As a fellow outdoor adventurer, you know that having the right gear can make or break a camping experience, especially in colder weather. Whether you’re roughing it minimalist style as a backpacker or upgrading your camping experience to luxury levels in an RV rental, here are a few of our favorite cold weather camping tools and accessories that will make these outings even more enjoyable.
Most coffee-drinking campers will have a small coffee maker in the RV or a coffee pot for the campfire. But what if you’re in the mood for an espresso? Have no fear, the portable espresso maker is here! There are several kinds available, including those that use your favorite espresso pods or ground coffee. Most only weigh a pound or two and can be purchased between $30 and $70 online.
Photo Credit: Ole Witt
Outerwear for the Day Hike
Leaving the comfort of your heated RV rental and the campground for a fun, short hike or a day trip? We recommend investing in some quality winter outerwear. The ideal set of cold weather jacket and pants should be lightweight, breathable, waterproof and windproof. For the jacket or coat, decide whether you want to go with just an outer shell (blocks the wind, but not much else) or the fully insulated version (much more toasty). Opt for the latter if you will be going on hikes and adventures for more than a few hours, especially in colder conditions. The pants should be comfortable and as breathable as possible. A pair of shell pants will work fine with some good layering underneath but get the insulated variety for colder, wetter weather.
The Camping Chef’s Best Friend
There’s literally nothing better for warming up a chilly evening than warm eats. If you’re opting to camp RV style, it’s easier than pie to cook inside your vehicle. But if you want to cook over the campfire, a sturdy Dutch oven and tripod stand can be the chef’s best friend. Not only are these extremely durable, but they have the versatility to make stews, steam vegetables, pastry, whole chickens, pizza — just about anything you want to make at your campsite. Spend a few extra dollars and opt for the solid, cast iron variety. Also, there are several styles where the top also serves as a cooking plate, which is very convenient. There are cheaper, enamel-plated versions, but in the long run they will leave you disappointed (yes, we know from sad, undercooked experience). Prices typically range from $30 to $100.
Don’t Forget Your Hands
Just like your outerwear, the right insulation in your gloves will help you enjoy your time outside the RV. Down and synthetic insulated gloves will give you the dexterity you need if you are going to be using gear or even building your campsite snowman! Waterproofing is essential, and the more lightweight they are the better. If you need a pair that’s a little lighter than snow gloves, go for a fleece pair of mittens. They won’t be waterproof, but will keep you warm for your outdoor fun.
No More Sleeping on the Ground
The colder it gets, the more difficult it can be to sleep on the ground. The cold seems to sleep through your sleeping gear and the ground is just so darn hard to mold to your body. The obvious solution (in our minds) is to ditch tent camping, rent a Cruise America RV and enjoy the great internal heater. But if you’re determined to rough it, invest in a good camping cot. Warmer than an air mattress (which actually put a whole bunch of cold circulating right underneath you), some of the newest versions are lightweight and super easy to set up.
Most RV campsites have a lot of the same amenities, including an area to have a fire or grill, and a picnic table. But what to do if you need a little extra seating for your group, or what if your site doesn’t have a table? (perish the thought!) A combo cooler and picnic table would be just the thing. These convenient accessories provide you with not only additional refrigerator space, but seating for two to four people depending on the model. Many come with wide wheels and a long handle to make transportation easy. The larger versions will run between $100 and $125, with the smaller ones coming in around $75.
No More Cold Butts
In the warmer months, forgetting a good chair isn’t the end of the world — any large rock or smooth patch of ground will suffice as a place to park your keister. But in the winter months, chances are the ground will be chilly or snowy. Treat yo’self and bring a good camping chair. We personally love the reclining ones where you can put your feet up. And they are available for between $30 and $60.
Photo Credit: Chang Duong
What Is Your Favorite Cold Weather Camping Gear?
When it comes to great winter camping gear, the list could go on and on (and one and … well, you get the picture). Is there a new piece of camping equipment you’ve discovered that you just love? Let us know on social media by tagging @cruiseamericarv.