Despite what you may have heard, winter’s a great time to camp! The cooler weather typically means fewer crowds, less bugs and more campfires (our favourite). That said, there are definitely some tips and tricks to consider to ensure your winter camping holiday is an enjoyable one. Embrace the outdoors with our top six winter camping tips!
1. Pre-trip planning
To stay safe and get the most out of your trip, it’s important to be well prepared. Winter camping often means more challenging weather and shorter daylight hours, so extra gear and skills are crucial. Although it may seem like people and insects alike are hibernating, the smaller crowds in caravan parks don’t guarantee availability. We’re all for the ‘stress less’ attitude, so get in early, book your trip and rest easy.
It’s also important to check the weather forecast leading up to your trip, to ensure you pack appropriately. Speaking of packing, write a list of the things you’ll need to buy, wear and take with you. That way you’ll know what you do and don’t have, which will allow time to buy anything you need.
Have you ever tried to set up your tent and found a huge hole in the fabric, or a missing peg? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! However, it’s important you give your camping gear once over to ensure it can withstand low temperatures and wet weather! If you’re buying new equipment, make sure you purchase from a reputable camping store, and research the products online.
A sturdy tent, sleeping bags and extra blankets are essentials if you plan on staying dry and warm. And of course, don’t forget your first aid kit!
3. Camp cooking
Our best cooking recommendation is to use a liquid-fuel camp stove rather than the commonly used butane gas canisters. The gas canisters tend to freeze up in lower temperatures. In cold weather, your body also burns calories to keep your core temperature healthy, so it’s vital that you eat well and drink lots of fluids. We suggest packing more food than you think necessary, because it’s better to have too much than not enough.
Staying dry and warm is the key rule when it comes to winter camping. Layering is essential. A three layer system consisting of breathable, waterproof and insulating clothing items will keep you happy and comfortable for the duration of your trip. You’ll want to wear something along the lines of underwear, fleece jumper and then a windbreaker.
A controversial hack we love, is sleeping in your next days clothes, to save the pain of undressing and re-dressing on a frosty morning.
5. Camp fires
In winter, fire is one of the best ways to keep warm. So, knowing how to start one in all-weather conditions is ideal. The most commonly used fire starter is matches and lighters, however these are prone to getting damp. We suggest buying a portable flint (striker) because it works in the wet or cold. For the super eager, bring cotton pads. You can split them in half, strike into the furry side and let it catch fire. Your pad will typically stay lit long enough to find some sticks, wood etc.
Getting to sleep in winter can be difficult, however there’s nothing worse than waking in the middle of the night for the bathroom. To save yourself the pain, try not to drink anything for the last two to three hours before hitting the sack.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, tips include taking a 5-10 minute walk before getting into bed, eating a warm dinner or having a high energy snack so your body warms itself.
Do you need a little help planning your next winter road trip? Campstay can help you find, compare and book holiday parks and campgrounds. Check out our website here, or download our android / itunes app. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or join our group – Holiday Park recommendations Australia.