Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Failed Winter Campout

Not all adventures end well. Having said that, not all failed adventures are bad. Over the course of the winter I grew more excited for a winter camping trip. Given the ages of our kids (7, 5 and 1) I knew that a full on winter camping trip was unrealistic. Doing anything in the cold with a not-yet-two-year-old can be tricky. She doesn't yet know how to tell us she is getting cold. She'll let us know when she is to the point of not being comfortable anymore, but we'd like a little more warning. In any case I pitched the idea of sleeping in the back yard in a quinzee to the older kids and they were really excited. Our five year old was keen to give it a try "as long as it isn't going to be cold". I'm not entirely sure what she meant by that, but one day I'm sure I'll find out.

Our backyard 'expedition' had to meet a number of conditions. The first was that it had to happen on a Friday or Saturday night. If the night out was going to be a horrible experience we didn't need the kids to be grumpy at school the next day. The second condition we had is that it couldn't be ridiculously cold out. I'm not exactly sure what we meant by 'ridiculously cold', but given how cold it was until recently, I'm not sure it really mattered. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to camp out no matter what the temperature, but we don't have the proper gear and I want this to be an experience that we repeat.

The ideal conditions finally materialized the first weekend in March and everyone was healthy. After school on Friday we started building the quinzee. We took a break for dinner and allowed the quinzee to settle before digging it out. I went back out once we had finished and started digging. Unfortunately, it was dark out. This meant that in my haste I accidentally dug right through the wall. Our quinzee now had a sky light. It probably would have been fine had I left it. Instead I decided to put some snow on it from the outside so we didn't lose our warm air. That was a mistake. The hole only got bigger. I gave up on the idea of sleeping outside that night and started building the mound again. Perhaps the following night would work.

The next night one of our family members was not feeling well so we had to postpone. Perhaps the following weekend would work. Unfortunately, the rest of us got sick and the temperature warmed up. Our pile of snow began to shrink quite quickly. Clearly camping out in the winter was not meant to be. However, all was not lost. The kids are now super excited to camp out next winter. Hopefully, they will be asking me next year rather than me asking them.

We're already looking forward to next winter!

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