Your Winter Camping Checklist

Camping is one of the oldest and most popular pursuits in the world and many people now camp regularly as a hobby. Whilst predominantly a summer activity people frequently enjoy camping all year round.

Why Camp in the Winter? Winter Camping Scene
Camping is something usually associated with a warm summer night pitching tents in the woods, or huddling round an open fire telling campfire tales. Never has it been associated with ice, snow, gale force winds, bitter cold and of course relentless rain.

So what is the impetus for anyone to go camping in the winter? The main appeal is likely that camping in winter allows one to fully appreciate all the delights of camping. A warm, snug tent; a roaring fire; a flask of tea (or Scotch, age dependant!). This comfort is heightened by its total contrast to the winter weather. There is a sparse quality to winter camping that is of high appeal, it removes the issue of over-crowding in camp sites or woodland areas and the cold keeps all the irritating insects and midges at bay.

Despite the perks of going camping in the winter months it is still pertinent to be extremely prepared as one must deal with gruelling weather conditions.

Essential Items for Winter Camping
The key to enjoying the winter camping experience is solid preparation. The frigid conditions outside mean campers must ensure they have adequate equipment and clothing with them to combat the cold conditions. Here is a list of some essential items for winter camping:
Winter Camping TentA tent – This is the key piece of equipment for any camper and winter camping is no exception. Thick poles are important for stability and loopholes will enable easy anchorage.
Skis & Poles – These are vital for camping on icy terrains and mountainous regions with lots of snow.

Snow shoes – Dependent upon climate and terrain snow shoes may be necessary.

Boots – Thermal boots play a similar role to skis and poles, however they can also play a role away from ice and snow as warm, safe and durable foot-ware for any terrain.

Back pack – Again this will be dictated by the weather and terrain involved in the camping. Packs may be needed to haul shovels, food and supplies etc and so should cater for this.

Sleeping bag – A regular sleeping back may not cut it in the winter weather, so it may be necessary to get a sleeping bag with extra insulation.

Extra layering – This is key to comfort and safety. It will be necessary to pack sufficient layers, but not overdress too early.

First aid – This should be a must on any camping trip, but is particularly important with regards to winter camping as cold, ice and rain can lead to greater risk of injury.

Cooking utensils – Portable stoves and pots and pans will be a vital component of the experience and will allow the camper to cook food in a similar manner to how they would at home.

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Colin is writing on behalf of Camping Norfolk Provider Waveney River Centre