Winter camping is pretty awesome. Travelling along those snow-covered peaks, waking up to crisp mornings after a super comfy sleep (off the ground), big bonfires – just so good!
It’s even more awesome when you’re well prepared. Nothing is worse than showing up to the party not properly dressed or outfitted. So, when packing for your Western Canada winter road trip, here are a few items to consider brining along for the ride.
Layers! – You’ll want a fitted base layer to protect from any wind, fleece for extra insulation, and waterproof jackets because no one wants to deal with wet cold. If you’re looking to pick theses items up, definitely look for quality over price. Good gear is worth its weight in gold.
Extras of all the basics – socks, sweaters, gloves and hats. Wear one set adventuring during the day and swap for the clean and warm counterparts in the evening. Again – moisture is the kicker here. You want to have a dry set of these items kicking around to keep warm.
Insulated mugs and water containers – You may want to bring insulated bottles to keep your water from freezing while you’re out and about. Any quality to-go mug or 750 ml water bottle will work. Note: a large 5 gal water container is provided for water use in the van.
Lots of easy, high calorie snacks – Any time you’re camping, you want to stay fuelled up. We suggest stopping at the local grocery store before your trip to load up on nutritious snacks you can easily grab on the go. Home made granola is also a great idea where you can mix and match sweet and savoury at the same time.
A hot water bottle – Heck yeah! You know the feeling of crawling into cold blankets even at home in the winter and how it takes a few minutes to warm up? Skip that chilly bit by tucking a hot water bottle into bed before you’re ready to hit the hay for the night.
Fire starters and more wood than you think necessary – It’s a bit trickier to start a campfire in the snow, but fire starters help get the job done. Most campsites and gas stations offer wood for sale but we also recommend looking up local chopped wood suppliers along your route.
Headlamp – It gets dark early and stays dark into the morning so a good quality headlamp is a must for when you’re going for evening walks, finding fire wood and cooking around the stove.
Crampons/boot tracks – You know the one’s we’re talking about? The little spikes you can slip over your boots. These are great for added stability when hiking in spots that are steep and slippery. Plus they’re super light and easy to toss in your pack.
There’s a plethora of blogs and websites that also share info on winter camping in the Canadian Rockies but the above should be a good start to a safe and cozy camping trip. Don’t forget – our off-grid campervans are made for Canadian winters with built in gas heaters, winter tires and emergency roadside kits. Learn more over at our winter camping guide and we hope to see you around soon!
Photo: Chris + Nicole