With the right equipment, cold weather camping can be an enjoyable way to holiday. Campsites are less crowded when the temperature drops, and the landscape can be very picturesque.
Even during warm weather, temperatures can drop quickly overnight. A clear, sunny autumn day can become a harsh frosty evening in just a few hours. Being prepared for cold weather camping can greatly improve the experience.
On eBay, you will find the "Camping" section in the main “Sporting Goods” category. From there, you can search for cold weather camping accessories such as the ones covered in this article.
Check weather forecasts well ahead of time and purchase all of the supplies you need on eBay well in advance. Being prepared, and taking the right equipment, will reduce the risks of being caught in a cold snap without adequate camping accessories.
What Not to Do When Camping in Cold Weather
In cold weather, it can be tempting to take a short cut simply to keep warm. However, this can be dangerous. Here are some things you should not do when camping in cold weather:
- Don’t cook or light any kind of fire inside a tent. Many affordable, lightweight tents are made from polyester and are susceptible to catching fire, and the fumes from an open flame or propane burner can quickly overpower occupants. Instead, purchase the right equipment before you leave.
- The only exception to the fire rule is a wood burner attached to a chimney that is routed outdoors. If you choose to use a wood burner, you will need a carbon monoxide detector in your tent. Consider purchasing your wood burner from an eBay seller that offers free shipping.
- Don’t leave food and drink outdoors when camping in cold weather. It may freeze overnight and hamper the possibility of a warm meal in the morning.
- Never leave for a cold weather camping trip without a way to communicate with friends and family. On eBay, look for used mobile phones. An older model will last longer on a single charge than a modern smartphone.
Purchasing the right equipment on eBay will ensure you are well prepared and do not have to resort to potentially dangerous ways to keep warm while camping.
Lights, Lanterns and Torches
Cold weather means longer nights and less hours of daylight to enjoy your camping trip. Check the “Lights, Lanterns and Torches” eBay category for a variety of different lights, bulbs and accessories.
- Candles and a lantern will offer pleasant ambient light for long winter evenings. You can purchase candles and lanterns as a set on eBay. However, candles should not be lit inside a tent unless you are confident that your lantern can be safely suspended without the risk of fire.
- Purchase a head torch on eBay. Cheap head torches are very lightweight, but for longer trips, you may need a heavier torch with a brighter bulb. Ensure the strap is long enough to fit around your head while you are wearing a hat.
- If batteries are inconvenient, purchase a wind-up torch on eBay.
Choosing the Correct Bulb
Torches come with different bulb types. Choosing a bulb is a trade-off between light and battery life, although there is one type of torch which offers a good compromise of both.
Halogen bulbs shine very brightly but use a lot of battery power. They are most suitable for active campers who anticipate walking in the dark.
If you take a halogen torch on a cold weather trip, you will definitely need to take spare batteries. Ask your eBay seller if they will post your batteries and torch together to make postage more affordable.
Tungsten bulbs are traditional light bulbs found in some camping torches. While bulbs are cheap to replace and easy to find, they wear out more quickly. Purchase spare tungsten bulbs on eBay before you leave for your camping trip.
LED torches offer very good light and the batteries will last long enough for several camping trips. While not as bright as halogen, an LED torch is more environmentally friendly. However, the light they give off is not as subtle or ‘warm’ as the light from a tungsten torch, so you may prefer an alternative light source for socialising.
Camping Fuel on eBay
In cold weather, fuel becomes more important. You will need to purchase fuel to cook and possibly additional fuel to light a fire. Search for your camping fuel within the main “Camping” section on eBay.
- Bulk-buy camping gas on eBay to save money. Check your camping stove to determine what kind of fitting your gas cartridges should have.
- Purchase kindling or easy-to-light fuel logs to get a campfire started. A wood-burning stove can also be used to light a larger campfire, and small collapsible stoves can be easily transported in a backpack.
- Buy a waterproof bag on eBay and take dry wood with you. In cold weather, much of the wood you come across will be too damp to burn.
Warm Sleeping Bags and Mats
The right sleeping bag will make a big difference to warmth and comfort. Sleeping bags have GSM (grams per square metre) ratings to indicate their thickness. It is best to purchase the heaviest sleeping bag you think you will need: ideally 400 GSM or above.
On eBay, review auctions in the “Sleeping Bags” and “Sleeping Mats & Pads” categories.
- Consider a ‘mummy’ design. These sleeping bags taper towards the feet, making them very efficient.
- Choose a sleeping bag with a collar so that only your face is exposed to the ambient air.
- Check that your sleeping bag insulation is divided into separate compartments inside the bag. This will offer better insulation since the insulation has less room to shift around. Examine the auction photos carefully to determine how the insulation has been fitted.
- Very thick sleeping bags are obviously bulkier than thin sleeping bags. Remember to ensure you have adequate storage space in your backpack before purchasing your bag. Check the eBay listing for the sleeping bag’s weight and dimensions when it is rolled up.
- Make an existing sleeping bag warmer by purchasing a liner or blanket on eBay and draping it over the top for secondary insulation.
- Purchase a large Ziploc bag or waterproof carrying case on eBay for your sleeping bag so that it doesn’t get wet during the day.
You will also need an insulating surface to sleep on. On eBay, you can purchase foam mats or inflatable mattresses. Some eBay sellers offer both as a bundle.
- Foam mattresses are compact when rolled and are lighter to carry. You may wish to purchase bungee cords on eBay to hold your mattress in its rolled position.
- Inflatable mattresses are more comfortable but can be prone to deflation during the night. Purchase a puncture repair kit and a pump on eBay to make inflation easier.
- On very cold ground, you may wish to use both types of mattresses for extra insulation.
Food for Cold Weather Camping
In cold weather, adequate nutrition is very important. The easier and more convenient your food supplies are, the more chance you will have of preparing warm meals and drinks to keep out the cold.
- Take ration packs or ration pouches on your camping trip. These can be quickly heated in a pan for a convenient, warm meal. eBay sellers offer a variety of ration pouches and dried foods in different flavours.
- Self-heating canned food is readily purchased on eBay and is useful in an emergency.
- Remember to take milk and sugar for hot drinks. Bulk-buy UHT milk and refill plastic containers with essential items.
- Purchase a drink bottle insulator sleeve on eBay. Insulation helps to stop liquids from freezing.
How To Buy a Cold Weather Tent on eBay
Not all tents are suitable for winter camping. The right tent will protect you and keep you warm, and it will also be perfectly suitable for camping in the summer.
Review available tents in the eBay “Tents” category. While searching, consider the specific challenges of cold weather camping:
- Beware of tents that will be caught by strong winds and blown over. Dome tents and tunnel tents are vulnerable because they have a bigger surface area. If you expect high winds, invest in a sturdy geodesic or semi-geodesic tent, and don’t forget to purchase spare tent pegs.
- Purchase a mallet to ensure you can insert tent pegs into hard, cold ground.
- Choose a dual lined tent for protection against condensation.
- In cold weather, avoid taking a tent with a sewn-in ground sheet. Although less draughty, these tents do not offer adequate ventilation and that will make condensation worse.
- If you expect to spend a lot of time inside the tent, consider purchasing a tent with adequate headroom for comfort. You can also purchase angled tent poles on eBay to replace curved poles and give your existing tent more head height.
- Shared body heat helps in keeping a tent warm. Check eBay for a bigger berth tent that will accommodate all of the people on your camping trip.
- Remember to choose a tent with ventilation flaps so that condensation can escape. Otherwise, it may freeze inside the tent.
Camping in cold weather can be a rewarding experience. The chance to experience the changing seasons adds an extra dimension to the holiday, and many campers enjoy using campsites when they are less noisy and crowded. By investing in the correct camping accessories for cold weather, you can enjoy all of the benefits of a camping trip in comfort, despite the lower temperatures.