Winter Camp Reflection - Aidan Gray PAD2O
My night at winter camp 2015 was very fun and entertaining. What made it very enjoyable was the commitment from the members in the group I was in. My group consisted of myself, Cooper, Clayton, and Patrice. With everyone's involvement we were able to complete each task smoothly and successfully. The first thing that our group did well was we had a suitable meal plan. We each had appropriate amounts of different food that we were all capable of retrieving and bringing to the camp. We decided on meals that we were all comfortable with eating. The second thing that our group did well was we created enough space for a comfortable sleep inside the quinzhee. We tried to maximize the ground surface area as large as possible, while still maintaining a solid, thick wall barrier. The third thing that we did well was cooperating within the group. We compromised to each others liking whenever we faced a problem, although we did not face many difficulties. We always stayed positive and were pretty flexible when it came to making group decisions. This made the experience much more enjoyable.
Although we had a successful experience, there was still aspects of the event that we could have improved on. One example of this is when we were building our platform inside the quinzhee. There was no major complication with the platform, but we decided to continue digging and did not realize we were at the point of creating the platform. This was easily fixable and instead of having a platform built directly straight upward at the beginning, we had built up the ground on an incline upwards towards the platform. Our entranceway was similar to climbing a hill towards the platform. The second thing that I would improve on is the height inside our quinzhee. We did not realize until when we destroyed our quinzhee, but we had a lot more snow we could have dug out of the ceiling inside the quinzhee. One way to fix this is to poke sticks through the walls to have an approximate measurement of how thick the walls of your quinzhee are. Having that extra height inside the quinzhee would have made it easier to manoeuvre inside the quinzhee. Improving and learning from this may make my experience more satisfying in the future.
For someone building and sleeping in a quinzhee for their first time it is important to keep the process simple. My first recommendation is to gather and build up as much snow as you can. It is better to have too much room than too little because then it can be uncomfortable and tight inside the quinzhee. You want the quinzhee to be a mini mountain. More is better. My second recommendation is to bring layers for your sleep inside the quinzhee. Bring two sleeping bags and double-up on the socks. I prefer wool socks because they are generally warmer and maintain heat. It is important not to be too warm but it can become quite cold if you are exposed to the cold. You can always take off layers if you are getting to warm, but if you are cold and do not have any, then it can become really unpleasant. Come prepared for the weather. My third recommendation is to cooperate with your group members. This will make your experience so much more enjoyable. If you're in a good mood then you will have a better time. Positivity and flexibility are key during this experience for two reasons: this is a teamwork exercise that requires reliability on each other and positivity in attitude leads to more effective experience for everyone.