The Ultimate French Winter Camping Guide

With the current Covid-19 restrictions affecting European (and global) travel, many EU and UK camping enthusiasts are now looking at winter breaks to their favourite French campsites with the liklihood of a summer one dwindling by the day.

You might be surprised to hear that there are as many options for winter camping as what there are for its summer equivalent.

A significant number of French campgrounds are open for business during the winter months and you can take your pick as to the type of camping trip you want to go on!

From glamping sites to traditional campsites, your unique camping style is not dampened at all by the frosty temperatures outside.

Glamping is fun all year round but some glampers feel that it really comes into its own during winter. You still have all the adventure of winter camping but you are a little more protected from the cold. It’s a worthwhile option to explore if you’re new to winter camping and gives you as authentic a winter camping experience as any other option.

Essentially, the decision you make with regards to the type of winter camping trip you go on will be determined by your own appetite for the elements, the equipment you have and your experience and tastes.

Winter Camping Hacks

Staying warm is naturally the chief concern for every intrepid camper going on a winter camping trip in France. This is not difficult to do if you follow these 10 simple hacks to mastering the French winter!

  1. Sleep with your clothes in your sleeping bag – We’re not meaning all your clothes, gosh, there’d be no space for you! A very clever winter camping tip though is to put the clothes you want to wear the next day in your sleeping bag. This way the clothes keep you toasty warm and you have warm clothes to put on the next morning.

  2. Put your yoga mat to work – Placing your yoga mat underneath your sleeping bag gives you a softer surface to sleep on and also puts a barrier between you and the cold ground.

  3. Keep your matches in a metal container – Plastic can become very brittle in cold weather and break, whereas metal won’t. Always pack twice as many matches as you think you’ll need.

  4. Always answer the call of nature – When your body tells you that you need to go, make sure you go. Holding in your wee uses up extra energy from your body to keep you warm.

  5. Use your water bottle as a… water bottle – If you have a water bottle that can hold boiling water (such as a Nalgene), fill it up and place it at your feet in your sleeping bag. It will keep you warm and in the morning you’ll have room-temperature water to drink.

  6. Hook a keyring at the end of all your zips – Cold fingers can become clumsy. A keyring hooked at the end of all your zips, from your sleeping bag to your jackets, will help you open them.

  7. Take your layers off when you perspire – If you’re active and start sweating, peel off your layers. When you stop moving, the perspiration will chill and make you feel very cold if you don’t.

  8. Keep your batteries warm – Cold batteries don’t work.

  9. Eat something fatty before you go to bed – A piece of fatty food, like a block of cheese or a handful of nuts, before you go to bed will keep your body’s metabolism firing all night and help you stay warm.

  10. No cotton – Make sure your winter camping clothes are made of wool, silk or synthetic materials. Cotton gets very cold and takes ages to dry if it gets wet.

We sincerely hope a Summer camping track is still on the cards for those who love to embrace French camping at its sunny finest, but hopefully this guide will serve as a viable fallback should not not come to fruition in 2021.

 

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