I am a BIG fan of winter camping. And I am not alone in that: more and more people go on a winter camping adventure. Still, many people look shocked when I tell them I go camping in the cold. So, for those of you that are not convinced yet that winter camping is a good idea… These are my eight reasons to go camping on a cold winter’s day.
I also wrote this blog post in Dutch on my other platform Outdoor Inspiratie.
Reason 1: you’re very aware of seasons changing
Someone who stays indoors by the stove in autumn and winter, experiences the change of seasons less consciously than someone who goes out into nature. I often return to the same locations and I love seeing how the seasons change. By being aware of the rhythms of nature, I feel more grounded and connected.
Reason 2: campsites and nature reserves are less crowded
Campsites and their surroundings are more popular with visitors in summer than in winter. As a result, you might have a whole camp site all for yourself (and sometimes a few neighbors further away) in winter. Winter camping is perfect if you are looking for peace and quiet.
Reason 3: connect with others around a campfire
Collect dry wood and make a camp fire. Bring comfort food and hot chocolate and invite the other campers for a meet-up around the camp fire. I’ve met the most interesting and inspiring (okay, and weird) people this way and I wouldn’t want to miss it!
Tip: bring a guitar and play campfire songs for an even more romantic evening
Reason 4: watch sunrise and sunset (while still having a proper night sleep)
In winter, you can see sunrise and sunset, without having a short night of sleep in between. Enjoy diner at sunset, spend some time around the campfire and go to bed early for a night of long night sleep. Get out of bed at sunrise and enjoy the sounds and smells of the morning while you eat warm breakfast in the early sunlight.
Reason 5: no sweating in a hot tent
On hot summer mornings, I can’t wait to get out of my tent, before I am all hot and sweaty. No sleeping in for me in the summertime! In winters, however, I can spend as much time in my cosy tent as I want. I love laying awake, still covered by my warm sleeping bag, and listening to the forest slowly waking up.
Reason 6: it’s like being in a Christmas card
A warm, woollen sweater, a knitted hat and thick mittens make me hum Christmas song. Add a layer of fresh snow to the scene, and I feel like I am living in a Christmas card come to life.
Tip: bring a tripod and a camera with a self-timer, and take a picture for your next Christmas card.
Reason 7: the silence in winter
In winter, there a way fewer people on the campsites and forests. There are no more leaves whizzing in the wind and many of the loud singing birds have left to warmer grounds. Under the starry sky on a very cold winter evening, you can almost feel the silence. You become more aware of the sounds of nature and the crackling of frozen grass under your feet. Winter camping is the perfect mindful experience.
Reason 8: the physical and mental challenge
Winter camping is less comfortable and easy than summer camping. It’s cold. Sometimes it’s wet. It’s dark. Winter camping means stepping out of your comfort zone. And I think the more steps you take outside your comfort zone, the more exciting your life gets. Stepping out of my comfort zone by going camping where most (sane) people stay warm and dry inside, gives me an adrenaline high that lasts for days.
Of course, you should take proper safety measurements in order not to get (too) cold. Read my how-to-winter-camping-blog to learn how to make your camping trip as safe and comfortable possible.
Where to winter camp?
Campspace is a platform that connects campers and people with nice backyards for the ultimate camping experience. Many Campspaces are open in winter, and some offer heated but simple and cosy accommodation.
Two of my favourite campsites are Frits’ garden in the Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer and Eva’s place in the south of the Netherlands.