Winter weather can be a drag, even if spring has already arrived on the calendar. Heading to a winter weather wellness camping retreat can do a lot of good for the soul and bring hope for warmer days ahead. Plus, avid campers still get to enjoy their time in nature away from the snow and rain. Outdoor accommodation booking website Pitchup.com has many options for getting in a mental health break from winter weather.
California's Secluded Escape
Hidden at the base of California's Sequoia National Forest is Spirit Walk, a destination whose name honors the sacred land it sits on. The retreat is three hours from Los Angeles, where visitors can sit harmoniously with the oaks and pines. The property, five minutes from Wofford Heights, is situated on sacred land, making it a place for quiet introspection and meditation. The adult-only campground is pet-free and smoke-free, keeping in line with its tranquil atmosphere. In addition to tranquility, the campground tries to leave as little impact on the surrounding area as possible. While each camper has a private campsite, there is a central outdoor kitchen, shower, compostable toilet, and a fire ring where all the campers can come together to make new friends or strengthen bonds with old ones. During the day, campers can enjoy hiking, fishing, rock climbing, birdwatching, and sitting by the seasonal creek. Rates start at $55 a night for two.
Mexico's Jungle Escape
If you're looking for something a little more tropical, head south of the border to Picocanoa Rodavento in Veracruz, Mexico. Nestled in the jungle, the eco-friendly site provides the ultimate glamping experience for travelers. Picocanoa Rodavento offers multiple wellness treatments, from massages and holistic mud baths to traditional Mayan temazcal prehispanico steam bath treatments. Stays begin at $105 a night for two people.
Glamping in Nicaragua
Selina Maderas, in Maderas, Nicaragua, is the perfect seaside retreat. While this glamping site is situated in the Nicaraguan jungle, it saddles up to the coast, featuring sandy beaches and mountain views. The glamping site offers weary travelers the ultimate oasis to relax and renew. During your visit, take yoga classes, surf, kayak, or snorkel in the salty sea. Enjoy the on-site swimming pool, cocktail bar, and restaurant at the end of the day before heading back to your tipi. Bring along your four-legged friend to enhance your experience. Stays begin at $28 a night for two people.
While some of these areas are tropical, it's not always warm. But that doesn't mean you need to forgo camping altogether. Not sure how to get your wellness glamping off the ground? Here are some winter-weather tips from Pitchup founder Dan Yates.
- Know how to build a fire: Regarding the all-important fire, Yates said, "If you're camping outside, make sure you know how to build a successful campfire. First and foremost, make sure your campground allows campfires. If you're not on a campsite with a designated fire area, ensure you're in an area with a natural windbreak away from trees and bushes. You will need three kinds of fuel: tinder, such as paper, dry leaves, bark, twigs, or wood shavings; kindling, such as small sticks; and firewood, bigger pieces that will keep the fire going once it's lit. Light the tinder from the bottom and let it and the kindling catch, then place the firewood on in a crisscross or teepee style. If the firewood isn't catching, add more kindling and build the firebase up again. Don't forget the s'mores!"
- Check the wind direction: Yates said, "Use any trees nearby to shelter away from gusty winds. You can also use your bike as a windbreak if you have one — just make sure it won't fall on the tent if it topples over."
- Eat, drink, and be merry: "This is not the time for diets — your body needs energy and loads of it to keep warm. Pile your kit high with starchy carbs and the ultimate cold-weather camping must-have: a whiskey-filled hip flask (adults only!)," said Yates.
- Layers, layers, layers: Yates said, "Don't scrimp on socks, a high-quality torch, plenty of layers, or an insulated sleeping bag. Sleep with your clothes for the next day inside the bag with you so they'll be warm when you're putting them on."
Whether you are looking to shake off the snow and pull out the camping gear in the U.S. or glamp a tropical oasis, there are plenty of sites for focusing on your wellness and mindfulness after a long winter.