Ok, so this week, I have taken some time for myself. Finally I have had time to get work done, and have fun at the same time. As crazy as we might have been,
rlie and I had tried a night of winter camping. We started our jaunt with about a mile X-Country Ski/snowshoe trek up into the woods. We figured we would stay close to home, on our first experimental trip.
We enjoyed the afternoon, the weather was nice, cold, but nice. We set up camp, dug the snow away to set the tent up, rolled out our bags and pads, and then began collecting some firewood. It was a good venture, but we did not realize how much wood we needed to keep our fire going for a few hours. So about ever hour we re-assessed the situation and ventured into the dark to find whatever dead wood we could.
We certainly were not having a leave no trace fire. As the night grew darker, we grew colder, and got the fire toasty warm. So warm that I was able to strip to my long johns to dry out my pants. Of course, I was the moron, that left the pants over the hot coals for way too long, and caught them on fire... Anyway, we learned a lot from this trip.
Around 9PM we headed to bed. We did not realize that it would be a good idea to warm our bags first, so we crawled into COLD sleeping bags, and began to chill down. NOT GOOD... We managed to g et warm enough to be okay, and make it through the night. I managed to sleep for most of the night, but Charlie was too cold to get any sleep.
Around 6:30am, I crawled out of the tent, and rekindled the fire, to get some warmth and to "thaw out". Charlie and I both enjoyed the fire for about an hour before we packed camp and headed for warmth and nap time.
In all, the lessons we learned were to not be so dumb, bring more water, warm our sleeping gear before crawling into them, DO NOT forget that the fire will burn wet pants if you leave them over hot coals too long, and to plan better next time.
For those of you who care, my wish list extends out to anyone willing to buy the following items for my winter survival. I would like a vapor barrier liner as well as a fleece liner for my sleeping bag, 2 or 3 quart sized stainless steel water bottles, and anything else you think I might need on my next trip in the wintery woods.