REI Trailheads: Snow Camping
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REI Trailheads: Snow Camping

Anna, when is it
supposed to start? I don’t know. Honestly, where are
we even looking? -It’s up there.
-North? I think you just wait
and then it just appears. -Just out of nowhere, huh?
-Yeah. I think so. Oh, did I see it? Hey, guys,
I found the bathroom. You guys see–you saw it? -Uh, no.
-No. ♪ Howdy. So, there is
a geomagnetic storm “supposedly” passing
over Washington. Y’all know what
that means, right? Uh… We’re gonna go see
the northern lights! We’re gonna see
the aurora borealis. Has anyone actually gone
winter camping? No, hey, Anna, quick quest. Is anybody feeling
real confident about what we’re doing ? Scale of one to ten,
I’m like a s– We shall find
what’s on the other side no man has ever known. Snow camping. What could possibly go wrong? (laughing) Hey, guys, my name
is Katie Hutchins. I’ll be your REI Outdoor
School instructor today. And I hear you’re curious
about winter camping. -Yes.
-We are. I have a lot of emotions
about it. -I do, too.
-That’s good, that’s good. There’s all kinds of reasons
to go snow camping. Some people love
the winter out here. You can hike out
or ski out to an area, but you’re basically
setting up your campsite out in the snow and enjoying
some of the solitude in weather in the winter
instead of in the summer. -All right, let’s do this.
-Yes! -Let’s go.
-We should probably hurry… Hey, you guys,
wait up for me for a sec. I’ve got the gear. Guys, I’m coming. I’m so excited. Can I put my pack on there? What? No, Colin. First, locations
for snow camping, can you just go where
you went summer camping? I think it’s this way,
actually. Oh, just turn it around? So, you’ll have to check
permitting and regulations in terms of
what campsites are open and what campsites are not, and you could always check
with a ranger to see if a certain place is okay
for winter camping. I feel like I’m like
your maid of honor right now. I’m getting married
to Mother Nature today. -This way?
-Yeah. Ooh, look how pretty that is! Ooh, that’s perfect. Elena, have you
snowshoed before? No. -This is nice.
-This is your maiden voyage. Oh, yeah, I think this is it. When you find your campsite, you’re gonna want to find
a little bit of open space. Level ground is ideal. You guys, this looks perfect. -Oh my gosh, I love it.
-Open, flat. -Good job, Anna. You also want to look up. Watch out for falling limbs,
trees dumping snow on you, or especially if
there’s high winds, trees that might fall. The danger is imminent. ♪ All right, you guys,
I just made, like, a little CAD drawing
on my computer, but let’s start digging,
maybe we can dig our dining table furniture
right here. And then, Anna, why don’t
we start stomping right here back and forth,
like, just follow me. Come on. Three feet, two– Wow, we like, really,
this is legit. Maybe we dig out this area that I’m mapping out
right here. We’re doing like a mid-century
modern table, or… When you’re building
anything in the snow, you want to be aware
of how deep you’re digging. Oh, are you gonna dig? Great, I’ll just be… You can stomp the yard
with Anna. So, good to have a general idea of how much snow
is on the ground, the snow levels, in general, because as you dig down,
you want to make sure you’re still on
durable material, things that won’t
damage nature. ♪ -He’s down.
-I found the bedrock, it’s down here,
just give me the shovel ’cause, I mean,
I got the–got the space. Don’t throw it. Colin! Dude. I like the enthusiasm, but… (panting) ♪ I’m burning up. This is just hypothetical, but how many layers
is too many layers? (grunting and panting) You guys– (heavy breathing) You’ve gone too far
when you can’t move very well or when you’re restricting
blood flow. Okay. -Okay.
-Colin, no. No, no, that’s too much,
you’re right. Yup. Feel much better, I’m gonna
get back to digging. So how does one stay warm, like, when you’re not
moving around, especially at nighttime? In the summer, you might use
just one sleeping pad. In the winter,
sometimes we use two. A closed-cell foam one,
like the one you guys are sitting on right now,
an inflatable one. So the more insulation you can
get between you and the snow, the better you’re gonna
keep your body heat in. If you are moving around
and still awake in the day, you can do something
called a penguin circle. (grunting) So you get as many friends
as you can, huddle in a circle,
and everybody jumps up and down for as long as you can. -Like this?
-Oh, wow. I’m feeling the heat, actually. Yeah, it’s like ins– It’s like instantly. Are you dying? Are you so warm? It’s actually just Colin. He’s producing all the heat. ♪ I feel very good about this. Hey, guys, I think we need
to shovel this, like, a foot that way. Yeah, I think we’re good. Time for dinner. No, ’cause of the clearing
and stuff. Yeah, no, look at,
it’s right here. I think it’s pretty clear. -You sure?
-Yeah, it’s good, bud. You did good. Let’s go eat some dinner. Clif Bar. You think we’ll see
the northern lights? Yes. -You do?
-Sure. Have you ever seen
the northern lights when out camping in the snow? So, I haven’t been
far enough north while I’m snow camping to see
the northern lights thus far, but the farther north
you go in latitudes, if you’re in Alaska
and places like that, absolutely a good thing
to look for. So, north of Washington state? You may be able
to see them here, but it’s a lot more common
as you go farther north. I don’t know if you have
any ins with Mother Nature, but let me know. Ohh! See, I didn’t think you had, but, like, when you call
somebody out, like, “You haven’t
donated a kidney,” and they’re like,
“Yeah, actually, it was for
my most beloved aunt, who now gets
to remain with us because I made that heroic…” -I know.


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