No, your eyes are not deceiving you. We really mean going camping in winter. It’s our new favourite activity and we know that once you try it you’ll love it too.

While winter camping is not mainstream, it’s not strictly a niche activity either. However, it does take people by surprise to hear that camping is not just something to do during the summer months.

We’re on a mission to get as many people camping, and into the outdoors, as possible. Scientists speak more and more of “nature therapy” and are releasing studies that show just how beneficial getting into the outdoors is for us. Winter is no exception!

Looking for a winter camping adventure of your own? We’re here to help! Just think of toasting marshmallows on an open fire, discovering stunning views (winter has an arresting beauty) and being in the fresh air.

Our aim with this post is to give you all the tools you need to have a winter camping adventure to remember. It includes;

  • Our winter camping ultimate guide - everything you want to know about how to camp safely and successfully in winter successfully
  • Recipes - Three recipes that turn a winter camping trip into a gourmet experience Hacks - Top tips to make camping during winter a breeze
  • Playlist - Some recommended tunes for your winter camping road trip
  • Where to stay - A suggested route and links to Campsited listed camping parks for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

There are, of course, multiple options to choose from when you go camping in winter, just as there are when you go camping in summer. Glamping pods are just one option, and campers who love to camp in tents still have the chance to have a rustic camping trip. In between these two extremes, there are many more options that make winter camping the huge adventure that it is. We have loads of ideas for you and some top tips on what to consider when you’re thinking about your home from home for your winter camping trip.

Ultimate Winter Camping Guide

You might be surprised to hear that there are as many options for winter camping as what there are for its summer equivalent.

A significant number of camping parks are open for business in Britain and Ireland during the chillier months and you can take your pick as to the type of camping trip you want to go on!

From glamping sites to traditional campsites, your unique camping style is not dampened at all by the frosty temperatures outside.

We have more details here on all the different types of camping accommodation you can choose from and the benefits on each, though a few words on glamping though would not go amiss here.

Glamping is fun all year round but some glampers feel that it really comes into its own during winter. You still have all the adventure of winter camping but you are a little more protected from the cold. It’s a worthwhile option to explore if you’re new to winter camping and gives you as authentic a winter camping experience as any other option.

Essentially, the decision you make with regards to the type of winter camping trip you go on will be determined by your own appetite for the elements, the equipment you have and your experience.

Take a look at our Ultimate Winter Camping Guide

Winter camping recipes

Keep warm on a winter camping trip with these three recipes.

Carbohydrates are your friend when it comes to winter camping - and so is chocolate! We’ve got three recipes to get you started here and another for a tasty chowder here and lots of helpful information here that will ensure you’re eating like royalty as you camp during the chillier parts of the year.

Take a look at our tasty winter chowder recipe

Warming Soup

1 packed of soup mix
1 poached chicken breast
Dried mushrooms and dried tomatoes
1 cup of rice
½ cup of split peas

  1. Bring water to a boil and then soak the peas in the hot water for approximately 45 minutes.
  2. In another pot add the mushrooms and tomatoes, stock and one litre of water and bring to boiling point. Add the softened peas to the pot and simmer for about ten minutes. Stir in the poached chicken breast and the rice. Once the rice is cooked, stir in approximately three spoons of butter.
  3. Eat the soup with bread. This soup makes enough for three people and is a good dinner to eat when winter camping to keep you warm through the night.
Fireside Hot Chocolate

Not strictly a meal, but this hot chocolate is a delicious treat and gives you more calories to keep warm.

Hot chocolate powder
Powdered milk
Butter pat
Brown sugar
Sea salt crystals

  1. Place the hot chocolate and some powdered milk in your drinking mug.
  2. Pour in hot water.
  3. Add the butter pat, brown sugar and a shot of rum.
  4. Crumble some sea salt crystals on the top.
  5. Drink and enjoy!
Oat Scones

2 cups of oats
¼ cup of brown sugar or honey ¼ cooking oil 2 cups of flour
Baking powder
Cinnamon or jam for topping

  1. Pour the oil into a pot and stir in the oats till they are coated in it.
  2. Add a pinch of salt, honey and baking powder.
  3. Add water and flour and mix all the ingredients together.
  4. Form patties out of the mixture.
  5. Fry in a pan for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Add the topics.

This recipe makes a wonderful breakfast.

Winter Camping Hacks

Staying warm is naturally the chief concern for every intrepid camper going on a winter camping trip. This is not difficult to do if you follow these simple hacks.

  1. Sleep with your clothes in your sleeping bag - We’re not meaning all your clothes, gosh, there’d be no space for you! A very clever winter camping tip though is to put the clothes you want to wear the next day in your sleeping bag. This way the clothes keep you toasty warm and you have warm clothes to put on the next morning.

  2. Put your yoga mat to work - Placing your yoga mat underneath your sleeping bag gives you a softer surface to sleep on and also puts a barrier between you and the cold ground.

  3. Keep your matches in a metal container - Plastic can become very brittle in cold weather and break, whereas metal won’t. Always pack twice as many matches as you think you’ll need.

  4. Always answer the call of nature - When your body tells you that you need to go, make sure you go. Holding in your wee uses up extra energy from your body to keep you warm.

  5. Use your water bottle as a… water bottle - If you have a water bottle that can hold boiling water (such as a Nalgene), fill it up and place it at your feet in your sleeping bag. It will keep you warm and in the morning you’ll have room-temperature water to drink.

  6. Hook a keyring at the end of all your zips - Cold fingers can become clumsy. A keyring hooked at the end of all your zips, from your sleeping bag to your jackets, will help you open them.

  7. Take your layers off when you perspire - If you’re active and start sweating, peel off your layers. When you stop moving, the perspiration will chill and make you feel very cold if you don’t.

  8. Keep your batteries warm - Cold batteries don’t work. Eat something fatty before you go to bed - A piece of fatty food, like a block of cheese or a handful of nuts, before you go to bed will keep your body’s metabolism firing all night and help you stay warm.
    No cotton - Make sure your winter camping clothes are made of wool, silk or synthetic materials. Cotton gets very cold and takes ages to dry if it gets wet.

Be prepared and enjoy the spoils of winter camping

Along with these hacks, there are also a number of tips we’d love to share with you to ensure that you’re set for the most amazing winter camping adventure. Winter camping is every bit as fun and relaxing as camping in summer, and it has an in-built adventure quotient simply because it is winter, but you need to take a few factors into consideration to make sure that you’re comfortable and safe. We’ve got the best advice on the best way to stay warm when camping, winter camping gear and all other aspects that come under the winter camping umbrella and a handy checklist!

Winter Camping Playlist

Camping parks for your winter camping adventure!

If you’re interested in exploring a winter camping trip, we’ve provided links for you below to help you choose camping parks in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.

Selection of campsites that open year around