Dec 12, 2022
By Carolyn Owen
Once winter comes and the temperature drops, many people rule out spending time outside. After all, why be out in the cold when you could stay inside where it’s warm? But you can still have fun in the outdoors—even when it’s cold out. With just a little bit of knowledge, you can enjoy your backyard or campground despite the chill in the air.
We asked our Solo Stove Content Creators to share their best cold-weather tips for adventures in the backyard and beyond. Check out their expert advice below!
Tips for Keeping Warm in the Backyard
“What you need in the cold winter outdoors is hot tea and sweet chocolate. If you have a lot of body temperature, a cup of tea, and chocolate, you can forget the cold.”
John Delberta, @johns.house, says:
“Hand and toe warmers are sweet when I’m just hanging out by the fire not being active.
When building seating/lounge areas out of snow, use outdoor cushions and/or blankets for a little layer from the cold. It also makes it that much more magical.✨
Do it up like summertime: tiki torches, cool lighting. I’ve even put Christmas lights in snow couches, igloos, snowbanks along pathways… totally makes the snow all glowy and totally magical at night.
Patio heaters around the outer perimeter of the fire circle seating makes for some super warm and cozy evenings. 🔥
Make s’mores… put the chocolate and/or peanut butter (I’m usually for the “and”) on the graham. Put a table near the Solo Stove, and put that future goodness right on the edge of the table nearest the fire to warm it up and make the chocolate a tad melty, while you patiently roast that delicious marshmallow to a golden brown crisp. This can be applied to any size fire… like putting the graham on one of the warm rocks around a stone fire ring. I may have even used the toe of my boot as a “table” once or twice with smaller fires. I may have a slight s’mores addiction now that I think about it.
Dress in layers. When you’re having fun doing physical stuff like sledding or building snowmen or igloos, or ice skating (anything fairly active really), as you get hot, take off some layers. Then, when it’s time to chill by the fire, put it all back on as you get cooler. Not sweating in winter is key to staying warmer, and staying warm makes every moment enjoyable ❄️”
Tips for Winter Adventures
Josh Steele, @outofthewoods, says:
“When heading outdoors, it’s always wise to take more than you know you’ll need. Always bring a little more food, a little more water, and an extra layer for warmth. These things weigh very little but could potentially save your life if something was to go wrong on the trails.”
Allie Ziegler, @alliezigzag, says:
“When I’m headed out for a long day of ski touring in Wyoming or out on a cold fall hike, I always bring a thermos of hot tea or hot Vermont apple cider with some cinnamon (and maybe some Mount Gay rum depending on the activity 😋). It’s amazing how a few sips of steaming tea can warm you up from the inside when the elements are against you.
Secondly, being dry means being warm! If you’re exercising hard in the winter, damp clothes stay cold and chilling for a long time. If I’m out skiing or out exercising in the winter, I always bring extra dry gloves, socks, and a mid-layer so I’m able to swap into something dry! It makes all the difference.
Having just returned from a multi-day rafting trip through Cataract Canyon, where it got down to 9°F one night, I can surely say extra sleeping bags and blankets are key. As long as I’m not backpacking, I bring a blanket or quilt to put under my sleeping pad to insulate the ground, zip my sleeping bag all the way up, and then have an extra down quilt to throw over the top of my bag. There’s no reason to be cold at night while car (or raft) camping!”
Jonathan Young, @youngutah, says:
“Protect Your Core: When your core gets cold your body’s natural defense is to stop sending blood to the extremities. The best solution to keep your hands and feet is to keep your core warm. Core warmth is most easily achieved physical activity or by staying warm and dry by a campfire.
Cooking In Winter: Icy cold temperatures and wind reduce stove efficiency for cooking. Plan to dig a trench in the snow deep enough to block the wind. Whenever possible place some wood under your solo stove to keep it from sinking deeper in the snow. You’re all set and ready for cooking your delicious meal this winter.”
Mike Prout, @mikebearprout, says:
“For anyone sleeping under the stars in freezing conditions the best recommendation I can make is filling a Nalgene bottle with boiling water and sticking it in a sock. Then throw it into a sleeping bag with the lid secured and it will preheat your sleeping bag as well as keep you warm for several hours. When you wake up in the morning you will have lukewarm water ready to be drunk. You’re welcome 😊👍 I have never had a Nalgene bottle leak in the 17 years I’ve been doing it.”