Page 78 - WCM 2019 Winter
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    Sled dogs do the work when packing heavy loads.
The total weight of my backpacking shelter and stove combination is only about 15 pounds! Canvas tents and big stoves can be quite heavy, and require a snow- mobile, a dogsled team, or even a team of horses to get you where you’re going!
I also always like to carry a lightweight, collapsible snow shovel for clearing tenting spaces, shoveling snow paths around the campsite, and a variety of other jobs.
Get it Right Before You Go
Start your adventure by doing a test run in your back yard to learn what gear works for you best.
It’s better to find out while you’re at home that you need a better lighter and more matches, rather than in the middle of the forest, miles from the parking area. So spend a few nights camping at home on snow, and discover all of the little tricks for turn- ing the experience into an enjoyable outing, rather than an experiment in cold weather survival.
Deer move into thick evergreen forests for winter cover.
We’re All Set – Now Where to Go?
Many folks enjoy the cooler temperatures. For start- ers, there’s no bugs, and the stark winter atmosphere opens up so many opportunities for staying active outdoors. Winter camping also differs from summer, not only in the gear used, but also in how most folks approach it. Many campgrounds aren’t open, as the lion’s share close down in the fall and don’t reopen un- til spring. To find the ones that are open, visit www. and click on “Camping,” then “Maine,” for a list campgrounds sorted by town. Once there, full details (including open dates) can be found for every campground listed.
Camping off the beaten path requires a little more thought, but the rewards are tenfold. I do my pre- camping groundwork by keeping my eyes open for
a winter spot while I’m out hiking or fishing during the muggy months. Once I think I’ve found a spot, I search for the landowner at the nearest town office, and get landowner approval. And if you get it in writ- ing, you’ll avoid future conflict.
Arts, Entertainment, Adventure and More in Western Maine

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