Beat the Winter Blues: How to Enjoy a Cosy Winter Camping Experience
Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo shares top tips to make the most of camping in the colder months.
Brits are increasingly realising the value of getting outdoors and the abundance of benefits that being in nature can have on both your physical and mental health, however in the colder winter months it can be tempting to eschew the outdoors, waiting instead for the spring sunshine. With many campsites open all year round and plenty of wild camping opportunities to be found, there’s no reason to limit outdoor camping experiences to the warmer months.
Ed Bassett, Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo, says: “Camping during the colder months can really help combat those winter blues, getting you out into nature and enabling you to make the most of the great outdoors, and enjoy new adventures with loved ones
“At Camptoo, we’ve seen an increase year on year in the popularity of camping trips outside of the traditional summer peak season, with a 25% increase in bookings for the colder months. We suspect that, despite the chillier temperatures, this is down to adventurers wanting to make the most of being able to get back out into nature and enjoy the freedom of the outdoors after two years of lockdowns and restrictions on travel.”
There are a whole host of benefits to camping during the winter months, but it is important to make sure you’re prepared. Read on for Ed’s tips on how to maximise your winter camping experience…
Consider your vehicle
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with roughing it in a tent, for ultimate comfort your best option is to travel in a well-insulated campervan or motorhome when camping in winter. Many motorhomes are conveniently kitted out with decent beds, a hob, and even showers to ensure that you can wash conveniently without having to brave the morning chill in order to access communal facilities. Chose a vehicle with bike racks if you need one and ensure the vehicle has snow chains if you are considering going really off the beaten track up country lanes and take a shovel. The owners make sure breakdown or rescue cover is included on all our vehicles.
When packing for a winter camping trip, ensure you’re fully prepared for colder climes, particularly at night-time when temperatures drop even further. Think thermal layers, woollen jumpers, cosy fleeces and warm coats.
Waterproof layers and walking boots for wet and muddy rambles are also essential, as are spare socks and trainers. There is nothing worse than damp or cold feet, so ensure that you’re extra prepared with multiple pairs – the thicker the better. Hand and feet warmers are also a great option to make sure that you stay extra toasty. Packing extra bedding, blankets, sleeping bags and a hot water bottle can also make your camping experience all the more enjoyable during the chillier winter months.
Let there be light
Shorter days and longer nights are one of the cornerstones of the winter months, and with few hours of sunlight make sure to bring adequate lighting, whether that’s head torches for navigating your way to communal facilities, reading lights for indulging in some night-time reading or fairy lights to make your camping experience extra cosy and atmospheric.
Don’t forget to pack batteries for all of your torches and remember that cold temperatures can reduce their lifespan, so ensure you store them in an insulated area.
Feast on high energy food
Spending more time outdoors combined with the naturally colder temperatures at this time of year, means you will likely expend much more energy than normal. To combat this, you may need to put more thought into exactly what you’re eating.
For breakfast opt for a classic bowl of oats – a hearty breakfast that provides slow-releasing energy that will keep you fuelled until lunch time. Throughout the day make sure to snack on lots of high-energy foods such as dark chocolate, nuts, oat bars and dried fruit for those moments when you notice your energy levels starting to dip. Dried food sachets to which you just add boiling water are also a great option for active campers.
You’ll likely find yourself cosying up in a local pub come dinner time, but if you are planning on preparing food yourself, you’ll likely want something low fuss but nutritious. To make life easier for yourself, pre-prepare some hearty meals like pasta bake or casserole before you travel, so that you can simply heat them up as and when needed. And don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids – it’s easier to become dehydrated in the winter months, due to the lack of humidity in the air. If you struggle to drink enough water, try carrying a thermos filled with hot tea or warming soup to enjoy on the go.
Indulge in some winter activities
Some things are simply better enjoyed in winter. Wild swimming, for example, is a fantastic winter activity as the cold water helps to boost your immune system and release endorphins, your body’s happy hormone. Just ensure that you’ve got lots of blankets and perhaps a hot water bottle back in your campervan to warm yourself up once you’ve had a dip and don’t swim alone and take care where you are swimming of course.
Alternatively, if wild swimming doesn’t sound like your thing, star gazing is another great activity for when the days are longer and darker. Ensure you’re camping somewhere with low light-pollution and that there’s a clear forecast for the evening, pitch up and enjoy the beauty of the cosmos from your camping spot.
To find out more and book a van for your winter road trip, visit www.camptoo.co.uk.
Notes to Editors:
Camptoo’s UK Country Manager and Head of Wanderlust, Ed Bassett, is available for interview or comment upon request.
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Launched in the Netherlands in 2014, Camptoo is a sharing economy platform that connects the owners and renters of campervans, motorhomes and touring caravans. The company was ranked the #1 fastest-growing travel company in Europe by Financial Times (FT1000, 2020).
Since it was launched, Camptoo users have booked over 500,000 days in vehicles rented through the site. Owners can generate income from their campervan when it’s not being used while renters have greater flexibility when booking their vehicle so that it best suits their needs.
There are over 1,700 vehicles listed in the UK, with over 4,000 vehicles to choose from across Europe, and a further 400 across Australia, with more being added every week. Vehicles are properly insured to allow both owner as well as renter a carefree holiday, with Camptoo providing all the necessary paperwork, checklists and roadside assistance. For more information, visit www.camptoo.co.uk.