Preparing for a Winter Parent Visit
You just heard from your child’s therapist that you are invited to do an overnight visit in the field with your child. Your first thought may be something along the lines of, “Yes! I finally get to see them!” Pretty quickly that first thought may be followed by “Oh no, I have to go camping in the winter?!?”
Don’t worry, you are not the first parent to have this thought. Rest assured, we are going to provide you with plenty of cold weather gear and additional layers for your visit. With that being said, if you are visiting your child and it is the winter months, please take some time to read the cold weather camping tips listed below:
- Make sure your feet are as dry as possible before going to bed. This can be done by changing into a pair of dry socks for sleeping in only. Even slightly damp socks can cause you to lose a lot of heat through your feet.
- Wear a knit hat/beanie to bed. Body heat can be lost through your head if that is the only part of your body that is exposed to the cold.
- While you are visiting, stay hydrated and make sure to eat a good amount of food. Your body uses liquids to regulate your temperature. The simple act of your body “burning” calories will keep you warmer as well.
- Don’t go to bed cold! Before getting into your sleeping bag, warm up by doing some pushups, jumping jacks, or jog/walk around camp. Just make sure you stop before getting to the point of sweating.
- It helps if the clothes that you are sleeping in are a little loose-fitting. Tight-fitting clothes may restrict blood flow to your extremities.
- If you need to pee in the middle of night, do it! It can be such a struggle to get up and go to the bathroom when you are in your sleeping bag, but it will help. You will be wasting body heat by trying to keep that amount of fluid warm.
- Being too warm in your sleeping bag will make you sweat and this will eventually make you feel cold and damp. If you are starting to sweat, either unzip your sleeping bag a little or remove one of your layers.
- Ask one of our field instructors if they can prepare a “hottie bottle” for your sleeping bag. A hottie bottle is a metal water bottle that the field instructor will pour hot water into. You’ll wrap the hottie bottle with a clothing layer (e.g. sock, long sleeve shirt, etc.) and put it in the bottom of your sleeping bag for extra warmth.
While you are visiting your child in the field, please keep in mind that you can always ask the field instructors questions about your gear, how to properly layer and about some of their own personal tips for staying warm. They have a huge pool of knowledge and experience. With their support and by keeping these cold weather camping tips in mind, you’ll be ready to have a memorable visit with your child!