Gear to keep you warm on winter camping trips
Keep cosy on your camping trips this winter with this selection of cold-weather gear designed for comfort and practicality.
Expect to pay £220
BioLite never fail to come up with interesting gear, and this is no exception.
The FirePit lets you enjoy the warmth, smell, and feel of a traditional campfire without any of the smoke.
Lift the fuel rack and toss in charcoal to transform the FirePit into a Japanese hibachi-style grill, complete with an included grill grate.
You can even control the size of the flames remotely with a Bluetooth app.
Outwell Katla camping heater
Expect to pay £43.99
This handy, lightweight fan heater is ideal for out-of-season camping trips. It will quickly heat up your tent on chilly mornings or evenings. And the Katla actually blows both hot and cold, making it a handy piece of kit all year round.
The temperature and speed are adjustable, and it’s got safety features like overheat protection and a tip-over safety switch. But what we most like about the Katla is its size and weight – measuring 11cm by 18cm by 13cm and weighing in at just 1.5kg.
Expect to pay £130
Over the years, the Dryrobe has become a firm favourite among surfers, kayakers, wild swimmers and cyclists but it’s really for anyone who spends time outdoors when the temperature drops… including campers.
It’s ideal for staying toasty on chilly evenings sitting inside- or outside – the tent. The long, loose-fitting robe has a water and windproof outer layer and a fleecy inner that is designed to draw water away from the skin into the pile of the fabric and help regulate core body temperature. The long-sleeve version features Velcro cuff adjusters and it comes in a range of colours.
Outwell Dreamboat sleeping mat
Expect to pay £170-£325
For warmth and comfort, we think self-inflating mats are the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep and they don’t come much more comfortable than this award-winning mat. Available in 7.5cm and 12cm versions (and single or double), these are as comfortable as your mattress at home.
The luxurious Dreamboat uses Outwell’s twin Air Flow Control valves for quick and easy inflation and deflation.
But the real groundbreaking development here is hidden from view – the offset ‘air core sculpting’. This design feature allows you to regulate body heat retention by flipping the mat over to choose between summer and winter use, keeping you cosy when the temperature drops.
Robens Prairie sleeping bag
Expect to pay £124.99
Robens might be best known for more technical gear but this cosy sleeping bag is part of their Outback collection, which is more glamping than anything. Not that that’s a bad thing.
The retro styling takes its inspiration from a traditional American bed roll or Australian swag bag but the materials and technology are strictly 21st Century.
Available in regular and XL, it uses something called MicroThermo insulation sandwiched between a rough canvas shell and soft flannel lining to provide a cosy night’s sleep. The detachable base layer doubles as a head rest and the whole thing can be rolled up and used as a carry bag.
Therm-A-Rest Ramble down blanket
Expect to pay £250
It’s called a blanket, but it’s a far cry from scratchy old tartan covers we were used to back in the 70s. These plush, queen-sized blankets from technical sleeping bag specialists Therm-a-Rest are aimed at campers, glampers and van life aficionados.
Insulated with Nikwax hydrophobic down and made with premium soft-touch materials, they’re suitable for using instead of a sleeping bag when it’s not too cold, as a cosy cover when you’re sitting outside in the evening or for throwing over your sleeping bag for extra warmth at night.
The ultra-soft and roomy Argo Blanket is also available in two new prints, including a wolf design, while the Stellar Blanket will be available in a new colour and print as well.
Robens Air Impact Seat 38
Expect to pay £17.99
As Paul Hollywood would say, there’s nothing worse than a soggy bottom and this seat mat provides a comfortable 3.8cm thick self-inflating cushion that insulates and protects your posterior from the cold, damp ground, whether you need to stop for a rest or a bite to eat on the trail or are relaxing at the campsite.
The Air Impact is based on Robens’ lightweight and compact self-inflating sleeping mat – made from the same ripstop outer fabric with a sturdy brass valve. It is easy to inflate/deflate and packs up small into a neat little bag.
Zippo Windproof lighters
Expect to pay From £13
Here’s a great way to say goodbye to matches that fail to light in damp conditions. Iconic brand Zippo has a simply massive portfolio of windproof lighters that are refillable, for a lifetime’s use. Prices start modestly enough at £13, with simply masses of finishes to choose from as you go up through the ranges.
he Classic High Polished Chrome version (it dates back to 1938) is £21.85, for example. It can also be engraved. Or you could go all out for the Sterling Silver Vintage version with corner stripes, at a whopping £225.
Outwell Grimsby induction hob
Expect to pay £62
Fire risk from open flames and the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning means cooking inside your tent is not generally recommended, but when it’s wet and windy outside you might feel you’ve got no choice.
And if you have hook-up, an electric hob like this induction model from Outwell is the safe option. It’s also cooks quicker than gas, is easy to clean and simple to adjust.
Snugpak Softie SJ12
Expect to pay £180
Comfortable down to -15degC, capable of coping at -20degC, this has the highest insulation of Snugpak’s SJ jackets. It’s a unisex design and has Snugpak’s Softie insulation between the Paratex Micro outer and Paratex Light inner.
The high neck and extra-long back enhance the comfort and insulation performance, too. Indeed, the main body and back are notably longer than other SJ jackets. There are adjustments at the neck and waist. Weight is 1,260g, sizes are XS to XXL, in a choice of five colours.
Expect to pay £65
Classic, but a bit different. That’s how Sprayway explains this zoned fleece hoodie, with its knitted style main sections and more traditional fleece panelling (it’s quicker drying than the 200 knitted material). Perfect for layering, there’s just the one colour choice – Blazer – with the detailing of red zip tags. For a medium size, back length is 70cm, weight is 381g. Maya is the women’s equivalent. Sprayway is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (see www.fairwear.org).
Keela Cairn Jacket
Expect to pay £169.95
This jacket is designed for adventures, but adventures don’t have to be conquering mountains or trekking into uncharted forests. For most of us, an adventure entails a brisk Sunday afternoon hike followed by a pint and a bite to eat at a cosy pub. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Of course, even on these mild adventures, we still need to stay dry and comfortable and that’s why we’d recommend something like the Cairn. Keela make clothing that is used by the military and emergency services so you know it’s going to be good quality.
Not only is the Cairn water and windproof and extremely lightweight, it features Keela’s Aquaflex fabric, which uses three-layer technology to provide breathability and durability. Other features include plenty of pockets, articulated sleeves and adjustable cuffs and a two-way zip with inner storm flap. And if you really want to go adventuring it also features harness compatible pockets and a helmet compatible hood.
Mountain Warehouse Winter Trek II
Expect to pay £29.99
These trousers have given sterling service throughout the winter months, coping admirably with all the mud and water. Made from a quick-drying 35/65% cotton/polyester blend, with soft thermal lining and elasticated waistband and belt loops.
There are pockets front and back (one at the back is zipped), plus two zipped side pockets. Men’s sizes are waist 28-44, women’s 8-16, both in short or long leg lengths.
Cello HD Traveller TV
Expect to pay £299.99
It won't keep you warm but it should keep you entertained on winter evenings. Watching television while camping is many people’s idea of hell, but you need something to pass the time on long dark winter evenings in the tent, so why not keep up to date with your favourite TV programmes?
It seems to be fine for caravanners and motorhomers to watch telly on their travels but woe betide any tent camper who wants to tune in to Corrie. Well our view is that, if you want to then why not? And if you do, this 22in smart TV from British manufacturer, Cello, is a good model to go for.
Designed specifically for the camping market, it’s lightweight and runs off a 230V or 12V power source. WiFi and mobile hotspot capabilities are built-in, so you can download Android apps and watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc, as well as Freeview and satellite. You’ll need an aerial or satellite dish to tune in to TV but it’s fairly easy to set up.