Go you – you’ve taken on the winter camping challenge. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to equal cold when you’ve got the right gear. We’ve rounded up the top 5 things to take camping this winter. Here are some packing picks to help you brave – and maybe even embrace – the icy elements.
HEAT IS ON
Don’t even give your body a chance to be cold. Pack warm clothes (and spares), a tent made for your climate and a sleeping bag that will embrace you in a warm hug all night long. It’s important to choose a sleeping bag specifically rated for your expected temperature. Or, go one step further and choose one at or below the temperatures you expect (or fear). And your fulfilment will depend on your fill. Synthetics work better in wet environments, but natural down will be your bestie during a dry winter. As for style, sleeping bags are no longer reserved for sleeping. You can lounge around all day in this full body nestling number from Selkbag.A great place to camp and find a fire is at Seven Mile Beach.
Sure, matches and lighters are the easy options for getting the fire roaring. But what happens when they get damp? Unleash your inner Bear Grylls and pick up a striker – a portable flint – which you can find at any good hiking or camping store (we spotted this one at Kathmandu). It’ll see you through the cold, and the wet, without raining on your parade. Throw in some cotton wool pads, too, to fast-track your journey to fire-town. Simply split them in half and strike your flint on the furry side – it will catch easily and stay lit for long enough to start placing kindling and bigger sticks on top.
With the cold weather comes the yearning for a hearty home-cooked meal. Impress your campfire crew and add a side dish of glam to their dinner. Ditch the usual camp cooking gear and pick up a BioLite Pizza Dome, a wood-fired oven giving you the prowess to whip up an at-home Italian offering in minutes. And there’s a bonus. The stove and grill converts heat into usable electricity so you can also charge your devices while camping. As for the meal, we predict a good glass of red will go down a treat.
The nights are inevitably longer in winter, so a little extra entertainment prep is bound to go a long way. If you’re after some solo time, pack a book or take your iPad or laptop to watch a movie. If you’re part of a group, let your imagination run wild. Pack a couple of musical instruments such as harmonicas or ukuleles, rope in your comrades for games of charades or cards, or take turns sharing stories – over marshmallows, of course. Make the most of your night, because if you nod off too early you’ll end up waking before the sun rises.
Camping can be a tiring task, so be ready to perk up with a warming cuppa. There’s an abundance of clever ways to brew your beans on the go – be it a manual AeroPress machine, a percolator over the stove or a little more upmarket investment, like the Handpresso Wild Hybrid Coffee Machine. We’re also eyeing off the savvy Snow Peak cafe latte set – a classy line-up of lightweight titanium with a French press and milk foamer. You’ll be whipping up barista-quality coffee around the campfire in no time.