Winter Camping School

Come and play in the snow with us!  We’ll build a snow fort!  (Actually, we’ll build snow shelters.  They are warmer.)  Maybe you enjoy the serene quiet and crisp air of winter hikes.  Maybe you’d like to learn how to stay warmer while skiing or climbing. Maybe you’d like to make sure you’d know how to deal with an unexpected overnight stay in the cold and on snow.  Maybe you are planning to attempt one of the big snowy mountains like Rainer or Denali.  Maybe you’d like to learn how to use snow for shelter.  Maybe you’d just like to challenge yourself to master cold weather camping. If any of these apply, the CMC Winter Camping School is for you.
The Winter Camping School concentrates on the fundamental understanding, equipment and techniques to keep warm in cold environment on an overnight stay. It covers topics as clothing, traveling, setting up campsite, cooking and sleeping comfortably in the winter wilderness.  Skills learned in this school are applicable for anyone who plans to spend time in the winter wilderness including hikers, snowshoers,  campers, climbers and skiers. The Winter Camping School is open to any member of the CMC regardless of group membership or classification. There are no prerequisites but prior completion of the CMC Wilderness Trekking School is recommended. file12

Winter Camping School (WCS) 

This is a non-survival school for those who want to enjoy the winter, snow and moonlight in comfort.  WCS concentrates on the fundamental understanding, equipment and techniques for keeping warm in a cold environment on an overnight stay.


Topics covered

• How cold affects the body and how to stay warm

• Cold weather ailments

• Cold weather clothing and equipment

• Essential gear and basic equipment you need (stoves and others)

• Nutrition and cooking tips and techniques

• Techniques for sleeping warm (how to extend the temperature range of the equipment you may already have)

• Site selection and campsite organization

• Tent organization

• Winter travel techniques (including use of sleds)

• Snow shelter(s) construction

• Leave No Trace practices

The school consists of three Wednesday night lectures.  In order to graduate, students have to participate in four qualified CMC trips: two one-day snowshoe trips to learn basic techniques (including snow shelter construction) and two overnight field trips. 

In this school students have the opportunity to learn winter camping techniques with personal attention and practice such skills in a non-competitive, non-confrontational setting.  The Winter Camping School is a great place to make new friends and open up a new season of activity.

All trips will be via snowshoe (no skis allowed).


Dates of 2015 school lectures will be on:

February 11, February 18 and March 4, at 6:25 PM

All lectures starts at 6:25 pm sharp in the CMC clubhouse in Golden.

Dates of the qualified field trips will be on:

February 21 and February 28 – day trips

March 7-8 and March 21-22 – overnight trips

Participating in all field trips is required for graduation.  There is no make-up trip planned, however, missed field trips usually can make up the following year.



Click here to register.

Registration is through the CMC web site: Then click on Winter Camping School link in the box of February 11.
Or, you can search for schools on February 11 in the schedule. Event number is 28948.
This school is open only for CMC members, however, becoming a new member immediately allows one eligible to sign up for the course.


Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about the school

Resources for Students

Resources for Instructors

Manual for HAMS Students




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