Camping in the mountains can be very different from the average “camping in the woods” trip. Here are some things you should keep in mind before setting out for your next mountain camping adventure.
The Proper Setup
When hiking and searching for the perfect place to set up your tent on a mountain, you should always set up on the leeward side of the slope. Deciding to camp in this particular area will keep you safer if there is inclement weather, rather than if you were on the windward side of the mountain. It will also keep your tent more stable because you will have less wind activity on the leeward side, and these winds can get dangerously strong at such high altitudes. Even if you do find the perfect spot on the leeward side of the mountain, you should still always pack extra stakes and rope. It is better to be safe than sorry if the winds pick up and your belongings go flying or your tent is not properly secured.
The Right Food Choice
Hiking at high altitudes is very different than hiking at lower altitudes. So, depending on where you are hiking, you need to be prepared for these differences and the effect it has on your body. Being at a higher altitude dehydrates your body far more quickly than if you were at a lower altitude. It is crucial that you drink nearly double the water that you normally would. Any kind of electrolyte-infused drink is also very beneficial because this increases hydration in your body. When it comes to snacks, you should think “healthy but hearty.” Try finding protein and nutrient-packed snacks like granola bars, beef jerky, and a hearty canned soup. You will need carbohydrates for energy, but make sure they are coming from a healthy and natural source like oats or nuts. Depending on the intensity of your hike, bananas may be helpful if you anticipate getting muscle cramps since they are loaded with potassium.
Take Care of Your Skin
Skin protection is usually neglected during hikes and camping trips. There are so many important and exciting things happening during the planning of a camping trip that skincare often gets overlooked. When you are at higher altitudes the air is drier and the sun is closer, so you are much more likely to get sunburnt. Along with burning, your skin is likely to get very dry due to the lack of moisture on the top of a mountain. It is so important to pack and properly apply sunscreen and lotion when hiking and camping.
Camping in the mountains is a blast, but safety is very important during camping trips. It is always better to pack too much rather than too little in order to be properly prepared, even if it weighs down your backpack! Similar to a day at Smoky Mountain River Rat, as long as you’re prepared and bring the proper equipment, you’ll have a blast!