If you’ve always gone camping during warm weather, you might wonder if winter camping can be fun. Winter camping is better than spring and summer camping, but why should you look forward to your next trip?
Winter camping is a less busy time to go camping affordably. You’ll need the right gear but can forego coolers and bug spray. It’ll reset your circadian rhythm, have a more enjoyable fire and give you a clear view of the stars. It’s great for bragging rights and honing your survival skills.
Learn more about how you can enjoy the cold weather while camping in this detailed breakdown of why it’s better to be in the great outdoors during winter.
Is Camping in Winter Fun?
If you’re thinking about whether you should take a trip to the campground during the off-season, you might be wondering whether this could be any fun.
Winter camping can be quite enjoyable for those with an adventurous spirit. After a single winter camping trip, you’ll be ready to return as soon as possible.
Camping in the winter has a lot of perks over camping during warm weather. It’s a fun experience that you won’t soon forget.
If you’re thinking about whether camping in the winter is better than spring and summer camping, here is what will have you coming back time and again.
1. Less Busy Campsites
For many campers, the best part of getting into the great outdoors is unplugging for a little while. If you go camping during the busy seasons, you’ll be side-by-side with others for the duration of your trip.
One of the best reasons for winter camping is less people.
Many people aren’t prepared for four-season camping and only go during the ideal seasons when they don’t have to pack many items to keep themselves warm.
As a result, most people don’t choose to go camping during winter.
If you have the supplies to keep yourself warm and want to hone those survival skills, camping during winter is a great way to keep yourself away from relying on others.
It’ll be just you and your camping equipment to sustain you.
2. Less Expensive
Do you go camping because you don’t have the money to spend on an all-inclusive resort? Even on the best days, camping is a relatively inexpensive getaway.
However, you can save even more if you camp during the off-season. Many campgrounds offer discounts for camping during less popular times.
Some may even have no fees for those who want to brave the winter weather.
3. Fewer Bugs
One of the biggest disadvantages of camping during warm weather is that you’ll get eaten alive by mosquitos and other bugs.
Going camping in the winter is more fun because you won’t have to pack as much bug spray. Insects are less active in the colder months.
If bugs commonly bite you, you’ll likely prefer the slow season this winter. You’ll also find fewer bugs inside your tent or in the bathrooms.
If you fear these creepy crawlers, camping in the winter is one way to enjoy the outdoors without them.
4. More Enjoyable Campfires
Having a campfire is one of the biggest perks of going camping. It’s also the best way to cook your meals and boil water.
A campfire during the summer months may be almost unbearable if you’re camping somewhere warm like the southern states.
When the temperatures drop at night (and during the day), you’ll find that a campfire is far more enjoyable.
It’s the best and easiest way to warm up during those cold evenings, though there are other creative ways you can stay warm as well.
As a bonus, there are also fewer threats of wildfires in the colder weather. They are far more likely in the warmer weather and during the droughts that often accompany warm weather.
5. No Need for Coolers
When it’s chilly outside all day long, you won’t have to worry about how you’ll keep your food and drinks cold. Often, you can forget the cooler altogether.
At the very least, you can skip a trip to the gas station for a bag of ice on your way to your destination.
This also means you can pack more foods that may have spoiled in the warmer weather. Feel free to pack more meats, produce, and other items that only do well in a refrigerator.
You’ll be able to expand your meal repertoire with winter camping.
6. Get New Gear
Are you always looking for an excuse to add new gear to your collection?
You’ll need new gear to make your camping trip more pleasant through the winter months, including a warm sleeping bag, a thicker sleeping pad, and even a new and more durable tent.
It can be expensive, but it’s a great investment if you think you’ll be happy doing this regularly.
The good news is that you can get great deals on your new gear if you shop at sales and clearance events as winter draws closer.
Be ready to invest in new equipment when winter ends so that you’ll be prepared for the future.
7. Better Night Sky Views
One of the best reasons to go camping is to spend your evening gazing at the stars. Look at the night sky during summer and winter, and you’ll notice a big difference in what you’ll see.
The stars in the winter sky are brighter, and the skies are typically clearer during cold weather.
The night lasts longer during the winter season, so you’ll have extra time to look up at the sky. Spend a few hours at night before bedtime, and you may even be able to wake up and still see the stars.
8. Less Noise
Do you want to get out into nature because you simply want to escape everything? The noise of urban (or suburban) life can be grating after a while.
Getting away in the winter is a rare treat because you’ll experience silence in a way you have never had before.
Not only are there fewer people camping and making noise, but animals and insects are silent in the cold weather also. You won’t hear any buzzing from insects or animals rustling around in the woods.
It’s complete silence apart from the crackling fire. Most people easily fall in love with complete silence.
9. Camp in New Places
Winter camping is ideal because you can venture beyond the typical popular campsites frequented in warm weather.
These campsites aren’t ideal for winter camping because they have no shelter from the wind and have minimal wood to burn in the middle of the night.
This is why most campers will avoid camping in these popular destinations. When you go winter camping, there are fewer restrictions on where you can camp.
You might find a new favorite spot perfect for sheltering from the wind and snow, even though those spots aren’t available during warm weather camping.
10. Easier to Track Wildlife
While many animals will hibernate for the winter, those that remain active will be even easier for you to spot or track.
You’ll find their paw prints or hoofprints in the snow and can easily follow the path they laid for you. They’ll also be much easier for you to spot in a world of white winter snow.
11. More Pet-Friendly
Does your canine companion have an issue with playing with other dogs? The good news is that you won’t encounter many other people – or their pets – while winter camping.
Your pup will love the extra one-on-one time you spend with him.
Additionally, some campsites won’t allow you to bring along your four-legged friend because they can sometimes be disruptive during the busiest seasons.
These rules are more relaxed in winter due to having fewer people. If it wasn’t allowed during spring or summer, try asking now that it’s winter.
12. More Availability
If you wanted to go camping during the warmer weather or on a holiday weekend, the odds are that you had to make reservations weeks or months in advance.
Because winter camping is less popular, you’ll have your pick of the best campsites without needing reservations.
Last-minute availability is one of the perks of winter camping. You can decide to go camping at the very last minute and still get a primo spot at the campground.
13. New Scenery
No matter how often you go to your favorite campsite, there’s always something new to see in the winter weather. You’ve never seen the branches heavy with snow or pristine snow covering everything.
It’ll be an entirely new experience, perfect for taking pictures and exploring.
14. Better Time to Explore Glamping
Many campers are stuck on traditional camping with a tent and sleeping bag. Winter is a great time to explore other modes of camping, such as staying in cabins, yurts, or even going to a glamping site.
You’ll get more protection from the elements and may even have some heating options if there’s electricity.
Glamping is beautiful in the winter with lots of string lights that reflect off the brilliant snow.
You can even camp more comfortably if you lack the equipment to camp in the snow with a sturdy tent and a great temperature-rated sleeping bag.
Instead, you’ll sleep comfortably on a regular mattress with many warm blankets.
15. More Bragging Rights
Camping in the winter isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll want to go during the winter if you want to earn bragging rights as an extreme camper.
Surviving in sub-zero temperatures is certainly grounds to brag to your friends. Additionally, you’ll have lots of new fun survival stories that you can share at your next get-together.
16. More Enjoyable Activities
During the warmer weather, you might not want to go for long hikes or exercise much.
It’s too much to get hot and sweaty when you’re not able to take a shower unless you’re lucky enough to have a bathroom nearby.
You’re more at risk of heat stroke, dehydration, and other health concerns that stem from the heat. Winter presents new opportunities for all of these activities.
You’ll stay cool and become only minimally warm with the effort of hiking. Plus, you’ll experience the hike in a whole new way. The entire landscape will be changed with snow and ice.
This makes for a new experience, even if you have to be a little more careful due to slipping on ice spots.
17. Better Sleep
Have you been having a hard time getting to sleep at night? It’s a little-known secret that winter camping might be all you need to reset your sleep patterns.
Spending at least two days in the cold weather is proven to reset your circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is the process responsible for helping you to fall asleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time.
How does it help? While camping in the winter, you’ll likely turn into your sleeping bag earlier and sleep longer. This lengthens the amount of sleep you get and helps to rest your biological clock.
It might even carry over to when you return home, as long as you’re conscious of sticking with this pattern.
18. Hone Survival Skills
Are you interested in camping because it gives you a leg up on survival skills? Winter camping is the perfect time to learn how to fend for yourself in the wilderness with only what you can carry on your back.
If you want to learn how to stay warm in freezing temperatures or learn more about how to hunt in the winter, this is the perfect time to learn.
You’ll be assured that you can care for yourself even in extreme conditions. This is great for those who want to take the time to hone survival skills.
19. Enjoy the Snow
Going camping somewhere it snows is a great way to enjoy your surroundings. You’ll never experience snow quite the same way as you do when you’re out in the wilderness.
Especially if you plan to camp with children, they’ll have a ton of fun playing in the powdery white, building snowmen, and even making snow angels.
The only downside is that you’ll have to ensure they have enough clothing to keep everyone warm.
There are many reasons why winter camping is better than fair-weather camping.
From less busy campsites to learning more survival skills to fewer bugs, you’ll love the experience of camping in the winter.
You’ll have more fun and enjoy the winter landscape in a fresh new way. If you want to experience the best that nature offers, these are just a few of the many reasons you’ll fall in love with winter camping.