Camping in winter sounds like an oxymoron if ever there was one and usually we are fair weather campers. This is mainly due to the fact that usually when are organised and prebook a campsite the heavens open but last minute camping trips are carefully planned based on dry weather. This isn’t always the case and we have had some brilliant camping experiences whatever the weather. Even in Summer the nights can be really cold.
Last year we went on a bonfire camp with our wonderful Cub Scout pack. We have never camped so late in the year but as long as you are prepared there is no reason why not.
Many campsites are open all year, or at least from Easter through till November so why not have a break away from the day to day in your tent or caravan.
When camping as a family, as with all travel, you need to be organised.
Here are some of our top tips…
- Firstly if you are in a tent (which we always are) think about how easy it will be to dry. We have one canvas tent which is heavy and takes ages to dry so when camping in the winter we take our trusty Outwell Nevada polyester tent which is light and dries quicker.
- Put a blanket or duvet underneath your camping mat or airbed to warm up the bed from the cold ground.
- Take plenty of bedding and make sure your sleeping bag is suitable for at least 3-4 seasons.
- Wear lots of layers! When we went Bonfire camping we put on thermals then pjamas then a couple more layers of thin outer clothes before adding the big coat, hat and gloves. When it came to bed i took off a couple of layers for the sake of comfort!
- Wear at least two pairs of socks and ideally fur lined boots. Wellington Boots are good for keeping you dry but are also really cold!
- Keep on your hat when in bed (and gloves/socks too if you need to).
- Don’t forget hot water bottles and put them into your sleeping bag around 10 minutes before get in to warm things up.
- Take lots of bedding – blankets, duvets etc – honestly fill the car up!
- We have never tried a tent heater but have heard really good things about them. Obviously follow the manufacturers guidelines and use a carbon monoxide alarm to be on the safe side.
It is also really important to remember that things can go wrong and to cover any surprises the Camping and Caravan Club offer a Club Care policy that covers all eventualities from a snapped pole through to your tent being stolen or damaged in flooding. It is very comprehensive and for peace of mind and to help you enjoy your break a definite worthwhile investment.
We once had a tent pole snap on us when camping in Norfolk and it can happen really easily through noone’s fault. Luckily we managed to fix it temporarily before we could get replacement although the tent was a little wonky for that weekend.
Do you have any tips for keeping warm when camping in the winter or cold weather? Would love to hear them!