Saturday, December 29, 2012

BWJ Article - Softcore Winter Camping by Jim Voytilla

Every three months I look forward to receiving my copy of the Boundary Waters Journal in the mail. It arrived a couple of days ago, and that night I skimmed through the entire magazine. Three articles caught my immediate interest: Softcore Winter Camping, Water, Water Everywhere-But Where Am I to Go?, and The Vermilion River Route.

I just finished reading Softcore Winter Camping. As a Boy Scout growing up, we did quite a bit of winter camping. I am a scoutmaster now, and have done some "controlled" winter camping with the troop. If I am well-prepared, winter camping can be quite enjoyable. (The only problem I have is my hands and feet become cold very easily.) I have never gone winter camping in the Boundary Waters, though, so I was interested reading this article.

Jim is 63 years old and goes solo winter camping. That is impressive. The two things that have stopped me from going camping are getting too cold (and not being able to get warm again) and safety. Jim addresses both issues in the article. He brings a wall tent with a wood stove and doesn't get out of his sleeping bag until the tent is warm. As for safety, when he is solo, he doesn't camp very far from his vehicle. He also doesn't cross ice very often. If he does, he follows established trails and carries ice picks, fire starters, and dry clothes in water-tight containers.

After reading the article, I am convinced that not only could I go winter camping in the BWCA, but I could enjoy it as well. I will have to look at getting the equipment now...

1 comment:

  1. That is interesting, I am an Eagle scout, and in all of my winter camping experiences I was always cold. Now that I am a little bit older, I went on a camping trip with my Brother and he gave me some advice that he said would help me stay heated while up here in Calgary. He heated up some water and filled nalgene bottles with it, then dropped two of them into the bottom of my sleeping bag. It made all the difference in the world.