Looking forward to photographing the Northern Lights.
Waiting for the Northern Lights to appear. Just finished pitching our tent. Our home for tonight.
Making Camp in the Snow
Make sure you reach your destination with plenty of daylight to spare. Relax, have a snack, cool down and put on extra clothing layers. Take time to find the right camp spot and set up your gear. Considerations:
- Natural wind protection?
- Good water source nearby—or will you need to melt snow?
- Is there avalanche danger?
- Is it reasonably safe from falling trees and branches?
- Does it give privacy to and from other campers?
- Are there landmarks to help you find the camp in the dark or a snowstorm?
- Where will the sun rise? A sunny spot will help you warm up faster.
In patchy snow conditions, set up camp on the snow or an established campsite of bare ground (no plant life). Always follow Leave No Trace camping ethics.
Make sure you use a bag that’s rated at least 10°C lower than the coldest temperature you expect to encounter. You can always vent the bag if you get too warm.
Cold- and winter-rated bags are supplied with generous amounts of goose down or synthetic insulation. Down is the most popular choice due to its superior warmth-to-weight ratio. Just make sure to keep it dry (when wet, down loses much of its insulating ability) or use the new water-resistant down bags now on the market.
Winter bags are also distinguished by their draft tubes behind the zippers, draft collars above the shoulders and hoods to help keep the heat in the bag.
For details, see the REI Expert Advice article, Sleeping Bags for Backpacking: How to Choose.
Come winter camp and photograph with us. We are Photo Tours in Iceland. The Photography Tour Operator.