Winter Camping with a Sled

For this Backpacking Trip, we use a Pulk Sled to go Winter Camping in the Deep Snow of the White Mountains.

Mike and I originally planned to do a long overdue return trip to Mt Crawford for some winter backpacking and camping, but as is usually the case, the notorious weather of the White Mountains thwarted our efforts.  With a higher summits forecast from the White Mountains Observatory calling for -60° wind chills due subzero temps combined with high winds and gusts upwards of 90 MPH, we opted to stick to the lower elevations instead.  So we shelved our higher elevation idea to camp on Mt Crawford, and instead started scouting for a new location on the fly.

Basically, we were winging it in terms of trip planning, but fortunately I was armed with a full set of White Mountains AMC maps to keep up safely prepared on whatever trail we ended up cast upon by the winter hiking gods.

In the video we do some snow campsite selection and setup, tons of firewood collection, snow furniture building, campfire cooking, trail sledding on the rather steep Airline Trail, and overall just plain having a fun time out in the snowy woods of New Hampshire for a few days.

Downloadable GPS data for this trip and others can be found on the Trip Data Page.

Winter Sled Camping Route Overview – Sintax77

Time of Year
Mid February

Parking Location
Appalachia Trailhead Parking Lot
44°22’17.6″N 71°17’19.9″W

Trailhead
Appalachia Trailhead on Presidential Hwy (Hwy 2), Randolph, NH

Trails Used, Day One

  • Valley Way Trail
  • Randolph Path
  • Airline Trail
  • Setup Camp near Airline Trail
  • Located in the middle of the triangle formed for the Airline, Randolph Path, and Valley Way Trails.We used this campsite with significant snow pack on the ground so leveling out a decent platform for a tent was no problem. Based on my experience in this general area on previous summer trips, I would assume it would not make a very accommodating tentsite without snow, due to the steep and rugged terrain.

Day 1 Mileage: 2 miles
Day 1 Elevation Gain: 1,122′

Winter Sled Camping Day 1 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Trails Used, Day Two

  • Airline Trail
  • Return to vehicle at Appalachia Trailhead Parking Lot

Day 1 Mileage: 1 mile
Day 1 Elevation Gain: 6′ (pretty brutal, I know)

Winter Sled Camping Day 2 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Notable Gear Seen and Used in the Video

AMC White Mountains Full Map Set
Camp’ brand backpacking Snow Shovel
MSR Whisperlight Universal Stove (we were using white gas)
MSR Flex Skillet
Coghlan Camp Grill Grate
Nemo Losi 3p Tent
Z-Lite Sleeping Pad (Yellow pad used for bench, I stacked it on top of a Big Agnes Q-Core SUL pad for sleeping at night)
Therm-A-Rest Pro Sleeping Pad (Mikes sleep pad)
Hammock Gear Burrow 0° Top Quilt
Scandinavian Gear Backpack (my red pack)
Gregory Palisades 80 Backpack (Mike’s pack)
MSR Denali Ascent Snowshoes (my grey snowshoes)
Atlas 10 Snowshoes (Mike’s snowshoes)
Coghlan Fire Sticks (Fire starter used on day 2)
Sled – I’m honestly not sure what brad it was, but below is a pretty highly rated, heavy duty gear sled listed on Amazon.

Catskills Hiking & Trail Pizza – Backpacking with our Dog

Join Sara, our dog Denali, & I for some Catskills hiking, trail cooking, backpacking, and hammock camping in upstate New York.

For this backpacking trip, we’ll be hiking and camping near Slide Mountain and the East Branch Neversink River in the Catskills, complete with a visit to the summit of Table Mountain and Peekamoose Moose Mountain.  The mileage will be low, but the star of this trip isn’t the trails.  It’s the food.  Good old, classic trail cooking.

What’s on our backpacker’s menu?  Well, Sara had a craving for some trail pizza in the middle of the woods somewhere, and I was up for the challenge.  Were we successful?  You’ll just have to come along and find out.  Either way, it’s bound to be an adventure.  😉

Full GPS data for this, as well as all of my other trips, is available on the Trip Data page.

Trailhead Used:  
Denning Rd Trailhead  N41° 57.924′ W74° 27.144′


Trails Used Day 1, in Order

Pheonicia East Branch Trail
Peekamoose Table Trail
Set up camp after second bridge (the double log one) at N41° 58.474′ W74° 25.734′
Continue up Peekamoose Table Trail towards summit of
Table Mt and Peekamoose Mountain
Lunch / Snack at summit and
Return to camp on the East Branch Neversink River

Day 1 Mileage: 7.8 miles, including summit round trip (about 3 miles each way)
Day 1 Gross Elevation Gain: 2,130′

Trails Used Day 2, in Order

Peekamoose Table Trail
Pheonicia East Branch Trail
Return to vehicle at Denning Rd Trailhead

Day 2 Mileage: 1.8 miles
Day 2 Gross Elevation Gain: 
146′

Trip Total Mileage: 9.6 miles
Trip Total Elevation Gain: 2,276


Trail Pizza 
Ingredients

Boboli Pizza Crust, Individual Size – 2 Pack
Boboli Pizza Sauce Individual Pack (comes in 3 pack box)
Cabot Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded – 8 oz package (2 cups volume)
Hormel Pepperoni, pre-sliced – 6 oz package (enough for 2 pizzas, plus snacking)
Camp Cooking Gear Used for Pizza

Pair of cheap aluminum tongs (from dollar store, or whatever)
Coghlan’s Camp Grill  – rack used to hold pizza
Fozzils Bowlz (used as a plate / prepping dish / cutting board)
Sea-to-Summit Alpha Utensil Set

Winter Camping the Dolly Sods Wilderness – 3 Day Backpacking Trip

Join the crew for 3 Days of Winter Camping, Backpacking, & Campfire Cooking in Dolly Sods, West Virginia.

For this adventure we decided to revisit the Dolly Sods Wilderness for some early December winter camping and backpacking.  Full GPS track data for this trip is available on the Trip Data page for those who like to follow along at home. Waypoints for campsites and water crossings / sources are included in the GPX file.

List of Trails Used, In order:

Day 1
Park at Red Creek Trailhead, N38° 58.372′ W79° 23.847′
Red Creek Trail TR514
Cross Red Creek at junction with Big Stonecoal Trail
Big Stonecoal Trail TR513
Set up Camp at “Tj’s Moustache Camp”
Here’s how to find it:
Heading north on Big Stonecoal, pass the intersection with Dunkenbarger trail on your left. Not to far ahead, Big Stonecoal will make an abrupt right turn to make a water crossing across Stonecoal Run. Instead of making the turn, continue straight along the banks, towards the woods. The camp should quickly become apparent.

Water is obviously plentiful. Firewood is probably another story, as this looks to be a popular area in warmer weather. We were equipped with hatchets and saws to process down tress, so all was well. However, during a warm weather trip without tools, I doubt we would have found much smaller stuff just laying around.

Dolly Sods Winter 2104 Day 1

Dolly Sods Winter 2104 Day 1

Day 1 Stat Totals
Mileage: 5.85 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 1,444′
Gross  Elevation Loss: 453″
Campsite Altitude: 3,613′

Day 2
Backtrack a little bit to previous day’s water crossing.
Continue on Big Stonecoal Trail TR514
Arrive at the junction with Blackbird Knob Trail and Breathed Mountain Trail
Continue on Breathed Mountain Trail TR553
Turn left at junction with Red Creek Trail TR514
**  Shortly after heading out on Red Creek Trail, we found a decent supply of running water on the trail, which was much appreciated, as there would certainly be no water up towards Lion’s Head, where we intended to camp.  As it was running in December, I’m thinking this may be a good option in other months as well. No guarantees though. It’s possible this was just snow melt run-off from up above.  If all else fails, you could bushwack down to Red Creek, as we had actually planned to do, prior to finding this little gem on the trail.
Continue on Red Creek Trail TR514
Bear to the right on Rocky Point Trail TR554
Turn abruptly right at the unofficial spur trail to Lions Head at N38° 59.243′ W79° 22.062′
** This is not an official trail and will not be found on maps, however, it is marked with a cairn (pile of rocks).  Head straight up from the cairn.  There is a false summit a little ways in, but you need to actually bear to the left in order to navigate towards Lion’s Head and the eventual campsite.  If you go straight towards the false summit, you’ll know it, as there is no where else to go but straight down.  No worries, relax, enjoy the view and retreat towards whence you came.  You’ll have to hop down some rocks, but the path should be apparent. 
Head north on the Unofficial Spur Trail Towards Lion’s Head
Pause to “ooooh and ahhhh” at the sights
Continue north towards camp
Setup Camp on the ridge beyond Lion’s Head

Dolly Sods Winter 2104 Day 2

Dolly Sods Winter 2104 Day 2

Day 2 Stat Totals
Mileage: 8.6 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 1,083′
Gross  Elevation Loss: 1,099′
Campsite Altitude: 3,678′

Day 3
Bushwack Northwest towards Rocky Point Tr
Continue on Rocky Point Tr TR554
Turn left to head south on Big Stonecoal Trail TR514
Take Red Creek Trail TR514 Back towards Parking lot and vehicle
Find a cheeseburger!

Dolly Sods Winter 2104 Day 3

Dolly Sods Winter 2104 Day 3

Day 3 Stat Totals
Mileage: 3.6 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 127′
Gross  Elevation Loss: 1,332′

Trip Totals
Mileage: 14.49 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 2,654′
Gross  Elevation Loss: 2,884′

Dolly Sods Trail Map Color Coded