Whether spending the night on the trail on the K-300 outside of Bethel or doing winter camping elsewhere in Alaska, I found a few tips that I thought may be helpful. The weather is always a consideration when camping, and that’s especially true during the winter months.
Dress in plenty of layers so that you can add or remove clothing as needed. Be sure to always have an extra layer of clothing handy so that you can quickly put extra items on if you suddenly stop moving or find yourself becoming chilled.
Choose a shelter that is rated for four season use in order to ensure it will provide you with adequate protection from the elements. It should also have a roofline that will shed snow and a rainfly to help insulate you from the cold and prevent condensation from building up inside it.
Your sleeping back should also be rated for the temperature you plan to use it in. In addition to your sleeping bag, you will also need a thick foam pad to place underneath it, as this will insulate your body from the cold ground.
You’ll also need a source of heat, and a camp stove is generally preferred because it can be used for both cooking and heat. You’ll need at least ¼ quart of fuel per person per day, and it’s a good idea to have enough fuel on hand at all times for a day or so in order to ensure you don’t run out.
When it comes to water, you will need to melt snow or ice if you don’t have any available. Avoid eating snow, as this will cause your body to burn extra energy that it could be using to keep you warm instead.
You should have plenty of food that is high in protein and carbohydrates in order to provide you with extra energy. When performing strenuous activity in very cold temperatures, your body could burn as much as three times the normal number of calories, so now is not the time to watch your caloric intake.
Finally, always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Better yet, plan to go camping with someone else so that you can both keep an eye on each other.