Camping in the winter may be an unattractive option, but to an increasing number of people it has a little more appeal than you might think.
With the quality of clothing and other camping accessories available nowadays, winter camping has become a much more feasible option, and people are realising it.
If you can avoid the frostbite then camping in the coldest of seasons is actually unlike any other camping experience, and for all the right reasons.
For a starter, campsites are much quieter. This can be an attractive feature on its own, but combine this with frozen landscapes and all the small joys of winter – leaves and grass crushing under your feet with the most satisfying of sounds, wrapping your hands around a hot mug of tea, getting cosy in ten layers of clothes – and you have yourself a truly beautiful camping experience.
All your usual camping activities are offered up in their own winter glory. Walking in the forest, across hills and fields, where everything has been touched by frost or snow, provides you with scenes that really do take you away from everyday life.
Mountain biking prospers just as much from a touch of winter, with routes providing new kinds of terrain and so much more of the forest being opened up. The compulsory café stops become some of the most appreciated breaks you’re likely to experience, and even better if you find a place with an open fire.
With its unique appeal it’s easy to see why winter camping is growing in popularity. Of course it is only enjoyable if you’re not suffering from hypo-thermia and that means you need to pack and prepare in even more of a military fashion than normal – this most likely involves slightly different gear to your fair-weather camping (did I say fair-weather?) including different clothes and food as well as more substantial sleeping bags and mattresses, you HAVE to ensure you have the right equipment. Luckily the folks at Camping in the Forest have sent some tips to get you started and hopefully avoid at least one cold shock in the morning:
1. Light: the days are shorter in winter, so consider when you’ll be getting back to your tent after your day’s activities.
2. Cover your head: you lose a considerable amount of heat through your head – so keep it covered!
3. Blood flow: wearing lots of layers may keep you warm, but be careful about your hands and feet. Wearing too many socks, tying your shoes too tightly or even having you gloves too tight can all constrict blood flow, which will actually make it harder to get them warm.
4. Keep your tent vented: it may seem contrary to common sense, but by keeping your tent ventilated you’ll be able to avoid any condensation in mornings, keeping your gear much drier. Also avoid breathing into your sleeping bag – pesky condensation!
5. Warming your clothes: putting your clothes in your sleeping bag for a little bit before you get up will allow them to warm up slightly, taking heat from your body and sleeping bag.
We would always recommend conducting more research, but once you’re ready, it’s easy to find campsites that are open in the winter. Camping in the Forest has five campsites open across winter in Wales, Scotland, the New Forest and the Forest of Dean.
Hopefully we’ve managed to persuade you to give winter camping a try – if so, let us know how you get on (if your fingers can still type!). We know you won’t regret it.
Still not convinced? Fair enough – maybe our wide range of luxury family hotels, weekend family breaks or even child friendly glamping will be more up your street. Click here to view our selection!