Friday, April 13, 2012

Cool Weather Camping and Yurt Camping

We've only gone on one spring trip so far, but I did learn a few valuable lessons:

Remember you can't cook in yurts, just like you wouldn't cook inside your tent. Plan your menu with things that are easy and fast to cook so nobody has to stand out in the cold for too long. Also, the cold weather slows down the cooking, and if it's windy, its even worse. In the summer, it's not a big deal to be outside cooking, but nobody wants to be the one standing in the bitter wind trying to cook a big meal. For our next trip, we'd probably pack instant oatmeal or some other quick cooking hot cereal for breakfast rather than bacon, eggs and beans. The burgers were fine, we took a full size barbecue since yurts only have one available during the summer, so we'd probably take that again and pick things that we could grill fairly quickly. The dutch oven is cool and fun to cook with, but it takes time...granted, if the pork roasts hadn't been partially frozen, they would have cooked much faster.

Also when it comes to food, plan to not cook things that require dirtying a lot of dishes. The water taps don't work in winter for obvious reasons, so you have to go to the comfort station to get water. (You could probably scoop water from the lake if you're on the shore, but the water at our site was covered in a layer of what looked like deer hair...not something I want to wash my dishes in.)

When camping in a yurt, it's a good idea to bring either a pair of inside shoes so you aren't tracking dirt all over the place, or slippers. When it's rainy out, this is especially important because if your shoes are wet, you aren't going to want to wear them, you'll want to leave them in front of the heater to dry, but you also don't want to be stepping in puddles from other people tracking wet through the yurt.

A rain poncho a few sizes to big would be handy to throw over your jacket so it doesn't get soaked through. A winter, rain proof jacket of course would also work.

When hiking at this time of year, be aware the trails are probably going to be very wet and muddy, possibly still icy, and that they probably haven't had any maintenance done to them since fall. There will be fallen trees to climb over, and puddles to pick your way around. Boots are a good idea.

Just because you are staying in a yurt doesn't mean you can over pack. They aren't very big, especially when you take into account the 2 bunk beds and the table and chairs already in them. You won't have room for loads of extra gear so don't go overboard. It'll just make the space feel cramped and make you frustrated as you constantly trip over things.

1 comment:

  1. Jenn... great advise on cold-weather camping. I'm glad i'll be up there in July/August. :)