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 Post subject: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 26th, 2013, 12:55 pm 
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Location: Waterdown
I posted this over on the Wintertrekking website and thought I'd share here as well...(I'm bored at work lol)

I'm sure I'm not the only who gets the strangest looks from people when I tell them I'm going winter camping. People think I am totally nuts for wanting to head into the cold for several nights in the bush. This got me thinking about what it is that draws me to winter camping...

I have a theory as to what draws us to this type of activity. I think deep down we have a desire to revert back to our primitive ways. The idea of being "hunters and gatherers" is innately and deeply woven in us. I think being up in the bush in less than desriable conditions helps satisfy this sub-conciuos desire.

Think of this...Every day I wake up in a house that I didn't build. The temperature is set exactly as I like it. I go downstairs and grab some perfectly cooled milk from the fridge. I press a button and instantly have a perfect cup of coffee. I pull my cup from the dishwasher and make my coffee. The day continues like this....All parts of my life have been adjusted to become more comfortable and convenient.

So why is it that a cup of coffee tastes better in the bush? Meals are always tastier, and the warmth from a fire soothes more than the heat from a furnace at home?

I think there is a real sense of accomplishment and reward that comes with doing things and making things in harsh situations. When you are winter camping, even making a cup of coffee takes effort. The cold fingers from pumping the stove...the collection of water from a stream or melted snow for boiling. The fighting of the wind to make your stove more efficient. I think it all adds up to a more satisfying end result (ie cup of coffee) because we had to work for it. I think it fulfills that subconcious need to live more primitavely.

The same goes for the feeling I get when I finally get a nice fire going. As comfortable I feel with all my down or Gore-tex, it's never as comfy as it is at home in my house. So that feeling of warmth that only a campfire can provide feels extra special. Again I think it's because you have to gather the wood, cut it, and use skill to actually light it. That is a rewarding feeling in itself.

So I think that is why I like the whole idea of winter camping. It's back-to-basic living and it is rewarding at so many levels...

Sorry for the early morning deep-thought / philosophical rant

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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 27th, 2013, 9:17 am 
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Joined: December 16th, 2004, 4:25 pm
Posts: 269
Location: bradford
Ya, I guess so...
Mostly, I just thought it was fun!
:D
FD


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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 27th, 2013, 6:12 pm 
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Joined: April 16th, 2003, 1:50 pm
Posts: 315
Location: Toronto
The thing I liked most about winter camping was the way the old body upshifted after about 48 hours. I have no scientific explanation, just the sense that the fat metabolism kicked in combined with some kind of rejig in the capillary beds to aid blood circulation (what the physiologists call vasodilation I think). Kind of like rebooting into linux on a dual boot system. After that, I pretty much wouldn't use the parka any more, until the start of the next trip. Gave me some insight into how people have lived in cold climates.

My kids have been watching an episode of Curious George where he camps in an igloo. I might have mentioned 'winter camping is fun' about a half dozen times or more. We'll see if that little seed sprouts and bears any fruit down the road.


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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 27th, 2013, 9:22 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
I also think it's a primal thing for us evolutionary believers.

We've been raised with variations of these sensations for thousands of years. Eating, using fire, and traveling to attain security.

Nowadays we just do the same things but with far less personal energy expended.

More personal energy expended equals more personal satisfaction.

I also believe that everyone becomes more in sync after three days of being "out there". Now, all of those external energies that we were dependent on are forgotten. No clutter.


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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 4:33 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Steve E wrote:
I'm sure I'm not the only who gets the strangest looks from people when I tell them I'm going winter camping. People think I am totally nuts for wanting to head into the cold for several nights in the bush


I make a goal to go paddling 12 months a year. People look at me like I have two heads when I tell them I'm going to the river in January.


Image

Nothing like a January swim to make you feel alive


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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 4:42 pm 
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That's awesome DougB!

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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 5:20 pm 
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Location: bradford
LOL.... okay, maybe some of us ARE bonkers! ...lol..
FD


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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 9:39 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
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Location: Milton
As I enter 45 years...( :o ) of paddling
I just thought it was normal..... :roll:
:thumbup:
Just took me a few years to start the winter camping thing.... :D
And I must say it is far easier than it looks.
And I always enjoyed a good winter trek though.
:thumbup: :thumbup:
Two thumbs up to all of you!
Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 29th, 2013, 3:13 pm 
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The folks that think we are crazy are also the ones that dont even bother to summer camp.
Recently I was in a room and someone was making a presentation about winter camping...as it turns out half the people in the room had some experience with winter camping and he asked the room:

"what is it you like about winter camping ?"

My answer?:

"its quiet , its really quiet "

On a tv show recently there was a piece on back country skiing in the BC Selkirks. At one point the skier turns to camera and in a faint whisper spoke : "Listen to that ?...no Cats, no snowmobiles, no airplanes or cars or any engines, nothing..isnt that wonderful?"


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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 29th, 2013, 3:20 pm 
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Joined: March 9th, 2004, 2:12 pm
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Location: Waterdown
I totally agree...there is something different about the quiet of winter eh?

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 Post subject: Re: Are We Bonkers?
PostPosted: January 29th, 2013, 4:59 pm 
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Joined: February 12th, 2004, 9:28 am
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Location: Waterloo, ON
Even the winter snow is quieter than the summer rain.

It's been a long time since I was out winter camping, although my wife and daughter were out this last weekend with the Pathfinder group. For me it was always a challenge and an accomplishment. One of my best memories was a night spent in a lean to with a fire in front. We had an emergency blanket set up to reflect the heat from the fire into the lean to. It was probably my most comfortable night of winter camping. That lean to was still standing the next year, albeit well dried out.

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