The BMW Winter Camping Checklist

When preparing for an overnight camping trip, you need to make a comprehensive checklist of all the items you’ll need. The harsh weather of winter complicates things, but with proper preparation, you can enjoy your trip no matter how cold it gets. Add a sporty BMW to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for a fun-filled camping experience!

Food and Water

Winter camping presents some unique challenges, especially when it comes to cooking and keeping your supplies from freezing overnight. Here’s what you’ll need to protect your food from the elements and curious creatures:

  • Water bottle covers
  • Lightweight mug or thermos
  • Eating utensil kit
  • Headlamp or another stable light source
  • Liquid-fuel camping stove (and fuel)
  • Flat stove platform
  • Lighter or waterproof matches
  • Cooking utensils (a deep pot is a must)
  • Spice kit
  • Soap and dishcloth
  • Waterproof bags, rope and carabiners for hanging food

Overnight camping limits your meal options to dried foods and frozen pre-cooked meals, but you can still make a delicious hot meal with the right ingredients. Here are some popular camping recipes you can try:

  • Campfire pizza: add any ingredients you want to the dough, store in a cooler and cook right over the campfire.
  • Shepherd’s pie: flavor-packed comfort food with simple ingredients that can serve a large family.
  • Chicken stir fry: a nutritious meal with versatile ingredients that you can change to fit your preferences.
  • Chili: high in protein and easy to make. Just freeze it ahead of time.
  • Mac and Cheese: pre-cook your favorite recipe, place it in individual pie tins, store in a cooler and heat over the fire when you’re ready.

Make sure you have every tool on the checklist and you can cook all of these meals over the fire or stove in less than an hour. Before you settle in for the night, store all of your supplies in waterproof bags and hang them out of reach from any animal that might be drawn towards the smell.

Proper Clothing

Layering is the name of the game when dressing for cold weather. Start with thermal shirts and leggings. The layer over your thermal gear should be a breathable sweatshirt and fleece/cotton pants. Bring a light jacket for the daytime and a heavy coat for the evening when temperatures drop. This final exterior layer should be water-resistant.

Socks are arguably the most important clothing item. Wool socks are the best for cold weather. Bring a quality set of boots, gloves, and a warm hat to protect your extremities. Pack an extra set of each item, just in case. Your head, hands and feet are the most essential body parts. You need to keep them warm no matter what.

Shelter from the Elements

Along with proper clothing, your sleeping arrangements have to keep you warm. Inexperienced campers often don’t check the weather and thus underestimate how cold a winter night in the wilderness can be, leading them to pack insufficient protection. You don’t want to make that mistake.

Purchase a sleeping bag that can handle temperatures at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit lower than what the weather forecast anticipates. Get a thick sleeping pad to go along with it, so you don’t have to sleep on the cold ground. The more elevated you are, the better, so you can also get a portable cot if it can fit inside your tent.

You must have a four-season tent that can trap heat inside. The tent’s fly should also wholly cover the tent to add an extra layer of protection. Remember to keep your hat and socks on when you settle in for the night, and sleep with your feet closer to the entrance.

In the event of heavy snowfall, keep a snow shovel in the tent with you so you can dig yourself out. Also, keep your boots, heavy coat and a light source on hand so you can leave the tent if you need to. 

BMW’s Outdoor Features

BMW offers some cool outdoor-friendly accessories, such as the outdoor adventure pack with weather-proof floor mats and boot liners. You can also get the outdoor car cover to protect your BMW from the elements on your camping trip.

Some of BMW’s models are well-known for their outdoor capabilities, especially the 2019 X3 and X5. These SUVs can handle any terrain, have heated seats and a built-in navigation system that can guide you along your path in areas with no cell phone service.

If you don’t want to use a tent, most BMW SUVs have enough space for you to put the seats down and sleep inside. Just don’t run the heat all night, or you might find yourself in a real predicament in the morning. Keep your owner’s manual in the glove compartment and bring along a set of tools if you need to make any minor repairs.

Take Your BMW Camping with Confidence

BMW’s luxury vehicles hog most of the spotlight, but their SUVs are reliable vehicles for any outdoor activity, including overnight camping. Take your BMW on your next camping trip with confidence, and make a checklist of all the things you need to cover the essentials: food, water, clothing and shelter.

Planning a BMW Road Trip This Winter? Consider These 5 Destinations

Winter vacations are creeping in popularity. Around 23% of families prefer vacationing in the winter rather than the summer months. The allure of a winter vacation is impossible to ignore — you might even beat many of the crowds you would run into in the usual summer months. It might also cost less to visit certain locations in their off-season.

Before you set out, make sure your car is in working order. You should have a list of things to check for — or get your vehicle inspected before you head out. Also, you may need to know how to jump a car just in case your battery fails on the road. Before jumping a car, you should ensure that the battery is really dead before you start it by checking the headlights. They may be dim or flickering, but if your car clicks, that means the battery is truly dead.

Still, as long as your BMW is set for the road, you can head out for any destination this winter. Traveling inside the USA can be fun, and these destinations prove that there’s a place for everyone to do everything.

1. The Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California

The Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect place to go if you want a scenic drive more than anything else. While going in the winter makes for lovely views, avoid driving through in most of January and February, as there’s more rain in the area. 

On this path, you can drive from San Francisco to San Diego and make stops in different locations along the way. You can visit anything from zoos to beaches, from camping out in a national forest to partaking in dozens of restaurants. There’s a little something for everyone on this fun trip.

2. Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The outdoor views here are second to none. The lake offers a beautiful atmosphere itself, but the surrounding area is a great place to hike or just spend time in nature. Because spending time in nature can relieve your stress, it’s the perfect place to unwind with your loved ones after a year of hard work. 

You can also partake in plenty of exciting activities in Lake Tahoe, such as skiing and sledding, if you aren’t content with just relaxation.

3. Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky is a gorgeous place to take a vacation. Montana is full of beautiful sights, but Big Sky has plenty of attractions to keep you busy during your holiday — or if you plan on stopping at multiple places on your BMW trip, Big Sky, Montana, is a must-see. 

Some of their outdoor activities include dog sledding or a snowmobile tour. It’s great for active individuals who want a vacation that’ll keep them busy or only spend a couple of days in one place.

4. Atlanta, Georgia

If you don’t mind large cities, Atlanta may be the best place to visit. If you’re coming from afar, Atlanta, Georgia, is a great vacation destination if you plan on staying more than a few days. The city is so large, and you’ll find plenty of things to do without leaving. 

It’s a perfect hub for any family, whether it’s you and a partner, a family with kids or a person traveling solo. The city boasts an expansive aquarium that can delight adults and children of all ages. They also have an array of museums that can teach attendees about anything from football to Coca-Cola.

Atlanta isn’t the place to go if you only want to spend a day in one spot before moving on. You’re bound to find something to keep you occupied every day of the trip. Still, if you exhaust yourself in Atlanta, you can head to other nearby towns — like Helen, Georgia, which is home to a quaint German atmosphere and could make for a great day of shopping and sightseeing.

5. The Florida Keys

Florida is always warm, even in the middle of winter. In the Keys, you can admire the area’s natural beauty while touring the historical parts, too. Beach bums can experience the warm beaches of Florida during the months that would typically be too cold. 

There’s plenty to do for everyone, and you can hop from Key Largo to Key West, Marathon Key, Duck Key and other areas. The Key West encompasses over 100 miles into the ocean, and it’s the perfect destination for the adventure-loving family, especially if you want to stay in the area.

Enjoy Road Trips in Your BMW

An essential part of any road trip is deciding whether you want to hop from location to location or stay in one destination for your entire vacation. Different groups have different needs, so consider the composition of your traveling group before deciding on one or several of these places.

The key to an excellent road trip is making sure you have the right gear. With your BMW in tow, you should be all set to head out to the destination of your dreams.