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Top Tips for Winter Camping

Thursday, 05 November 2015 GMT
Author: Staveley Head

Winter camping is a little different to summer camping, you have to be prepared. Even staying in your motorhome or caravan can have its challenges; such as ensuring your insurance is up to date and your caravan is protected from the weather.  With so many UK campsites offering superb winter places to stay and explore, we thought we’d share our top tips with you.

Blackberry Wood Winter Camping



The days are getting shorter, meaning you have less time to arrive at your destination. So it’s a good idea to check your route before leaving. Also, try to avoid driving on poorly lit roads, especially when towing a caravan, as there may be potholes and other hazards which are difficult to see.

Top tip; keep spare blankets and coats in the car, they will be useful if you break down in the cold or if your main bedding gets damp.

Keeping warm

Layers are key when it comes to keeping warm inside your tent. Pack well using our winter camping checklist. Cotton clothing doesn’t insulate well, so instead try a fleece with waterproof jacket. Your shoes are also important – you don’t want to be walking around in wet shoes that take forever to dry! Get yourself some boots with a waterproof shell and take a few pairs of warm, loose fitting woolly socks. And don’t forget the extra socks for bedtime!

Keep warm by keeping in your body heat. If you don’t want to go as far as a full balaclava, wear a skiing hat will prevent heat loss whilst keeping your head and ears cosy.

Top tip; always pack for the worst weather – it is the UK, after all – this way you should always be prepared.

Setting up

Firstly, you need to make sure you have a strong waterproof tent that won’t blow away when you turn away! Choose extra strong poles and remember to secure the guy line.

Picking the right spot can help when camping in winter. Try and find a natural wind break, although be wary of trees in case you’re unlucky enough to get caught in a thunderstorm. Hedges and fences make great wind breaks.

Find a campsite that allows camp fires to help add a little more heat. Our campsite finder is a handy tool for locating the perfect campsite this winter.

Food & Beverage

Take bottled water with you just in case the campsite’s pipes freeze, this way you won’t get dehydrated. And remember your flask for keeping hot beverages warmer for a little longer.

Taking your own cooking equipment will mean you don’t have to rely on the campsite, so a hot meal can be prepared every night. Be proactive and take food with you so if the cold weather makes things awkward you won’t go hungry, or failing that make sure the campsite is near the local pub!

Top tip; fill up on carbohydrates to help you stay warm.


First things first, do not sleep on the floor or groundsheet in winter. Take an insulated camping mat to place beneath your sleeping bag.

If the nights are particularly cold, wear a balaclava instead of placing your head inside the sleeping bag and ensure all of your nightwear is dry. If you get too warm and start to sweat, unzip your sleeping bag to let yourself cool down so you don’t end up with a damp sleeping bag the next day.

If you find it really difficult to get warm, move your hands and feet to help warm them up until you feel comfortable; you can even try sit ups which are particularly effective!

And finally, remember to go to the loo before you get into your sleeping bag – sneaking out in the middle of a freezing cold night is never fun!

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