Winter Camping Workshop

February 8, 2012

“Crazy.”

That’s the most common word I hear when I use the words “winter” and “camping” too close together.  And even if you’ve read other posts here where I’ve used “winter” and “camping” together and know that my idea of winter camping involves a tent, a sleeping bag, with sleds and snowshoes, you may be just about to (as I did) learn a new word that can be used instead.  That word is “hot”.  And you use it like this: “Hot winter camping.”

And although my idea of camping has always been about stripping away the luxuries of our modern lives to get down to what is only essential, and thus- supposedly- finding some hidden truths about our selves, this new concept has captured my attention with some force.  Allow me to clarify.  Anyone who has gone on trips with me know that I do not skimp on food.  Not. At. All.  But I do try to bring as little else as I can get away with by sleeping in a hammock (about the size of a grapefruit when packed).  And to be fair, my food is usually all dehydrated. Perhaps my luck has made me smug.  Thinking back on my winter camping adventure in Loch Alva, the weather was beautiful, and the temperature never dipped below, say -20 C at night and was almost always -5 C during the days.  It only takes one night at -25 C in a -12 C sleeping bag to realize you need to change your ways if “winter” and “camping” are to remain good friends.  Like I said, I have learned a new word.

Group Dynamics

On January 21 and 22, 2012, the Outdoor Educators of New Brunswick put on our 2nd Annual Winter Camping Workshop in Mactaquac Park near Fredericton, NB.  We extended last years session to include an overnight so the skills learned were not just hypothetical, but put to the test in a real winter camping situation.  We weren’t met with conditions that would allow us to be smug and think, this is no problem.  At -23 C, real danger exists.

Bur Wins

After packing our gear on to sleds, we all strapped on skis with Bur Win bindings (which allow you to use your winter boots!) and went for a warm up ski around Mactaquac.

Team Work

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