Winter Camping School

Come and play in the snow with us!  We’ll build a snow fort!  (Actually, we’ll build snow shelters.  They are warmer.)  Maybe you enjoy the serene quiet and crisp air of winter hikes.  Maybe you’d like to learn how to stay warm while skiing or climbing. Maybe you’d like to make sure you’d know how to deal with an unexpected overnight stay in the cold and on snow.  Maybe you are planning to attempt one of the big snowy mountains like Rainer or Denali.  Maybe you’d like to learn how to use snow for shelter.  Maybe you’d just like to challenge yourself to master cold weather camping. If any of these apply, the CMC Winter Camping School is for you.
The Winter Camping School concentrates on the fundamental understanding, equipment and techniques to keep warm in cold environment on an overnight stay. It covers topics as clothing, traveling, setting up campsite, cooking and sleeping comfortably in the winter wilderness.  Skills learned in this school are applicable for anyone who plans to spend time in the winter wilderness including hikers, snowshoers,  campers, climbers and skiers. The Winter Camping School is open to any member of the CMC regardless of group membership or classification. There are no prerequisites but prior completion of the CMC Wilderness Trekking School is recommended. file12

Winter Camping School (WCS) 

This is a non-survival school for those who want to enjoy the winter, snow and moonlight in comfort.  WCS concentrates on the fundamental understanding, equipment and techniques for keeping warm in a cold environment on an overnight stay.

Topics covered


• Mechanisms of heat loss, staying warm
• How cold affects the body, cold weather ailments
• Dressing for the cold and snow
• Winter camping gear, stove
• Nutrition and cooking tips and techniques
• Techniques for sleeping warm
• Extending the temperature range of the equipment you may already have
• Site selection and campsite organization
• Tent organization
• Winter travel and using sleds
• Snow shelter construction
• Leave No Trace

The school consists of three Monday night lectures.  In order to graduate, students have to participate in three qualified CMC trips: one one-day snowshoe trip to learn basic techniques (including snow shelter construction) and two overnight field trips.  A one-day, optional, snow shelter construction trips also will be added to the schedule.  (All trips will be via snowshoe, no skis please.)

In this school students have the opportunity to learn winter camping techniques with personal attention and practice such skills in a non-competitive, non-confrontational setting.  The Winter Camping School is a great place to make new friends and open up a new season of activity.


January 29, February 5 and February 12, at 6:30 PM

All lectures starts at 6:30 pm sharp in the CMC clubhouse in Golden.

Field Trips:

Day Trips: February 10 and optional February 17

Overnight Trips: February 24-25 and March 10-11

Participating in all field trips is required for graduation (except optional February 17 trip).


Registration for 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Resources for Students

Resources for Instructors




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