My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

Winter Camping Trip

This is my first winter camping trip just for fun. I've hunted in the winter; family camped in the winter with our camper and did quite a bit in the cold with the Marine Corps including cold weather training. However this is the first time I set out with friends and snow shoes into the woods and camped in the snow and cold just to test my gear, my survival skills and just for fun. I had a great time!

Man, did I need to get out! I had to leave a day early to work on Monday, but it was a great way to spend the weekend. Once again, it was a great group of people to hang with and I got to meet some new people.

We packed our gear into sleds, slipped on our snowshoes and hiked into the woods. My gear all worked well. Layers and no cotton, my Rocky Boots (about 5 years old), Polypropylene Long Johns, a new Eureka 0 degree sleeping bag with one of those thicker (blue on one side silver on the other) survival blankets underneath me and a 10 x10 tarp hung on a ridge pole.

I attached the pole to the tree with the two bungees that held the gear on my sled for the hike in. I took one of my kidís plastic sleds but it was a little bent, so it kept tipping over on the hike in. If I do it again, I'm going to get a better sled.

We made our shelters for the winter camping trip with tarps and had a fire going all day. Kevin got the fire going easily in the morning since the coals were still hot. I stayed warm and comfortable the whole time. Marty and Aggie brought a big pot to melt snow for drinking water. We also melted it ourselves at times in our various cups for tea or whatever.

I slept well for the most part, but even though the area I picked for my shelter looked pretty flat, after lying in my bag a while I realized that it had a slight dip toward my feet (away from the tree that I had my ridge pole attached to, plus the survival blanket was slippery) and I had a giant root down the middle of my back. Also in an attempt to make sure I stayed covered and warm, I made my shelter too small. On the next winter camping trip, I will bring a slightly larger tarp and rather than laying logs on the edges and cover them with snow to hold them down, I will either bring or make wooden stakes and just stake it. This will eliminate all the tarp material it took to put the logs and snow on it to hold it down. If my shelter was larger, I could have moved away from the root and had a little more room to dress and undress. I definitely learned some things and one of them is shelter location selection.

One of the simplest but greatest pleasures of the weekend was hitting the rack and opening up my book, a walk in the woods, listening to the night and reading with my headlamp. That was so peaceful and fun.

This trip was with Marty and Aggie Simon (owners of the Wilderness Learning Center. ), their two wonderful dogs, Kevin a high school teacher, Jerry a police officer and me.

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Onto the pics.

Starting my survival shelter
Starting my survival shelter
My survival shelter
My survival shelter
Marty, Aggie and me hanging by the fire
Marty, Aggie and me hanging by the fire
Marty built this tripod
Marty built this tripod
This was a great dinner
This was a great dinner
Hanging pants over the fire to dry
Hanging pants over the fire to dry
Aggie made some snow cones to share
Aggie made some snow cones to share
This is our wood pile
This is our wood pile
Real winter sleds
Real winter sleds
Marty and Aggies shelter
Marty and Aggies shelter
Hanging by the fire
Hanging by the fire
On the way out
On the way out

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Winter Camping

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Winter Survival Camping

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Family Camping Survival Skills

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Survival Skills for Kids

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Winter Camping Trip

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Edible Plant Survival

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