Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Winter Camping Anyone?


Guelph Lake Conservation Area is a popular camping spot between May and October and is now closed for the season. The grounds are accessible though and you are welcome to sit on the bench overlooking the frozen lake. At the nature centre, three shelters are set up for the students who come here on field trips.


I posted a picture of this snow house last week, but recent snowfalls have made the walls thicker and the entrance smaller.


Behind a cedar hedge is a tent, a straw shelter and a protected fire pit. The students are asked which would be warmest in the winter;- the snow, straw or nylon tent. They are permitted to climb in and out of them in order to make a decision about the preferable accommodation.


If you were to try winter camping you could also go ice fishing on the lake. These brightly clothed fishers were trying their luck in the cold without the benefit of an ice hut or propane heater. No one here has to fish for survival or live in a small outdoor shelter. But it does make me think of the effort it took to survive our winters in centuries past.


The birds liked the straw hut best and when I approached it a number of them flew away from its surface. Seeds (or insects) were likely present in the bales of hay. I also am amazed at their ability to survive cold days and long, colder nights for so many months of winter.

Winter camping is not for me, but I do know what material to choose for a shelter if I was forced to spend a night in the cold. Which would you choose?

Postscript... The best insulated shelter is made of....STRAW! Next is the ice house and then the tent. But if you had that sub-zero rated sleeping bag, you could stay in any of them safely. I would knock on the door of the house next door that has central heating. :-)
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20 comments:

  1. The straw would make me sneeze, and I would be frightened of the possibility of the snow cave collapse, so I would likely choose the tent and an amazing sub-zero sleeping bag.

    There's no way I would choose to do winter camping, although I know several people who love it.

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  2. I guess the straw would be my choice,on second thought my choice would be a cozy motel room with all the perks.O.K. I'm a wimp.I do love the collage,the colors are so bright ,it just drew me in.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  3. The straw would be my choice too but I have read a lot about how snow is a wonderful insulator. I would actually think that it may be warmer than the straw.

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  4. I have absolutely no idea. This snow lark is all new to me and a steep learning curve for sure. Great pics though. Thanks for the interesting and entertaining post.

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  5. Oh, I think I'll pass on the winter camping. We see people ice fishing on our nearby lake (Lake of Two Mountains)all winter. Brrrrrrrr!

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  6. oh yeah, lovely pictures of the winter in full force :)

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  7. I am for winter camping..in a hotel. but the photos with the sun made me smile...

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  8. I like winter and the cold so you would think I would like winter camping...well I like the comforts of home more. But I would give it a whirl, in the nylon tent. That is my guess.

    I love the bright colors against the pure white snow. Lovely! Nice bright photos for the 1/2 point of winter.

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  9. I would choose snow-covered straw! The pictures are wonderful, especially the first one!

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  10. I think the snow cave would be my choice.

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  11. This is a fun post. ;-)

    I can't imagine camping this time of year. Brrr. I don't know how people managed before central heating. I totally understand why bears hibernate. ;-)

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  12. Uh, how about none of the above? Like everyone else, I am a wimp when it comes to being out in the cold for too long. If I HAD to be, I suppose the snow would probably be the warmest, assuming you had a really wonderful sleeping bag?

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  13. Interesting post, Ruth. I think I would choose the straw--after all it keeps barnyard livestock warm all winter, right?

    I always wonder too how the voyageurs, mountain men, and native Americans survived winters of long ago

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  14. So, Ruth, what is the answer? I would guess the snow cave is warmest. Very Fun and interesting post and lots of great photos. I love shots of the highbush cranberries so red against all the drabness.

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  15. I too will pass on the winter camping idea. I don't even want to think about the power going out! Yikes!

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  16. I choose the Straw bale home..I like the idea of all the birdies around me.
    Beautiful photos...

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  17. I'd choose the straw?

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  18. Ruth,

    Love your photos. The bluejay is awesome. I love both them and cardinals. I haven't seen as many bluejays this year as I normally do. That's a bit of a disappointment.

    Now, to answer your question. Snow is a good insulator and it does help to keep the ground warm. There is one drawback - snow melts, so I would choose the straw and put up with the itching.

    What a day! Dakota kept us on the run all day. He got me up at 5:45 this morning. He seems to be very intelligent.

    Blessings,
    Mary

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  19. Thanks for your comments. I added a postscript to the post with the answer to the question. Like most of you, I prefer a bed and central heating,

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  20. ooooh. i love it. i just don't know if i can stay there overnight lol. what i'd give just to feel snow. i live in a place where there ain't snow.

    let me share my white water rafting adventure to you here

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