WinterCampers.com is the Internet manifestation of a hardy group who practice and enjoy winter camping. WinterCampers.com claims it origin from a January 1997 overnight camping trip in New York State’s Adirondack Park Johns Pond taken by Founders Matthew Hay and Jim Muller.
Although these individuals had experienced summer time and some winter camping prior to this event – this event launched the practice of frequent and regular camping trips with the intent of broadening our winter camping experience and introducing new participants to the pleasures of winter camping.
We endorse and strive to achieve the following principles:
- The Jamboree Spirit. We have mutated the boy scout theme to encompass the notion of teamwork and individual sacrifice for the good of the team experience.
- Leave No Trace. We endorse and strive to embody the seven principles of LNT: 1) Plan Ahead and Prepare 2) Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces 3) Dispose of Waste Properly 4) Leave What You Find 5) Minimize Campfire Impacts 6) Respect Wildlife and 7) Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- The 6 P’s – (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Winter camping deserves to be taken seriously to avoid unpleasantries. Winter camping is not for everyone. The days are short, the nights can be cold and long. It’s an activity that requires planning and preparation, physical stamina, the right equipment, an adventuresome spirit and a positive mental attitude. In the winter, the margin for mistakes is small, with discomfort or worse as the penalty.
- It’s the journey, not the destination. We strive to enjoy our time in the woods. Some of our most memorable trips did not achieve the targeted destination. Robert Louis Stevenson said ‘It is better to travel hopefully than arrive’ (Virginibus Puerisque, 1881). Stevenson was expressing the same idea as the earlier Taoist saying – “The journey is the reward” indicating how hope can be pleasant in itself. The WinterCampers.com credo ‘It’s the Journey, Not the Destination‘ was founded and formally expressed during a trip to Peaked Mountain. The Peaked Mountain trail to the pond is an easy 2.5 miles and leads through a pretty mixed hardware and coniferous forest. The summit of Peaked Mountain is at 2,919 feet and the last third of a mile is rough climbing to ascend the last 600 feet. This last part of the ascent can be slippery depending upon snow and ice conditions. The views from the summit include Peaked Mountain Pond and Big and Little Thirteenth Lakes. There are also views of the Adirondack High Peaks to the north. On our return trip to Peaked Mountain we got a late start and did not reach the ascent, but enjoyed an excellent overnight camping trip none the less. Below the group eyes the destination.
It was at this point that we started to focus on the winter camping experience and less on the accomplishment.