Take Our Cold-Weather Camping Quiz

Winter is almost over, but that doesn’t mean camping this month won’t still be chilly. Take our quiz to make sure you can Be Prepared.

  1.  What’s one of the most important essentials during a cold-weather camping trip?
    a) An extra jacket
    b) An air mattress
    c) A positive attitude
    d) A battery-powered heater
  2. When your hands and feet get cold, it’s time to …
    a) Put on a hat
    b) Put on an extra pair of socks and mittens
    c) Go inside
  3. It’s better to wear tight-fitting clothes versus baggy clothes when dressing for cold-weather adventures.
  4. When you’re hiking, be sure to bundle up even if you feel warm.
  5. Which statement is false if you’re trying to keep your feet warm?
    a) Make sure your socks are snug in your boots to keep your toes extra warm.
    b) Keep your feet insulated.
    c) Keep them dry.

    Photo by W. Garth Dowling
  6. Which of the following shouldn’t you wear when winter camping?
    a) Acrylic stocking cap
    b) Wool sweater
    c) Blue jeans
    d) Polyester long underwear
  7. You have a jug filled with drinking water at your campsite. It’s best to:
    a) Set it upside down in the snow
    b) Put it inside your tent
    c) Set it right side up in the snow
    d) Cover it with a tarp
  8. What should you do with your boots at night?
    a) Set them outside your tent and cover them with a tarp
    b) Put them in a stuff sack and set the sack inside your sleeping bag
  9. Which of the following is the best choice to treat what appears to be hypothermia?
    a) Give the person hot soup
    b) Replace any wet clothes with dry clothes, then place the person by a roaring fire
    c) Replace any wet clothes with dry clothes, then place the person in a sleeping bag between two people.
    d) Quickly place the person by a roaring fire
  10. It’s impossible to have a campfire at a snowy campsite.


Scroll down for the answers …




  1. C. In addition to the gear you’ll need to stay warm, perhaps the most important essential is a positive attitude, which includes patience and a good sense of humor. The point of getting out into the backcountry during the winter is to have fun and learn something new.
  2. A. Putting on a pair of gloves and an extra pair of socks MIGHT warm you up, but the better choice is to put on a hat. Putting on an extra pair of socks or mittens will most likely restrict your movement and won’t warm you up. If you put on a hat, you will prevent heat loss from your noggin. Without a hat, you could be losing up to three-fourths of your overall body heat from your head.
  3. False. Your body heats itself most efficiently when it’s enveloped in a layer of warm air. Dressing in loose, layered clothing helps aid air convection and prevents clothing from restricting blood flow.
  4. False. Perspiration is NOT your friend when the temperatures are frigid. If you’re hiking in the snow, it might seem counterintuitive to shed layers and stay a little on the cold side. This technique is different for every person’s body type, but the key is to keep from sweating. Once you stop moving, sweat immediately chills your body. To trap the warm air and stay warm, be sure you layer up again once you stop hiking. However, be sure to change clothes if they become damp for any reason.
  5. A. If your socks are too thick, this could make your shoes too tight. Keep blood circulating in your feet by avoiding socks that make your shoes tight.
  6. C. Have you heard the phrase “cotton kills”? That’s because it does not keep you warm, and in the most extreme conditions, could cause hypothermia. Avoid any cotton layers when you dress for the cold.
  7. A. Placing your water bottle upside down in the snow will help to prevent the mouth from freezing solid.
  8. B. Nothing is worse than putting your feet into frozen boots when you wake up in the morning. Keep your boots close to your body heat — in your sleeping bag or near your sleeping bag — to help prevent them from freezing during the cold night.
  9. C. If you suspect someone is hypothermic — he or she appears disoriented and is shivering — do not try to quickly raise the person’s body heat with a warm fire or soup. Instead, placing the person between two warm bodies will gradually raise the person’s temperature. (Be sure to practice Youth Protection when doing this.)
  10. False. It’s possible, but it’s considered a luxury rather than a necessity. In locations where fires are allowed, you can use a fire pan and small logs to prevent the fire from sinking into the snow.

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