› Winter gear

Winter camping gear…for when it’s extra cold

What extra winter camping gear do you need to take on your trip around Australia? Well…it depends on whether you travel with the seasons, or a little beyond them. We always take some basic winter clothes in case of cool weather, no matter what the season. But if you are likely to experience colder weather for a longer period, consider some of these extras.

Barossa Valley, SA.Late Autumn in the Barossa Valley was cold enough for us...

By the time we reached Victoria, it was mid-May…so we had to act fast to warm ourselves up. It helps to be prepared, but don’t go overboard packing. You can always buy extra winter camping gear if and when you need it.

It's all about layers!

You don’t actually have to pack a lot extra. You just put on all the clothes you’ve packed, and you’re already halfway there.

Extra winter camping clothes

Here are some extra clothes you might consider taking or buying –

  • Ugg boots – oh my, how they warmed up my feet first thing in the morning!
  • Beanie / warm woollen hat
  • A pair of fleecy tracksuit pants
  • A pair of leggings or thermal pants
  • A thermal vest, or some extra singlets
  • A scarf
  • A pair of fleecy gloves

Extra winter camping gear

Camping heaters

You can buy a cheap electric fan heater for about $20, but they suck a lot of power. If you plan to stay in powered campsites, this is an excellent solution for when it’s really cold. Our little heater warmed up our camper pretty quickly.

Gas heaters are more expensive, but also more efficient to run. Plus, you don’t need electricity. You can buy heaters that operate on either LPG or butane gas. They cost upwards of $60. Be extra careful when using gas heaters inside your camper (usually the instructions say they are not suitable for inside use).

Hot water bottles

Avoid climbing into cold sheets, by warming them up before you hop in at night.

Sleeping bags

Sleeping bags are great as an extra layer, in or out of bed. They are usually lightweight, compact and really warm. If you put a sleeping bag (unzipped) underneath your quilt, you’ll get the full impact of the extra warmth. Or, for even more heat – just hop in the bag, zip it up, and cover yourself with the quilt as well.

Other ways to stay warm

Have a camp fire.

Camp fires are essential for staying warm without power. Get yours started before it gets cold, usually late afternoon is best.

Check your camp spots in advance to make sure you are allowed to have a fire. Always carry dry firewood in winter, just in case you can’t get any nearby.

Make a hot drink.

Add some roasted marshmallows by the fire and you'll be set. The warm liquid and sugar will help warm you from the inside out.

Cook inside if you can.

This works well with camper trailers and caravans. We have also cooked in the 'porch' area of our tent, but only do this if you think it is safe, and be extra careful. The warm air will circulate through your inside area quickly, taking the chill out of the air.

Our battered billy boiling happily away!!

Warm up your whole body.

Before putting out your fire, stand over the embers or even backwards to warm up your whole body. Kumar especially likes to semi-squat facing away from the fire to warm his backside. Then jump straight into bed!

Winter camping gear is bulky by nature. So be careful not to pack too much ‘just-in-case’. Before you buy extra gear, wait and see. You may find fires and warm blankets are enough. Supplement your everyday clothes with a few extra items first, then consider the other gear.

Better yet, try to follow the seasons as much as you can. Then, you’ll avoid most cold weather altogether.

› Winter gear