Mens Winter Camp 2023
One thing I’ve always enjoyed is winter camping; the cold, crisp air, sitting around a camp fire, and best of all, no mosquitoes. 2021, I invited some friends that I met at Sigma III on a winter camping trip so they could test their new found survival skills and experience the thrill of camping up North. This last year was a sad one however; too much work, and no winter camping, so something had to change. To remedy from this disaster happening again, I organized a winter adventure for this year.
The month of February can be interesting; with temps ranging from -40 to 40. On this endeavor, we were blessed with highs in the 20’s, and lows in the negative teens…and not much wind. We were dropped off near the Clear River Bridge. We loaded up our gear on sleds and trekked to our destination. I was able to break in my new toboggan made with Northern Toboggan Co. There was a light dusting of snow on the trail that revealed we weren’t the only predators in the woods. Timberwolf tracks nearly packed it down in places…and the next few nights we would hear them howling not far from where we slept. By the time we arrived, it was early afternoon. We set up camp; one hammock, one canvas tent, and a super shelter. Gathering firewood kept us busy the rest of the evening.
The first morning at camp, we cooked up breakfast and spent the majority of our time gathering enough firewood to sustain us through the trip. It was a lot of work, considering it was all done with an axe and a few Silkie saws. Later, we filled our water containers from a spring in the cedars, and worked on a double lean-to frame. It was the only project we didn’t complete since we had other places to sleep anyways. That evening, I had the privilege of teaching one of the guys how to make his first friction fire kit. He was able to get a coal and a fire on his first attempt.
Day two; breakfast, and then building saw frames. There’s something about guys and building these things; getting all the pieces to line up, tightening the windlasses, and making the frames snug. It’s always a great project, no matter how many you’ve made. Around noon, Stacie and one of her friends came to do a plant walk. All 3 of the guys enjoyed learning about what was in the woods for food, medicine, and tea. The last project was making Roycroft ski shoes, which took the rest of the evening to finish.
The final morning was spent packing up camp. We then headed into town for lunch, and said our goodbyes…until next time.
If you are interested in experiencing winter camping and cold weather survival, let me know. I’d love to have you join us.