After a 2 year hiatus due to covid, we’re back to running winter programs in 2023 and couldn’t be more excited about it. Since there was no way to social distance inside of a hot tent, the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition (BSE), a program we started running way back in 2003, took a two-year break. I am excited for it to be back. Winter is a special time in northern Maine, a season of physical beauty and the challenges and rewards of life lived below zero on snowshoes.
There are four phases to the BSE, with each one building on the one prior.
Phase 1 is a base camp and skills intensive that lasts 2 days. Here we learn all about the hard skills of living in winter with topics such as axe safety, saws, cordage and knots, fire, cooking outdoors, sanitation, snowshoes, processing firewood and more.
Phase 2 is a crash course on winter travel technologies and ecology, with studies of tents, stoves, sleds, reading snow, reading ice, reading the weather.
During phase 3, the expedition phase, we are out living life on the trail. Traveling on remote waterways, moving camp, experiencing the true freedom of winter in the north.
Phase 4 is the survival challenge portion of the course. On Thursday morning of week 2, participants take minimal gear and walk away from camp. They spend the day preparing for the long, cold night. After a night in a shelter in front of the fire, they return to base camp Friday morning at 10 AM. We debrief the exercise, then snowshoe back to civilization. The course is over Friday afternoon.
Although the BSE is already full for 2023, we often have someone drop out so if you are interested, it is still worth registering for the course. However, please don’t send us a deposit – if a spot opens up, we will be in touch with you.