A week ago Will and I had our sixth winter camping adventure together. We’ve had all sorts of experiences out there. Warm years, wet years, hard years, easy years… It’s always interesting. This year we took Annalesa and I’m working on telling that story. In the meanwhile…
There are two types of people when I share that I winter camp:
Some people are immediately horrified by the concept. They recoil when I tell them as if I was sharing that for my vacation I was going to be suspended on cliff edge in a tank of snakes and spiders while publicly speaking naked. Not only can they not imagine wanting to do something like winter camp, they don’t even want to hear about it.
Some people are intrigued and drawn to the idea. These are the people I’m nervous will get inspired and head out there unprepared and end up in Type 3 fun (where someone dies, or close to it.) They ask what it’s like and how things work and I often struggle to explain how much work it is.
Perhaps a timeline of a typical day would help.
I always have to pee in the middle of the night. It’s extra hard if it’s -30º out there. I got mentally prepared, and then found and put on my liner gloves (so not to get contact frost bite from touching things outside my sleeping bag) I unzipped both zippers of my sleeping bag, slid out of my liner bag, pulled out my big puffy jacket and put it on, swiveled around and slid my boots on, wobbled over to my pee spot, undid my fleece onesie, peed. Then reversed the whole process, pausing only to reinflate my therm-a-rest. Back in my bag I released one of my two hot water bottles (Nalgeens that were filled with boiling hot water right before bedtime) from their fully encapsulating koozies. Ahhhhh. So warm and cozy! I fell back to sleep.
I woke up because I’d been sleeping for over eight hours. But was still dark. Continue reading