When I moved to Bozeman, Montana a few years back, I spent as much time alone in the mountains as I possibly could. One activity I always wanted to try, was backpack camping in the winter. Despite the intimidation I felt at having never camped in the snow before, I decided to try it one week I had off of work. I spent 4 days in the Spanish Peaks of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.
Last year, Outside Bozeman – one of my favorite small press magazines- published an article I wrote about the experience. This particular article was written and submitted years ago, and is definitely not my best writing. It illustrates my novice optimism for setting off alone in the winter without any experience.
Keeping dry and warm was really my only concern, which I somehow managed to do ok. A tarp/ground cloth kept my body directly off the snow and dry. A high end Sierra Designs, down-insulated 10 Degree Fahrenheit rated sleeping bag kept me warm (In some winter conditions, a -20 Degree Fahrenheit rated bag is ideal). I made fires to dry my clothing out- but remember, hot-air-circulation is more important than keeping clothes super close to the fire. Hang them above the fire, and at a distance to receive moderate heat only. If you aren’t careful, its easy to burn clothes trying to dry them right next to the flames.
Without further ado, here is my story: READ HERE
And while you’re at it, check out these other great similar winter stories from Outside Bozeman:
And for more advice for camping in the winter, check out this helpful info from
REI: “Winter Camping and Backpacking Advice” , and Section Hiker: “12 Essential Winter Camping and Backpacking Hacks” .
(Categories: Hiking , Camping , Winter )