Camping when temperatures dip to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler can be daunting for some campers. However, it is possible to have an enjoyable camping experience even in cooler weather with the right preparation and gear. This guide covers techniques, equipment recommendations, and tips to use when camping in 45 degree weather.
Choosing a Shelter Suited for Cooler Temps
Having an adequate tent or shelter is key to comfort during 45 degree camping. Look for:
- 3 or 4 season tents with durable, waterproof outer shells to withstand potential rain or snow flurries.
- Added mesh windows and vents so you can control airflow and ventilation.
- A rainfly that extends generously beyond the tent edges.
- A vestibule area for protected storage space and to keep gear out of main tent.
- A tent or shelter with room to comfortably fit your group and any needed gear inside.
Take time assembling your shelter so it is tautly staked and sealed from drafts. Use a ground cover under tent for further insulation.
Sleeping Warm Throughout the Night
Having adequate sleeping gear enables you to sleep soundly despite chillier overnight temps:
- Use a sleeping bag with a temperature rating at least 15-20°F lower than the forecasted overnight lows.
- Look for mummy bags which seal in heat around your body better or use a sleeping bag liner.
- Sleep fully clothed in base layers and wool socks along with a fleece beanie.
- Inflate your sleeping pad fully – the insulation under you makes a big difference.
- Put a hot water bottle or hand warmers into your sleeping bag before bed.
Avoid letting any skin be exposed to air while sleeping. Bundle up fully inside a quality sleeping bag and don’t allow drafts inside.
Dressing in Layers
Layering clothing is key for maintaining warmth and comfort when camping in 45 degree weather. Follow these tips:
- Wear synthetic or merino wool long underwear against skin to wick away moisture.
- Use fleece mid-layers on top for added insulation based on temperatures and activity level.
- Have an outer wind and rain-proof jacket and pants available.
- Bring extras of each layer in case clothing gets wet, muddy or damaged.
- Carry gloves, wool socks, hats and neck gaiters to protect extremities from chill.
- Change socks throughout the day if your feet become wet so you don’t stay damp long.
Adjust your layers to adapt to changing temperatures throughout the day. Remove layers before you get a chill.
Keeping Warm Around Camp
Beyond your shelter and clothing, employ other tactics to stay warm in camp:
- When permitted, build fires responsibly to generate warmth. Gather extra firewood.
- Enjoy hot drinks like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate regularly .
- Cook warming meals like stews, oatmeal, or soups.
- Bring an insulated thermos to keep drinks hot longer.
- Sit on an insulated pad or small camp chair rather than directly on the ground.
- Set up your cooking/eating area in a more protected spot, out of wind.
- Do active chores like collecting firewood to get your blood pumping.
Look for chances to create and retain warmth while lounging and doing camp tasks.
Sleeping Warm and Dry Overnight
Getting a good night’s rest is crucial. To sleep warmer:
- Wear dry base layers and socks so skin and bedding stay dry.
- Use a vapor barrier liner or bivy sack to shield your sleeping bag from moisture.
- Fill a water bottle with something warm and tuck it inside your sleeping bag before bed.
- Zip your sleeping bag tightly and cinch the hood around your head to seal in heat.
- Place hand warmers in your sleeping bag around your feet and torso if needed.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bed as it can cause chilled blood flow.
- Pee before bed so you won’t have to exit the tent’s warmth in the night.
Retaining warmth all night ensures you wake energized for the day’s adventures.
While 45 degree weather presents camping challenges, using these proven techniques for staying warm will allow you to comfortably enjoy time spent outdoors. Don’t let cooler temps stop you from camping.