Monday, February 26, 2007


Wintercamp 2007

On Thursday, February 22, 2007, we spent the night sleeping in the quinzhees we had build. It was a great evening with temperatures around -15C and a light dusting of snow.

The week prior to our night out was used to build the quinzhees (Check out the link on building a quinzhee). This involved about two days of piling snow and another two days for digging out our snow mounts. Most of the group spent Thursday putting on the finishing touches. Finishing touches in our quinzhee included a nice sleeping platform, shelving for our candles and glasses.

Thursday began with a demonstration on fire building, which was followed with a gathering of firewood and each individual building their own fire. Once a successful fire was going, the small fires were amalgamated into a cooking fire. Dinners were cooked over the fire, which saw everything from canned noodles to hot dogs and hamburgers. Our dinner consisted of a satay stir fry and a freshly baked (in the dutch oven) chocolate cake for dessert. We had to improvise the ingredients for the cake as I had forgotten the eggs; good thing that sprite is a great replacement.

The evening was spent around the fire. Most sat around, drank hot chocolate and chatted, while others were making smores and practicing boot dancing. As the evening went on, the wind picked up and we headed for -15C (the temperature was -5C when we started in the afternoon). At about 10:30 pm, we had the last call for bathroom use and brushing our teeth, as the school would be locked until about 7 am the next morning. We followed this by throwing the last of the wood onto the fire and as the fire turned to embers, we all headed for our quinzhees and a good nights sleep.

This was one of the warmest starts for me to sleep in a quinzhee, which was followed by a wonderful nights sleep. All was quiet and toasty warm. The morning welcomed us with beautiful sunshine and a nice temperature. After clearing our quinzhee, we quickly disposed of the campfires and proceeded to wake up the rest of the group. Most seemed to have had a good night, although some were chilled and used their sleeping bags to hop back to the school (apparently because their shoes were frozen).

All in all, I believe the group had a great experience. Don't let me speak for the group though, please look at the pictures and read the postings from the other members of our group.

Sven Brouwer


noakes said...

Derek and I spent the week before constructing our shelter. I found that it was sort of addictive and wanted to have a really big shelter. So in addition to the work done during class Derek and I would go out on spare and work on it more. Up until the actual sleepover night people had been walking on our shelter after school but it didn't matter we just kept building. On Wednesday we began digging it out and we would have finished Thursday during class if the lockdown hadn't kept us indoors. So our shelter wasn't completely finished until around 3:20 Thursday.

A little after that we had a lesson on fire building. I had never seen a log cabin fire and I found that really interesting. Then we went out into the woods and gathered wood. When we got back we all had to build fires. I built my own little mini log cabin and it lit without any difficulty.

We then used these fires to cook dinner which for me was hot dogs. Throughout the night I and Derek primarily kept the fire going. Later on I was amazed to find out that Sprite could make a cake just as well as Eggs. Around ten I went and got ready for bed than headed into the shelters. My sleeping bag had already been previously set up so I just crawled right into it and easily went to sleep. I was very warm all night although a better platform would have been nice because it felt like I was slipping downward when I moved.

Morning came and I felt well rested. I packed up without Derek even waking up and went inside for a shower and than some breakfast, which was cooked by Mr. Brouwer. All in all it was a great night.

Shea said...

Myself, Jordan, and Chris spent a few days building out shelter. We miss one day when all three of us where away for various reasons. By Wednesday things where looking liek they where not progressing fast enough so Jordan and I decided that we would drive out there after school with a bunch of shovels and work on it some more. This time proved usful as we got to the point where we had to hollow out the shelter. We got it all finished at around 6:00 on Thurday night, it toke us a while but in the end it was a great shelter, we even managed to find a door.

Before we even had compleatly finished the shelter we had our lesson on fore making in which i learned new ways to start a fire like the petroleum jelly cotton balls. After the lesson me and Garnet went out into the woods and gathered some firewood to make our little mini fires. I build my own little log cabin fire and after all 4 where lit we collected them together to make one large fire.

For dinner Jordan Chris and I had gathered all the food we would need and more. We made hamburgers, both on a stove and a fire, the stove proved to hard to flip it in the pan so we went with the chair grill ove the fire. After supepr was done we had to go and finsh up our shelter. After the shelter was build we spent our night jsut relaxing around a fire chatting joking and having a great time. At 10:30 we all went in go in our sleeping gear, brushe our teeth and stuff like that. Wea ll had our sleeping gear set up already so we crawled into bed for what turned out to be a warm and resful nights sleep.

We woke the next morning and as quikcly as we could cleaned out the shelters because it turned out to be a very cold morning, mostly becaseu we where in sleeping gear the whole time. Mr Brower and Mr Cleveland made us all pancakes for breakfast. In end it was a great night and would do it again anytime.

KC17 said...

Devin and I spent a couple of days building our shelter. For the most part we worked alone because we both had other priorities that had to be taken care of. On the second last day we finally worked on our shelter together and we ended up destroying our roof. So the night before we were suppose to sleep in it we patched up our roof and let it sit over night so it could harden. On the day that we were suppose to sleep in our shelter we had finally finnished digging it out and we had no problems. We ended up finnishing it around 5pm

After everyone was finnished creating their shelters we were taught on how to make our fires light up quickly by using the compressed wood that is covered in an excellerant or the otherway which Mr Brower had shown us which was cotton balls and vaseline. We also were taught on which fires were best on wet grounds, and that there had to be a circulation of air going threw the fire to keep it lit. Finnally we went to get fire wood which didn't take long to find.

We were then let to make our own fire, which we used to cook our own dinner on. Devin and I made ourselves some hot dogs and still ended up going to see Garnet where he had been making 4 dozen hot dogs, and then we spent the rest of our night chatting with Matt, Kyla, Chris, Jordan, Shea, Garnet the hot dog guy, Guillome which I can't spell his name and Jason Birch also we kept on eating more and more food. Then at 10:30 we were told to get into bed, so we all got into our shelters for the night and went to sleep.

The next morning I woke up frozen because we didn't plug the whole in the shelter well, my boots were too frozen to put on, my hat, gloves, and snowpants were also frozen stiff. So I ended up staggering into the school where I warmed up and waited for Devin to come in so we could get our stuff packed up to go. All and all it was a pritty amazing night.

Kyla said...

When we began building our quinzhees, i was alone, so by the end of the first day, there was a TINY pile of snow, but with the help of Jason; Courtney, Stephanie and I managed to have our quinzhee built and dug out in time.
After everyone had finished digging out their quinzhees, Mr. Brouwer showed us a quick fire lesson, then sent us off into the woods to collect firewood. When we returned with enough wood, each of the people in my group made a small fire, and we combined them to create our "dinner fire". I made soup, Stephanie had a dehydrated dinner, and Courtney had hot dogs that she shared. I ended up sharing a bunch of hot dogs with Matt and eating tons of marshmellows.
At 1030 i went in to get ready for bed, and then i went into the quinzhee, at first it was pretty comfy and cozy, but we had our shoes outside in a box, so they froze, and my socks got wet from crawling into the quinzhee, which caused me to freeze allnight.
I didn't like the sleeping and being cold part, but it was a pretty good night up to that. It's probably not something I would do again. I'd rather camp in a tent.

barber said...

Mike and I worked about 4 solid days before the overnight sleep. Basically our quin-zhee construction got off to a bit of a slow start because Mike had a field trip that day. I began building, but didn't seem to get anywhere so we decided to restart at another location the next day. I found once we got started it was hard to stop. We seemed to have a never ending supply of snow so we tried making it as big as possible, keeping in mind the fact we were on hill so we had to balance the size. Due to the fact we were a day behind in building, Mike and I decided to go out on spare to keep building up our snow pile. On Wednesday, we starting digging out the snow, but because of the lockdown we didn't get finished during class time. I then had to leave for a hockey game (in which we upset the #2 seed and I got 2 snipes) so Mike had to finish digging on his own.

When I returned from hockey, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Mike did an awesome job on the quin-zhee. I missed the fire builing lesson and wood gathering, so I settled with maintaining the fire all night along with Mike. Our fire was used to keep us warm and cook dinner where some people made kraft dinner, hot dogs,or even a cake made with sprite.

After spending a night of just hanging out and making smores, it was time to get ready for bed. Around 10, I went inside to take my contacts out, change, and get my sleeping bags. Me and Mike then went to the quin-zhee for a good nights sleep. We got in comfortably and I was plenty warm, but a headache sort of put a damper on the night. Once the headache finally went away, after drinking lots of water, I had a good sleep.
Once morning came I woke up alone, seeing as it was about 9:30! I then went inside to a nice warm shower and breakfast at the caf. Overall I had a great time and would do it again anytime.

Jordan said...

Well Chris Shea and I spent about 30 mins at the beining creating our design for the shealter. When we first started it seemed like a pretty easy job. Build a pile of snow. As i got into it I found that it was alot hard then i hard first though. By Wednesday it seemed like we would be sleeping outsdie and that we had no chance to finished. But we pushed through and did our best to finsih the shealter on time All and all i think our shelater was build pretty well all things considered.

After we finsihed building our shealter we had a lesson in buildfire using different methods such as the teepee and the log cabin aswell as using birch bark and pettrollum jelly covered cotton balls to start the fire. Once we had a roaring fire going we decided to start cooking our supper. We roasted hotdogs and cooked burgers over the flame. AFter that we began to hang out and talk around the camp fire all night. Then around bed time we went into the school to get ready for bed and brush our teeth. When i got in my sleeping bag and starting going to bed i found it easier to get to sleep then i thought. It was alot warmer then i thoguht it would be.

By the time morning came around i was nice and warm and comfy lie in the shealter. Once i was widly awake we began to cleen up the enviromental center and the feild by picking up all the garbage from the previuos night. In conclusion it hink that, the night was a very interesting night and was a great experience that i will always remeber when i look back at my days in Cairine Wilson.

Tostitoes said...

Jordan, Shea, and I had initially started this "project" with four group memebers, but one of our group memeber left to join some one else *cough* birch u dirt bag. in the end it was lucky for us that he left, because our quinzhee wouldn't have held him. by the time everybody was digging out their quinzhees, we were about half-way through building ours, this was mostly because we're all lazy, but the fact that we each had a day where we weren't at school also contributed. in the end Shea and Jordan ended up goin to the quinzhee after school on wednesday to shovel loads of snow on and make it possible to consider digging it out. on the thursday of the camp out we were so pumped to get out and build our quinzhee that we were the first people to class, not that it mattered, because of, wat was in my opinion the most pointless waste of my time since sitting through a programing lecture in grade 10, a lockdown that lasted all period. Jordan and I were so motivated to build our quinzhee and not have to sleep in hammocks that we excused ourselves from our last period classes to work on our quinzhee. We were very productive during this time,we hollowed out at least half of the quinzhee. when we finally finished our quinzhee, it was alot later than it should have been.

After we finished our quinzhee, we needed to go foraging for our supplies, so we went rushing through the forest until we came across loeb where we purchased our food supplies, and "borrowed" a transportation device to bring out food back to school, the transportation device was obviosly was returned the next morning. we returned to the school just in time to partake in a fire building lesson where i learned about petrolleum cotton swabs, which i had previoously not realized burned so well.

Once everybody had returned from the farthest forest they could get to with the fire wood, we made fires, and then we amalgamated them into one, well three technically, but one per area. we then cooked ouur food over the fires, for some reason i don't think the hamburgers were cooked enough, because i had an "uncomfortable" weekend, if you catch my drift.

as 10:30 rolled around we all headed to bed after a crazy fun night of chilling infornt of the fires with buddies, then going to last call for the school to brush our teeth and use the washrooms.

the sleep wasn't nearly as good as i remeber form past quinzhee experiences, but that may have had something to do with my sleeping bag being certified for spring camping, not winter, oh well. all in all the night was great, it was a great bonding experience and i think that alot of us go to know others better than we had before, i would and am going to do this again the next chance i get.

Nik said...

Alex and I spent about four steady days total constructing our shelter. The first day was rather intresting, since I was working alone, because Alex was on a field trip. We chose our location rather close to two other groups, which became a problem later on where we were fighting for snow. It turned out to be okay because the shovel i used worked nicely with the powder, and we got a little help from a sleigh. We started digging out quinzhee out half-way through Tuesday's class. We became rather pressed for time due to the lengthy lockout on Wednesday, but we were able to finish digging out just after the fire lesson.

The lesson on building fires was fun and intresting. The lesson about Vaseline and cotton balls as well as birch bark will come in handy for the canoe trip later this year. It was rather embarrassing though to have my parents show up just to take pictures. We later went out into the woods to gather wood and came back with several barrel fulls as a class effort. We built our own mini-fires and then combined them with two other group fires to create our cooking fire for the night.

We used a chair frame and an old barbeque grill as a stove top for our food. There was plenty of food to go around the whole class. We dined on Kraft Dinner as well as traditional camping food such as hot dogs and marshmellows. For desert we had some more marshmellows, some hot chocolate, chips and amazing chocolate cake made with sprite instead of eggs.

We went in at Last Call to get changed and comfortable for bed. I stayed by the fire for a little while longer with Jason and Alex just to stay warm because I had a few doubts about how warm we would be when we slept. I went to sleep about half an hour(not sure) after Last Call after arranging my sleeping bag and removing my boots, jacket and snowpants.

The morning after i felt well rested, and i was rather comfortable all night long. The morning did go by quick though as we stumbled inside with all of our gear. Once i was repacked, I went to take a quick hot shower. I was surprised to see people in the hallways already and the school buses arrive. I was able to grab a quick breakfast prepared by Mr.Brouwer himself but i missed out on the orange juice since the bell had already rung.

All in all i think it was great fun and a good time and I would definitely do it again. Can't wait for the Canoe trip.

Mad Bassist said...

Nik and I decided early on to build our quizhee about 5 feet high and about 6 feet wide in a wide circle. As I wasn’t there for the first day, I was surprised at how much snow Nik had managed to pile up. We decided on the second day to make 2 mounds of snow and then attach them together by shovelling more snow on top. We managed to create a sort of rectangular quinzhee which was a lot longer than it was wide and the top was very angular compared to rounder. This made it a lot more difficult and more time-consuming to pile the snow as it kept on falling down the sides of the quinzhee. However this made it quite easy to stretch when inside the quinzhee.

Due to the fact that I had missed 2 quinzhee-making periods because of a field trip and a lockdown and a band competition, I feared that we might be able to finish before Thursday night. A concentrated and focused effort was needed to finish the quinzhee and we finished it in time. It was tougher at the start to start hollowing the shelter as it was hard to manoeuvre the shovels inside and eventually it became easier

I missed the fire-starting activity and joined the wood-searching efforts. I helped lay out the structure for the fire and soon after that we had our own little fire made which was the one that lasted the longest. We lit some candles in our quinzhee and started to make our supper which consisted of Kraft Dinner. We shared our food with the rest of the class and the class shared with us and had some hot dogs, s’mores, marshmallows and a very good cake made with sprite! There was definitely more than enough food. Sometime in the evening, I noticed a police car pull up to check on us and make sure no-one was disturbing us. As the night fell, I sat at the fire nearest my quinzhee and chilled out long into the night with Nikesh and Jason. The firewood began to run out so we had to forage by night to find some more and we managed to find enough to last us another 45 min.

Eventually, we grew tired and so we had to put out the fire using snow and scattering the embers and crawled into our quinzhees. I didn’t have that much space inside to move around and wrapped myself up in blankets, pillows and my sleeping bag. I didn’t sleep that well during the night as somehow my feet moving into the cold sink but I did manage to get at least 5 hours rest.

I staggered into school the next day to warm up and to get ready for the day. I freshened up in the washroom and made my way out into the freezing cold to grab my stuff and run inside. I couldn’t believe how early some people came into the school. Breakfast was made by Mr. Brower and company and the class enjoyed pancakes and syrup and peanut butter?!

I had a great time outside and would gladly do it again. I had a good time just chilling and talking with people. I will definitely remember this experience when I look back at what I did at Cairine Wilson.

Alex Stone

Courtney said...

On February 22, I slepted outside in a Quin-zhee with me fellow outdoor ed classmates. Since there is only three females in my class we shared a quin-zhee between the three of us. The days leading up to the night of the 22nd we started to build the quin-zhee. I missed the first day of building but did my best when I was there. We (the girls) got help from few of the guys with piling enough snow to fit the three of us. When digging out our quin-zhee we took turn. When digging I found that we didn't have that perfect shovel, we either had one that was too long or too small but we fix that, we borrowed one from the guys. After laying down our tarp and mats we were taught a lesson in fire building and before we couls start our own we had to collect fire wood. We crossed the feild and went into the forest with big barrels and started to collect wood. Each of us made a small fire, once the fires were started we put them together to make a fire big enough to cook dinner on. I brought hot dogs which tasted very good cooked over the fire. Later I sat by the fire and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. One tip for sitting by the fire: If your boots start to smoke move them away from the fire. Rubber melts! During the night it seemed to last longer than usually but once I was asleep it flew by. In the morning my toes were a little cold but warm up after walking around abit. Clean up was fast outside because there wasn't alot of stuff out there becuase we clean most of it up after dinner. Once I re-packed my bag I went to the foods room to enjoy pancakes that were the best I have had in a long time. They were great.

garneato said...

When i have kids now i can tell them i slept in a big hill have snow lol. We made this by making a huge snow hill. It does not look to big but once you start diging the snow back out your starting to think you should have made it smaller wow there was a lot have snow you had to dig out. That nite we learned how to make a fire. Im telling you if you just lwet me used gass we would have been cooking on those bad boys faster then trying to lite 1 with a cotton Well the nite went by and i cook a hell have lot have hot dogs tryed selling them for 1.50 but it didt go and then gave then away for free just trying to get ride have them.After that i want to play some nite have capture the flag but noone else wanted to do so we just walked around and talked for the rest have the nite and slept in are bad ass snow fort that morning we got to eat pancakes which was cool i guesslol well hope to have more have these fun has hell trips