Challenges of cold weather “camping”

Last night as we were preparing our climbing gear for another day on the hills and finally getting ready for bed the wind really picked up (gale force). Luckily, I had the sense to put down the ‘van’s steadies earlier in the evening. The steadies are two metal arms that you crank down from the back of the ‘van to the ground to stop the ‘van rocking on its suspension (no comments please!!). When it is blowing outside it really helps to stop the feeling that you’re actually on board ship.

By the time we got to bed the gusts were rocking the ‘van and flapping the waterproof cover that protects our mountain bikes mounted on the back of the ‘van. Elaine told me today that last night she was lying debating whether the ‘van, at four tons, could ever get blown over. Apparently, I was less concerned as I was already asleep!

By the time we woke at 06:00 this morning the wind had completely subsided and there was a definite ‘nip’ in the air. Although we didn’t really need any confirmation of what our own senses were telling us, the thermometer was registering an outside temperature of -5.9°C. Inside, the temperature had stayed above freezing – just. However, the biggest problem is keeping our water pipes from freezing – even though they are all lagged. This morning the hot water pump sounded as though it was labouring to get water into the heat exchanger. We decided to switch off the pump.

This will be our major ‘van challenge throughout the cold season – without internal water we can’t have showers, wash dishes and the likes. Not good.

About Cameron Speirs

Born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, Cameron, has been interested in outdoor pursuits since he was a wee lad. Over the last few decades he has climbed extensively in the Italian Dolomites as well as summiting the Matterhorn and several other 4000m alpine peaks. Closer to home he has spent many wonderful weekends mountaineering and biking in Snowdonia, Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Skye and Lochaber.
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2 Responses to Challenges of cold weather “camping”

  1. Donna says:

    Hi Guys!!
    Hope you’re keeping warm and cosy! Keep posting good cake recipes Elaine! I’m going to try the tea bread! Any plans to go skiing when in the right area? They’re season has kicked off wonderfully already. Enjoy yourselves and stay safe!

    Donna xxxx

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Donna,

      Good to hear from you. I’m always on the lookout for easy cake recipes so if you have any that can be made in the ‘van without too much hassle I would love to try them. The weather is cold and the forecast is for snow in Lochaber tomorrow. Aonach Mor is due to open this weekend for skiing (two weeks earlier than usual!). We’ll try to get a few more mountains under our belt first and then see if we have the energy to go skiing!

      Elaine x

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