Scoutmaster Musings - Why I Like Snow Camping

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Scoutmaster Musings

Why I Like Snow Camping
This is how it usually goes after the Sunday worship service while catching up with friends:
'So, anything interesting coming up?'
'Well, I'm going camping next weekend with the scouts.'
'WHAT? It's January. You're Nuts!'
Or, sometimes, they just shake their head as they walk away.

But, those that stick around hear me tell them that a snow shelter is really pretty warm, there's no bugs, and it's low humidity. Snow camping is a great time!

It's usually a small group that braves the Minnesota cold to sleep out in sub-zero temps, but it's also usually the hardiest scouts so the outing is great.

It's a perfect outing to learn how to tell direction without a compass in day and night. You can set up a stick in the snow and check the shadow every 1/2 hour or so throughout the day. And, since night comes very early and the sky is crisp and clear, you can find constellations fairly easily.

The worse part of snow camping, I think, is the meal clean-up. It's not much fun trying to dry dishes when its -5 degrees. Drip drying doesn't work, either. This is one outing where the savvy scouts plan their meals carefully. Last year, one patrol just heated cans of chili in a pot of water so they had no clean up, just throwing away the cans. :-)

Now, I've not had the fun of taking scouts camping in really deep snow where you can just dig a cave. I did that as a youth, but we usually have to scrounge a pile up and hope its enough. This year looks pretty dismal so we may wind up using tents for the first time. That will be good for the guys to experience how the ice forms during the night, and to figure out how to care for the tents when they get home.

Here's Nick and Dave trying to smash their snow hut after sleeping in it overnight. You can see Nick went right through the top after some real effort. :-)
(CLick a photo for a full-size view)

Posted: 22:56 01-14-2007 115
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