Remembering A Winter Camp

by Peter Patenaude on September 28, 2014

I have not added new material to this website for some time now. I think I became tired of its requirement for public documentation of my outdoor activities. Over time, for me, it began to wear down my experiences like a river over its rocks. The solution that I came up with, for now at least, is to take a break from the regularity of this web log, and contribute to it only sparingly as I continue to work on other projects. I have to apologize as this explanation is long overdue but it is my hope that you might stick with me and remain for my future contributions as this log evolves over time.

Recently, I received a newly developed roll of film in the mail that I used to document a winter camping trip. Here are those photographs and their corresponding journal entries:

Winter is different than the other seasons- more so than fall, summertime, and spring differ from each other. Sometimes, the best way to enjoy this difference is to sleep out in it, so today, my trail companion and I decided that we would hike into some nearby land for a night on the snow. The temperature should fall to 14 degrees tonight, so we had each packed an extra wool blanket to cover us during the colder hours. Before leaving, I packed a film camera so I would not have to worry about a battery being drained by the cold.

Securing all of our gear into sleds, we hiked in and set up our canvas tent. We had trouble with its poles but using an old trapper’s ax, we carved out some holes in the ice like hard-water fishermen without an auger. The poles then set well enough for our needs and we staked the tent into the frozen ground using a combination of old military metal tent stakes, and long steel nails. It was a heavy tent to haul, but I do admit how nice it was that the fire’s flying embers did not act like bullets to the canvas like they do on more modern materials, and how enjoyable too to be able to stand up and walk around in our temporary winter den.

Getting a fire going large enough for us to feel warm was an easy task, but the wind blowing in off the landscape would often steal our heat for itself. We normally would not mind to share, but my trail companion and I felt selfish for the heat once the temperature fell with the sun. So after a cooked meal and a drink or two of something warm, we decided there was no use in fighting the persistent wind and we headed in for the night with our pants tucked into our stockings and hats on our heads.

-Next Day-

Last night left my trail companion and I waking up at regular one hour intervals once the temperature fell below its 14 degree Fahrenheit prediction. We were both welcomed by the new day with a warming sun which we soon mimicked in our fire pit- it was nice to feel heat that did not have to be generated by my body. We warmed a small leftovers breakfast on the campfire, being careful not to eat too much before our hike out- a hard task as food on a cold morning must taste as good as a salmon does to a bear. Packing our sleds back up, we both decided that we did not need to hike out our homemade pine tent poles. We put them into the fire and enjoyed how they changed the smell in the air to be much sweeter- it was like a small dessert that we did not have to digest, perfect for today. We peacefully made the trip back out of the woods only hearing the sound of our feet in the snow, the sleds dragging behind us, and an occasional click of the shutter in my camera.

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Winter Camping-6

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

Maine Winter Camping, Maine Guide, Canvas Tent

 

 

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Ocean Fishing

by Peter Patenaude on July 16, 2013

I had never fished water that I could not boil and drink until today. I was excited to take my fish pole and tackle to the shoreline to see what might bite– I admit that I was not too comfortable in my new surroundings, however the scenery made for a pleasant backdrop. There was no wind, which was bad for me and good for the bugs. I was hoping that in this activity, I could outsmart the insects by staying outside of the woods, but nature is always humbling. Being unprepared for my attempt at saltwater, I tied on a lake trolling lure that acted as though it was a dry fly on its first cast. I had trouble getting the small, metal fish to sink, and upon my successes, I was awarded with catches of seaweed. I do not know when I will try this again, but I am sure investing time into reading about the subject will help.

Maine Outdoor Blog, Maine Guide, Boot and Canoe, Ocean Fishing, Saltwater, Atlantic, Maine Coast, Sunset, Photography, Spin Casting, Marsh, Tradition

Maine Outdoor Blog, Maine Guide, Boot and Canoe, Ocean Fishing, Saltwater, Atlantic, Maine Coast, Sunset, Photography, Spin Casting, Marsh, Tradition

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Storm Weather Fishing

July 4, 2013

My trail companion and I took a fisherman’s walk today up a familiar brook. The terrain matched the weather as the air was wet like the stream, and thick like the forest and tall grasses. Stopping halfway to our destination, we decided to soak our lines on either side of a large bend– I could not […]

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River Scouting

June 24, 2013

After talking with a few residents that have lived here much longer than me, I have been able to locate a couple favorable fishing spots– I am sure that there are more hidden and productive locations, but I do not expect those to be given up so easily. Today, I thought that I would go […]

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Beekeeping

June 18, 2013

Exploring the landscape near my new home has taken some time but has afforded me many new experiences. Today, I was fortunate to help a local beekeeper move a hive to a sunnier location, perform basic repairs, and add a bundle of the yellow and black pollinators to the wood-boxed honey producing factories. Getting out […]

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Out East

May 15, 2013

I have not been available for my usual activities recently due to a trip to the Middle East. I am not much for hot temperatures, so my trail companion and I are fortunate as the weather has been unusually cold for this time of year, registering in the 90s, not the 100s. Today, we decided that we […]

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Spring Fly Tying

April 22, 2013

It has certainly been a busy spring season so far. With no available time to fish, I sat down at my tying bench today to wrap a couple of hooks in colored threads and deer hair. I have always found it to be very gratifying to catch trout and salmon on homemade lures, however I […]

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Last Maple Syrup Boil

April 9, 2013

The disappearance of the melting snow this year signaled the end of the maple syrup. The last boil evaporated the remaining sap that had transitioned from being stored in a homemade natural white cooler to the shade. I had one more long day boiling the last twenty-five gallons of sap today, and the season is […]

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Sap to Syrup

April 1, 2013

Most weekends this March have been spent around a campfire evaporating– what a pleasant smell woodsmoke and maple syrup combine to make. While I have not documented every boil, I have been very happy with the outcome this season; a late drop in temperature was welcomed by me and my trail companions. Today, it took […]

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Homemade Maple Syrup

March 18, 2013

Before my trail companions and I could boil down the sugar maple sap, I first had to rebuild our homemade evaporator. I was able to leave the foundation untouched, but was forced to replace the upper section due to broken and split pieces. We have no need for expensive tools for such a small operation, and […]

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