You don’t have to be mad to camp in winter

Langdale valleyHello campers, Winter camping! There’s something remarkably rewarding about camping in the cold. I have plenty of fond memories of setting out with a few buddies on a friday night & heading up to Langdale campsite for the weekend. My tent, sleeping bag, Rucksack full of thermals & a bottle of brandy to warm our cockles!

The key to success is that favorite old saying… Be prepared!

In my opinion Langdale campsite is a perfect choice for your 1st night under canvas, it’s well sheltered has good facilities & if the weather is really bad theres always one of lakelands finest pubs the Old dungeon Gyll to take refuse in (I’m in there rain or shine).

This time of year you really do need to have the right winter camping kit list for an enjoyable night. I say “the colder the better” and clear, frosty weather is ideal to take in those beautiful views at the top of Harrison Stickle.
Here’s a list of some of the essential things i would advise you to take…

Firstly make sure you have the correct type of Mountain tent, I say “mountain tent” as your home for the night will need to be stable enough to stand up to high winds, stormy wet weather & the weight of any snow that could fall on it, therfore Geodesic & semi-geodesic tents are best.

A comfortable nights sleep is a must for any hikers as you’ll be active for a long time the next day so make sure your Sleeping Bag is a warm enough 4-5 season sleeping Bag such as the Vango Supernova 5000, try to get in your sleeping bag when your body is warm, have a hot drink before bed (or do some star jumps if your feeling energetic) you’ll be cosier for longer.

The best way to maintain heat when your inside your sleeping bag is to be raised off the floor, the ground will instantly penetrate your sleeping bag. The best way to do this is by using a self inflating mat, the thicker the better These mats use a combination af air and foam & better still they blow themselves up.

Your going to need to eat & drink so some hot food is essential. Any cookers will need to be 100% propane as you normal butane cartridges freeze up at zero, maybe try a Trangia fuel burner, they also work great in windy weather.

The days are way shorter in winter so it’s essential to have a reliable source of light and maybe a spare too. I always have a head torch on me at all times, you may need it when coming down off the mountain & you’ll definitely need it to walk home from the pub.

Take several layers of clothing with you, fleeces, base layers and outershells offer good insulation but the mother of all is the Down jacket (it’s like wearing a sleeping bag all day) Dont forget your hat & gloves and a spare set of clothes in case anything gets wet.

Finally just a few last things to bear in mind… Wake up nice & early to make the most of the daylight & dont forget you camera, some of my favorite outdoor photographs were taken in winter.

There you have it, it’s a basic list of the essentials required, if you think i’ve forgotten anything feel free to add to this post, i look forward to hearing any stories, top tips, recommended winter walks or photo’s of your winter camping adventures.

Over & out,

Andy: Blogger

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