Busiek Freeze if you Please 2015. 

Woods Fork River

February 20th and 21st.  Temps in the low 22 to a high of 33.  5" of snow on the ground.  Winter Advisory in effect while we were there.

Video on Youtube under the tarp using  the biolite stove.  With this stove you really don't need a fire.  It fills that need.

Why do we have to do this?  Are we nuts?  Is this crazy?  Yes we all face those questions when we are about to go camping in extreme conditions.

The week leading up with a ten day out view of what the weather will be like is always a game changer.  Let's face it. 99% of people would just rather stay home when it's blowing wet cold rain, ice or snow.  Yet there are a few that have a more than over comers attitude and will challenge the conditions and face them head on.

This events devotion was on Attitude.  The highs and lows of your attitude.  Many things affect your attitude.  Weather being one.  Rain can take the most avid camper and turn them into the camp grump.  This group was different.  This event is different.  We go knowing and facing it head on.  It's part of the fun.  Our attitude is it's part of the fun. 

We had two groups make the vigil.  Mark, Marshall, Sam and Jimmy in my truck.  Alex and Joshua in Alex's car.  We arrived down at Busiek at about the same time. Alex's all wheel drive car took on the unplowed parking lot as if he was making a movie for one of the car commercials.  Nothing would stop his car.  Just a hair before 6pm.  We sat up our shelters, tarps, hammocks.  The 5 inches of snow was very wet.  Most of us were layered up in nylon and synthetics.  Jimmy had brought his wool trench coat and we fixed him up with a rain poncho. 

We had a pile of wood by the camp but it was green wood. It wouldn't burn for anything.  Even with western cedar fence boards we couldn't get it to burn.  It didn't matter as the rain had started and we watched what little flames we had die.  Alex and Joshua headed for the shelter of their nested hammocks.  Marshall, Sam, Jimmy and I  hunkered under the silicon tarp that Marshall had made and I had the Biolite stove going almost the whole time I was under the tarp most of my awake time on this event.  The cold wet rain was freezing to the tarps and when I went back to the vehicle to get some more stuff... they were covered with ice. 

We had a early council fire as mentioned before Attitudes..the highs and lows.  Then at about 9:00 pm it was lights out for me.  Jimmy had brought his hoop tent but it wasn't water proof.  So I had the truck shell opened with the 4" foam pad down where he could climb in if he needed to. 

All night long it rained.  Lightning and Thunder for about 45 minutes and then more rain. The low of 22 was slowly a warming trend to 30 when I awoke and my night was very comfortable.  I had a ground tarp.  My tent.  Dense foam pad,  thermorest pad and my Kodiak sleeping bag.  I had dressed in layers and slept in all that I had on except the outer rain gear.  I did put on dry socks. 

Some time through the night Jimmy's hoop tent got full of water. He had used his wool trench coat as a pad under his sleeping bag.  The wool trench coat was dripping with water so he got up and climbed into the back shell of the truck.  It was a cold night for him. 

7am I awoke to pouring rain and got out of my tent taking my socks off..so If I got my feet wet I could dry them off.  My tarp had sagged the ground tarp had frozen puddles of water but none were close to my tent that was on top of this ground cloth the silicon tarp had kept me bone dry. 

I rested back in my tent for a little while.  Pulled up the Mr. Buddy and fired it up.  My little tent was warmed up in minute or two.  I heated up my boots and dried them a bit and enjoyed the quiet time.  Rain just pounding the tent if you can call that quiet time. 

By 7:30 I had laid down long enough.  I got my gear all packed up that was in my tent and then took my tent down and stuffed it all in my backpack making room for anyone that showed up.  It was pretty quiet.  Me and the biolite stove made coffee and just cooked up a mess of bacon boiled 2 eggs and reheated some chicken noodle soup that was still in my thermos from the night before.  (That soup was good both times) 

Jimmy came climbing out of the pickup shell.  He found his wool trench coat soaking wet.  He put on his rain poncho and came over to my shelter and we thawed him out with the Mr. Buddy heater.  Pretty soon hot chocolate had him warmed back up and soon enough the rest of the campers came through telling their tales of the camp over night in their shelters.  Joshua came through the first time then Marshall, then Sam and at about 10:00 am it quit raining so we broke camp and headed back home at 11:00 am.

The asphalt roads at Busiek were never plowed down in the park on the east side of 65.  So we faced pushing the truck and doing some digging to get the truck back up to the bladed asphalt and on our way home. 

Click on a picture for a larger view.

Walk up to my base camp

Double tarps keep you try.

Dry wood kept dry

Sam breaking down her tent


Marshalls Hammock Rig

Selfie from the Hammock

Tarp water beadup

Cold icy Winter Wonderland

View out from Marshalls Hammock