Camping is a great way to explore new areas, cheaper than hotels and allowing you a measure of freedom to come and go as you like. But even when you are camping in the summer, nights can get too cold for comfort, and winter camping can be a real trial of cold toes and frozen noses. Here are some ways to stay cosy when camping, even on the chilliest nights.
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A flimsy tent that allows draughts to swirl around your camp bed and sleeping bag is almost as bad as sleeping outside with no protection at all. Ensure that your tent is designed for cold weather use, with at least two layers of canvas or fabric between you and the outside world – and that it is properly waterproofed. Damp fabric becomes cold and exudes a clammy chill that is both unpleasant and unhealthy. When you zip your tent up, you should feel a marked temperature difference to the outside world.
Wear plenty of layers the whole time you are camping. In this way, you will trap layers of your own body heat, the whole effect being much cosier than wearing one heavy-duty layer of clothing. And, of course, you can remove layers, if you become too warm, without needing to take all your clothes off and get cold all over again!
Portable heaters come in a range of sizes and shapes, and some are even designed to work in caravans and tents. Some run on small gas cylinders, while others use oil or battery power. Whichever fuel source yours uses, you must be very careful: heaters can tip over and cause fires or burns, some will consume all the oxygen in a confined space and some of them consume their fuel very fast, potentially leaving you freezing cold in the middle of the night with no quick way to warm back up.
A firepit is a great solution. If you own the campsite you can install a permanent firepit, digging it into place and leaving it ready for next time after each camping trip. But even if you are staying in a public campsite, you can make use of a firepit – there are portable models available! Forest Fuel offers firepits in the UK and they have a wonderful range of models to suit all needs. With a firepit, you can leave it burning much of the time, simply banking the fire at night when everyone is asleep, which means that if anyone should get too cold, they can simply stir up the flames and warm back up again. And, of course, there is something simple yet very satisfying about sitting around a roaring fire, enjoying the heat and light that it emits.
Camping does not have to be a cold or damp occasion, even with the UK’s mercurial weather patterns. With foresight and planning – plus really good thermal underwear! – you can have a camping holiday that you will remember for all the right reasons!