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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