Valentine’s day. The dinner, the roses, the spa… let’s just say, we’ve seen it all. Don’t get me wrong – I’m probably the cheesiest person on Earth and I love these things. A lot. But let’s just be original for once. Why not grab the occasion and get out of town to get some real quality time? Alone in the woods with your special someone, good food, the forest and a couple million stars?
To begin, be aware of your capacities. A winter hike can be harder than a spring or summer hike. The snow and icy surfaces can slow you down quite a lot. Be sure to correctly evaluate your distance and the weight you’re ready to carry on your back. Afterall, you’re there to have fun, aren’t you?
The Little Extras
It’s time to be romantic; go all out. Think about it: no electricity, no distraction, no one around. Only nature, fresh air and you two. Here are some tips to spend a great night out.
You probably already know the Stanley brand – thanks to your dad’s old thermos. Well, let me tell you that they have tons of products that can make the outdoors that much enjoyable. Whether it be to drink a cold beer from the 64oz growler, share a warm hot chocolate, or enjoy a small sip of whatever you’d like, they’ve got you covered. Plus, the Adventure Prep+ cooking set will allow you to easily cook a pre-made homemeal or a gourmet plate from Happy Yak. You can even grill your dinner directly over the campfire’s flames. Filet mignon on a camping trip… why not?
While being there, might as well treat yourself with an apero: good wine, nice jazz music and great products from Quebec’s terroir, like the Saucisson de toutes façons dry sausages, that you can cut up on the Snow Peak’s wooden chopping board.
Want to add a maximum of coziness to your nest? Go with the ultra-warm and soft Woolrich’s Black Forest blanket. If you’re the Netflix & chill type, you can even protect and recharge your tablet if needed – and put up a movie night in the woods. Don’t forget to download the movies in advance, the wi-fi signal can be pretty hard to find in the middle of nowhere…
The Gear You Need
You will need snowshoes or crampons. MSR and Hillsound are both excellent options on that side. Combined with a good pair of insulated boots and some merino wool socks, your feet are all set for the adventure. If you need some help picking some ideal winter boots, check out our winter boot buying guide for helpful tips. I would also recommend bringing an extra pair of socks to be comfortable, once in the tent.
Of course, you will need a parka, waterproof/insulated pants and a base layer. If you’re not sure what type of parka or winter jacket to pick, check out our choosing the right winter jacket guide for some helpful tips. Stay away from cotton – go for synthetic fabrics and wool. For the hike, a winter hat, gloves, a scarf and sunglasses – to avoid being blinded by the snow.
For a good night of sleep, an insulated sleeping pad and a great sleeping bag are necessary. For those who would like to maximize the comfort, a compressible pillow could be a good option. I would highly recommend a footprint to put under your tent, reducing the chances of humidity getting to you.
For the lighting, the headlamp is the most versatile and most practical alternative. You can of course wear it on your forehead, but also hang it in your tent – or even attach it to your transparent water bottle to make a lantern out of it! If you are a real romantic, you can still light up some candles outside. Tip: always put your matches, batteries and lighter in a waterproof bag or recipient.
To finish, always carry a pocket knife in your bag – whether it be an Opinel or a Victorinox; you’ll never know when you’ll need it. Also, the Tinder-On-A-Rope is a little thing that could save you lots of trouble to start a fire. It never was that easy.
If you have any questions regarding gear or even spots where you can go camping – do not hesitate to ask me in the comments section below!
Enjoy your getaway!