Frequently Asked Questions

This page is currently under development, check back as questions are answered.

These answers are the result of many years of experience at Rovent. We don’t claim to be experts in all things winter camping. There are many resources available online that may have the same, similar or conflicting answers. Use your critical thinking skills to determine the best solution for your needs.

First Timers

What do most people wish they knew before going to winter camp?

  • That with planning and preparation you won’t be unnecessarily cold.

What is the number one mistake people make at camp?

  • Not listening to their bodies. Drink when your body says so, Pee when your body says so. etc

What’s your number 1 recommendation for Scouts who’ve never winter camped?   

  •  If you don’t have the right gear bring lots of the wrong gear. By that we mean, if you don’t have a crazy awesome gore-tex jacket and snow pants, bring 2 sets and alternate wearing them. this applies to almost anything you bring.

What would you say is the top 3 most important things to tell a first time cold weather camper?     

  • 1. Clothing moisture management. Even if you are not actively sweating, you are always perspiring and getting your base and mid layers damp. Even if it doesn’t feel wet, clothing worn all day cannot insulate you as well. Combine this with colder temperatures at night and you are in for misery if you don’t change your base layers (underwear and socks) multiple times a day
  • 2. Eat and Drink Lots of good food!
  • 3.


What is a good choice for sleeping bags? 

  • Ideally you are looking for a Mummy style bag, -10C or greater rating, down filling is awesome.
  • Failing that, use 2 sleeping bags inside each other, have the zippers on opposite sides to minimize air loss.
  • It is also a good idea to have a blanket under you and a blanket over you, or able to put over you.
  • For every 1 layer above you, put 3 layers below you (groundsheet, tent, blanket, blanket, another blanket, sleeping pad, sleeping bag.
  • NEVER sleep with your face inside the sleeping bag. The moisture in your breath will make the bag damp as it cools and reduce the effectiveness of your bag.     

What is recommended for a sleeping mat?

  • Closed cell foam mats – Blue foam style or accordion backpack style
  • 1″-2″ Therm-a-rest style mats
  • Recommended that you have another insulating layer between your mat and the tent floor, suggestions are; corrugated cardboard, hot water tank insulating wrap (industrial grade bubble wrap)
  • Don’t use a thick blow-up air mattress. Your body will have to heat up all of that air void before it will insulate you. The sides will leak heat.

Can you winter camp with only a 3 season tent?

  • Of course. The biggest differences in our case between a 3 and 4 season tent is how well it sheds snow and it’s ability to withstand wind. If you manage the snow load on your tent at camp, a 3 season tent will do just fine.

What is the minimum clothing requirements for a weekend at Rovent?

  • This is not an exhaustive list but should serve as a starting point. Remember the rule above, if you don’t have good gear bring extra gear:
    • 12-16x pairs of socks –
      • wool/merino, poly blend
      • avoid plain cotton, if you only have cotton socks, double the number you bring and change them twice as often
    • 3-6 pair of normal underwear
    • 1 pair long underwear
    • 3-4 layer tops
      • if you bring cotton layers plan on changing it at least once during the day
    • 3-4 layer bottoms
      • if you bring cotton layers plan on changing it at least once during the day
    • 1-2 thermal layer top
    • 1-2 thermal layer bottom
    • 1-2 outer layer top(water/wind proof)
    • 1-2 outer layer bottom (water/wind proof)
    • 2-3 daytime toque
    • 1-2 sleeping toque
    • min 2 gloves/mitts, recommended 3-4 pair
    • 1 pair pajamas, not to be worn outside the tent except to go to the bathroom
    • 1 pair snow boots, or hiking boots with gaiters. Consider a second pair if you know they leak a little or your feet sweat alot.
    • Neck Warmer or Scarf
    • Brimmed Hat
    • Sunglasses

What sleeping arrangement options are there?

  • Campers are required to provide their own tent. There are no accommodations provided onsite.

Top 5 critical items you must take winter camping

  •    1.          

What is the most important piece of gear to wear?

  • It depends…but whatever is dry.

What if I mess up and forget something or am cold despite being prepared – what can I do?

  • Check in with your neighbours, check in with staff.

Do we need snow pants? 

  •  No, but they’re usually the best for an outer layer strategy because they’re insulating and water proof. Bring 2 pairs and have a strategy to dry them out.

Can I bring my cell phone?

  • Yes, take those pictures and tag us!!
  • There is zero cell and wifi coverage so put it in airplane mode to save battery
  • Your battery will have reduced capacity in freezing temperatures. Bring a battery pack to recharge

Keeping Warm

Will there be a warming tent for the youth?   

  • A Warming shelter is operated by Camp Staff. It’s a place to get out of the elements and into an environment that is warmer than outside. 
  •   It will only be active in the evenings and at other times at the discretion of staff.      

Best ways to warm up?

  • Put on a Hat, minimize heat loss on your body.
  • Go to the bathroom, your body is spending energy keeping your waste from freezing inside you rather than keeping the rest of you warm.
  • Go for a walk around camp, get your blood moving, meet new friends!
  • Change base layers, socks and underwear may not feel wet, but it likely is.
  • Have a snack. A cup of hot soup or a granola bar will go a long way.
  • Tried all those?
  • Find a warming shelter or fire, make new friends while you warm up.
  • Still cold and can’t warm up? This is a first aid situation. Tell your group and visit the Medical Team

How do you stay warm?

  • This answer could be an essay on its own. The key principles are: stay dry, stay fed, stay hydrated, stay out of the elements either in your shelter or in your layers. Aim to keep a small pocket of warm air around you.   

What are my best layers?

  • A good layer has 2 things going for it. It’s dry and has the ability to create a small pocket of warm air between you and the outside elements.

What kind of/how many socks should I wear?    

  • Ideal socks are Wool/ Merino Wool / Polyester with wicking properties.
  • Better to wear 1 pair of dry socks than 2 pairs of damp socks
  • Plan to change your socks 2-4 times a day.

What should I do if I am too cold?

  • If you have tried all the tips listed above and still are not getting warm. Come to the medical team for an assessment.

How cold will it be? What temperatures are we expecting?

  •   On average overnight lows are -10c to -15c, daytime highs are -5c to +2c. On our coldest years we have seen down to -25c overnight and +10c during the day. Check the forecast leading up to camp for Hope, Princeton and Manning Park Ski Area  and take an average.            

Does changing ALL your clothes before bed , including your “unmentionables” really matter?

  • Yes, 100% Yes. Change out of all layers before going to bed, put on your nice dry PJ’s

Do we really have to dig down for our shelter & tents.

  • No, but Yes. Its probably not as far as you think. Even digging down a few inches helps get you out of the wind blowing across the field.

What is some necessary gear?   

Where can I get necessary gear?  

  • Borrow from other scout/guide groups, family, friends
  • Renting is an option for some key items, but costs can add up.
  • Buy second hand / consignment
  • Multiple sets of cheap fleece is way better than one set of expensive gear. You don’t need Arcteryx everything.

Kitchen / Fuel

Will there be water available at camp?   

  • No, plan to bring your own water. 2-4L per person / per day

Can I melt snow for water?

  • It is not advisable to melt snow for drinking water. The site is used by multiple groups over the winter and the cleanliness cannot be guaranteed. That said, meting snow for dishwater is probably ok as you are going to boil it anyways. Keep in mind that snow melts at about a 10:1 ratio. So keep an eye on your pot as you melt it, and add more as needed.  If this is your first Rovent, do not try this, just bring all your water.

Do we bring our own firewood?  How much?

  • There is no Firewood onsite and collecting wood from the forest is against BC Parks rules. How much you need is highly dependent on your fire situation and as such we cannot say how much you will need. An open firepit burns faster than a fire in a air controlled woodstove.
  • You are expected to pack out anything you pack in.
  • Open firepits should be built in a fire ring and not directly on the snow/dirt. Follow leave no trace principles.

What is the best food to bring?

  • High protein, high energy, real food is best. Junk food is a fun snack to have but is no replacement for real food.

Expected fuel challenges – propane, white gas, isopropyl butane (jet boil)?  

  • Propane will be fine you may need to bring a bit extra then normal. It does ‘freeze’ but this can be managed
  • White gas generally does well cold temperatures. Experience with White gas before camp is strongly recommended.
  • Butane stoves can work with precautions taken to minimize its exposure to cold. Lean towards Propane or White Gas if possible        

How do you keep propane or other fuel from freezing?

  • You cant really stop it, but you can take measures to minimize it.
  • Insulate
  • keep tanks at warm but safe distance from heat sources.
  • give the tank a shake

What mess do you recommend groups make?  

  •  We recommend Leaving No Trace. Oh, you meant what sort of kitchen to bring. Your normal patrol box should be all you need.

Fun at camp

What activities are happening?    

  •       Check out our Activities page. Take part in any or all of them.    

Can I request a song for the Dance?

  • Yes! Do it before camp as we can’t download songs once we are onsite.
  • email: dj @ (remove the spaces)
  • DM us on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Safety at camp

How many first aiders on site? What level of first aid do they have?  

  • It varies year to year, but in general, we have at least one Paramedic onsite who oversees and supervises a team of 5-10 First Aid Attendants who range from Standard First Aid to Paramedic in Training skills. They are equipped to deal with almost any situation on site. Drop in, say hi, they dont bite. Camp has access to a 24hr emergency phone in the event 911 needs to be reached. Ambulances are typically dispatched from Hope.

Is there sledding at camp?

  • …yes, at the discretion of your scouter in charge;
    • Wear a helmet, Scouts Canada Policy
    • Ensure your Scouter is aware
    • Don’t sled on walking paths
    • Don’t sled near tents
    • Scouters are reminded of the SC Winter Sport Standards
  • Failure to follow these basic rules may result in sledding being shut down for the duration of camp

Can I throw snowballs?

  • yes, but not at or near tents. especially tents of others. There is a large field beyond the tenting area that is great for snowballs.
  • The final berm next to the highway is out of bounds – do not throw snowballs at highway traffic.

Do I need a buddy to get around camp?

  • The use of the buddy system is always encouraged in winter activities. At minimum, practice AdventureSmart principles within your group.
    • Tell someone where you are going.
    • When you expect to be back.
    • Check in when you are back.

Cold Talk

What is Cold Talk?    

  • Cold Talk is all of these questions and more answered in a 1.5hr interactive session.

Is cold talk about Rovent?  

  •      Yes, and how to not be cold at Rovent

Is cold talk about winter camping?  

  •  Yes, but somewhat specific to camping at Rovent. It does not cover lightweight winter hiking/ snowshoeing/ trekking skills.                

Other questions

Carpooling? How to get kid there and back if parent cannot drive out or do not have a suitable vehicle or not comfortable driving out to Manning in winter conditions?

  • Post on our facebook page asking for assistance.
  • Check with other groups in your area

What should I NOT bring?

  •   hay, sand, anything that is difficult to pack out