On March 4th and 5th, the Cascade Drift Skippers went camping. Our President, Elwood Hunt led us on a overnight snow camping adventure. We left from Easton and ended up somewhere around Anderson Camp. Fred Wemer jumped in and offered igloos building classes. Mick Steinman, Mr. Safety, offered support and a lesson on fire building in the snow. We had eight overnight campers, two equipment sleds, and three more outriders offering support, instruction, and kindly words of advice.
The following are my observations about my experience. I call it the Ten Things I Learned about Snow Camping with CDS.
1. Any activity is fun if you have clear skies and warm weather. We had both. I think that is essential in planning for such an event. Otherwise, why bother?
2. Fred Wemer instructed us on the art of making emergency (short term) shelters with snow blocks. We decided that it also makes a great latrine.
3. You gotta have kids along. The more the better. Jeff Huard brought his three. Brennan (7), Marcus(9), and Genevieve(11). Not only are they good entertainment and good snow clinkers for their igloo, but they tell really bad jokes.
4. For packing the pull behind sled/trailer, use a big tarp, then fold over the top of all the stuff, and strap it down with a spider web bungee. Other possibility, pile all the stuff, bags, shovels in a pile and stop every mile or so to reassemble/tie down. Another thought. Never let the pack sled be the last in line, otherwise the possibility of going a mile down the road before realizing that the sled is no longer with you could happen.
5. Bring along a propane torch to get the fire started. You know, the kind you use to thaw pipes with. We used Duraflames logs. Bad slow, impossible to light (soaking it in Coleman fuel became necessary).
6. Bring a chain saw. Get serious about your firewood supply. Of course, only cut standing dead timber. Pruning saws are for pruning.
7. S’mores made with chocolate covered mint cookies are much better than the traditional recipe.
8. Down bags and igloos don’t work.
9. Thermarests work better for insulation than those blue insulated pads.
10. Food. Don’t grab some outdated can of something or other and eat it on a camping adventure. Backup plan. Bring homemade cookies and you can trade for just about anything, and I mean anything.
Submitted by - DeAnn Reeves
A Snowcamp Experience