Staying Warm While Camping

By tanya koob | September 15, 2017

Fall is here and with it cooler temperatures plus rainy days and maybe even an early snowfall or two. Don’t park that RV quite yet though! You can still have some amazing camping weekends where you won’t be shivering to get through the days well through October. As long as you can manage the chilly mornings and evenings you should be good to go! To help you out we’ve put together some tips on how you can be staying warm while camping this autumn.

Tip #1 – Always book a site with power.

This is a non-negotiable point for me when camping past the September long weekend. Power means heat because you can use your trailer’s furnace without wearing down your battery or having to run a generator (at the risk of annoying all of your neighbors). This will help keep you warm through the night and keep the cold at bay until you’re ready to head outside! Just don’t forget to make sure your furnace is working before you head out camping – we were camping in Kananaskis in April when we realized that we had no heat. Oops! Lesson learned.

Tip #2 – Bring a portable heater.

As much as I like having a furnace in my trailer I found it loud when I’m trying to sleep. I wake up every time it cuts in and out through the night and don’t get a great rest. We solved this problem by bringing a portable electric heater and keeping it on the low setting throughout the night. It’s also a good option to provide a quick warm up when you first come inside for the night! Just be sure to follow the instructions in the manual as these portable heaters can present a fire risk. Remember to turn it off and unplug when you’re not going to be in your RV!

Tip #3 – Invest in a propane fire bowl.

These are an awesome piece of equipment if there are fire bans as they create a pleasant atmosphere – it’s hard to consider it camping if there’s no fire! They don’t put off a lot of heat but they do remove a bit of the chill from the air when you’re outside in the evening. Most campgrounds permit propane fire bowls though you may want to double check in advance.

Tip #4 – Get the right blankets.

There’s nothing better to get you staying warm while camping than blankets! Blankets are a great option for getting cozy outdoors or even inside if you’re chilly or don’t want to rely on having a power-site for your furnace or portable heater. Down blankets are the best option to keep in your RV for cold nights. We put them in between the sheets and duvets on our beds creating an insulating layer of warmth. I joke about “taco-ing” myself in my down blanket but it works and I’m never cold.

Tip #5 – Camp Near A Town

If you’re nearby a town that means you can retreat to a nice diner for breakfast in the morning. You can return to your campsite and get moving when it’s warmed up a bit. 

You can also look into going to nearby leisure centres indoor swimming pools recreation centres museums and other indoor activities for any days that are particularly wet and cold. It’s a good shakeup activity and keeps you warm on the chillier autumn days.

Tip #6 – Bring something to do at night. 

If it’s too cold you may want to hang out inside the trailer at night. It gets dark early too which might force you inside before you’re ready for bed. If that’s the case board games or card games are a great option to have fun with friends and family. You could also bring puzzles or crosswords or colouring if that’s more your style. Tablets and laptops are good for movie night or games as well and a good thing to have to occupy any early risers in the family like my son. He wakes up at 6am religiously and no one is ready to go outside to take him to the playground at 6am in late September!

Tip #7 – Postpone breakfast and call it brunch. 

Especially if you’re cooking outside there’s no reason you have to get up in the dark and cook pancakes and bacon with frozen fingers. Wait until it’s warmed up and the sun’s out before you head out. If the kids are hungry cereal is a good holdover. 

Tip #8 – Stay active!

Moving helps keep you warm. Go for a bike ride hikeor walk. The fall colours can make for beautiful scenery.

Hopefully these tips will help you with staying warm while camping this fall. If the cold just isn’t for you then it’s probably time to winterize your RV and store it for the winter – check out our guides for both here and here !