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Is camping in your blood and you also love the cooler weather but not the cold? With most people preferring summer camping, it is possible to camp during the colder season. During this period of the year, you get to avoid crowded camping sites, high temperatures, and even some pesky insects and bugs.
Though it is not complicated to have a “cool” (pun intended) rooftop tent camping experience, you need to be more prepared when it comes to staying warm. In this post, we are going to take you through the advanced gear and clothing choices you have to make as well as the essential tips to keep you warm.
When we look at the gear, we got you covered, literally. We have covers, insulators, space heaters, mattresses, you name it. Here is where you will spend a decent amount of money, and you should.
To extend the life duration of your roof tent it’s important to kit it out so you can enjoy the cooler seasons of the year.
Here are the Essential Gears
An insulator is a quilted cover that clips into the tent and has the same function as a blanket that you use to sleep under. The difference is that this quilt is suspended onto the tent frame inside the tent. The insulator includes zipper access to windows, doors, and sky panels. They are priced around the $200 price mark.
An annex is zipped under the tent where the ladder is situated. With some roof tent models the ladder stays outside of the annex and with some models, the ladder is completely in the annex. This makes entering the sleeping area of the tent very comfortable in any bad weather conditions. They are priced around the $300 price mark.
A weather hood is a rugged cover that goes over the roof tent and is very durable usually made of ripstop nylon that can withstand extreme weather conditions like heavy rain, sleet, snow, hail, and anything else mother nature can throws at you. Note that, one of the popular weather hoods is Tepui Weatherhood, but this model fits the Tepui models only. Keep in mind most models are priced around the $300- $400 price mark.
A mattress is not the first thing you think of to protect you from the cold but it does. Remember those nights when you were camping on the ground in your normal tent, well sleeping up in the air in your roof tent makes a good mattress a must-have.
Don’t forget to pick the right size to allow you enough space for extra layers such as clothes, hot pads, water bottles, and an inflatable pillow. The mattresses are on the pricy side though, $400-$500 but they are so worth it!
An anti-condensation mat, all that insulation against cold and bad weather comes at a price namely, condensation! This is the price you pay for having your roof tent well insulated. An anti-condensation mat prevents moisture from accumulating under your mattress. They are priced around the $150 price mark.
A Fabric Guard is ideal to restore and enhance the water repellency of your rooftop tent. This usually happens when your tent starts to slowly fade and become less effective due to being used for a long duration or rained on for a long. A great brand to use is 303 Fabric Guard which is popular with rooftop tent owners. Used in all fabric types you get to prevent not only leakage of water but also prevent stains thus saving you from buying another tent.
Rain Fly is also an important camping gear for cool weather. Therefore when choosing a rooftop tent ensure you choose one with a rain fly. This gear will prevent the tent from getting wet from rain, wet snow, or even condensation formed in the morning or evening.
Layers are also essential when it comes to cool camping. Ensure you bring a mix of clothes that are breathable water-resistant as well as have the right material such as wool, synthetic, or fleece. Note that, avoid cotton clothing as they tend to trap and hold moisture close to the body. Some essential clothing to carry includes:
- Wind and water-resistant jackets
- Long leggings or long johns
- A fleece jacket, wool shirt, or sweater
- 2 pairs of gloves or mittens
- Winter jacket in case it gets pretty cold
- Sturdy boots with waterproof membranes
- Two pairs of shoes
- Plenty of socks
- Thermal underwear
- Warm beanie
- Down booties and Balaclava
11 Tips for Making Your Cool Camping Trip a Successful
A hard-shell rooftop tent is the best tent to camp in any season. Since it is made with heavier-duty material, you get to stay warm throughout your camping season no matter the weather and location.
1. Plan Ahead
To avoid any surprises you need to prepare for the cool weather camping. That means double-checking the weather conditions and temperature days before your departure. If you are going to a designated camping site, ensure you call beforehand to know the weather situation in the area and to check if they are open during the time you want to stay there.
2. Make a Check List
Knowing what to bring goes hand in hand with planning; you need to have a checklist made. This will enable you to know what you need to bring, thus preventing you from forgetting certain kinds of gear. From the right clothes to other essentials such as cooking utensils, a gas stove to prepare meals as well as clothing to keep you warm at night among others.
3. Test Your Equipment
Never leave home without testing all your equipment, open up the rooftop tent to ensure it does not have any scratches or tears. Check all the zippers as well as any other gear you will be bringing.
4. Don’t Sleep with A lot of Clothes
It is natural to want to wear thick pajamas while sleeping, though it is okay, you should avoid adding other layers such as jackets or fleece. No matter how warm you want to be it won’t be logical to unzip the tent and have no more clothes to wear to keep yourself warm from the morning cold.
5. Don’t Put Your Head Underneath Your Sleeping Bag
It might feel amazing just to bury your face in a sleeping bag. However, it is unsafe to cover your mouth and nose to avoid the moisture in your breath to condense inside your sleeping bag. If this happens the sleeping bag will become damp which hinders its insulation and in effect makes you even colder. For better sleeping opt for a balaclava since it will warm both your head and your body.
6. Use the Bathroom
Before you go to bed, it is wise to use the bathroom, the reason being you don’t want to climb down and up the ladder in the middle of a cold night to empty your bladder.
7. Don’t Forget Sunscreen and Insect Repellent
Just because the weather is cool, doesn’t mean there aren’t any pesky insects lurking around or you don’t need sunscreen. Even though it’s cloudy, the sun can appear so wearing a layer of sunscreen is important. At night you may also experience some disturbing mosquitos or other insects thus keeping you awake. Also, remember to have some sunglasses or goggles in case of sunny days.
8. Be Prepared for The Rain
Just as you can experience sunny days in cooler weather, there is the possibility of rain also. To avoid any sunrises invest in a good backpack with a rain cover, and some plastic bags to protect your valuables such as electronics. Also, carry watertight containers as well as extra traps or an annex for cooking and relaxing in case it is raining. Lastly, even if you have a gas stove carry firewood to keep warm when the rain stops. Kindly remember to verify beforehand if there are any restrictions to carrying firewood in the campsite area.
9. Hot Water Bottle
A bit of extra warmth will go a long way on those cold nights, therefore, always prepare a hot water bottle while sleeping. Fill a water bottle with hot water before going to bed and place it at the foot of your sleeping bag to keep your toes warm.
10. Keep Your Beverages Always Hot
Whether it is hot tea with lemon and honey, keeping your beverages hot will ensure you stay warm for longer. Therefore, invest in an insulated mug such as a Yeti Rambler Tumbler. The best part about the insulator mug is that it keeps your beverages hot during the cool weather and frozen cold in the summertime.
11. Stay on the Grid
Lastly, since there are not many people camping in the cool weather you may opt to hit the wilderness. Nonetheless, no matter how much you want to explore the breathtaking views, make sure you stay close to civilization in case of any accidents or incidents. Additionally, don’t forget to carry a first aid kit in case of any bruises or mild diseases such as headaches, or stomach aches among others.
We ask again, do you like the cooler weather but not the cold? With the above points, it will be easier to camp in cooler weather. From the essential gear to the amazing tips, you won’t need to stay away from a great camping experience. Just follow the points above and implement all the tips and you are good to go.
We’re passionate about getting the most from your car when it comes to going on adventures and road trips. When you take one of these trips you often need more room in your car than you usually would. This is when we come in, to help you find the best roof tent for your car and needs.