A few weeks ago my husband, Daniel, came home and told me we could borrow a friend’s T@B trailer to go camping. I jumped at the chance, as I had been googling places to rent a cabin in Wisconsin that past week. I started looking up campsites within an hour of the house that were open in winter. Daniel pointed out Mauthe Lake and it was decided–we would head out that weekend.

Winter camping is a completely new experience for me. I will admit, we mostly glamped instead of sleeping in a tent. Still, it was refreshing to be in the peace and quiet of the campground.


A perfect spot to camp. Photo credit: @onebabeanddone

Why should you head out this winter and early spring to the campground?

  • Best Spot at the Campground – There are fewer people at the campgrounds which means you can pick the best spots, be as loud as you want, and possibly enjoy a bit of silence. When we arrived at Mauthe Lake, we drove around until we found what I would consider the perfect spot: close to the restrooms, excellent view of the lake, and right across from an entrance to the nature trail.
  • Less People – We practically had the campground and surrounding trails to ourselves. Mauthe Lake is rather popular in the summer so it was amazing having this place almost all to ourselves. If you choose to head to a large national park in the winter, there is the possibility of seeing and doing more. Be prepared that some things may not be open/available during the winter.
  • Seasonal Changes – I find it fun and interesting to see the seasonal changes. The lake was frozen over and we were able to walk out on it and check out the plants that had been encased in the ice. It was a very cool perspective. We talked about the people who were out on the lake ice fishing as well. It was great to talk to Sky about how seasons change and in the summer how we wouldn’t be able to get out on the lake without a boat.

    Heading out onto frozen Mauthe Lake. Photo credit: @onebabeanddone

  • Campfires seem better – After going on a hike, my husband started a campfire and it’s warmth was appreciated by everyone (even the dog). Don’t forget to bring chairs and a blanket to snuggle up with by the campfire. Backsides get cold pretty easy.
  • Fresh Air – The air does seem fresher at the campground! I don’t live in a city, but I do live in a moderately sized suburb. While I am able to go outside and touch a tree in my backyard, there is a different feeling at the campground.
  • It’s not that much different – You just need to bring extra warm clothes for everyone. Well, possibly some extra towels to clean up snowy, slushy messes as well. If you are worried about being cold, you can always check out renting or borrowing a RV or camper for your trip. We were lucky and had the opportunity to borrow a camper that was heated. This made any worries we had about the cold negligible.

Would I do it again?

While this first weekend out was a test run of both RV and winter camping, I can definitely say I will do it again although perhaps on a less slushy weekend. The crisp, cold air was perfect for a cold I had been fighting off and absolutely invigorating. I’ve started planning our next cold weather camping trip and look forward to some early spring nights around a campfire.

Have you been camping in the winter months? What tips would you add? Comment below!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2017.

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