I used to be one of those people who only camped during the summer just like everyone else. I’d fight off the mosquitos, blister in the unforgiving sun, and constantly replace the ice for my coolers. I hardly had any energy to do the things I planned on doing during our trip.
Trying to find a camping spot where we weren’t so close to other families had been a challenge. I remember paying enough to stay in a 5 star hotel once for a camping spot by the river where we had no amenities or even a fire pit and people were just walking right by our tent like we weren’t even there!
Some of the things I love about winter camping;
There’s no bugs
No ticks, no mosquitoes, no flies. Leave the bug spray at home because you won’t need it if your winter camping! Spiders, ants, and mosquitoes are exothermic; that means, they cannot produce their own heat, so they are dependent on environmental temperatures for mobility. Different insects have different strategies for avoiding the cold. Some hibernate, some migrate, and some just hide out and wait until the warm weather comes back again. I don’t care where they go or what they do as long as I don’t have to deal with them when I camp!
Bugs aren’t the only creatures who don’t like the cold. A lot of other animals make theirselves scarce as well and it creates a quietness that you don’t get to experience in the summer heat when everything seems to be active. It’s really very peaceful.
Making a campfire is much more enjoyable and practical than having one in the summer. We will light a campfire at anytime of the season because we love to cook on it and enjoy watching the flames dance around. But c’mon, it’s not really practical to have a fire going throughout the day when it’s 90 degrees out other than trying to keep the bugs at bay. A campfire in the winter just warms you to the bone and is much more cozy and rewarding than having one in the summer or even the spring when a pop up rain shower could happen at any moment.
Most people only camp during certain times of the year. And few, even seasoned campers like to setup in harsh weather conditions. That leaves a lot places that are usually packed, open and free which makes for a less crowded camping spot for us! With three young children, it’s important for me to be able to relax while allowing them to have the freedom to roam around and not bother other families while they are camping. Plus, when I’m in nature, I like to feel like I’m actually in nature, not hear other people’s music and conversations going on in the background.
Less need for Ice
I enjoy camping in remote locations far away from the cities where I don’t have to strain my eyes to see the stars through the greenhouse gasses that fog up our skies. I don’t care to hear the sirens, highways or airplanes. I go camping to get away from those things. That means our spot is usually tucked away somewhere far from grocery stores or gas stations. Camping in the winter means I don’t have to make trips into town to get ice! Yay! It’s cold enough to keep everything from spoiling and the ice that we do bring, last 10x longer than it would in the summer months.
Camping, in my opinion, is better in the winter months. But there’s just one problem. Most areas close down roads and campgrounds during the colder months. We have found that it is much harder to find areas that we like during this time. That is not to say that there aren’t any, just that we haven’t found anything to fit our needs yet!