Finland 2021 (2) | Winter camping tips
Home » Overland » Overlanding and camping in winter (-28°C) | 5x useful tips

Overlanding and camping in winter (-28°C) | 5x useful tips

From Croatia we look back on our journey through northernEurope in the winter of 2021/2022. What an adventure that was! Overlanding and camping in winter added an extra dimension to our adventure. It also gave us assurance that we are now fully prepared for full-time travel around the world, in all climates and all seasons.

In this blog we tell you how we survived at -28ºC, how to find camping spots in winter and what we do in the long dark and especially cold evenings and nights. In short, lots of tips and tricks for winter camping.

Winter camping tips at -28°C

In our first part in this series about Overlanding in Northern Europe in winter, we already told you how we prepared for our trip to the far North.

Winter camping tips
Winter camping tips

1. Warm clothing and winter gear

Layers, layers, layers. That is the best advice we have received and we are happy to pass it on.

We have already bought most of our clothing in the Netherlands; underwear, hats, gloves, thermal overtrousers, warm vests and jackets and winter boots. Sonja almost always wears a dress, which is comfortable and easy. In addition, thermal pants are not so handy. On the advice of Jenneke, whom we visited in Sweden, Sonja bought a warm thermal overskirt there.

Sonja enjoys her warm over-skirt | Winter camping tips
Sonja enjoys her warm over-skirt | Winter camping tips

Along with her warm winter boots and the leg warmers she wears Tromsø received from Torun (cf The Northern Lights and the North Cape) she keeps it so nice and warm.

Gert Jan has to do maintenance on the car every now and then. Think of applying or removing the nails in the all-season tires. For this he bought warm winter overalls. But, it also keeps him warm during other activities.

In Norway we also bought crampons/crampons for under our snow boots.

2. The winter equipment of the car

Also in it first part of this series we take a closer look at the equipment of the car. An extra winter cloth on the outside of our lifting roof, heating and insulation and especially the tires play a major role in finding and staying at the winter camping spots.

The equipment of the car | Winter camping tips
The equipment of the car | Winter camping tips

3. How do you find camping spots in winter?

With especially Park4Night and sometimes iOverlander we find the most beautiful camping spots during our full-time overland trips. Only, in winter many campsites are closed or the wildlife spots are simply inaccessible…

Sometimes you have to decide not to visit the chosen camping spot…
To find a better place further down the road…

And once… Then it was already after 15 pm and it was getting dark. We had picked a nice spot in Finland at a marina on a frozen lake. This road led according to our GPS to the camping spot.

After we were pulled free, we went looking for another place, with the trembling in our legs.

4. Facilities at the campsites

We choose to visit a campsite with a shower about once a week during our travels. This is especially pleasant in the winter. Our water tank freezes as soon as temperatures drop below -5 °C. Fortunately, Park4Night indicates whether campsites are open during the winter months and fortunately there are also campsites open in Norway and Finland.

Camping | Winter camping tips
Camping | Winter camping tips

The Norwegian and Finnish campsites that we found open have heated sanitary facilities and sometimes even a sauna, which you can use for an additional fee. We were often the only guests on the campsite and had to look for the manager, which we usually succeeded. Although it also happened to us that the manager told us that the water pipe is frozen and that is why the campsite is closed.

5. Camping in icy winds

In windy places, especially in Iceland, we sought the shelter of a building or trees. Our pop-up roof catches quite a bit of wind, which means that the canvas and the car can go berserk. One morning in Iceland it had snowed quite a bit and we almost got stuck.

During all winter overnight stays in Norway, Finland, the Baltic states and Poland and in Iceland we were able to find good camping spots. Again, sometimes we have to drive on and search further, but we succeeded every time.

Other overnight stays

Honesty compels us to say that we sometimes slept indoors. It is not always feasible to find a camping spot, especially for a city visit. We then move to a B&B or hotel, where we make sure that our Milady Landy can be parked safely. Booking.com offers the possibility to search for 'private parking'.

What do you do during the long winter evenings?

The winter evenings in Northern Europe are long, December 21 is the longest night. In the far north, where we reached the North Cape on December 8, we had barely 4 hours of twilight. This gives you limited time to do things in daylight. A long walk, a long car ride, we like to take it in daylight.


With the heating on and sometimes our feet in a sleeping bag, it is also bearable after sunset in our Milady Landy, even with an outside temperature below -20ºC.

inside fine, outside below -20 | Winter camping tips
Inside fine, outside below -20 | Winter camping tips

We enjoy reading a lot. Our e-books are always charged and we have an entire electronic library with us. You just have to make sure that your display doesn't freeze. This is how one of our e-books broke down!

The eReaders | Winter camping tips
The eReaders | Winter camping tips

We play many games of SkipBo and Domino. Sonja usually wins, but that's an afterthought?.

Entertainment | Winter camping tips
Entertainment | Winter camping tips

And we use our NetFlix and NPO-Plus subscription well. We regularly watch the news or a series on NPO and of course we binge watch many NetFlix series. The Bridge, Casa de Papel and Breaking Bad are our favorites at this time.

During the clear evenings we dress warmly and like to go outside for a while. We are lucky enough to see the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis several times. With some luck, patience and cold feet we were able to make beautiful shots several times.

Eat on the go

Eating is often a necessary activity. That is why we spend a little more time preparing our meals, especially during the long evenings. Slightly more often an omelette with a late lunch and a soup beforehand with the evening meal.

An extra challenge is making our own bread. We always have flour, dry yeast and seeds with us. You can make delicious fresh flat bread in the frying pan on our Wallas cooker.

carefully measure the ingredients | Winter camping tips
Carefully measure the ingredients | Winter camping tips
Kneading the bread | Winter camping tips
Kneading the bread | Winter camping tips
A nice dough | Winter camping tips
A nice dough | Winter camping tips

Let the dough rise in between.

Spread out in the pan | Winter camping tips
Spread out in the pan | Winter camping tips

And after 40 minutes, with a lid on the fire and turning every now and then, you have a delicious fresh bread!

Finland 2021 (2) | Winter camping tips
Winter camping tips

Gert Jan

Hi world travelers,
I am Gert Jan and together with Sonja we drive around the world with our Milady Landy. Overland, full-time and with no fixed destination, we Travel to the Horizon.
Our Milady Landy is a Land Rover Defender 130 from 1998 that we have equipped ourselves as a camper, she is our residence, our tiny-house-on-wheels.

Would you like to receive great travel tips and extra benefits every month? And did you know that we give away a monthly world map to our subscribers? All you have to do is leave your email address below and you will have a chance to win every month!

logo-world travelers-grey-1
Translate »
Copy link