For some, camping is more of a seasonal activity that takes place only in the summer and only when the weather is fine. For others, camping is a passion and year-round lifestyle that is meant for reconnecting with nature and getting away from daily stresses.
Whether you’re someone who falls into the later category and merely wants to make camping more comfortable, or someone who has only ever camped during warm months and wants to take a leap, there are several tips for ensuring that camping year-round is not only doable but enjoyable.
One of the most noticeable difference between summer camping versus winter or fall camping is that the ground can be much colder and you have to think more about precipitation such as snow.
If you’re use to tent camping in the summer months, you may want to consider getting a fold-up cot for the cooler months. This will keep you off the ground and, thus, more warm as a general rule. Also, if your vehicle permits, you can consider car camping. For pick-up trucks, DIY platform beds can be built inside (typically using plywood) that allow for storage underneath and a comfort mattress on top.
Some hardcore campers think heating is cheating. Not so! There’s no such thing as “cheating” when it comes to making yourself comfortable in the wilderness. A fun DIY method for heating; utilizing a terracotta pot and three-wick candle creates radiant heat for a tent or car.
Another easy method for heating is to bring your dog along. Dogs’ body temperatures run higher than humans’, thus making them your own personal space heater.
Think Shade in the Summer and Sunshine in the Winter
For camping in the summer months, an easy-up can provide shade for all sorts of activities, including cooking, eating, shooting, and card games.
During the fall and summer, consider pitching your tent or parking your adventure vehicle in a place that will get sun for the majority of the day. As such, your tent/vehicle will stay warmer, longer.
Divide your camping gear into two categories: spring/summer and fall/winter.
For spring/summer include:
- Lighter layers
- Lighter sleeping bags
- Lots of sunscreen
- Rain gear
- An emergency survival kit that includes items for heat stroke and sunburns
For fall/winter include:
- Wool layers
- Zero degree bags
- Snow gear
- An emergency survival kit that includes a space blanket and extra layers to protect against hypothermia
One of the most exciting aspects of camping is being creative when it comes to making yourself comfortable. Some fun examples include: making curtains for your adventure vehicle to keep warmth in and the sun out; and creating a stand out of PVC pipe designed to hang clothes and backpacks so they don’t get wet.
Utilizing colorful, lightweight rugs (typically made for outdoor purposes) to warm the floor of your tent.