This post is to encourage folks who have not tried winter camping to give it a go.
PHASES OF WINTER CAMPING:
1. backyard or car camping (Always a safe way to get out of the cold if necessary)
2. one-night campout
3. multi-day campout with a base camp
4. longer winter trek up to a week
The first phase is where you find out if this insanity is for you. (No bugs and no people are the plusses.)
->If you have a 30 F. summer bag you can supplement it with long johns and puffy jacket and pants. OR long johns and a thick comforter over your bag.
->You will need a closed cell mat under your summer mattress. The Thermarest Ridgerest is about the best.
->Good wool and/or synthetic clothing is a must - from the skin out. ("Cotton kills")
->"Sufficiently" insulated boots with a Vapor Barrier Liner (VBL) to keep the insulation dry are very important. You'll learn to get boots with removable liners so you can stow them in the foot of your sleeping bag overnight for warm feet while making breakfast and breaking camp. My favorite VBLs are 3 mm closed cell neoprene divers' socks with a thin poly liner sock.
-> Gloves AND mittens Mittens are the backup "Plan B" and a safety item.
->warm hat (and a fleece balaclava for sleeping. Don't ask)
Many of you have 80% of this gear already. Borrow what you need until you are sure you want to continue with camping in "the other beautiful season".
(PM me if you have questions.) I've been a Nordic and Alpine Ski Patroller for 16 years and a US Army ROTC Cadet winter survival instructor. I do know bit about winter camping.