– You’re taking amazing trips to Iceland, Scotland and other great outdoor destinations. Why were you so keen to go in the winter time?
Winter for me, is a period that can make a destination extraordinary: you have to put in some work to travel to certain locations. Weather conditions and rough surroundings make the places you visit even more amazing. If you’re lucky there is a layer of snow on the most interesting mountains, which is amazing for the photos. The cold and the wind do make the coffee at that cosy cafe at the corner taste even better.
– A few practical questions to begin with, how do you stay warm? Do you take extra blankets? How do you use electricity? Don’t you just want to stay in bed if you wake up in the morning?
When I camp out in a tent, I always have a good sleeping bag which is warm enough for temperatures to let’s say -10 degrees. In a case like this I don’t have any electricity, I have a headlamp for emergencies and a gas filled camping set for some hot food. With our winter trip through Scotland we had the luxury of having a campervan with electricity and heating. So our nights there were anything but rough and almost too easy! In the morning you would of course rather stay under the blankets, but with some fresh coffee on the stove and an amazing winter view through the curtains, the call to explore the surroundings is too loud not to answer.
– What are the biggest challenges of camping in the cold? Do you keep track of the weather forecast to be ahead of the snow?
It’s extremely important to find a good spot for the night: you don’t want the wind to make your campervan rocking, some shelter from the rain is also quite nice if possible. Every night we look at the wind direction and move our campsite accordingly. The big challenge is mostly in the day trips: I find it amazing to explore the highest mountains in the area and if you don’t watch the weather forecast closely it can get dangerous rather quickly. The right materials and good knowledge of the weather conditions are extremely important.
– Traveling in low season means gorgeous nature sights all to yourself, what’s that like?
That’s exactly what we experienced in Scotland! For example: the campervan was parked at the beginning of the Old man of Strorr trail and we rose early, so were we the first on our way. By the time that we reached the beautiful rock formations we were still the only ones there. A location like that, totally excluded from crowds with a rising sun or mysterious mists: that’s what it makes worth while for me.
– A seasoned winter camper like you must have some tips for future adventurers.
When preparing for a trip I more than once found out that I didn’t take everything with me that I should have. Go for that extra layer of thermo clothing, a sleeping bag which can handle the cold temperatures and take an extra pair of shoes with you. When the weather isn’t as nice as was predicted, you can enjoy your trip just as much if you’ve got the right stuff. Prepare for bad weather conditions and everything else feels like a bonus.