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I went camping last weekend at George L. Smith State Park outside of Metter, GA. I was down enjoying the GA Southern game that day and wanted to get in some camping with my fiancé before heading back to Atlanta.
I planned it out nicely. I brought plenty of matches because being an ex-boy scout I always come prepared. I had one particular box of matches with only two matches inside. While unloading all the gear I informed her that I apparently “forgot” all the matches and only had a box with two left. She said, “Well, I guess that’ll have to do.”
While we were gathering firewood apparently my comment was overheard by other campers at the site next to us and this guy came up to me and handed a log of fat ighter and told me to surround it with pin cones and that would get my fire going. I thanked him and took the fat lighter and continued to collect kindling, small sticks and one foot branches about an inch in diameter to start my fire (the correct way) and bought some logs (from the host) to sustain the fire through the evening. Being an old boy scout there was a sense of pride building.
Another guy in the other site asked if I needed any dry wood as well. I told him that I had plenty of matches and I was just messing around with her. He smiled and understood what I was trying to do without having to explain it to him.
I spent about 20 minutes preparing the kindling and other branches laying them in neat piles. This was always cumbersome but preparation pays off. Before I started I made sure she was paying attention. I grabbed a handful of pine needles, put all my kindling on the fire and lit a match and proceeded to light all the pine needles. The fire quickly burned the kindling which allowed me to add to the fire fairly larger sticks in the matter of minutes.
The biggest grin came over my face as I looked at my fiancé and I knew it was going to be a great evening! 🙂
Why is it important to prepare for cold weather camping? Everyone thinks they can weather the cold when camping but they actually end up having a miserable time and never tackle such a feat ever again. I don’t blame them but if you prepare for such a wild trip then you just might have some fun and learn something about yourself.
In a previous article about mummy sleeping bags I noted the benefits of them. They can change your whole experience while camping during winter weather. You’ll have to experience to believe it. I know, it’s hard for me to even believe it at times.
What should you pack?
- Down Jacket
- Ski Gloves
- Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Foam pad
- Ski socks
- Hiking Boots
- Wool Sweater
- Pants (wind pants may be sufficient)
- Hot Hands