Spring is finally here and it's time to get out of the house! If you'd like to do some hiking or set up a camp in the woods this weekend, there are a few things you'll need to stay comfortable on your trip.
Depending on the elevation of your camp, you're probably going to face a cold night. A 4-season tent is critical to staying safe and warm. Consider checking out your local pawn shop for options. You may find thrifty camping gear to add to your supply.
There are plenty of mid-weight sleeping bags on the market, but if you're headed out this spring you will need a bag rated for 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Also look for a cold weather sleeping pad. Not only will this provide you with a bit more cushion, but this pad will offer thermal protection from the cold ground.
Moisture will build up inside your tent as you sleep through the night. If you're swaddled in cotton sweats, they'll get damp and you'll actually wake up colder than when you went to bed because your clothing will be wet.
Instead, load up your pack with poly fleece clothing and pack some extra fleece blankets. These will resist moisture and keep you snuggly warm, creating a warm cocoon of air between your skin and the fleece fabric.
While you're checking out pawn shops for camping gear, keep an eye out for electric or propane tent heaters.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Look for a heater with the instructions included, or find the instructions on-line before you buy the heater. Propane heaters can warm up the tent before you go to bed but the restrictions on burning propane in an enclosed space MUST BE FOLLOWED.
Of course, if you plan for electric heat you'll need a space with hook-ups and an electric port in your tent. If you're planning to head deep into the woods, this option probably won't work.
Boise is a great town with a wide variety of beautiful places to hike and camp. However, the winters can be long and difficult. You can build up your stash of camping gear by keeping an eye on what's available in local pawn and second-hand shops. Invest wisely in your sleeping gear and always follow the instructions when burning propane for heat.