Cold / Bad Weather Camping?

Mountain Cat

Veteran
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Local time
7:50 PM
Messages
2,655
Location
Hilltowns of Massachusetts
Website
goatsandgreens.wordpress.com
Curious how cold / inclement weather has been that people have camped outdoors in? (In a tent, NOT in an RV or the like).

I often go to an annual gathering each Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples Day (the second weekend in October) in New York state. The weather has ranged from balmy to mid-high 30s F (a few degrees above zero, C). Last time there was 2018, and it wasn't held 2020, or 2021. The setup is such that if you want to live in a dorm bunkhouse setting, you can - but I always tent as I am a light sleeper and one cannot avoid the snorers.

At this gathering, food is supplied, and since we can't set camp fires there, I eat the supplied food, which is usually pretty good.

But there have been some interesting times.

There's a photo somewhere around of one of our group paddling a canoe through the main outdoor gathering region.... it had rained that much. I and my friends had camped on the other side of the stream (which was now nearly a river) and had precarious times crossing the thing. There was the night (a better weather year) where we were awakened by a pack of incoming coyotes. I knew they weren't going to attack, but the howls were coming closer - my city buddy was very unnerved! I do bring many blankets and a good solid sleeping bag.

Then there was the camping event on the far west of the state, essentially almost in Ohio, where I set up my tent upon arrival one late Saturday night. About three hours later, a storm raced through. Ah, good, my tend is fine and intact. I went in to sleep, and fortunately put the bag with my clothing and camera and such up at the far end by my feet. I blew up a sleeping mattress, and nestled down. Ah, another storm front raced through, and my tent semi-collapsed. Well, nothing I could do in the dark, and it was dry enough where I was... woke up at dawn and everything was floating, except fortunately the bag up to the right of my feet. My air mattress was floating. (And yes, I was on a higher ground... It was the way the tent fell and siphoned water in.)

It rained for the rest of that week. Seriously, every day. ALL day. On the final day, when I availed myself of the camp showers to divest myself of the mud before the 7 or 8 hour time to drive home, the sun FINALLY came out.
 

caseydog

Legendary Member
Joined
25 Aug 2019
Local time
6:50 PM
Messages
8,819
Location
Dallas, TX
I did a lot of cold weather camping back in my 30s in a tent, often backpacking into the wilderness. I had good gear, and knew how to stay dry, so I never had any issues. In my 50s, I used a lot of the same practices with my teardrop camper, which was basically a tent on a trailer.

When wilderness camping, coyotes were a constant annoyance. They never bothered us, but I did pack a .357 Magnum revolver on wilderness trips. Better safe than sorry. I only used it once, to shoot at the base of a tree next to an unusually aggressive coyote, and a couple of tag-alongs. The tag-alongs ran away, and the aggressive one turned and left after them.

I went on a group camping trip on time, and there were about 40 tents set up. A strong "pop-up" storm rolled through. I sat in my tent and read a book, while listening to screaming and chaos outside. People were abandoning their collapsing tents and running to their cars. After the storm, I came out of my tent and most of the tents were flattened. Smugly, I thought, "My $600 tent doesn't seem like a big waste of money now, does it?" :smug: "How did that $89 tent work out for you?"

CD
 
Joined
30 Nov 2012
Local time
12:50 AM
Messages
1,141
Location
Hampshire, UK
Curious how cold / inclement weather has been that people have camped outdoors in? (In a tent, NOT in an RV or the like).
We gave up tent camping years ago.....it wasn't so much the temperature that we got fed up with, but rather the constant dampness. Which of course meant everything felt cold and you could never get warm. I think we only ever had one dry holiday in a tent - and actually that one was great but it was the exception rather than the rule and we just got fed up.

Not many people camp here in the winter - most campsites are closed and wild camping isn't allowed in most places. We've been sub-zero in our motorhome multiple times though, and I especially love it in the snow: the contrast of warm and toasty inside (and dry!) with the snow outside is lovely.
 

TastyReuben

Nosh 'n' Splosh
Staff member
Joined
15 Jul 2019
Local time
7:50 PM
Messages
14,539
Location
Ohio, US
75921
 
Top Bottom