Winter Camping Calls For Preparedness
There is nothing quite like having almost an entire campground to yourself to hike, cross-country ski, view nature and enjoy the serenity of the location, the release said. Winter camping takes more prep work than warm weather outings, but outdoor enthusiasts say it's worth it. Your RV may be well-equipped but in the winter, prepare for a scenario where you could be stranded due to winter storms.
A portable generator is indispensable, the release says. "A generator can keep the RV batteries topped off and allow you to use the RV furnace and keep your cellphone and laptops charged, something you will appreciate in an emergency," said Dorrance Noonan of A-iPower, a manufacturer of portable power equipment.
Never run a generator when you or someone else is sleeping, the release cautions. Always have a working carbon monoxide detector in your RV. "This is important not only when using the generator, but in other instances when the lethal gas is present," the release adds.
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or charcoal burning device inside or in any partially enclosed area; keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows and vents, the release advises. Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and confusion.
Never transport a generator in the back of your RV or your SUV if you are towing a camper. The best way to transport a generator is to have a platform built on the back of the RV, the release says. OSHA recommends that gasoline and other generator fuels should be stored and transported in approved containers that are properly designed and marked for their contents, and vented.
Before running a generator, always read the owner's manual for proper operation and safety tips.
CHOOSING A PORTABLE GENERATOR
The more watts a generator has, the more items it can power at the same time. To know how much will be needed, calculate all the wattage requirements of all the accessories you plan to operate on generator power. The total will tell you the model of generator you need, the release says.
Another important factor to consider is how long you will be running the generator. The generator run time is found on the generator spec sheet and owner's manual. Run time is determined at 50 percent load levels and the power used directly impacts the run time. "During cold weather camping, you won't need to power your air-conditioner, so a generator with about 2,000 starting watts should suffice," Noonan said. "
Noonan explained that inverters are more fuel efficient than regular generators. " Noonan advises that when choosing an inverter, look for one that has enough receptacles for all the items you plan to run.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED
Just as with natural disasters like hurricanes or extended power outages, a snow emergency kit should include:
• a weather-band radio to keep updated on conditions and to receive emergency information,
• extra blankets and extra warm clothing,
• a three-to-five day supply of bottled water — at least one gallon per person per day,
• extra high-energy food,
• sleeping bags rated for zero-degree temps,
• a white-gas camping stove that doesn’t require propane,
• a shovel for digging out, and
• batteries for radios and flashlights.
Before you leave for isolated areas, let someone know your itinerary and estimated times of arrival.