When it comes to camping, you can be forgiven for thinking that with the winter on its way it’s time to start packing up and heading indoors. However there are number of reasons why camping in the winter can actually be better, not least because with the cold weather around you don’t have to worry too much about being plagued by over-friendly flies and insects. Many camping sites are also generally a little quieter at this time of year, meaning there will be plenty of peace and relaxation for you to enjoy. Ultimately you don’t have to be crazy to go camping in winter… but you do have to be prepared, so here we give a quick guide to some winter camping essentials.
We all know the winter weather can be a little unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to research the place you plan to visit first, before setting off. Check out local weather forecasts so you can make sure you are prepared for whatever the winter weather might decide to throw at you. This can also make packing for your winter camping adventure a whole lot easier.
When camping in the winter it’s essential you dress warm for the weather. Whilst wool clothes such as your favourite knits are great winter warmers they are not always practical when it comes to a camping trip. This is because when wool gets wet it can become a little heavy and uncomfortable. So if you do wear wool, try layering a few lighter insulating layers underneath. Fleecy materials are usually a better option and whilst lighter than wool, typically insulate your body better against the cold.
When it comes to staying warm layering is essential, so make sure you bring plenty of basic layering options with you, such as long sleeved vests, plenty of hats and gloves. A good pair of waterproof boots, such as hiking boots, to keep your feet warm and dry, is also essential.
When it comes to camping in the winter, you’re going to want some good hearty meals to warm you up and keep the hunger pangs at bay, after all, we typically need more calories during the winter anyway… promise! Foods such as soup are great for lunches, and for a great warming breakfast you can’t beat a bit of porridge. This is a great source of energy too, helping you get going in the morning. BBC good food has some great, tasty camping recipes ideas to get you inspired.
If you’re planning on cooking don’t forget to bring enough gas with you for your barbeque or cooker, so you don’t end up on the cold dinners. You can easily source gas canisters and refills, perfect for all your camping needs, from companies such as Adams Gas. You could also consider bringing a few readymade meals with you that just require heating up, to make things a little easier. Don’t forget to bring plenty of hot drinks too, such as teas and coffee, or even hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) to warm you up, and make sure you bring plenty of snacks too!
Choosing a good warm sleeping bag is vital to ensuring you stay nice and toasty. A lightweight sleeping bag might be just the thing during the warmer summer months, but when it comes to winter you’re going to need something a little more heavy duty. Mummy-shaped sleeping bags are usually a good option at this time of year, as their unique shape helps keep warm air inside and close to your body, offering great warmth and insulation. Specialist outdoor retailers such as Mountain Warehouse currently have a great selection on offer. A handy tip can also be to warm your sleeping bag shortly before you go to bed so it’s nice and warm before you go to sleep. Try filling a hot water bottle and placing it in your sleeping bag around 20 mins before you go to bed; you won’t regret it !
Pick a good spot
Whether you’re lucky enough to own a caravan or are thinking of braving it with a tent this winter, picking a good camping spot is essential and it’s important to pay attention to where you decide to set up camp. For example it’s always a good idea to pick a spot where you will be protected from the worst of the wind and which will offer you plenty of shelter.
Hopefully this has inspired you to get out there and get camping this winter, and as long as you go prepared, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a great camping adventure. For some more camping inspiration check out this article on some of the best cold weather camping spots.