Whether you are new to the world of camping or have a few trips under your belt already, there are a few things you need to know regarding seasonality. It should be common sense that the gear you pack for a summer trip will be a little different from the gear you pack for a winter trip. Here are a few things to keep in mind when packing your camping gear by season.
Keep it light.
The key to spring and summer camping gear is to keep it lightweight. If you are carrying more than you need, you are weighing yourself down which will lead to exhaustion. Since many campers use larger packs to carry their camp gear and essentials for survival right on their back, it is important to make sure you know the essentials you will need and only bring those items. If you are a newer camper and want to bring every cool camping gadget on the market, you should choose a campsite that allows you to drive up rather than hike or trek to it.
Pack the right clothing for the temps.
The key to summer gear in terms of clothing is to choose the right materials and keep it simple. While you want options that are lightweight to keep you cool, you don't want to only pack tanks and shorts. Overexposure to the sun can lead to just as many health concerns as overexposure to cold temperature in the winter. The key is to find the balance between maximum coverage clothing for sun protection and lightweight materials to avoid heat stroke. You will want to invest in quality apparel made with Nylon or even Gore-Tex to help keep you comfortable. Look for options that say moisture wicking as well.
Hydration packs are your best friend.
When camping in the summer, the heat can lead to dehydration. Dehydration when you are out in the wilderness is a potentially life-threatening occurrence. The best way to avoid a scenario that goes from happy camper to camper in peril is with the right hydration pack. A hydration pack keeps your water source close at hand by either being placed inside your backpack or as a separate bag you carry on hikes when you leave camp. Water intake is important and should be a top priority for any camper during warmer months, so a hydration pack is an essential piece of gear you definitely need for the journey.
Know the conditions.
There is a big difference between camping in November in the Great Smokies and camping in Alaska during the same month. The only way to plan what gear to bring for your winter adventure is to know the conditions and environment of the place you intend to make your camp. This means checking out weather elements such as average rain or snowfall, average high temperatures during the day, and average lows for the nights. This will help you narrow down which gear makes the cut for the trip.
Adjust footwear for the season.
When it comes to camping gear by seasons, the footwear is often one of the most important parts to change out. While in summer you may bring your hiking boots for the trails, flip-flops or sandals for the time spent by the lake, and maybe even an additional pair of shoes for hanging by the campsite once you have it all set up and your feet need a break from the hiking boots. In the winter, the footwear is one of the first gear elements to reconsider based on season. Depending on how extreme the conditions are, you may need to invest in high traction boots to provide a better grip in snowy climates. You will also want to pay more attention to the matter of waterproofing in your boots than in the summer because hypothermia is a bigger threat during this time of year and your gear should reflect that from head to toe.
Wind protection gear is crucial.
In the summer, you appreciate the breeze because it helps keep you cool and refreshed while you sleep. In the autumn and winter, leaving yourself exposed to the wind can quickly become a near-death experience to ruin your camping trip. It is important to wear an outer layer that is wind resistant to help with exposure risk. At night, you should also take this into consideration by investing in a tent with wind resistance as well as sleeping in layers in a well-insulated sleeping bag rated for winter use.