Snow Walking is Alive and Well…

..even if the book is still out of print.

This past week I have been re-reading Garret and Alexandra Conover’s definitive Snow Walker’s Companion: Winter Camping Skills for the Far North.

Snow Walker's Companion

Snow Walker’s Companion

Reading it again makes me wonder if I was paying attention the first few times I read the book, which is currently out of print. There is so much to be learned from the pages of this book. Coming off a 4 day winter trip of my own earlier this month on the Moose River near the Canada border, I appreciate filling in my knowledge gaps with the details that are laden onto each page. If you can find a copy at a used book store, snag it.

Over to Youtube.  I have been tagging potential videos for the past few months and took some time last night to view some of them on my TV set by the glow of the wood stove. 

I stumbled onto this gem, which is a MUST VIEW for all lovers of boreal trekking in the wintertime. It is stellar 50-minute piece of work entitled “Snowwalkers”.

This was a 10-day, 100km ( 62 miles) trip down the historic Missinaibi River in mid-winter. Released on Youtube on Feb 24, 2014, the video is to you by Laurentian University, the LU Alumni Association and Lure of the North. The video features Garrett Conover in action, portrayed here with justified reverence and capturing him in his usual, low key, hard-to-squeeze-anything-out-of-him style of leadership. I remember asking him numerous questions on the few trips that i had the fortune to take with him, and the answers were always preceded by, “Well, it depends….” I now realize how right he was.

See for yourself- invite some friends over, grab some popcorn and take notes until the book is republished.

About Tom Jamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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2 Responses to Snow Walking is Alive and Well…

  1. Ross Gilmore says:

    Thanks for the video. I’ll be sure to check it out.

    I think the book (Snow Walker’s Companion) may be back in print. I was able to get a copy on Amazon without a problem.

    I wasn’t a big fan of the book. It seemed very limited in scope to me. It’s great if you are interested in traveling in that specific style on that type of limited terrain, but for anyone who wants to go into the winter woodland without a pulk, a heated tent, or wants to travel over more challenging terrain, the book has very little to offer. I had initially hoped that it would be a more comprehensive guide to winter travel, but it seemed limited to travel on frozen river beds with a sled in a heated shelter and large amounts of gear.

    Like

    • tjamrog says:

      Yes, you could probably find a new one somewhere still on the shelves, but an Amazon check today showed new copies selling for $123 and used ones for $49. Garrett just let me know that Snow Walker’s is soon to have its long awaited print run, which will end the three years of being unavailable. I’ll keep everyone posted. Sure, the book is definitely limited in scope, but it’s those limits I like. A far as drawbacks to “warm winter” camping, all I can tell you is that I have no interest in slapping on a heavy winter backpack and freezing in the woods anymore. I now spend a week every winter choosing someplace in Maine to explore and feel. I get out more and see more traveling on ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams, happily towing the extra gear that this method requires. The very first time I picked up the tump line and took those 4 steps and had no weight on my back and was laying in my shirtsleeves at below zero eating stroganoff, and baking bread on the side of the stove ruined me for multiday traditional winter backpacking.

      Like

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