February 07, 2014 - 10:56 AM
'MOST PEOPLE THOUGHT WE WERE REALLY CRAZY'
KAMLOOPS — It drops below -20 Celsius overnight, you can see your breath through frozen eyelashes and everything seems to freeze the minute it is exposed to the cold air. Most people would huddle up inside, cup of hot cocoa in hand staring into the burning logs of the fireplace when it gets that cold.
Marc and Katie Britton are not like most people.
They are a young, outdoor-loving couple from England that moved to Kamloops 17 months ago for the adventures the area offers—like Winter camping.
“Most most people thought we were really crazy,” Katie says.
They've gone twice in the frigid Canadian winter. It's not easy, but they'd do it again.
“You're glad to be home, it's harder work than camping in summer, spring or fall, and you think 'I don't want to do that in a while,' but then you look back at photos and realize how much fun you had,” Katie says. “I wouldn't want to be going necessarily every weekend though, it's not as relaxing (as summer camping.)”
They run a home business selling archery and survival gear while blogging about their adventures. They got their teepee (actually a Swedish lavvu) when they lived in the U.K. but used it for the first time in Canada earlier this year.
“We're actually pretty new to winter camping,” Katie says. “We... used it in the U.K. but it doesn't get cold there like it gets here.”
It's not for everybody. It requires preparation and appreciation for just how cold it can get.
“You need to plan things like a military operation,” Katie says. “Ketchup and mustard freeze, which makes hot dogs a bit pointless. And you can't pour red wine without it turning to slush halfway out. Instead of one sleeping bag you need three. Make sure you have lots of wood and dry tinder—bring your own tinder.”
Having the stove in the makes for icy ground but a warm tent is important for respite and when the temperature drops even further at night.
“You have to put extra layers on-extra socks, big boots, scarves, hand warmers,” she says. “I'm a bit of a typical girl, my hands and feet get cold easily.”
While bundling up to sit in the cold all day and night might sound fun to some the question still needs to be asked—why go winter camping?
“The views are amazing, if you can sit out by the fire long enough. The peace and quiet, you can pretty much guarantee it will be quiet,” she says. “You can ice fish, go snowshoeing, dog walking, snowmobiling, take photographs.”
Marc and Katie Britton of Outsyder Adventures take on winter camping during a cold Kamloops winter.
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