How to Winter camp in your XT


With a little extra preparation, Winter camping in your XT could be your new favorite time of year to use your camper!

Winter is undoubtedly the least busy camping season and for good reason. Camping in the cold isn’t easy. It does take special preparation in order to be comfortable and enjoy the experience. However, those that are bold enough to take on the winter weather generally enjoy easy pickings on great campsites and uncrowded access to nature’s wonders. Boreas campers designed the XT to be functional in the Winter months for this reason and we want to help those who are on the fence about braving the cold to take those first steps towards a Winter camping adventure. In this guide we’ll go over all the important aspects of Winter camping and how to prepare for a chilly, but great time in your Boreas Campers XT.

First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure your camper is winterized. I know that goes without saying for most, but damaging water system components on the trailer is a big reason a lot of people avoid Winter camping altogether. It only takes one shower replacement to wish you had never made the attempt. You can find resources on how and when to winterize your camper here.

Second, and equally important, is looking ahead at the weather report. Where we’re at in Colorado, and many other places in the Rocky Mountains, the weather changes quickly in the Winter. A surprise storm can not only put a damper on your camping and activity schedule, but it can add hours to your travel time as well. In general, you want your chance of storms to be less than 20% unless skiing is on your agenda. It is also important to check the weather at different points along your journey. The weather can look totally fine at your destination spot, but the mountain pass that stands between here and there could be calling for major weather. Plan ahead and adjust your destination if you need to.

As far as clothes go, you’ll want to pack for any type of weather situation. The more prepared you are in this department, the more enjoyable your experience will be. A lot of people are afraid to overpack and the truth is you can’t overpack when it come to Winter camping. The temperatures can dip well below freezing, the wind might pick up, or the snow could start flying. Big Winter boots and gloves are a must have and anything to keep your extremities warm. As soon as your hands or feet get cold, the experience definitely becomes less enjoyable. In general, pack for the worst-case scenario, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself in summer clothes for brief periods of time as well.

Prepacking meals or having simple recipes to cook is something you’ll definitely want to consider. The outdoor kitchen is still an outdoor kitchen in the Winter time and you’ll want to avoid a lot of prep work like chopping or peeling so you can keep your hands warm inside your gloves. Soups are very ideal for these kinds of trips or premade meals wrapped in foil that you can reheat inside of a pot or skillet. Don’t expect to be able to make all of your summer time camping favorites and really consider your environment when planning out your meals for cooking in cold weather.

Finding a camp site is probably the most enjoyable part of the Winter camping experience as you typically don’t have a lot of competition to contend with. While the XT is built to handle rough terrain and deep snow if need be, this time of year you can enjoy the easier to get to spots. Trust me when I say that we are all about the overlanding experience, but sometimes, especially in the dead of Winter, it’s okay to take the easy spot. We’re all for going “gung ho” in the backcountry, but why not enjoy a campsite right next to the river’s edge if no one else is going to be there? Plus getting stuck in the snow, mud, or both with a trailer is not how you want to spend your time if you can avoid it.

Speaking of getting stuck, don’t forget your recovery gear! Essentials like recovery tracks, shovels, winches, tire chains, and tow straps are all welcome in the Wintertime. Being prepared for deep snow can enhance your experience greatly if you can reduce your stuck time or avoid getting stuck at all. Having the right tools can make the difference between being stuck for 5 minutes or 5 hours and you’ll prefer to be on the shorter end of that experience. Bringing a friend along doesn’t hurt either. Aside from having some good company while you’re camping, having another vehicle around can be very beneficial if one of you does get stuck.

Now that we’ve covered a lot of the pitfalls that can make your Winter camping experience not so fun, we can get to the fun part and why Winter might end up being one of your favorite seasons to camp in! Once you’re completely prepped and ready to go it’s time to get out there and have some fun. There’s many Winter activities to be had like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, or hitting the slopes.

Winter fly fishing has become pretty popular and there’s plenty of fish to be caught while the fast moving river sections still aren’t iced over. The XT also makes a great base camp for ice fishing so you can have a nice kitchen to cook up your catch and comfortable warm cabin to sleep in after hauling your gear back to camp. Making a stop at a developed (or undeveloped) hot spring is also a great wintertime activity. Being in a swim suit in freezing weather is an experience everyone can enjoy if you find the right spot.

If you’ve never winter camped before we hope that this blog has inspired you to give it a try this season. While the preparation might be a little extra compared to summer camping we think you’ll find the lack of crowds and the winter activities that go along with it totally worth it.

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