Gotta love the Canadian Winter, eh? One day it's +11 and all the snow has melted, then the next it's -38 before factoring in the wind chill. It's not surprising a lot of people have been hiding indoors. I know I have. Just taking the kids to the bus stop is torture. Whoever said Canadian's love the cold probably wasn't talking about this kind of cold.
When the temps rose last week, I got all excited. I mean, it felt like we could have gone camping, (in the boler...and with a heater at night.) I know there are people who camp in the winter regardless of the actual temperature, but I'm not one of them. I spend half the summer in a sweat shirt, in the winter I usually have so many layers on I feel like a kid in a bulky snow suit.
Even though I don't like the cold, I dislike the fact there's only a few months of the year with good camping weather even more. (The only thing I hate more than being cold is being eaten alive by mosquitoes and black flies...and deer flies) You can cover yourself in a bug suit and take a screen tent for spring camping, but winter camping requires a whole separate pile of gear....and that equals a big pile of $$$. In case you missed it, we're all about having fun but still being able to pay the bills for the month.
Last week, I was looking into those canvas, winter tents made by Snowtrekker and I confess...I want one. The idea of snowshoeing into someplace like Algonquin or Killarney when there's pretty much no one else around sounds awesome. So quiet and peaceful. And the thought of increasing the camping season makes me giddy.
Unfortunately, the price tag on those tents is way out of our budget. Very depressing. But then I started thinking about it, and really, if you go on youtube you can find tons of videos about how to make your own little box stove. You can also make your own tent if you have a sewing machine and some patience.
I have a sewing machine...my patience isn't so great, but I'm willing to tough it out if it means more camping, so one of my projects for this year is to make a winter tent to try out next year. I wish I could aim to have it done sooner, but even though I'm convinced I can make one for less than the $2000 or so it would cost to buy one, I still don't know how much it will cost. It's not like there McCalls sells patterns for them.
As this is going to be an ongoing project, I'll post updates as I go. Hopefully I'll manage to produce something that is actually usable. If anyone has ever tackled a project like this, I'd love to hear about it.