Winter Camping Symposium

The eleventh annual Winter Camping Symposium will be held the weekend of October 23-25th. Traditionally located in Ely or central Wisconsin, this year the event is taking place just 21 miles west of Minneapolis at the historic YMCA Camp Ihduhapi.

Participants are welcome to stop for a few hours and attend a couple presentations or camp the entire weekend. Winter camping is growing in popularity and the symposium is designed for beginning winter campers to learn the basics and for old sourdoughs to hone their skills and share their winter camping wisdom. Sessions will include warm tent and cold tent camping, solo winter travel in the BWCA, snowshoeing, skiing, dog trips, toboggan pulling, safety, and winter campcraft. Participants may also sign up for special workshops where they can actually build a sled or practice their outdoor culinary skills.

Midwest Mountaineering, Empire Canvas, Snowtrekker Tents, Ski Pulk, and other outfitters will be on hand to demonstrate the latest in traditional and high-tech winter camping gear. There will also be a swap meet with bargains on used winter camping equipment and tents.

Friday and Saturday night trip narratives and films will be presented inside the spacious and modern Camp Ihduhapi Welcome Center. The presentation on Saturday evening will feature Amy Voytilla and Dave Freeman covering wilderness travels and the outdoor classroom.

Admission to the symposium is $10 adults, $25/family and $5 for students. Campsites are available for $10 for week-end. There are heated bathhouses nearby with running water. Meals can be purchased at the camp dining hall. 2 bunkhouses are also available for overnight accommodations at a cost of $10/ person for the week-end. There are great campsites tucked away in the woods or close-by the bathhouse and welcome center.

Join us for a few hours or a couple days and learn the joys of camping during the quiet season. Come and share your adventures with the rest of us that are too crazy to let blizzards and frigid cold snaps stop us from pitching our tents and traveling over frozen lakes and between snow covered trees.

To register and for more information contact or visit one of the sites below
Registration Form:
Location Map:

Winter Camping Symposium Workshops

Presenters include
Ted “Bear” Paulsen: Senior staff member of Mid-west Mountaineering, specializing in camping as wll as a leader of multiple winter trips into the BWW. He will be presenting on traveling light and nylon tent designs.

Duane Lottiq: Founder of Snowtrekkers Tents, with extensive tent design and cold weather camping experience.  Duane will present on canvas tents and keeping them warm with wood stoves.

Rob Kesselring: Author, speaker and adventurer, Rob has lived in the Arctic Circle and will present on how to get into winter camping and equipment requirements.

Dick Pula: Author, field staff on winter equipment and veteran solo winter camping will provide insight into preparing and being on winter solo trips.

Rick Kelley: Member of Quetico Superior Foundation, will highlight the 4 season resources of the Quetico and the easiest way to use the park with the changing rules on border crossing.

Glen Hooper: Co-Founder of, the official source for info on WCS.  As a veteran winter traveler and camper, he will compare skis vs. snowshoes, background, which to use and when.

Ed Boufard: Product designer, founder and owner of Ski Pulk, will show you how to build a pulk and cover the design concepts behind using a pulk.

Rhonda Reynolds: Award winning winter chef, she will share some of her cooking tips and outdoor fine dining recipes.

Kevin Kinney: Product designer and owner of Empire Canvas, will review emergency field repair of equipment, some of the must know repair methods, and supplies needed.

Fred Boulay: Inventor, renowned speaker, group leader, and talented winter camper.  He will show you a simple project to make camping life easier.


3 comments to Winter Camping Symposium