“I'm going to try winter camping this year,” my husband, Keith, announced.
“Really?” I responded. “Why?”
I was a little nervous about his answer. I mean, I thought we had a good marriage, but maybe not. He must want to flee. Why else would anyone want to go sleep in the snow in the middle of the mountains? Being a relatively reasonable person, I decided to wait for an answer before searching the Internet for a marriage counselor.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “It might be interesting.”
That was a good answer. After ten years of being with Keith, I am aware that he likes to delve into the extreme - marathons, hiking the Northville-Placid Trail in eight days, 100-mile bike rides on a Saturday in the summer.
“Are you going alone?” I asked concerned. After all, I didn’t want him to slip off a cliff with a 40-pound backpack strapped to him, fall head first into a snow bank and not have anyone around to rescue him.
“No. Dennis got winter camping equipment for Christmas and wants to try it out.”
Dennis is Keith’s extreme athletic friend. What one doesn’t think of the other one will. Dennis’s wife, Margaret, and I often say, “We’re so glad they have each other.” That way they don't try to convince us to engage in these, let's say, different kind of activities.
So they made a plan, and I was fine with it. It gave me at least 24-hours of uninterrupted quiet to edit my novel for about the 20th time without Keith saying, “Are you revising that again?”
Just out of curiosity I asked once more, “Why do you guys want to camp out in the winter? Besides, it might be interesting.”
He thought for a minute. “I’m not sure. A little crazy, huh?”
Maybe. Maybe not.
We know that spending time in nature is one of the best ways to find peace and maintain a positive attitude. Winters are cold and long in the Northeast. Nature enthusiasts need to go out to get a dose of tranquility despite the weather.
Here’s what Wintercampers.com says, “A winter landscape offers campers solitude, inspiration, natural quiet, and 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.”
It does sound appealing and check out this picture of Keith hiking away from contemporary living into a winter paradise.
Looks peaceful. In fact, next year I just may join him although I’d love to find a rustic cabin with a fireplace at the end of the trail as opposed to a tent.
Other advantages of winter camping according to Wintercamping.com include:
- The clear and open view is unparalleled. Deciduous trees shed their leaves and provide unobstructed vistas of the surrounding landscape.
- Clear night skies offer a great star grazing opportunities.
- Winter camping provides a different perspective into nature than offered during the other three seasons.
- Night time sounds carry easily enhancing an audio landscape of coyotes, owls, trees snapping and ice cracking.
- 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 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.
My almost favorite:
- There are no mosquitoes or bears.
My absolute favorite:
- One can justify eating excessive amounts of snacks and chocolate for energy.
Take heed, winter camping does require skill and special equipment. Organizations such as the Adirondack Mountain Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, etc. are great resources and often arrange group trips.
KICK BACK SONG OF THE WEEK:
Winter Snow by Chris Tomlin and Audrey Assad
KICK BACK BOOK OF THE WEEK:
|Yosemite National Park|
"I must return to the mountains - to Yosemite. I am told that the winter storms there will not be easily borne, but I am bewitched, enchanted, and tomorrow I must start for the great temple to listen to the winter songs and sermons preached and sung, only there." - John Muir from a letter to Mrs. Ezra Carr (November 15, 1869).