Watching the snow fall outside my window stirs the desire in me to go winter camping!
I’m serious; it can be an unbelievable great time. Some of you would start planning and packing if I invited you on the next outing! For others the very idea glances off their brain like a bug on a windshield in a Nascar race.
I can assure you that snowshoeing on the lakes is completely safe as most of the ice is 2 to 3 feet thick (except where the water is moving underneath and tends to keep the ice very thin).
I could tell you that the snow is so bright that you can travel at night through the woods by moonlight and not get lost (unless the clouds move in and it’s so dark that by flashlight you will still get lost).
Our adventure proved that even in 3 feet of fluffy snow, snowshoes stay high enough to get you and your gear sled safely through the unmarked trails…most of the time.
|Mark, another Firestarter|
There are some dangers to be aware of while winter camping. Some dangers are actually more subtle. Did you know that every breath of air you take has very little to no moisture in below freezing temperatures? There is a high percentage of moisture in every breath of air you exhale. This means you dehydrate fast just by breathing cold air!
Did you know that when you settle by a nice cozy fire… your body quits making heat for itself and begins to rely on external heat? It only feels good till you walk away no matter how warmed you were. Then if you climb into your super high technology sleeping bag that’s supposed to keep you warm, you could die in your sleep. Your great sleeping bag is the temperature of the great outdoors until your body heat replaces all the cold that the bag is now storing. If your body has shut down by the fire it won’t start up by climbing into a super cold sleeping bag.
I know people who claim to be spiritual. They look like good Christian people and do all the right things. I would suggest to you that only going to church and listening to the right music is like sitting by the fire.
Life is as dangerous as winter camping. Unless the fire burns within because we walk and talk and worship our great God daily, we shut down.
|Firestarters of the Soul|
I took this long shot picture of my friend Brad snowshoeing and pulling a sled full of gear. He is as rugged as the rocks behind him. His sense of adventure in winter camping and his walk with Jesus is attractive. He is a good guy to have in camp and he will probably out-fish you.
Somehow it got dark before we found the hidden trout lake in the wilderness. The sun went down and the clouds rolled in and there was no trail or markings other than a spot on the wilderness map. Our compasses went every direction because of the iron in the rocks. Somewhere on a hillside in the very dark woods, in three feet of snow, the four of us made camp. We built a fire, cooked a gourmet supper over it (steaks, potatoes, vegetables, peppers, and …wow did we eat). We ran in the deep snow to super heat our bodies, climbed into our bags, and had a great nights sleep under the stars. We were prepared and we would find the lake in the morning.
Are there any good guys in your camp? Do you have friends or a group of people who are not content to let you just sit by the fire spiritually in your walk with God? Are you trying to live life alone and relying on your own perceptions and inner compass? I wouldn’t consider winter camping alone. Some do but it’s too risky for me.
I would suggest that Life is much harder and the stakes are too high not to have good people around to keep us walking with God. People who love us enough to be motivated to keep our marriage healthy, mentor our kids, and pass on healthy legacies to the next generation. We all need someone to get us away from the fire and make us run in the snow. Those encouragers of developing our own walk with God... Fire-starters of the soul.
Tell us how you stay close to God and Grow. What is the hardest part of your spiritual journey? Do you have any firestarter people in your life?