The winter season doesn’t stop South Africans from booking a camping, hunting or hiking trip. With beautiful landscapes throughout the country, people take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Fortunately, the winter season in South Africa isn’t as harsh as winter in the northern sphere of the world. Preparation is key for any camping or hiking trip. It’s essential to pack the right camping equipment for the winter months. In this blog we will guide you on how to pack for a winter camping trip in South Africa.
Camping Tent Accessories For Winter
- Tent Pegs & Stakes – Many times cold weather goes together with cold winds. It’s essential to pack tent pegs to ensure your camping tent is secure. For winter camping, pack extra pegs & stakes, just in case.
- Groundsheet – Especially in winter, a ground sheet is a must. It helps protect your sleeping bag from the cold. Purchase a large enough ground cloth to cover all of your sleeping area and extend beyond the perimeter of your tent. You may also consider a foam floor mat that may provide an additional layer of protection.
- Side Wall – Adding a side wall to your tent adds an extra layer of insulation on cold nights by keeping the wind out. It may also add protection from rain and water condensation.
- Waterproofing Spray – Prep and spray your tent with a fresh player of waterproofing spray before your camping trip. This will help prevent water from seeping through the fabric and damaging your gear.
- Camping Bed – In warmer months you may be happy to sleep on a mattress in your camping tent. In the cold winter weather you may prefer to sleep on a camping stretcher bed which gives you an elevation from the cold floor.
- Sleeping Bag – For winter camping months you need to ensure you have the right sleeping bag that can give you the right amount of heat and protection. Read our blog on how to choose a sleeping bag here.
- Blankets – For winter months, you may want to consider packing a thermal blanket for added warmth during the night.
Camping Gear & Equipment for Winter
- Gas Heaters – Gas bottles are available in a wide variety of sizes making them versatile when camping. The Cadac gas bottles can be used for cooking but can also be used for safe heating. The Cadac Safire Gas Heater is a nifty attachment that can be used with most gas bottles. It’s compact, easy to use and provides ample heat.
- Water Heater – The Alva portable Water Heater is a great addition to pack for winter camping. It provides instant hot water, making it convenient for showers and doing dishes.
- Cast Iron Cookware – Winter months call for warm foods and traditional potjies. Cast Iron cookware is safe to use on both fires and gas tops. Because it retains heat, it cooks food evenly and stays warmer for longer. Cast Iron cookware is durable making it perfect for the outdoors. The only downside is that it’s bulk and heavy to pack.
- Outdoor Lighting – In winter the sun sets much earlier making the winter flights much longer. Ensure you pack enough outdoor lights that can last throughout the light. Consider using solar lights that can charge during the day without any fuss.
- Insulated Flasks – Insulated flasks are a must for winter camping trips. Not only do they keep your hot beverages warm for hours, but they also help to keep your foods like soup warm to enjoy.
Clothing for Winter Camping
- Insulated Jackets – Invest in a good insulated jacket that you can use for your winter camping trip. They are make from durable fabrics that are suited for the outdoors
- Thermal Underwear – With thermal underwear you don’t have to wear multi layers of clothing to stay warm. These garments are designed to protect you from cold weather.
- Beanies – Beanies are essential to keep your head warm. There are a wide variety of styles made from different materials for your comfort.
- Gloves – Keep your hands and fingers warm with a pair of good winter gloves. No matter how warm you are dressed, if your fingers are freezing you will be very uncomfortable and even frustrated.
- Footwear – With winter camping it’s important to pack the right footwear for your trip. The activities you will be doing will indicate what the best footwear will be. A favourite for many people while camping is a pair of sturdy boots, that keeps your feet nice and warm.
Winter Camping Tips in South Africa
- Pack extra snacks and food for those winter cravings.
- Stay safe when using gas heating devices.
- Don’t set up fires close to things that can easily catch alight.
- Pack extra warm clothing & blankets.
- Pack extra batteries for lighting devices.
- Sunscreen is vital, even during winter days (the dangerous UV rays can still cause damage to your skin).
- Don’t forget to include an emergency blanket in your First Aid Kit.
For more tips read our blog on Winter Camping Hacks here.
Planning a winter camping trip can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite daunting. When preparing for a winter camping trip, you will need to plan additional space for items you won’t normally pack on a summer camping trip. Camping in winter comes with its own challenges. It’s important to stay warm and safe, not putting yourself or your family at risk.
Camp and Climb Outdoor stocks everything you need for camping, hiking and outdoor activities. We stock products from the leading outdoors brands in South Africa which you can trust.