Today I’m publishing a guest post by Rachel Campbell all about winter camping… having spent a weekend under canvas this October I can confirm her tips are super useful!
Camping used to be seen as a summer activity, thanks to the warmer weather and the wealth of outdoor activities to enjoy with friends and family. However more recently, there’s been a surge in the popularity of winter camping, with the thought of enjoying spectacular scenery in quiet, relaxing and peaceful surroundings drawing people outdoors in the cooler seasons. Of course, the welcoming and warming campfire and crisp clear skies in the evening probably has something to do with it too!
Keeping warm during winter camping trips is essential, not only to keep you comfortable, but to actually enjoy your time in the outdoors and really make the most of your time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
While there’s plenty of specialist kit that absolutely needs to be invested in and taken away with you when camping in winter, here are a few additional words of wisdom to help you stay toasty during those bitter cold nights.
My little camping set up. A two-man tent is all I need when camping alone.
Compact is key to comfort when winter camping
It can be really tempting to take a big tent away with you, to be able to fit in all your belongings, but while this is great for a summer camping trip, you want to keep your tent as small as possible when winter camping.
Sleeping in a small tent means that any body heat you give off will be trapped in as much as possible, acting similarly to a heating system in the home. The heat is more likely to be kept and used more efficiently in a smaller tent than a bigger tent.
Start from the bottom
Many campers often make the mistake of trying to keep warm by piling as many layers on top of them as possible. However whilst you sleep, the ground can actually absorb some of the heat within the tent – including your body heat – so it’s just as important to add layers underneath than it is to add layers on top.
Try adding a foam roll mat underneath your air bed, and carry on adding as many blankets and duvets on top of your sleeping bag to stay as warm as possible.
Understand your own body
You might have had a conversation with friends and family about how well you sleep and how hot or cold you get during the night. Everyone experiences different effects to their body during sleep and this can be down to age, gender, body weight or muscle to fat ratio, to name a few.
If you regularly find yourself cold at nights as opposed to warm, you should prepare yourself with extra layers. If you tend to find yourself with your foot stuck out from covers, make sure you take well insulated slipper socks. It’s crucial that you think about your body’s sleeping behaviour and take any extra precautions to keep your body warm when you sleep.
Breakfast time! Porridge, banana and tea 🙂
Late night belly warming suppers
Eating a warm bowl of something comforting, just before you go to sleep is a great way to add additional heat for a peaceful night’s sleep. Not only that, the warmth from the food will help to relax your body and prepare you to fall into a deep slumber.
Try ‘Brinner’ – breakfast for dinner
Porridge is the perfect camping food, high in energy and simple to pack and prepare – but it doesn’t always just have to be for saved for breakfast. Moma Food’s porridge pots contain everything you’ll need for a comforting oatie bowl, simply add boiling water, stir and enjoy snuggled up looking at the stars.
Warm up for the end of the day
A hot meal at the end of the day isn’t the only simple thing you can do, to add extra warmth during your winter camping trip. Your body produces heat, for any insulating clothing to then hold it in. It’s these two things combined that can keep you warm enough to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep in your tent during winter.
A small amount of exercise is a great way for your body to produce an extra boost of heat before bedtime, so why not try jogging on the spot or doing a few star jumps just before bed?
Warming up around a fire with friends. Perfect.
Don’t leave it until the last minute
It’s important to make sure that you wrap up in plenty of time, before you even begin to start feeling the cold. By the time you start feeling uncomfortable from the low temperature, you won’t be able to optimise the amount of heat your body gives off and this could lead to uncomfortable nights and maybe even catching a cold.
Keep your head out
It might sound strange, but keeping your head outside of your sleeping bag when you sleep is actually more beneficial than tucking it into your sleeping bag. When you tuck your head into your sleeping bag, your breath will begin to condense and create a damp environment for you to sleep in. The damp can get cold with low temperatures and this will eventually lead to making you colder than you want to be.
Keeping warm with a super cosy bobble hat.
These are just a few tips to keep you as warm as possible during your winter camping trips, but if you have any tips of your own, feel free to drop them in a comment below!
Rachel Campbell is a content writer for Moma Foods, who make scrummy instant porridge perfect for camping.