When was the last time you went winter camping?
Getting out of my comfort zone has definitely been a resolution that has been following me for many years now.
I mean like why would someone ever want to get out of that round cozy bubble to get scared, do something different and not as comfortable?
Because life is short, and when you do things that scare you that means you are on the right track, that you are pushing your goals and dreams one step closer.
So when I herd about my friends at Voyage Grand V who were doing a winter camping get together it was hard to turn down that offer.
Actually, let me rephrase that: It would of been easy to turn down that offer, but if I did I would of probably regretted it. I would of regretted it.
Yes, I am an outdoorsy girl, who is constantly on the go for adventures, but I never actually pushed myself into winter camping. Stress of being cold, not being prepared enough was pretty much what was holding me back, but when this get together was being organized it was the perfect opportunity to dive in and try it out.
We headed out to the region of Lanaudière, specifically le sentier des Contreforts to meet up with everyone who decided to join us for the experience.
I pulled into the parking and noticed multiple cars, it was so exciting to see so many awesome people show up to this get together. Like Felix and Anne-So, I was shocked and beyond stoked to see that this experience inspired others to get out of their comfort zone and try winter camping.
Anne-Sophie guided our small hike to the top of the mountain to blow off some energy before setting up camp. The snow was fluffy from the snowfall of the night before, which made it perfect for snowshoeing. It was a great time to connect with the people who joined us, and to enjoy the beautiful scenery of this part of the province.
Once we got back we grabbed our gear, crossed a frozen lake, struggled with all our camping equipment to eventually find the perfect spot to set up camp.
The sun started to set, and my nerves started to take place with the ''yeah this is happening'' but I was also quite comfortable. Knowing that I wasn't the only one that was new to winter camping made it quite relieving in a way and took off some pressure of being to kook of the gang.
We all gathered around the fire as we played name games to get to know each other a little more. Everyone was so unique, you know when you go to an event and everyone looks and feels the same? This was different. Everyone was different, but we all had a passion that involved the outdoors and trying something new.
And that is why I believe this experience was such a success, because Voyage Grand V managed to bring different people all together to celebrate the beauty of winter. From parents, to entrepreneurs, couples to students, it was awesome to be in a diverse group and made our conversations so much more interesting.
It was time to slither into our tents for a good night wilderness sleep and it was oddly comfortable. I was afraid of the cold, but thanks to my layers and extra warm sleeping bag it was quite cozy. Although my dog got shivery at one point of the night, he came into my sleeping bag and we spooned until the morning light came to wake us up.
Out of my whole experience, the morning was my favorite part. Not because it was over and time to get back to are normal lives, but mainly because the scenery was simply magical. The light snowfall covering the tents, the quiet sounds of nature as Earth was getting ready for another day. It was soothing and beneficial. Kind of like after a yoga class.
We slowly started to pack up our things to head back to the car. Snowshoeing back, I silently took in the fresh winter air and thanked Felix and Anne-Sophie for this great adventure.
I can now take winter camping off my bucket list and the feeling is pretty rad when you get to accomplish something you've been longing to do. It was a first, but certainly not the last and I am already thinking about when to go back out again!
Special thanks to the Voyage Grand V team for leading this great adventure, and if you missed out on this one, don't worry there will be more. Go follow their FB page to be in the loop for their next nature experience.
One piece of advice, just do it. Don't think - just do.