By: Sophia Li
Wintercamp experience was one of the my first outdoor survival experience during the winter. Our team composed of five people. We met some ups and downs building the quinzee, but at the end we learned a lot from our mistakes which were only full of memorable moments. There were many obstacles and challenges but there were also many things that turned to work out really well.
Although our group had a huge success of being warm throughout our quinzee there were some things that would've been better. Three things that I thought we would work on to improve is to first, make the quinzee a lot more spacious. Even though we could fit five people perfectly, we still needed more space because everyone had to either sleep on top of another or sleep underneath another member which was clearly very uncomfortable yet very warm. If there were more room in our quinzee, we would have had a comfortable night and more room to move around to find the right position to sleep with. Another aspect in the quinzee I felt we could refine was the platform. The platform in our quinzee happened to be very bumpy and a bit slanted towards the entrance. Being the tallest member of the group, I had to sleep in the middle (which had the longest platform) but the middle is where the platform is slanted. When waking up in the morning, I found myself slipping a foot away from where I was originally sleeping. So I would definitely work on the flatness of the platform and the smoothness. The last thing I would fix or redo would be to bring actual camping food not food we would find at home. My first experience eating KD was not fun and yummy at all. Never again would I try to eat KD out in the outdoors.
However there were some strengths I felt we possessed: the layers of clothes that our group had on, the attitude, and our the extra food there were on our expedition. Everyone seemed to be pretty warm, and after working hard on our quinzee, we would get changed into our new and dry clothes and sleep with snuggly and warm clothes on. The attitude we had when building our shelter was awesome! With our amazing attitudes, the determination and preservation we had was what abled us to finish our quinzee.
Some recommendations I would recommend for those who are sleeping in quinzees for the first time are to come prepared with extra layers at all times, especially extra pairs of gloves, build a flat, smooth platform that is comfortable to sleep on, and finally eating a satisfying meal. Eating a satisfying meal can make the experience easier and comforting. So the advice I'm trying to give is to never sleep on an empty stomach.