Last weekend, we braved the coldest winter for 30 years in Holland to go winter camping.
Well…. it was cold! Last week temperatures were down almost to -10°C at night but a spring thaw was underway by the time we dragged our bikes out of the house on Friday morning. Things had warmed up and all the snow was gone, at least in Den Haag. As you can see, we are still using our $100 Bikes, happily purchased from the second-hand shop a few months ago.
By the time we got to Amsterdam, the snow was back on the streets. All of our fellow cyclists were bundled up, ready for a cold night. The prediction was for temperatures around -5°C. Everyone planned on camping.
We started out with a tour of Amsterdam, on the city’s extremely well marked and extensive cycle paths. The Amsterdamse Bos, a wooded park south of the city which we rode through, has 48km of cycle paths alone.
The days are short and soon we were setting our tents up at last light in the campground.
Andrew had to drive our tent pegs through the snow but the ground was surprisingly soft underneath.
We laid thin foil mats on top of our normal 3-season Thermarest mats for extra heat. We also had a third sleeping bag to pull over us. During the night, we could definitely feel a little cold coming up from the ground but we had no trouble sleeping. A few degrees colder though and it would have been a different story.
The next day started with a long delay, as we fixed a flat for a member of the group. The small bit of metal that caused it was a real pain to get out of the tire. It took over half an hour.
Soon we were back on the road and cruising down the beautiful towpaths of Holland.
We finished our weekend with a jaunt through Leiden to the beach (where we also camped but didn’t take any pictures because it was dark and raining!!) and then back to Den Haag.
19th January 2010 at 8:56 pm #
19th January 2010 at 9:51 pm #
WOW! Your really taff guys! If you fill water bottles with hot
water to take them inside your sleeping bags it will warm you up
a little bit. (Or a shot of red wine before go go to bed :-)Nice pictures. We’re glad to be at home for the moment.
20th January 2010 at 5:06 pm #
Great pictures! and story. See you again at the Easter weekend?
20th January 2010 at 9:03 pm #
Wow–I am impressed. I don’t think this would be my idea of fun, to be honest. Did you have (hot?) showers?
Also, do the members of your group speak English with you, or is your Dutch rapidly improving?
20th January 2010 at 9:12 pm #
Hi Sarah, nice to hear from you! Since we were staying at campgrounds, there were hot showers. Though the first night hardly anyone used them 🙂 Second night, a few more people took advantage. Everyone in the group speaks English but our Dutch is improving too. It’s still a long way from perfect but we understand many things now and can express the basic things. We loved the winter camping. Would definitely do it again.
27th January 2011 at 11:30 am #
yey! you use a Hilleberg tent! i love them. i use them all the time, great for hiking and cycle-touring.
looks like a nice trip.
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