Cold weather camping is much more harsh on your body than camping in warmer seasons, so it is important to place extra attention on taking care of yourself by staying warm and eating the right foods. If you are camping in cold weather, you should allow yourself an additional 1,000 calories per day in your diet. Winter camping meals and snacks should be very high in carbohydrates to fuel your body through the extreme cold and should also contain plenty of fats and proteins.
Winter camping trips offer more flexibility for the types of foods you can pack because the cold temperatures are much friendlier to foods that may spoil quickly in the heat. Cooking and preparing your camping meals in the cold, however, is much more difficult. You will want to plan winter camping meals that are easy and quick to prepare and that are just as simple to eat. Plan on packing a good bit more food when camping in cold weather and pack several emergency meals as well.
Instant soups are simple winter camping meals that help warm you up on a cold night. Bring along plenty of hot drinks, like cocoa or coffee, and a Coleman 14 cup percolator to keep your body temperature higher before you wrap up in your sleeping bag for the night. Lunch will most likely take place on the trail so plan easy to eat foods that are high in carbs and proteins to keep your energy and strength throughout the day. It is important to continue to eat all day long because your body will be burning calories at a rapid rate, not only trying to keep your body warm, but to produce energy to hike as well.
High protein snacks like jerky, nuts, and trail mix are great for eating throughout the day regardless of the type of weather conditions you are hiking in, but are especially important winter camping foods. Dried fruits are also very beneficial to your body during strenuous cold weather activities like backpacking and hiking. Bring along plenty of raisins, trail mix, and fatty type snacks. Chocolate is even a good snack for winter camping and backpacking trips and it won’t melt along the trail!
Camp cooking in the cold can be a tedious task, but it is very important to eat well and to stay warm. Plan your winter camping meals ahead of time and consider the fact that things take longer to heat in cold weather. Avoid raw vegetables because it will be nearly impossible to cook them at camp. You can prepare vegetables at home and simply warm them to save time. Always cook with a covered pot or pan to retain more heat in the cold and warm your meals faster.
Consider hearty winter camping meals that can be prepared in a single dish and eaten with little effort. Prepared canned foods, like beef stew or chili, are great energy providers, but can be heavy to pack. Vary these heavier foods with light winter camping meal selections, like foil packets of tuna, pasta, and bagels, for a healthy menu for your cold weather camping adventures.