Your guide to camping throughout the year
For many, the end of Summer doesn’t mean the end of the camping season. As long as you prepare yourself with the right equipment then you can enjoy camping all year round. You’ll also be one of the lucky campers that get to experience waking up to a frost-covered field, or enjoying a mug of hot chocolate from the comfort of your own canvas - which brings us to our first obvious topic to cover:
Weather Conditions – Preparation really is key to overcoming any of the challenges posed by the trickier weather conditions. A tent and awning that is pitched properly should be able to stand up to most weather conditions, although this does not mean that they will withstand a storm, so make sure you keep an eye on weather forecasts when necessary.
What gear to take – Big woolly clothing and hot water bottles will definitely help to keep you safe from the chilly weather. A tent carpet will also help to protect you from the harsh cold ground. Taking waterproof clothing and footwear will save you from the trouble of having to sit in cold, wet clothing throughout the day.
Take plenty of lighting with you – Taking a strong torch and lantern with you will help to keep everything visible during the longer nights of winter. Some campsites will also provide you with an electrical power supply, so it’s worth considering your options before your travels. Don’t forget to take plenty of spare batteries with you just in case.
Pitch smartly – Make sure to pitch in the shelter of a building if possible, as this will help to protect you from the chilly winds. A well-placed windbreak will also help you to combat the wind and leave less of it crashing against the canvas of your tent bedroom. You should avoid pitching next to any open water as this may lead to condensation problems and avoid pitching at the bottom of any slopes to avoid the possibility of small flooding.
Factor in the nearby entertainment – The nights get darker a lot earlier during those Winter months, so it’s worth investigating whether your campsite has any nearby entertainment that you can rely upon during the long evenings. A nearby restaurant or pub can really help to warm you up for example, and gives you a perfect excuse to let someone else cook for you for a change. The nearer by these points of interest are, the better.
Take the right bedding with you - Make sure you purchase and pack your four-season sleeping bags and take any duvets and blankets from home. A sleeping bag with liner will help to improve the bag’s warmth significantly. Sleeping on a thick self-inflating mat will also help, as the air inside of an airbed is more likely to get cold more quickly. Also, don’t be tempted to have a hot drink before going to sleep, as you might have to wake up during the cold dead of night to go to the loo!
Build yourself a campfire – You can’t beat the feeling of sitting around a campfire with friends and family during a dark night, but of course this is only possible if it’s allowed within the rules of your campsite, so make sure you check first! The best way to build a strong campfire is to build it up gradually, adding larger logs in stages - but be careful not to build it too high, and be careful of wind direction as you may get smoke in your tent which will cause damage.
- Jack Barnett