Why go winter camping?

Compared to three-season experiences there are valid reasons why people may not want to go winter camping:

  • Conditions may not be favorable to consistent comfort
  • Snow may slow your travel and can make route-finding difficult
  • Nights can seem long
  • There is more preparation necessary
  • More gear may be necessary and the margin of error is less.

However, a winter landscape offers campers solitude, inspiration, natural quiet, a place to get away.  Winter camping can provide a haven from the pressures of our fast-paced, industrialized society, providing a place where one can seek relief from the noise, haste, and crowds.

Winter camping has several advantages over summer camping:

  • You can reach areas that are too wet or overgrown during other seasons.  In fact, these are often ideal destinations for winter camping.
  • Hikes can easily cross frozen lakes and ponds to directly access locations that might require lengthy hikes during other seasons.
  • The clear and open view is unparalleled.  Deciduous trees shed their leaves and provide unobstructed vistas.
  • Clear night skies offer a great star grazing opportunities for amateur astronomers.
  • Winter camping provides solitude and a feeling of exploration; even heavily traveled trails can seem like virgin territory when covered by a fresh blanket of snow.
  • One can justify eating excessive amounts of snacks and chocolate for energy.
  • Night time sounds carry easily enhancing an audio landscape of coyotes, owls, trees snapping and ice cracking.
  • Winter camping provides a different perspective  into nature than offered during the other three seasons.
  • Camping in the winter inspires a feeling of independence and gives people confidence in their survival skills.
  • There is a satisfaction in learning new skills or enhancing/extending your current outdoor skills.
  • There is little competition from other campers.  Camping sites that are overly popular during summer months are rarely visited or usually only visited by day hikers.
  • One gets to practice snow shoeing and XC skiing skills.
  • The skills one gains from winter camping (e.g. dressing properly, recognizing signs of hypothermia) can make one deal more comfortably with winter conditions encountered during regular life.
  • There are no mosquitoes or bears.

Winter camping is an activity that requires planning and preparation, physical stamina, the right equipment, an adventuresome spirit and a positive mental attitude.  With the correct mix of these attributes we hope you enjoy winter camping.

Source: wintercampers.com