Winter camping can be truly amazing, but something you need to prepare for thoroughly in order to beat the chill. Even if you’re camping in the middle of summer, there’s still the high possibility of being welcomed by cold evenings. Therefore, if you’re planning a trip in the future, it’s important to know the best practices for keeping warm.
Before we explore the various ways you can remain cosy in your caravan or other accommodation at night, it’s worth pointing out that multiple layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick jumper. Of course, it’s also worth investing in thermal clothing and remembering the basics such as hats and gloves.
Preparing for the cold night ahead
You should prepare for the night ahead early, especially when knowing temperatures are likely to plummet. Therefore, change into your sleeping clothes at least an hour before and then wrap up warm again. This will ensure as little heat as possible is lost from your body when it’s time to clamber into your sleeping bag or bed. Over the course of the evening you should also look to take on board plenty of calories, as these will convert into heat over the course of the night.
What’s essential with cold weather camping is to ensure going to bed warm. In winter, your sleeping accessories should be designed to insulate and therefore, won’t warm you up if you’re already cool to begin with. Sleeping with a hot water bottle is a great way to retain heat as well.
Keep extra supplies on board
Whenever travelling in winter you should ensure to have extra gas bottles to hand, simply in case of the unfortunate event you breakdown and are left stranded, either on the road or on site. With the cold weather winter brings, you’ll want to stay as warm as possible and extra gas bottles will help you to do this if appropriate.
It’s also worth taking more food and drink on a winter trip, because of the same potential circumstances. You’ll want to ensure you’ve enough if the worst does occur to avoid being caught short.
Make use of winter chains
Driving a motorhome or towing a caravan can be brave at the best of times, but during the winter months there are more potential problems. The risk of skidding is high, especially with snow, ice and slush on the ground. For that reason, depending on where you’re travelling in Europe, invest in snow chains.
In many European countries particularly, snow chains are a legal requirement at certain times of the year. Therefore, make sure to find out which regulations apply before travelling.
You should also ensure to top up tyres to the correct pressure, whilst also carrying a spare in the event of a puncture. Of course, both these points should be applied throughout the year and not just winter.
One of the best tips for winter camping would be to conduct plenty of research before venturing off, especially checking out the forecasted weather. You should bring snow chains regardless and know how to fit them correctly, in the event they’re required at some point during your trip.
Eat your meals later in the day
By no means should you starve yourself during the day. If you’re hungry, a snack won’t hurt and taking in more calories will only have a beneficial impact. However, when it comes to your main meal, eating later in the evening is highly advised.
Why? Because your body will start to generate heat when breaking down the food. In fact, a fattier meal is better still, as fat is metabolised at a slower rate than carbohydrates. Cheese and olive oil are two examples of food products high in fat you should bring extra rations of to your next camping trip.
Keep well hydrated
During the cold weather your last thought may be taking on board plenty of fluids, but this is actually great for helping to beat the chill. Hydration in winter is just as important as during the summer months and whether it’s water or a hot drink, both are equally important. Hot chocolate in particular is high in calories and as discussed earlier, this is hugely beneficial to keeping warm.
Find your winter camping trip today
Winter camping can be just as enjoyable as vacating in the summer months, as long as you follow best practices to keep warm. There are some incredible camping sites perfect for the winter and loads of great activities available, whether you’re up for an adventure packed trip or would prefer something a little more relaxing.
At Alan Rogers we have inspected and selected the very best campsites around Europe for your perusal.
Rob is the General Manager at Alan Rogers Travel Group, he is responsible for the ongoing development of the Alan Rogers website and publication of the Alan Rogers Guides.
He has been involved in the leisure industry since completing a BTEC in Travel & Tourism in 1993. Previous roles have included the promotion of tourism in Yorkshire and running a motorcycle touring company in the Australian Outback.
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