Practical Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping Expeditions – Why camp in winter?

Guide to winter hiking and camping part 1

Everything you need to know about winter camping expeditions!

For most people, trekking and camping in the snow is something seen on television, in images of expeditions to polar regions or high mountain peaks. These are generally hardened and well-trained people in brightly coloured polar clothing setting up their tents in harsh conditions in snow and ice.

For most people this seems a beautiful, but strange and hostile world, watched preferably on television from the comfort of a warm living room. Certainly not something to try out for fun!

This article is the first in a series about winter camping. See the index of all parts below.

Welcome to an unknown world!

Without realising, many of you outdoor enthusiasts are missing a beautiful, unknown world. The most beautiful hiking destinations – even those that are busy in summer – are practically empty in winter. The few who do venture out, find themselves in a beautiful untouched fairy-tale winter world, incomparable to your average French ski slope or Dutch winter landscape. It’s almost like stepping into new

Of course, a winter expedition requires a good preparation. You have to take into account the weather and the conditions of the trip, so some basic knowledge of meteorology and in the mountains some knowledge of avalanche danger are indispensable. You’ll need a good knowledge of navigation, because paths and route markings often become invisible in snow. Furthermore, a winter trip places high demands on clothing and equipment, but if you prepare well for this, a beautiful new world of icy landscapes and a new sense of wilderness will open up for you. An addiction for life!

Winter hiking in the Cairngorms, Scotland (photo: author)

Just do it!

I never learned how to go camping in winter. I didn’t take a course or even read a book about it. When I started to experiment with camping in colder seasons there were no blog posts to see how others go about doing it. In fact, there was no internet at all. All I did was follow my life’s motto: Just do it! I did and then kept doing it, learning more with every attempt. Over the years it became more comfortable, and it became more professional. Ultimately it lead to my own Arctic Expedition business, which I ran for several years, together with two likeminded friends, taking groups out of their comfort zone, into the frozen wilderness.

The ultimate winter camping spot in the Arctic tundra at 70 degrees North in Norway (photo: author)

Series of winter hiking and camping blog posts

This series of blog posts is intended as a complete guide to preparing and enjoying multi-day winter camping trips, with an emphasis on European destinations. It describes the specific clothing and material requirements for tours under cold conditions. It also discusses how your body deals with cold and how you should deal with clothing, food and drink. It describes what things to look out for when preparing a trip and some basic knowledge of navigation, winter weather and avalanches.

Please click the following links to read the entire practical guide:

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Preparing Your Winter Camping Expedition

Part 3 – Winter Camping Expedition Materials – The Ultimate Gear Guide

Part 4 – Dealing With Cold

Part 5 – Packing list for Your Winter Camping Expedition

Part 6 – Examples of Cool Winter Camping Expeditions by the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *