We talk to Braam from Bristol shop all about this great outdoor pursuit and get some hints and tips on optimising your chilly night under the stars.

For the adventurous, there is truly no better time for a little kip under the night sky than in these cold, winter months. It is a time for the intrepid nature lovers out there to get back in touch with the seasons and whatever they can throw your way. Winter is of course undoubtedly also one of the most beautiful times to appreciate the outdoors with icy views that sparkle on clear days, what right-minded soul wouldn’t wish to wake up to such a sight whilst remaining comfortable, dry, and warm?

This is Braam who some of you may know from our Bristol shop, he’s been on countless camps and adventures and is here to answer some questions and briefly summarise just how to get the most out of an overnight escape into the frigid outdoors. If you have any other questions, our stores are filled with experienced staff all of whom have expert knowledge on getting outside, alternatively, you can get in touch online HERE.
Take it away Braam!

What exactly is wild camping?

It is camping in the countryside, not in a formal campsite, this can be on the side of a hill or mountain tucked out of the wind, in a friendly farmer’s field, or in sheltered woodland.

What obstacles does winter present when wild camping?

In the winter, camping is very wet for the majority of the UK with the mountain regions often covered with snow. This presents a challenge to keep your gear dry. When camping in the winter you want to stay as dry as possible. Staying dry will ensure that you are warm, provided that you have the right layers on obviously.  

What do you do to keep the cold at bay?

I wear merino base layers of varying thickness. The base layers are backed up with a fleecesoftshell jacket and trouserssynthetic insulated jacket and waterproof shell top and bottom. No gear list is complete without the perfectly fitted boot. I have a pair of Nordkapp boots that has been everywhere from the arctic circle to Table mountain and hasn’t let me down once.  I love merino because it keeps me warm with minimum weight. I would wear it all day and strip down to just the base layer at night in my sleeping bag. I would not leave home without my ME Guide Gloves and Merino Buff either.

What essentials do you need on your wintery night under the stars?

I would not consider a winter wild camp without the Hilleberg Soulo, I know I will be dry when it rains, regardless of the conditions. It pitches all in one so very small risk of getting the inner tent wet. The Hilleberg Soulo is the perfect match to keep the weight down and give me enough space to sit up and sleep in comfort. I’m 6″6′ so the shape of the tent is a big consideration for me, the Soulo suits me well with its geodesic design offering ample space for a small footprint. Add to this a sleeping bag and mat that will cope with the temperature. I find using an extra warm mat to keep protected from the wet cold ground makes a hell of a difference. I use the Neo Air Xtherm from Thermarest along with a sleeping bag liner for when my bag isn’t up to it.    

What personal luxuries do you take?

There are countless options to each their own, but for me, it has to be biltong, my Aeropress, and good ground coffee.

Thank you very much for reading and happy trails!

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