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Winter Camping Tips

Winter Camping at Washington State Parks

Snowy Adventure Awaits

If waking up to the dazzling, sparkling vista of fresh fallen snow sounds enticing, then winter camping is for you. There are many opportunities at Washington State Parks to camp in the wintertime – and warm up. State Parks can offer a gentle introduction to winter camping with amenities like heated bathrooms, kitchen shelters, roofed cabins and miles of groomed ski and snowshoe trails.

Get Prepared for the Cold

If you’re heading to State Parks this winter, it’s important that you prepare yourself for cold weather conditions. Firstly, it’s important to wear clothing that holds your body’s heat. Look for clothing that is windproof, water-repellent, and capable of allowing moisture to evaporate. Layers of clothing is always advisable, as the air pockets between fabrics hold in heat.

Conditions in the parks are very different in the winter, compared to the spring and summer. When leaving for a winter adventure make sure to bring a cell phone or a two-way radio. Other tools that may be useful include a compass, knife, flashlight, matches or a fire starter. Bring extra clothing in case you get wet or cold, and always have extra blankets. Extra food, water and a first aid kit is also a must. Make sure you have a map of the area and can navigate in the conditions. Snow can reflect the suns rays, so though it’s not summer sunglasses and sunscreen are important.

Before you go on a winter adventure, tell someone where you’re heading and when they can expect you back. Or better yet, take a friend or family member with you. In the cold, it’s important to maintain your energy supply by eating high-calorie foods frequently. If you become lost, seek shelter from the wind and rain. Cover yourself with a thermal blanket and dig a snow cave. Build a fire if dry wood is available.

Tent Camping at Lake Wenatchee

For the bargain price of $20 a night, you can rent a campsite at beautiful Lake Wenatchee. Come prepared to set up your site, though. You’ll want shovels to clear an area for your tent, as well as stakes and/or snow anchors or stuff sacks to fill with snow. Scared of the cold? There are heated indoor restrooms offering hot showers and a kitchen shelter where you can cook up some toasty s’mores.

There are lots of activities to take in with snowshoe trails and a sledding hill. The nearby Nason Ridge Sno-Park also offers free skate and hockey rentals for their new ice rink.

Warming Cabin for the win at Fields Spring State Park

The Blue Mountains in winter are a site to behold. Take them in at Fields Spring State Park, which has several winter camping options. The Tamarack Cabin or Puffer Butte Warming Hut each sleep four and will keep you toasty all night. Warning – you’ll have a two mile hike to the Warming Hut. There is also tent camping available. Enjoy spectacular views on over 10 miles of hiking, as well as a massive sledding hill.

Enjoy the snow from the comfort of your RV

Does the thought of camping in a tent in winter make you shiver violently? If so, you may want to consider enjoying the snow from the comfort (and warmth) of your RV. There are also many options for RVs at the State Parks and Sno-Parks. In fact, most of the Sno-Parks are RV-friendly. Some favorite winter RV spots include Swauk Campground, Crystal Springs, and Lake Easton State Park. Make sure to review regulations before heading out. For example, campers are not allowed to salt the lots. Overnighters can light campfires in containers six inches off the ground, but not under awnings.

Enjoy the snow this winter!

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