Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Snow Camping

Happily, I have returned from one night of snow camping this past weekend with the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scout troop left on Friday morning and spent two nights out there. Luckily, I had First Aide and CPR training so I was able to go up for only one night. My son spent two nights in the igloo he and his fellow scouts built.

Snow camping isn’t my favorite type of camping because, frankly, it is cold. It isn’t just a little cold, it is freezing cold and I really don’t like to be cold. Yes, I admit it; I’m a fair weather camper.

Now that my son is in Boy Scouts, I’ll be doing a lot more camping. Considering that we live in the Seattle area, we’ll be doing a lot of camping in the rain. To my benefit, our Boy Scout troop only does one winter camping trip a year. I personally don’t think I’d want to do more than one winter camping trip a year. Like I said earlier, I like to be warm.

When you are winter camping, you are sleeping outside (in a tent) with the temperature at or below freezing or in an igloo (which is at freezing or below because it is an igloo). Mind you, if you are outside in a tent and it is 20 degrees, it’s darn cold. And if you are in an igloo, you are slightly above freezing because of your body heat and it is still darn cold. Since the temperature in the igloo is slightly above freezing, it is never toasty warm and comfortable until you get into your sleeping bag (which you hope is a very good zero degree bag). Why would you want to be comfortable? That is a silly idea. No, you’ll never be in a nice warm cabin, sleeping in a nice warm bed, with lots of nice warm heat. Instead you’ll be outside in freezing weather, bonding with other equally frozen comrades.

Of course, I’m usually warm during a winter excursion because I’ve learned to stay dry. I have lots of layers of dry clothing and I like them to stay dry. When I was a scout, I was wet and cold during snow camping and it wasn’t very fun. Now, whether it is snow, rain, or sunny camping, I always stay dry, warm, and comfortable. I learned the hard way that camping isn’t much fun when you are miserable, wet, and cold.

Now camping in Hawaii is much more fun and enjoyable. I was fortunate to be able to camp in the Puget Sound and to camp on the island of Kauai (Hawaii) during my scouting career. On Kauai, the camping was warm. However, I do remember at one Camporee (an event where all the troops of the island would get together and camp for a weekend) up at Kokee that it pour rain the whole time. When I talk about the rain to people on the mainland, they always comment “But it was warm rain”. Sure, but water is water and you still get wet and miserable. If you don’t properly cover up your gear, it will get wet and you’ll be even more miserable. And if you happen to be my brother (he is an Eagle Scout like me) you might forget to bring your sleeping bag one year. Luckily for him, I had everyone donate their towels to him to use for blankets. Sure, they didn’t cover his whole body, he looked like a bum on the beach, but at least he was warm that weekend.

If you get a chance to visit Kauai, I highly recommend you consider staying at my parents’ guest cottage. Here’s the link: They also offer wedding services on Kauai and that link is:


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