5 Tips For Winter Car Camping in Colorado [VIDEO, PICTURES]
I go to Steamboat to ski as much as humanly possible. Whether or not it is possible depends on the answers to a few questions.
1) Do I have to work?
2) Do I have the money?
My duties as your host on the radio and our website really is much busier in the summer, so I am lucky to have quite a few weekends free when the snow is actually on the ground. The money question is another story. Even if I have it, spending it all on hotel rooms isn't a very good investment. So, until I own something up there, I need to be creative so I can spend a lot of time at Steamboat.
So, I found myself a used Yakima Rocket Box and set my Subaru up for some car camping at Steamboat Campground.
Here are 5 things that I think helped me stay comfy at 0° and below.
1. A good sleeping bag is a must!
Without a bag rated for 0°, I wouldn't even try it. Mummy bags do amazing things, and the prices for great bags are super cheap nowadays.
2. A good, non-catalytic, source of heat
I wanted to buy a mini propane heater, but it turns out that wouldn't be good in a confined space like a car. That makes electricity indispensable. I paid $20 per night at Steamboat Campground. For that, I had a warm shower, washers and dryers, Wifi, bathrooms, and that all important electric hookup, I was able to enjoy sleeping in my car.
Note - Bring a surge bar. I had my heat, my iPhone charging, and next time, I may even bring a little lamp.
3. Establish a 'No-Snow Zone'
Thankfully, the reason I am so focused on spending time in Steamboat is because of the amount of snow they have. To live in the car for 2 days, I made a rule. No boots in the back. They are only allowed to be worn in the driver's side. When I was in the rest of the car, I'd take them off and slide into a comfy pair of slippers! Ski and snowboard boots were dried off thoroughly before they ended up in the car.
4. Sleep with clothes, slippers, hat in the bag.
My sleeping bag is designed to keep me warm without my clothes. My body generates heat, the bag keeps it in. But, so that my slippers and ski pants aren't freezing in the morning, I take them off in the bag and keep them there. They are always nice and toasty when I don them again.
5. Charge the devices, and fill them with fun apps, audios, movies and shows
I didn't know that I'd have Wifi at the Steamboat Campground, but even without it, I had more things to do on my iPad and iPhone than I had time. With my extension cord and surge bar, I was able to keep the devices charged and they did a lot more than just supply games, work material, and videos. They both work as lamps, which are at a premium in this type of situation.
Why would I do this, you ask? Well, if this photo doesn't explain it, then it's not an activity you would be into.