Meet Engin: Your winter camping guide and outdoor professional
Meet Engin, our trusted Roselli ambassador, a name that resonates deeply in the world of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. As a professional bushcrafter and a prominent figure in the outdoor community, Engin brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and a passion for the great outdoors. Now here to share his expertise on how to camp like a pro in a season when the leaves are falling.
The right place
It is important to choose a spot where the sun will shine on your camp the next morning. To do this, you need to determine the direction of the sky and make sure that there is nothing between the sun and your camp from sunrise until early morning. In autumn, it is even more important to find higher and drier terrain, as rivers swell quickly, and ponds fill with excess rainfall.
Sleeping and clothes
On cooler autumn nights, it's not uncommon to fall asleep feeling warm after a day filled with physical activity. But unfortunately, it's usually not as warm when you wake up. Here are some tips on how to pack your clothes and sleeping gear:
Taking a extra set of dry merino wool thermal underwear and a second pair of socks into the sleeping bag will work wonders. You should also consider sleeping with your clothes on in your sleeping bag.
If you don’t want to sleep with your clothes on, the following has been found to be beneficial for me. As soon as you wake up, take the clothes you intend to wear during the day into your sleeping bag. Stay in your sleeping bag together with the clothes a few minutes to absorb some of the heat trapped in your bag during the night. They'll be nice and warm when you put them on!
Avoid breathing into your sleeping bag in the autumn. This creates moisture and can ruin your experience. Keep your mouth or even your head outside the sleeping bag. If your head is cold, wear a balaclava to trap body heat. It will keep both your head and body warm.
Force yourself to go to the toilet before you slip into the sleeping bag. Like your mum always told you, even if you think you don't need to go, just do it! Especially if you are in my age or older (over 40).
The last thing you want to do in the middle of the cold night is crawl out of your warm sleeping bag to empty your bladder and freeze your butt off.
Food and camping:
Autumn is not the best time to go on a diet. Your body needs to produce more heat, and to keep warm you need a lot of extra calories for this full-time job. So, bring on the fats and carbohydrates. As you will be eating more in autumn anyway, you should plan to spend more time in camp.
If you like to camp like me you need to have a big knife or an axe for splitting wood to start a campfire. Eating warm food will also help your body, especially in the morning. If you want to light a campfire, it makes sense to collect and split the wood the day before. Roselli's handy axes and leuku’s are great for this and I had a plenty good time with them.
Cooking over an open fire instead of a gas cooker can awaken your spirit and make the autumn outdoor experience even more intense. The warmth of a small fire is also not to be sneezed at. Even if you have checked the weather forecast and chosen the driest day, there is a good chance that it will rain at some point. It's always a good idea to get a tarp and learn how to set up different types of shelter. Not only will a tarp keep you dry, but it's even cooler that you can have a campfire in the rain. All you must do is stretch the tarp over the fireplace, high enough so that it doesn't get too hot, and the flames don't reach it.
I have done this several times and had wonderful experiences during the rainy season in Finnish Lapland. Sometimes I even used a rain poncho as a tarp.
Always try to carry gear which you can use in different ways. E.g. The Roselli Big Leuku knife can serve you as an axe and as a knife. Besides from that one, here are some of my other favourite knives:
Here are some additional tips for camping and hiking during the autumn and winter seasons:
Campfire safety: Although campfires are cosy, be sure to follow local fire regulations. Some areas may restrict campfires in the autumn due to increased fire danger. Always carry a portable camping stove as a back-up for cooking.
Water management: Water sources may become scarcer in autumn, so plan your water supply accordingly. Bring a water filter or purification tablets to purify water from natural sources. Also bring an insulated water bottle so your water doesn't get too cold in cool weather.
Wildlife precautions: Autumn is the mating and migration season for many wild animals. Watch out for bears by storing your food properly and using bear canisters or bear bags. Use bear bells to alert animals to your presence and reduce the likelihood of unexpected encounters.
Extra dry bags: Protect your gear from wet weather with dry bags or waterproof dry bags. This is especially important for electronics, spare clothing and your sleeping bag.
Leave no trace: Autumn is a sensitive time for ecosystems as they prepare for winter. Stay on paved trails, avoid trampling sensitive vegetation and take out your rubbish.
Emergency communication: Carry a fully charged mobile phone or satellite communication device in case of an emergency. It's always best to have a reliable means of communication in case things don't go as planned. When traveling solo you HAVE TO tell someone your destination and the time when you will return. This can save your life! By following these additional tips, you'll be well prepared for a memorable and safe autumn camping and hiking adventure.
Enjoy the stunning colors and crisp air this time of year! / Engin
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