Sunday, 31 December 2017

Winter Camping in the Pacific Northwest – Mt. Hood National Forest

Have you ever wondered what camping in the winter would be like?  Whether you prefer backcountry camping, tent camping, or RV camping, there are many beautiful places across the U.S. for you to explore during the winter.  Aside from avoiding the crowds that often congest campsites and hiking trails, you’ll experience pure solitude as the rustle of leaves and buzz of bees and insects has vanished.  Camping in the winter will provide you with a new outlook from your typical summer camping trip. 

One of our favorite winter camping locations is Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon.  The Pacific Northwest always leaves us in awe of the natural beauty from beaches and bays to the valleys, plateaus, and mountains.  Mt. Hood provides an array of things to do year-round, but winter time is when it shines.  The summer camping crowds have vanished, and the mountain area has turned into an untouched winter wonderland yet to be explored. 

We like to start our cold weather camping excursion by checking out Mt. Hood’s USDA Forest Service website for updates on local conditions, alerts, and warnings. We then make sure all the essentials are packed such as our winter camping tent (thin, lightweight summer camping tents won’t cut it out here in the cold!), cold weather clothing including a base layer and outer layer, proper footwear to keep the toes warm and dry.  Although not always necessary, we like to keep a small propane space heater in the tent.  For an extra layer of insulation between the ground and sleeping pad, we use a few of our navy blue wool blanket. Our Explorer Collection black and white wool blanket are also great as an additional layer of insulation on top of our sleeping bags.  Once basecamp is setup, it is time to get outside and explore.

Mt. Hood offers hundreds of miles of trails or you can make your own trail. Just be aware of closed off areas that are in place to protect the wildlife and watershed.   Winter camping is extremely cool! Remember to use caution during the winter months and always camp and hike with a partner.

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