I will never forget this trip. For many reasons really, one of which was getting lost. While searching for a way to get over the mountain we had wandered too far in the wrong direction. This was partly down to the conditions as the snow was very heavy and didn’t let up all day.
Having given up on actually crossing the mountain for the day we decided to find a good spot to set up camp for the night. This was no easy task with the conditions but we managed to find a spot and dig out a level area to pitch our tent.
Thankfully we had great sleeping bags and a camping stove to keep us nice and warm. Incidentally, our tent which was an Ozark Trail tent did the job nicely. We were certainly glad of the heat and the shelter.
A few hours after we had settled in the sky cleared and the snow stopped. Although it was now night it was suddenly a little brighter and once the last of the mist and snow cleared we had an amazing view on the mountain against the night sky.
Lying there in the tent looking out of the open porch it was like a postcard. A beautiful scene and very peaceful. Such a contrast to just hours before. It’s not a view many people get to see and often it’s only those who will brave the unsavory conditions who get to enjoy it. It is often not what myself and my fellow ski campers seek out but it’s a massive bonus and helps remind you why getting outdoors is such a rewarding thing to do.
My wife is not a fan of the extreme conditions. She decided to try and get used to the idea. This is not something I would have thought of but for those of you who are new to this and maybe a little anxious, this might be worth a try. She listened to recordings like this one every night going to bed.
The idea is you get used to the sounds and sensation of the blizzard type conditions so you can sleep through it on the mountain. Worth a shot right?
If you are just starting out it’s probably a good idea to try out the trail first before the winter weather sets in. Starting out right in December or January is a bad idea as the temperatures are at there lowest and the conditions can become quite extreme.
By the simple process of trial and error, you will learn what works best and prepare yourself for future trips with harsher conditions.
I would also say don’t be too ambitious your first time around. Combining skiing and camping is tricky when you are not familiar with it. I really enjoy it since its now second nature but you got to ease yourself in. Find a suitable base camp and explore in smaller expeditions instead of setting off over the mountain on your first day.
Make sure you come well equipped. There is nothing worse than getting stuck or getting cold or both. If you don’t bring the right gear you are asking for trouble. Layered clothing, excellent boots and plenty of waterproofs. While it’s important to bring plenty of clothing don’t overpack either. Remember you will have to carry what you bring. This is something that really gets people the first time. They pack everything just encase and after the trip realize most of it never even left the pack.
A little housekeeping goes a long way too when it comes to your tent. Keep your boots dry and warm overnight, that way they won’t freeze and cause you problems the next morning.
So get started, give it a try and I promise you, you won’t regret it. You can find out more about the Ozark Trail here. Stay safe and enjoy the slopes.