Factors To Consider Before Winter Camping
Before camping during winter, remember it’s a different scenario, even if your normal home climate isn’t the best for outdoor living. It’s not just a matter of being colder and/or wetter, there are lots of things to consider if you want to camp safely in winter. If you’re well prepared, you can have a great time, so don’t automatically stash the camping gear at the end of the summer.
Travelling in winter can be much slower when compared to summer. Days are shorter, and it gets dark early. And the weather can be a bit quixotic. Have an emergency stopover lined up in case you can’t make your planned stop, and check that your preferred camp site is open when you want to visit. Carry extra fuel, just in case – especially if your vehicle has a diesel heater.
Dress for the weather
Clearly, you’ll need to take more clothes for a winter camping trip, but don’t just pack thick jumpers and socks. Think in layers, to trap the heat and keep out rain, wind and snow. Invest in the best outer layers you can afford, and think thermal when it comes to sleeping bags and bedding.
Again, think thermal socks and good quality, weather proof boots and shoes. Have at least one spare pair, just in case. If you’re to enjoy your winter camping trip, your feet need to be warm and dry at all times.
Cook up some comfort food ahead of the trip and freeze it before you go. Stews, home made soups, casseroles and curries that just need heating before serving are ideal for when you need a quick, warming meal when you pitch camp.
Think carefully about how you will camp in winter. If you’re using a tent, make sure it’s suitable for winter camping, and that it can keep out rain, hail, sleet and slow, and insulate you against the cold. If you prefer the more comfortable option of a caravan or motor home, ensure that they are well insulated, and you have adequate, safe heating systems. The units also need to be well ventilated to guard against condensation and mould formation, which could cause breathing problems.
While winter camping is very different to summer camping, it can be an enjoyable experience, as long as you prepare well for your trip. Allow plenty of travel time, and always have a Plan B for stopovers. Take clothing and bedding to suit the time of year, and ensure your unit can cope with winter temperatures, and that you have adequate heating and ventilation. Once all these considerations have been met, you can enjoy the great outdoors any time of year, wherever you are.
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