Tips for Winter Vehicle Camping

PC – @cgk_xtrek

With Fall quickly wrapping up in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter is sure to bring some much cooler temperatures. If you’re like us and live in Canada (or a central/north state) then I’m sure you’re well aware this includes plenty of snow! While some may see that as the end of their camping season, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s a long list of advantages to camping in cooler temperatures. However, for the sake of time, here is our top five reasons you will fall in love with Winter camping.


Fewer Crowds in the Winter Months


Although it can be exciting to make some new friends while out and about – there’s just something to be said about getting away from it all. No obligations, deadlines, or zoom meetings. Just you, your friends/family, and infinite areas to explore. I love the peace and serenity that comes with disconnecting from ‘normal’ life. Taking the time to reconnect with the outdoors is something I can’t recommend enough. Most regions get a fraction of their peak season visitors from November-March. So these months can offer some truly remote experiences! With fewer people on the trails, lakes, or campgrounds, you can unplug and leave all the hustle and bustle behind you.

PC – @Fromseastotrees


More Availability


I’ll admit, Winter camping does come with some obvious differences compared to Spring, Summer, and Fall. More layers to keep warm through fluctuating temperatures, more insulated shelters for chilly nights, and more preparation to ensure your safety through some rougher terrain. However, among all these “mores” comes more availability. Finding an available campground can require booking months in advance during peak season. Well the off-season can offer a break from wildly long wait lists and offer up some spontaneity! If you’re climate hasn’t broke the freezing mark, then a Napier Tent could be your best friend for quick trip. No plans for the weekend? Check campgrounds around you, throw some gear in your vehicle and get out of the city. With no need to unpack, just setup your Napier Tent on your vehicle and have a campsite to yourself in minutes!


Winter Photography Opportunities



Winter conditions can offer some stunning benefits when it comes to wildlife photography. Snow offers excellent light reflection, and barren branches offer some clear shots. These two features make for some great wildlife photos. Not to mention the amazing effect that falling snow can add to a shot by playing with the shutter speed.

On top of staging opportunities, the wildlife diversity also changes up in the winter! Many varieties of wildlife thrive in Winter conditions and will be more active during these months. This is mainly due to many food options laying low in hibernation/dying off in the Winter. If you’re feeling brave, you can try to lure some species out with food offerings to stage a shot! Some notable sights to look out for are Foxes, Elk, Owls, Lynx, Bald Eagles, a variety of songbirds, and tons more!



If wildlife isn’t your forte, don’t fret, the stunning scenery doesn’t end there! For all levels of photographers, I would highly recommend getting out in the off-season months for the landscapes. If you’re up for some colder temperatures, things like frozen lakes, snow sprawled peaks, active snow or macro snowflake shots will really spruce up your photo collages.


Golden Hours

Although it can be a drag during a work day when the sun sets at 5pm – when it comes to photography this can be a huge bonus! ‘Golden Hour’ is a term to describe the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. With sunrise coming later, and sunset falling earlier, these hours become a lot more accessible in the Winter months. This makes staging beautiful photos a lot more convenient. Say goodbye to 4am wakeups or waiting until 9pm to get a sunset shot.


Alternate Climate Activities




If you live in a Central/Northern state or Canada, then I’m sure you are aware that with Winter comes lots of snow! This opens up tons of new activities that would otherwise be impossible.  Cross country or downhill skiing, dogsledding, ice fishing, skating, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing, are just a few of the amazing Winter-only activities you can enjoy! Just because it’s colder outside doesn’t mean you have to concede to hunkering inside till Spring. With just a few extra layers, your adventures can easily continue year-round.


With the Southern States, Winter can look a little different. With average temperatures staying above freezing, these cooler months can offer a much-needed break from the scorching heat of a Southern Summer. With less exhaustion from heat, the next few months can be the perfect time to take on some more vigorous activities! Long hikes, backcountry camping, portaging, fishing, etc. can all be much more enjoyable without your clothes sticking to your back from 100+ degree days.



Say Goodbye to Bug Bites!


If there’s one thing every outdoorsman/woman can agree on, it’s that (no matter how necessary they are), mosquitos suck. Combined with black flies, deer flies, horse flies, and everything in-between, clouds of these pests constantly attacking you every second you’re outside your tent can add up to a VERY bad time.  Once temperatures start to drop off and go below freezing, you can say goodbye to that all-too-familiar buzz in your ears.




Winter can easily become a time to hunker down and avoid the outdoors at all costs, but it doesn’t have to be! There are endless stunning views to see and activities to do, all with unique benefits that come with cooler temperatures. It’s easy to get caught up in Winter hibernation, but there’s no reason that this season can’t be your most adventurous yet!


Don’t forget to subscribe to Napier’s blog or follow us on Instagram @napieroutdoors for more tips and tricks!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.