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February 2022

Hot Winter Camping with Darren, VPO Red Deer Owner

A couple weeks ago, Darren, Owner of VPO Red Deer, took advantage of a few days off to relax and disconnect in a backcountry winter wonderland. If anyone knows how to camp in the winter comfortably, it's Darren. Set with his canvas tent and stove, he makes a home away from home in the middle of nowhere. Here's a glimpse into what it's like to winter camp with him.

It is important to understand that you must be self sufficient and be prepared for anything when it comes to winter camping. Always be prepared for drastic temperature changes! You also must be comfortable cutting wood, splitting wood and building fires in a stove.

Hot tent camping will change your world.

We were going to pull a pulk (gear sled) and ski into a camp spot, but the unusually warm weather made for poor ski conditions so we decided to 4x4 into a camp spot and ski from there. Canvas tents are great for winter camping and are getting lighter all the time.

I am using an Esker classic 10x10 (weighing only 20 lbs) and an Esker wood stove. These tents do not have a floor which makes it very nice for going in and out of the tent with your boots on. Give our Red Deer store a shout if you're interested in ordering one today!

Simply set up the tent & build a sleep platform. A ground sheet, an insulated mat and a good warm (-29 c) down sleeping bag will have you ready for a good night's sleep. Do not underestimate the importance of a flat smooth sleep platform. It gets dark early and a fair amount of time is spent in your sleeping bag.

With the wood stove going, it is very comfortable in a t-shirt or polar fleece. We use the wood stove for all of our cooking and heating water.

We had a wonderful 3 day trip in complete comfort. Enjoy the winter wonderland!

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