Our Journal

Informational, Tips & Advice
09 October 2023
Cheries Dutton

Winter Camping Tips

With the changing colours of the leaves it means winter is around the corner and we looking forward to welcoming those who are brave enough to explore the Scottish Highlands during the winter months.

We are very excited to offer  2 Land Rovers that are well equipment to explore the Highlands during the winter and still offer the camping element.  Keep reading as we offer tips from our personal experience.

Can you sleep in a tent in the winter?

Absolutely, the winter months are incredibly beautiful, and we encourage you to head off and explore boundlessly among the rugged heather moorland and amongst the snow-capped mountainscape of the Highlands.

At GOYA Adventures, we’ll provide you with the best sleeping options that can weather any storm and keep you cosy, safe and warm during your winter adventure. Remember, don’t forget your camera, the winter months are perfect for stag spotting as they come down from the cold mountains to graze.

GOYA Adventures Winter Camping:

  • Defender 110 Camper (2 seater & 2 sleeper) £170 per night
  • Discovery 4 (5 seater & 4 sleeper) £170 per night

Included in our Winter Camping offer is our poproof/rooftop tent & camping kit. A full kit list can be found here. This offer is available for a minimum 3 night hire. 

Our Defender comes with side walls for the awning as well as an internal diesel while the Discovery 4 and iKamper comes with an annex and heated seats.

NC500 Winter Campervan

Top Tips for Winter Camping

  1. Beat the Dark – our number one tip has to be pitching before dark. Be aware of what time the sun sets which, in Scotland in the middle of Winter could be by 15:30. It’s important to know, that if sunset is 16:00, it won’t stay light for long. Ensure your tent is ready, bed made and campfire is started before it gets dark. Once that sun is gone there will be a noticeable drop in temperature.
  2. Layers – staying warm is all about the layers. Not just on top but base layers as well – especially for sleeping at night. Ensuring you are in the right layers for bed time is crucial for keeping your body warm once it’s time to climb under that duvet. You don’t want to lose essential heat trying to change into your PJ’s in the cold of the night. 
  3. Top & Bottom – protect your extremities! The right thermal/warm socks, gloves and hat will go a long way to keeping you warm while camping in Scotland in Winter.
  4. Do The Research – many campsites close for the Winter, especially on the West Coast of Scotland. So do your research to find the sites that are open to campers throughout Winter.
  5. Shoes Inside – ordinarily campers keep their footwear outside the tent or in the Land Rover overnight. However, in winter this can mean you will end up with frozen shoes come the morning or have to walk on frost or even snow to get to your shoes. So keep your footwear inside the tent – a spare plastic bag will help if your shoes are mucky.
  6. Watch the Elements – be aware of the weather forecast during the night. If the wind is due to pick up, heavy rain or even snow is forecast, ensure you are prepared. When camping in one of our Land Rovers it’s best to park with the roof of the tent facing into the wind and all your gear is packed away in the Land Rover overnight. 
Winter Camping in Scotland

The Benefits of Winter Camping in Scotland

1. Clear Skies

One of the benefits of a Scottish Winter are clear skies. Autumn can be hit & miss as it can be very windy and wet, but once that’s over Scotland is awesome. With predominantly clear blue skies during the day and starry nights, your Winter camping trip will be memorable. From exploring the scenic NC500 route, touring the Isle of Skye or heading inland to venture into the Cairngorms the options are limitless. 

Winter camping is something else… incredibly rewarding and enjoyable once you realise there is no need for discomfort. 

2. Northern Lights in Scotland

A question we get asked regularly is: “When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?”

With out a doubt, Winter is the best time to try and see the Aurora Borealis due to the long hours of darkness and frequency of clear nights. Best viewed on cold nights, with clear skies, little to no light pollution and of course increased solar activity. There is no guarantee that you’ll see the Northern Lights during your Scottish Winter Camping trip, but heading to the most Northern parts of Scotland on elevated ground will increase your chances. Top Tip: down the Aurora Watch App to get alerts.

3. Quiet Roads

Many people visit the NC500 or West Coast of Scotland in the hope of experiencing solitude to escape the buzz from their everyday life in the city. In Summer this can be quite hard to achieve as it can be busy on the roads and finding a good quiet camping spot all to yourself can be tricky.

Winter is when you truly get to experience the wide open spaces that the great Scottish Outdoors has to offer. You could go hours before seeing another car, especially on the Isle of Skye or North Coast 500 route.