The Honesty Of The Winter Trail

2018 marks our 19th year of multi-week snowshoe and toboggan expeditions.

In a world where bushcraft is becoming more about the gear and knives and celebrity outdoorsmen, I’m thankful for winter expeditions. In the cold, living and traveling in the forest, the extraneous fluff falls away. What’s left is authentic and real. And that’s getting harder and harder to find.

Living rough in the bitter cold has taught me a lot about what works and what doesn’t. It’s also taught me much about guiding, human nature, and the value doing the hard work first.

As we gear up for our winter season in the forest, it’s with a healthy dose of respect for winter and it’s many faces.

I’m ready to embrace the bitter cold and wind, like last year when two of us struggled in extreme cold and wind to cover five miles on snowshoes across a frozen lake when any exposed flesh would freeze in a matter of seconds. We laugh about it now, but at the time there was no laughing.

I’m ready to embrace the dreaded winter thaw, where everything gets soupy, the lakes and rivers are wet with overflow, and we’re forced to hole up until the cold returns. It has forced us to cut short only one program in 19 years, but the weather gets wonkier each year.

I’m ready to observe a group turn into a team overnight, working together to provide for our needs from the forest by cutting wood and hauling water.

And I’m ready to step into a lifestyle where everything makes sense and we work together for the common good.

Our winter schedule is fully booked for this year, but in 2019 we’ll be offering a series of shorter trips to make this experience available to more people. Schedule coming soon.

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