of freezing cold and can’t get warm to save your life!
Cover Your Head and Neck
I’m horrible with completely wrapping myself up in a mummy sleeping bag. I start gasping for air within seconds and feel too confined. How to fix this if you’re like me? Wear a beanie, snow hat, knit cap, whatever…just something to cover that noggin.
So now your lil head is nice and toasty but your neck and shoulders may feel left out. Go ahead and wrap a comfortable (non itchy) scarf around your neck and shoulders. Now the parts of your body not under the covers or in the sleeping bag are good to go!
Hand Warmer Aren’t Just For The Slopes
Ok, so this is an awesome tip I learned from someone that lives at the National Park. Go ahead and buy yourself some Camping Hand Warmers. These will last you through the night, the gentleman I met said he actually throws them in his sleeping bag to keep him warm. I, no joke, slept with them in my hands. Ha! This helped so so so much. It made me drastically warmer.
Don’t Set Your Tent on That Ice Ice Baby!
When we got to our campsite it seemed we were the only site that still had a layer of ice on the ground. The WHOLE campsite was covered with ice
We just went ahead and placed our tents on top of the area we had been given. But, I quickly learned that it would have been a good idea to shovel up the ice and put my tent directly on the ground.
The ground temperature is going to radiate up and your tent will mimic that temp. So if there’s already snow on the ground or ice try as hard as you can to remove it before putting your tent down.
So these are some of the things I learned to keep you warm. I hope they help you so you’re able to enjoy your camping trip.