I’ve learnt a valuable lesson this winter; camping isn’t just a summer activity, you can get out there in the cold too.
As I’m sure with most people, winter has always been my off season. The shorter daylight hours and cold weather makes exploring after work in the dark unappealing, and staying inside next to the heater on weekends seems all too tempting. This season that all changed.
With the investment of thermals, a down jacket and a quality sleeping bag I found myself armed with everything I needed to make the weekends still count. If fact, my trips were more impressive this winter than they were last summer. The right gear and attitude enabled me to make the most of weekends hiking and camping in the snow. Regardless of the temperature, I found it not only enjoyable, but extremely rewarding. I can’t believe I’ve deprived myself for so long because I didn’t want to get a little cold. It sounds so silly in hindsight, but how often is that your excuse?
One thing I found was it’s surprisingly hard to get friends to join me camping in the snow, so I’m grateful for a new friendship circle who continued to invite me along on their trips. In saying that, the friends who weren’t willing to give up their warm comforts for the snow are the same people who will go mountain biking with me in the dark (and rain). Everyone has their comfort levels, so it’s about learning how far you can push them and where. It’s also about leveraging their favourite activities to fomo them into coming 😉
One of the thoughts that continued to blow me away this season is that I’d never enabled myself to experience such unique trips during the winter before. There’s something so nice about looking out the tent door at snow; it’s different to be rugged up in your sleeping bag early, chatting away in the tent. Soups and hot chocolates taste better, dry clothes feel incredible, and drinking from your water bottle delivers the same refreshing “ahhhh” as water from the fridge. As the weather warms up now I need to promise myself that next winter will be just as adventurous, making the most of this awesome new discovery of winter trips. Destinations are seasonal, make sure your adventures are too!