Camping in cooler weather: what we learned by extending our camping season.

This year, due to not being able to open the campsite earlier in the season we extended our availability until mid-October.  As it was something of an experiment we were interested to see what the weather would be like & how campers adapted their activities to the cooler temperatures and rainfall during their stay.

We are big-believers in all-weather camping as getting out in nature is a great way to recharge those batteries at any time of year.  So we’re already armed with a few bits of wisdom for making the most of a camping trip regardless of the the weather but we’ve also learned a few things from our autumn-guests this year.  We’re convinced that socialsing out of doors this winter will be the key to maintaining wellbeing during the ongoing pandemic.  Perhaps, then, camping at an unconventional time of year might be something we embrace too!

Autumn-camping can be better than summer-camping:

  • Campers during cooler/wetter weather seem to have just as much of a good time as summer. One recent guest, who was here through strong winds and LOTS of rain said the weather had improved their stay, rather than negatively impacted.
  • Wet or cold weather can encourage you to do things which you wouldn’t otherwise do – maybe a bit of relaxing with a nice book rather than going out exploring. To make the most of this opportunity, make sure you pack good books and games to play.
  • Campers in pre-erected tents (such as a yurt) will revel in the opportunity to light the woodburning stove and stretch out on the rugs with a nice glass of red wine
  • Rain on canvas is one of the best sounds ever. Fact.

Preparation is crucial

  • Torches and lanterns are essential as the nights draw in – especially if you’re planning to do any reading or play any games. Our fave is this neck torch:
  • There’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing! Make sure you have the right clothing, most importantly a waterproof outer layer.
  • Plan meals in advance so you can cook more easily. Cooking in the dark/cold can be made a lot easier by having things pre-prepared.
  • A portable fire pit like the one pictured costs less than £20 and will only add about the size and weight of a slipper to your pack. It can transform a cooler evening. Make sure you have a fire poker, and a bucket of water nearby for safety.

  • Schmangles have three potential uses – as a cosy waterproof outer clothing layer, as a waterproof blanket to sit on or to throw over your belongings in the rain.
  • Hot water bottles & spare socks won’t take up much room in your pack but can on occasion be the most welcome thing after a day out in the weather.

Beat the rain

  • If the rain keep you inside in a pre-erected tent or pod; lighting the wood-burner, putting a kettle on the stove & relaxing with a board game or a book is heaven.
  • Before you arrive research things to do undercover in the area.
  • At Alde Garden we have Framlingham Castle, Sutton Hoo & Adnams Distillery tours all within a short drive of the campsite.
  • If you do decide on an outdoor pursuit in the rain, make sure you keep wet gear separate from your fresh clothes when you get back.
  • It’s a good idea to pack away your sleeping bag & pillow during the day – if you have a bin liner just throw them in in the morning. You will really appreciate getting into a nice dry bed at night!

A note on safety:

  • lastly a word of warning – do NOT be tempted to bring coals from a used BBQ or fire pit into your tent. Even if you have something to safely transport them in, they give off toxic fumes which can be fatal.