“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
Hal Borland, Author
Pros and Cons of Camping in Winter
You are a big fan of camping but have just tried it in summer yet?
Then you might also consider going camping in winter.
If this is the case, this article is great for you since I will show you all the pros and cons of winter camping in the following chapters.
Advantages of Winter Camping
- Fewer people are camping in winter
- Winter camping will be quieter
- You will likely see more animals
- You will have more space than in summer
- Winter camping will give you a feeling of freedom
- Winter camping can be more exciting than summer camping
- Good for people who are close to getting bored from summer camping
- Additional activities you could undertake
- You will not have any problems with mosquitoes if you camp in winter
- Camping spots will be cleaner in winter
- You will experience the struggles many past generations had to deal with
- You will appreciate your life at home much more
- Winter camping is great to slow down your life
- You learn that nature will always have the upper hand
- You can see winter camping as a challenge
- Campgrounds will usually be cheaper during off-season
Fewer people are camping in winter
One advantage of winter camping is that there will just be fewer people camping than in summer.
While this may make it harder to socialize, it still gives you the opportunity to relax and to focus on yourself much more.
You will just not be distracted by so many other people around you and can really think about the things that are important to you and also about how your future should look like so that you are as happy as possible in the long run.
In fact, many people use winter camping as kind of a meditation to unwind from their stressful lives and to figure out their long-term goals and how to achieve them.
Winter camping will be quieter
Since there are fewer people camping in winter compared to summer, it will also be much quieter around you.
While this can feel eerie during the nighttime since you will hear many unfamiliar noises, it will also give you the opportunity to really experience nature as it is.
Since you will not be distracted by the noises of many other campers, you can really focus on living in line with nature and this can give you the power to reload your batteries and to see how beautiful nature can really be.
You will likely see more animals
Another upside to camping in winter is that you will likely also see more animals compared to summer camping.
Wild animals usually hide if there are too many people at one place since their instincts tell them to stay away from humans as best as possible.
However, if there are only few campers on the campground, chances are much better that wild animals will come close to the campground and this will enable you to spot many interesting animals.
If you are lucky, you may even just go for a walk and see some exciting animals like bears or wolves.
However, if this is the case, also make sure to take some safety measures so that you can minimize the danger of getting close to those animals.
You will have more space than in summer
Since there will be fewer people on campgrounds in winter, you will also have much more space compared to camping in summer.
This can be great, especially in regions where there are usually many people camping during main season and it would just be too crowded for you to truly enjoy nature at its best.
Hence, camping in winter can also help you to escape the masses of people that would usually populate popular campgrounds in summer.
Winter camping will give you a feeling of freedom
Since you will have quite a lot of space and will also not be bothered by many other campers, camping in winter will just be much more relaxed and also the risk of disputes with other campers will be much lower.
Moreover, you will also get a feeling of freedom since you can do many things you can’t do at home without caring about the opinions of others.
Overall, winter camping is great for people who search for a way to escape their stressful daily life for a while and who want to get in touch with nature as best as possible.
Winter camping can be more exciting than summer camping
Winter camping is completely different from summer camping since there are just many things you will do differently.
However, this doesn’t mean that winter camping will be less exciting. In fact, the opposite is true!
If you really prepare for your winter camping trip, you will have a lot of fun and it can also be really exciting to camp in winter since it will feel new and original to you and many people who go camping in winter for the first time love to do it again.
Good for people who are close to getting bored from summer camping
Winter camping can also be a great alternative for you in case you get bored of traditional summer camping and just want to experience something new and unfamiliar.
In fact, winter camping will not be comparable to summer camping in many different ways and it can therefore be a great way to make camping exciting for you again.
Winter camping can also be great for enthusiasts who just don’t want to wait for camping until next summer but need the camping experience all year round.
Additional activities you could undertake
While some activities like swimming will not be possible while camping in winter, winter camping still offers many additional activities you could undertake.
For example, you could go skiing, ice-skating or snow tubing in winter while you will not be able to do those things in summer since there will simply not be any snow.
You will not have any problems with mosquitoes if you camp in winter
Another benefit of winter camping is that you will also not have to deal with mosquitoes, bugs and other annoying insects that may bother you during summer.
In fact, most of those annoying little friends will be gone during winter and you therefore don’t have to take any measures to keep them away at all.
This can make your camping experience much more convenient since you will not have to deal with mosquito bites and other issues that may come along with the presence of a high number of insects.
Camping spots will be cleaner in winter
You will also be better able to enjoy nature during winter since campgrounds will just be much cleaner due to a lower number of people who go winter camping.
In turn, your camping experience will just be much nicer since you can camp in the middle of untouched nature and will not stumble across beer cans or other unpleasant stuff people usually leave behind during summer.
You will experience the struggles many past generations had to deal with
Winter camping can also be great for you since you will really experience how our ancestors lived just one century ago.
In fact, our ancestors didn’t have most of the amenities we are able to enjoy right now and they had to live in line with nature in order to survive.
Consequently, with winter camping, you can also go back to the roots and really experience some of the issues our ancestors had to deal with on a regular basis.
You will appreciate your life at home much more
Since winter camping implies some struggles, you will also come back home and appreciate all the amenities you are able to use much more.
In fact, many people who come back from winter camping really enjoy a nice bath or our modern technologies they didn’t have while they were camping in winter.
In turn, chances are that you will also become much happier with your life in general since you will see how life without those amenities would look like.
Winter camping is great to slow down your life
Since you will not have access to many amenities you have at home, winter camping can also be great for you to unwind from your stressful life and to really focus on yourself.
Quite often, you will just not have good internet connection and you can also turn off your phone to really relax and don’t bother with all the issues that usually keep you busy.
In turn, you will be able to reload your batteries so that you are prepared for the challenging tasks that may still lie ahead of you in the future.
You learn that nature will always have the upper hand
During winter camping, you will also realize that nature will always have the upper hand and that we as humans are heavily dependent on a working environment.
We simply cannot survive without an intact planet and this realization can also greatly help you to behave eco-friendlier in the future.
In turn, the more people experience the struggles that come along with winter camping, the more people will adjust their consumption behavior and will do good for our planet in the long run.
You can see winter camping as a challenge
Winter camping can also make sense for you in case you are just bored with your life and desperately search for something new and exciting.
You may also find a new challenge in camping in winter since it will be much different from camping in summer and you can really test your resistance and your toughness during those camping experiences.
Campgrounds will usually be cheaper during the off-season
Camping in winter can also make sense from a monetary perspective.
Quite often, campgrounds will be much cheaper during winter months and if you want to go camping for an extended period of time, this can really make a huge positive difference for your finances.
Thus, winter camping can also make quite a lot of sense for you if you are on a budget right now and don’t want to spend that much money on your vacation.
As you can see, there are many upsides to camping in winter.
However, you will also face some issues that I want to address in the following so that you get a more comprehensive picture of what winter camping really looks like.
Disadvantages of Camping in Winter
- Camping in winter will be less comfortable
- Many campgrounds will be closed
- Camping in tents will be almost impossible
- You need to spend lots of money on heating
- Socializing will be more difficult
- Winter camping is not a good idea with kids
- Some activities are not possible in winter
- You may get trapped in a blizzard
- Wild animals may become a problem
- You have to adjust to conditions outdoors
- You will have to bring more luggage for winter camping
- People may be in a bad mood
- Many streets will not be passable
- You may have to stay in your camper due to safety concerns
Camping in winter will be less comfortable
One disadvantage of winter camping is that it will just be much less comfortable compared to camping in summer.
In fact, you will just have to shower in the cold quite often and this will definitely not be for everyone.
Moreover, you will also have to spend your time outdoors in the cold while summer campers will be able to enjoy their leisure under more convenient climatic conditions.
Hence, winter camping might not be for you if you are not used to the cold at all and if you rather want to spend your vacation in warmer locations instead.
Many campgrounds will be closed
While campgrounds that will be open will usually be much cheaper during winter months, you will often still struggle to find camping sites that are open in winter.
In fact, many campgrounds close during winter months since there are just too few people to make it worth opening.
In turn, this means that you will have to inform yourself quite a lot about the limited number of campgrounds that may be available to you in your region so that you don’t run into unpleasant issues in this regard.
Camping in tents will be almost impossible
During winter months, you will also not be able to camp in a tent.
While you could try it, I would not recommend you do so since it will just be far too cold and you could even lose your life if temperatures fall below the freezing mark.
Hence, instead of camping in a tent, you would have no choice other than to use a camper van and those camper vans can be quite expensive to buy or to rent.
You need to spend lots of money on heating
Not only will you have to spend significant money on a camper van in case you want to go camping in winter, but you will also have to spend lots of money on heating.
The cold it gets outdoors, the more you have to heat your van so that it stays warm enough to provide you with a safe environment to camp in.
Consequently, don’t underestimate the utility costs you will have during your camping trip and camping in winter will therefore not necessarily be cheaper compared to camping in summer, even though you might be able to save some money on the campground fees.
Socializing will be more difficult
Another problem with winter camping is that you will also have a harder time socializing with other campers.
During summer, this will be quite easy since you will just sit in front of a campfire with your neighbors and enjoy a nice drink.
This will automatically lead to a state where you can talk with each other and make new friends.
However, this will be much harder with winter camping since you will often stay in your van to avoid the cold weather and there will also be fewer people to talk to.
Winter camping is not a good idea with kids
Winter camping may also be problematic if you have kids.
Your kids will often just get bored inside your camper van and cannot do many interesting things during those cold winter months.
In turn, you may have a pretty poor camping experience as a family and camping in summer may just be the better choice.
Moreover, camping in winter is also risky since you may get stuck in your car and nobody might be out there to help you.
In turn, your kids may get scared and may not have a good time at all.
Some activities are not possible in winter
While you will be able to enjoy some additional activities like skiing in winter, you will also miss out on some nice things.
For instance, hiking, swimming or kayaking will just not be possible during cold winter months and if you want to do those things, you should rather go camping in summer.
You may get trapped in a blizzard
If you are unlucky, you may also get trapped in a blizzard and may no longer be able to leave the campground.
In such a case, you may not only come home late but you may also experience serious problems with your boss who might fire you in case you don’t show up at work in time.
Wild animals may become a problem
While you may be able to see more exciting will animals during winter, you will also have to be more careful not to run into animals that could potentially hurt you.
For instance, meeting a bear can be a quite risky experience and you should therefore be prepared for such a case so that you can protect your life in case of emergency.
You have to adjust to conditions outdoors
Another downside to winter camping is that you will also have to adapt to new things on a regular basis.
Winter camping is just completely different from summer camping and you should therefore make sure that you are the type of person who loves to deal with those changes since you would just not get happy otherwise.
You will have to bring more luggage for winter camping
Since it will be much colder in winter, you will also have to bring warm clothes with you that will often be quite heavy.
In turn, the overall weight of your luggage will be much higher and you will also need more space to store all of this stuff.
People may be in a bad mood
Another disadvantage of camping in winter is that your fellow campers may just be in a bad mood.
In fact, many studies have shown that we as humans are happier during summer months since we get more sun and our body will produce more endorphins and so on.
In turn, if you go camping in winter, you may run into more conflicts with your fellow campers and you may just not have that much fun compared to summer camping.
Many streets will not be passable
During winter, you may also not be able to pass some roads that you might have to pass to get to a certain campground.
Hence, before you decide for winter camping, make sure that you find a campground that is suitable and easily accessible.
You may have to stay in your camper due to safety concerns
During heavy snowstorms, you will also have no choice other than to stay in your camper van until the snow will be over.
This can be quite boring and you may secretly wish to be at home instead of trapped in a camper during these times.
Top 10 Winter Camping Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Winter Camping Pros||Winter Camping Cons|
|Winter camping can be exciting||Winter camping is less comfortable|
|You will have more space than in summer||You may get stuck in blizzards|
|Winter camping will be quiet||You may get bored|
|You will see more animals||You may have to shower in the cold|
|You can develop yourself further||Some activities are not possible|
|You can go back to the roots||You have to spend money on heating|
|Additional activities||Camping in tents is barely possible|
|Cleaner campgrounds in winter||You may be in a bad mood|
|Fewer people around you||Problematic if you have kids|
|You will value your life at home more||Socializing will be more difficult|
Should You Go Camping In Winter?
Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of winter camping, it is on you to decide if you still want to go camping in winter or if you rather want to go camping in summer like many years before.
If you are uncertain, you should just give it a try to see if winter camping is suitable for you or not.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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