Camping in freezing cold

In Florida of all places

camping in freezing coldMaybe you won’t believe me, but it’s true: the only time I camped in a tent that was stiff from frostbite was in Florida.
We should have known of course, because the place was called St. Petersburg!

In 2000/2001 our son studied at the Western Carolina University as part of the international studies at his Dutch school over here. The actual studying at WCU was one year and after that he did a 6-month internship in Asheville, North Carolina.

We visited him several times and always made it an extended visit so we could drive around and see more of the USA.

new york state
August 2000, somewhere in New York state

Our adventure is camping without fancy tools

I love to camp. As a kid we always went to Italy in the summer, staying at the same campground every year. I learned to swim there, so I spend most of the time in the water of the Garda Lake. It was great.

And thankfully, although my husband never went camping with his parents, we camped together from our first holiday on.

spain holiday
Change of plans when required

It requires some planning if you go by plane to your destination and want to camp. Especially if you do it our way, we never book our arrangements in advance. We’re not very adventurous, but that is our adventure: making decisions on the spot and changing them on the way.

For the three weeks in December 2000/January 2001 we had a backpack each for our clothes and a backpack for the tent and the sleeping bag. My husband had one backpack on his back and one on the front. And I had one on my back and the carry-on baggage in my hands. That worked like a charm.

vacation in france
My parents and sister on our way in France, 1969

Florida is the American Costa Blanca
Hibernating in the south

universal studios florida
Orlando, December 2000

We flew to Atlanta in mid December and wanted to have a couple of days with our son. Depending on the weather we would then either go to the Smoky Mountains or to Florida.
Yes, we love to camp, but we are good weather campers.

OK, now we know the Smoky Mountains are called smoky for a reason. 🙂
After two days of fog and snow we decided to take our chances and drove to the south.

After my Dad retired, my parents spent 8 out of 12 months in Benidorm, the Costa Blanca of Spain, which is also called the Florida of Europe. We knew a lot of Canadian and North American people were spending their winters the same way in Florida.

So we expected good weather there.

camping in florida
The sun was shining!

visiting the camping in spain
We visited my parents in Spain once a year. My mother even had made herself a little garden in front of the caravan!

We love the KOA campings in America the most

wet tent
You’ll always have some rain during a camping trip, I guess

Two things that are highly recommendable if you travel the way we do

A waterproof tent and a sleeping bag filled with down feathers

To sum up our weather experiences during that particular holiday:

  1. We had the Universal Studios in Orlando during the coldest winter since any record of the weather was written down in the USA (1847?)
  2. We had the only rain that ever fell in Key West
  3. We camped in a frozen tent for the first time in our lives

Oh well, I am not complaining. After all, we were stubborn enough to keep on camping, while we could have afforded a hotel.

breakfast near the pool
I love this the most about camping: being outdoors all the time

The best thing we had with us was our down sleeping bag. We have self-inflating mattresses that fit into a sheet cover with zippers on the side. The sleeping bag is zipped on top. Although I have to admit I also wore all my clothes at night as well when we were in St. Petersburg.

beach in americaswimming pool
Occasionally we end up on a campground next to a beach. Or one that has a swimming pool. Bliss!

arranging the tent
The only thing I have to do for the tent is help with the baleens. While Tom beats the pegs in the ground, I make the beds in order

These are the things you should care about when choosing a tent:

  • are base and sides a whole, so that rainwater does not get a chance to splash in;
  • is the fabric waterproof;
  • it is possible to fold parts aside to let air and light in;
  • are the foldable parts covered with gauze against mosquitoes

Depending on your way of trekking weight and size are something to consider too.
What are your tips for a perfect trekking holdiay?

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