|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – November 2009
Don't let frigid temps keep you inside. Here are five tips for deluxe winter camping.
Build a Snow Wall
Sculpt your own windbreak for extra shelter and warmth (but keep your shovel handy for clearing any drifts that form if it snows). Here's how:
1. Pile snow into an arc around the windward side of your tent (a curved wall is more stable than a straight one). If the snow is wet and packable, "You can just pick up snowballs," says Gookin. Otherwise, shovel it (he prefers a lightweight scoop like the Voile Telepro Avalanche; $40, voile-usa.com).
2. Build the wall about as high as your tent for maximum protection. For every foot the wall is high, site it a foot away from the tent–for example, a three-foot-high wall should be three feet away from the tent.
3. Spray water from your mouth onto any soft spots. It'll freeze and prevent the wind from eating holes into the wall.
4. Windy, but not enough snow? Randy Keller, owner of Alaska's Isuma Guideworks, advises building a lean-to out of branches and boughs, then packing snow into it. "If it's windy, it'll fill in on itself," he says.