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Winter camping essentials

Camping in winter might sound like a crazy idea but it’s actually a divine experience, with smaller crowds and more space. Less campers means less lines, better camping spots and a greater sense of solitude and serenity. If that’s not enough, there are also no mosquitos (if you’ve camped before, you know this is a win).

It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what makes winter camping so magical - maybe it’s because your body produces more endorphins in the cold, or because warming up next to a campfire is just good for the soul. All we do know is that if you love camping in summer, you’ll love it in winter as well.

But before you go running off into the wild, you’re going to need a few essentials. From jackets and shirts to packs and bags, we’ve curated a list of winter camping essentials to help you make the most of your next cold weather adventure.

Warm jackets

When venturing through the cold wilderness, nothing is more essential than a warm and insulating jacket - it’s your winter camping best friend. The perfect jacket should be light and easy to transport, weather and water resistant, insulated for warmth and of course, exceedingly stylish. If you need something light and portable, we love the range of ultra-light down jackets and fleece full zip jackets from rebel. If you need advice, speak to the experts at Kathmandu about their wide range of ‘insulation for any situation’ winter jackets, there’s heaps of options to choose from and something for everyone.


Image sourced: Kathmandu

Core Clothing

Although a great jacket can make up for a lot, you’ll need a good foundation of core clothing if you want to stay warm. It’s essential to dress in layers, so make sure to pack quality shirts, pants, shoes, and socks. Even during the coldest parts of the year, the temperature can vary so give yourself the flexibility to dress up or down as required. We love the range of shorts, pants, tees, joggers, and hoodies from Country Road that would perfectly suit autumn or cool camping trips. If you need something a little warmer, Kathmandu has a fantastic range clothing essentials including gloves, scarves, and beanies. Cotton On and Best & Less have a wide range of warm t-shirts as well as heaps of other core winter pieces.

Pack your bags

Part of what makes camping so exciting is having the freedom to explore your surrounds, and this becomes infinitely more difficult if you don’t have a good bag. Whether you need a backpack or large trekking bag, the perfect pack should be comfortable, light, durable, weather resistant, ergonomic for even weight distribution and have ample storage. To ensure comfort and flexibility whilst on the move, look for a bag with padded shoulder straps, adjustable belts, and ventilated back panels. We recommend Kathmandu's large range of backpacks, which have features that include lightweight design, reinforced bottom, water resistance, making it perfect for the modern adventurer. We also love Strandbag's and BIG W's range of travel and day packs, including a hybrid trolley pack which easily transforms between a backpack and trolley. Hot tip: we highly recommend purchasing some dry bags and/or compression socks to keep the gear inside your bag dry and compact.

Sleep easy

After a long day of trekking and an afternoon spent setting up camp, the last thing you want is an uncomfortable sleep, so having a good tent and sleeping bag is crucial. When choosing a tent, think about the way you want to camp, taking size, weight, and design into consideration. Ideally, you’ll need a tent that’s durable, designed for all seasons, with sturdy poles, windows for ventilation and a strong frame. We love the selection of tents at Kathmandu and BIG W, with options ranging from solo hiking tents to 6-person open air tents. Your sleeping bag should be high quality, snug and rated for low temperatures, especially if you’re camping during the middle of winter. No matter what trip what you have planned, we recommend the range of sleeping bags at Kathmandu and BIG W.

Backpack essentials

Last, but certainly not least, are the essential products you’ll want in your backpack on almost every trip. You can pick these up at a number of retailers including Kathmandu, Big W, rebel, Woolworths, and Coles.

What you’ll need:

  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Thermos
  • Torch
  • Umbrella
  • Collapsible bucket
  • Car phone charger

Shop all these cold weather camping essentials and more at Westfield Woden. *Not all products and retailers are available in every centre.

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