Helpful Hints for Cool/Wet Weather Camping

Pack 97 is holding our annual fall Camp Out! Seasonal expectations and long range forecasts (is that possible in MA?) predict warm days and cool nights. Does this mean you should stay home? Will it be too cold to sleep out? No way! Just follow these few simple guidelines, based on hundreds of nights outside in less than optimal conditions, and everybody should be comfortable.

We will be outside during the day/afternoon, so it is recommended that participants dress in layers that can be taken off or put on as needed. When everyone is moving around and active jeans, sneakers, a tee-shirt and sweatshirt should be fine. Be ready to add a warm jacket and hat as it gets cooler. We suggest bringing a watch cap style hat rather than or in addition to a baseball cap. The important thing to remember is that the key is to stay warm, because we will be outside all day and night. Better to bring a layer you do not use, than to need one you do not bring. Warm socks (wicking material is best) are recommended.

And now, a note on sleeping out in the cold. Even the least expensive tent, when set up properly with the rain fly, will help trap your body heat during the night. However, it is critical to have one or more layers between your sleeping bag and the ground. The tent floor is simply not going to provide any insulation. An air mattress, sleeping pad or blanket placed underneath your sleeping bag will make a huge difference in your comfort; a combination of these things will help even more. Since we will all be moving around a lot during the day we will get sweaty. Therefore, change into clean and dry clothes to sleep in. Warm socks and a watch cap will keep you warm far more effectively than heavy weight pajamas or sweat clothes. And finally, unroll your sleeping bag several hours before you plan on crawling into it! When they are rolled up all the insulation gets compressed and looses its effectiveness, so unrolling it allows the insulation to expand, which will help your bag to retain your body heat and keep you warm.

If you have any questions about equipment, or you’re new to this or haven’t camped out since you were a scout please feel free to contact George Gaughan at and let us know that. We’ll be happy to assist or will partner you with one of our more experienced camping families. It’s about everyone having fun!