Saturday, March 10, 2018


There's been some camping talk going around lately, and with three feet of snow still on the ground I've been recalling some of my own trips.

Winter camp. I won't say it's completely out of my system – I've enjoyed some interesting adventure out there, but I'm glad I did it then because I don't know it's something I'd start doing now. Some has been a means to an end, a way to reach backcountry deer hunting or remote ice fishing that few others would bother to reach, but other winter camps were strictly just for the “doing it.”

A ticking woodstove in a canvas wall tent with companions seems luxurious where a solo cold camp might deem successful by not freezing to death. Either way, snug in a deep sleeping bag listening to howling wolves through thin tent walls on a still winter night is something you won't forget.


Getting there usually involves hiking or skiing decent trails or crossing a frozen lake or two but it once took two days to find a destination lake that I thought I'd reach in hours. Heavy snow surprised me – my snowshoes sunk deep with each step and the sled I pulled became heavier each mile. I lost the trail several times in the thick forest and had to “dead reckon” or backtrack. I finally got there, exhausted, but made a comfortable camp, ate well, slept well in a plush bag, and had an easy return on my broken trail. It took so long to get there I only had a little time for fishing, but I did see a moose on the way out. All for the sake of winter camping.


Yes, I'm looking for Spring!