Winter Camping

Homemade Tipi for Winter Camping, by Guest Blogger Camper Christina

Tipi Renovations – Function and Flair! https://youtu.be/UhnsVD3YVT4 In December, I took the tipi to Mew Lake camping in the non hydro loop and realized I still needed to make a few revisions. Well one main one, for sure. I had a big issue with the snow sticking to the bottom of the canvas where the tipi met the ground. The snow that stuck to the main area, wasn't a huge problem, but the large ice chunks and snow chunks were. They would freeze themselves into the fabric somehow at the bottom and I couldn't get them off until getting [...]

By |2017-01-30T10:20:20-05:00January 30th, 2017|Gear & Advice, Outdoor Gear, Winter Camping|1 Comment

The Quinzhee – How Not to Freeze to Death: Part 1

I couldn't wait to build my own quinzhee as soon as my older sister told me how she had built one on a day excursion with the Outdoors Club at high school. Until then, I had no idea that a quinzhee was a primitive shelter, constructed by building a big pile of snow, letting it crystalize for a couple of hours, and then hollowing it out like a snow cave. Heck, I hadn’t even heard the word before then.           As soon as the snow conditions were suitable (lots and cold - not warm packing snow), [...]

By |2017-01-11T08:53:12-05:00January 11th, 2017|Stories, Winter Camping|0 Comments

The Quinzhee – How Not to Freeze to Death: Part 5

The sun was just cresting over the cliff on the side of the valley as I stood above the hole in the ice, ready to drop my line down. I tied on a tiny lead-head jig with a twister tail. I wasn't looking for anything big - just a couple of small panfish would do, something I could roast on a stick over the fire. I dropped the jig down the hole into the icy water below, and I was confused when the line coiled on top of the water. The jig was heavy enough to pull the line taut if it was still suspended [...]

By |2017-01-11T08:55:46-05:00December 13th, 2015|Stories, Winter Camping|1 Comment

The Quinzhee – How Not to Freeze to Death: Part 4

I was slowly freezing to death, Toby along with me.  Cuddled together, we had both stopped shivering, not because we weren't cold, but because hypothermia was advancing to the next stage.  My thoughts were confused, and it was apparent that I was losing coordination as I struggled to unzip my sleeping bag.  I had no idea what time it was, but I couldn't imagine it was much past midnight and I knew that attempting sleep at this stage was pointless, and possibly fatal. I crawled to the makeshift door and clumsily tore it down, stumbling outside into the cold dark [...]

By |2017-01-11T08:55:24-05:00December 12th, 2015|Stories, Winter Camping|0 Comments

The Quinzhee – How Not to Freeze to Death: Part 3

The quinzhee required one more step to prepare it for occupancy for the night - glazing.  I placed two three-inch candles in the centre of the floor and lit them with a torch from the fire.  The low heat produced by the two flames was just enough to melt the snow on the inside of the roof, but not enough to transform it into water.  Instead, it re-froze as a thin layer of ice, assisted by a light pass of my hand over the surface.  A three-inch hole through the centre of the roof was enough to allow moisture and fumes [...]

By |2017-01-11T08:54:55-05:00December 11th, 2015|Stories, Winter Camping|0 Comments

The Quinzhee – How Not to Freeze to Death: Part 2

Quinzhee Construction Locking the truck, I strapped on my snowshoes and started out across the open lake, alternating between trudging through three-foot drifts of snow and skating across open patches of bare ice. Snow and ice froze in Toby’s paws, and I stopped often to help him remove the balls of ice that he couldn’t extract with his teeth. After two hours of this, I reached my destination and was pleased with my decision to spend the night here. The Campsite The makeshift campsite was everything I remembered from my summer forays in the area. The point of land jutted [...]

By |2017-01-11T08:54:27-05:00December 10th, 2015|Stories, Winter Camping|0 Comments