Sunday, July 11, 2010

Barbie could be a Snow Camper

I love snow camping and never knew that I would.

I should probably be more specific. I like camping on snow, but not necessarily winter camping. I like snow camping in mild temperatures that are cool enough at night to keep the snow around, but warm enough during the day to relax and not have to pay so much attention to survival issues.

People have these images of snow camping being challenging and difficult. Not really. Save for having to melt now for water it's not all that different.

There are some benefits that I didn't anticipate.

#1 is that you stay cleaner. When someone mentioned this to me, I didn't think too much about it until I went camping in dirt again. Suddenly I'm very much: "Ewgh I'm dirty. There's grim under my fingernails and I can't get it out, and my pants are stiff with crud." Suddenly I'm this big dirt wuss This doesn't happen in snow. No dirt under the fingernails and you can rinse things by just wiping them in carefully selected snow. Your clothing doesn't get stiff with brown stuff and if it gets wet it dries fairly quickly. (You're also not wearing the traditional pants, but more stretchy underwear with snowpants on top.)

#2 is that with snow and a small shovel and daylight, you can play house all you like
You can make a level surface or you can have a sunken bedroom complete with walls to protect you from the wind. You can make tables and other platforms, and have a kitchen, you can have a private or semi-private bathroom. Heck if you're ambitious you can even dig your own snow cave (I don't bother - too much work.)

But what about the cold? Well in Spring it's often not that cold. Laying on the snow? Well you choose well for sleeping bags (mine is a -5 degree down bag that fits me very well.) and you choose very carefully what pad you use. My most recent purchase is a Thermarest NeoAir and it's just awesome at keeping the cold away, and way better than their other pads mostly because it's actually a modern air mattress.

What amazes me is that in the snow I can wear the same thing for days (except for underwear and sock linings) and I don't notice. I very much notice when I'm somewhere else in that kind of situation (even dog agility).

So Barbie might be an ok snow camper.

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