While camping is traditionally a summertime activity, there are many benefits for braving the chill and setting up camp in winter as well.
There are no insects or snakes, fewer people competing for the best spots, greater visibility of the night sky and you are going to get maximum enjoyment out of the campfire.
Before you go cutting a trail into the Aussie outback in winter, it’s important to take the right precautions to ensure you’re comfortable and safe.
Winter Weather Camping Tips
Here are some tips to ensure your winter camping expedition is a winning one:
1. Choose the Right Camping Tent
You want to be shielded from the elements at night for not only comfort reasons but health reasons as well. No one wants to be cold, sick, and miserable while camping.
All-season tents are going to be a bit heavier than summer tents, so you will need to factor this in your packing if you plan on hiking for any distance. But this weight difference is slight and you will get a far sturdier tent that will stand up to heavy dew, rain, even snow, and strong winds.
These all-season tents are often lined, reduce the ventilation to keep the cold air out, and overall provide a safer and more comfortable experience.
2. Pack Waterproof Clothes
Common sense dictates that warm clothes are going to be required when the mercury plummets, but many campers often forget about the impact of water on winter weather camping as well.
Having wet clothes or shoes will mean the cold winter air will cut through like a knife, so choosing waterproof options is vital.
Water conducts heat 25 times better than air does as well, which means even a light sweat can quickly escape through clothing and lower your core temperature to dangerous levels.
If you’re hiking or engaging in other physical activities, add and remove layers as necessary to try to manage your sweat production.
3. Check Your Gear Before You Leave
Never assume your camping gear is in immaculate condition just because it was fine the last time you used it.
Insects, the elements and other factors can cause your gear to degrade in storage, so don’t wait until the chilly night sets in to pitch your tent and discover it has holes in it.
4. Pack More Food and Water
Your body is going to require more calories and greater hydration to maintain its core temperature in cold weather.
Ensure you’re eating a hearty breakfast cooked over the campfire and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Because you’re out in the elements your body is going to need this energy.
Pack plenty of snacks like energy bars as well, so you can easily stuff them in your pocket for a quick carbohydrate boost during your daily activities.
5. Check the Weather
Heading out into extremely cold conditions isn’t something to be brave about. It’s crucial that you check the weather conditions and forecast before heading out into a potentially dangerous situation.
This is especially important if you plan on camping in regions of Australia where there’s snow.
Being caught in heavy storms or blizzards can be extremely challenging to manage and you could find yourself cut off or isolated from civilization as well.
6. Find Higher Ground
Setting up camping in a valley or ravine can seem like a good idea for protecting yourself from the elements, but it’s also going to reduce the time you have to enjoy your time camping.
The days are shorter in winter and the sun is going to reach these valleys. You could find yourself having limited sunlight to enjoy which puts a real dampener on your camping enjoyment.