Winter camping at Klinkenbelt

It’s been a while already, but my Christmas was not the traditional family-visiting-and-eat-all-you-can party. I went winter camping at Klinkenbelt.

Together with two friends, I made a pretty long hike to Klinkenbelt,  a small hill near Nijverdal, the Netherlands. We departed from Ommen, which made it a 20+km hike. I have attached the hike at the end of this post.

Why winter camping at Klinkenbelt? Because this is pretty much the closest you can come to climbing Denali in the Netherlands. Yes, I know, it’s not close at all, but what do you expect in a country which summit point is 323m?

On our way!

We woke up at 7:30h, on December 26st, only to find out it was raining… badly. Would this be for the rest of the day? The weather forecast wasn’t that bad: cloudy and some sun… But rain?

Departing from OmmenLuckily the rain stopped and at 9:00h we set out for Ommen by car. Our destination was Klinkenbelt; one of the few places in the Netherlands where you are allowed to do some wild camping. We needed to do a  23km hike, mostly through the woods.


In the beginning our way up led us mostly through woods. We summited Lemelerberg, and after that there was a long descent to the Klinkenbelt itself. Still, don’t overestimate, there was only 10m altitude difference.. The view was good, and the winds were cold. Almost the actual feeling of a real 7-Summit! 😉

Unfortunately, the rest of the day there was just a little too much tarmac!

Winter camping

We arrived at Klinkenbelt at 16:00h, made a cup of tea and quickly Beautiful morning lightunpacked our tents. Just before it was dark, our tents where in place and there was nothing to do but eat… and sleep! Since we got very, very cold, we gladly went to our sleeping bags at 18:30h. And again, the night was rainy, but warm and comfortable! Enjoying the sounds of the wood.

… And back again

At 8:00h the next morning we woke up. A good feeling to get out of your tent in the middle of the peaceful woods! Time for breakfast and another good cup of tea. With some stiff legs, but a good mood we started our way back. The route this day was better, most paths where through the woods, which made them nice and silent. And, because Christmas had ended, the local restaurants where open for lunch again. That made a nice break to warm, and fill up! Again we finished at 16:00h.

Lessons learned?

We prepared well and do have good equipment. But, we were very surprised how cold we got after building up our tents. We still got very cold, while it was about 6 degrees outside, and we were dressed well. Humidity makes one cold very fast. And humid Dutch winters are. So even when the night temperature will be above zero, be sure to bring some really warm clothes. Once nice and warm in your sleeping bag, enjoy the sounds of the woods and the long dark night! Winter camping surely is good, even in the Netherlands!

This zip contains the GPX-files: Route

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