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Year-Round Camping

I've been camping in the backcountry all of my life.  As a kid I went on adventure summer camps, exploring relatively controlled environments with groups of fellow younglings and marginally older adults.  Once I became an adult myself, I started camping more regularly and expanding my comfort zone.  Camping in the fall?  Crispy.  Springtime camping?  Maybe a little chilly.  Winter camping?  Who does that?  Maybe me!

Eventually I started camping nearly year-round.  I'd miss a month or two and would feel bummed out that I didn't make it all twelve months.  It seemed the only way I was going to camping every month of the year was to make it a goal and stick to it.  In 2016, that's what I did.  Since then, I haven't missed a month yet (seven years straight as of 2023).  Even though some months I camp multiple times, these only count once for that particular month.  No double dipping in July so I can skip November.

Check out each year and see where I've been below.  In addition to camping every month, I try to mix up where I go so things don't get stale.  Sub-goals include seeing how many months of the year I can camp without a tent, via paddlecraft, and how many months of the year count as winter camping. The coldest temperature I've camped in was -19°F.  Wind chills on a separate trip were below -30°F. Most trips have photo albums available to get a feel for what you're missing out there.

Winter Camping.jpg

2023

January: Trap Hills, North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

February: ?? 

March: ??

April: ??

May: ??

June: ??

July: ??

August: ?? 

September:  ??

October: ??

November: ??

December: ??

2022

January: Lake Superior Trail overlook, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

February: Hacking Site (snow hole), Ottawa National Forest

March: Firesteel Mine Bluff, Michigan DNR Land

April: Duppy Falls, Ottawa National Forest

May: Hacking Site, North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

June: Skyline Lake, Ottawa National Forest

July: Gleason Falls, Ottawa National Forest

August: Lake Superior Shoreline, Keweenaw County

September: Little Castle Lake, Ottawa National Forest

October: Fuller Lake, Ottawa National Forest

November: Clifton Mine, Ottawa National Forest (with video!)

December: Penn Falls, Michigan DNR Land

2021

January: Sturgeon River Falls, Ottawa National Forest

February: Cascade Slabs, Ottawa National Forest

March: Finlander Bay, Point Abbaye Peninsula

April: Sylvania Wilderness Area, Ottawa National Forest

May: Bush Creek, North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

June: Glare Lake, Ottawa National Forest

July: Garden Brook valley, Copper Harbor

August: Rock Lake, Ottawa National Forest

September: North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

October: Record Lake, Cisco Chain of Lakes, Ottawa National Forest

November: North Country Trail, Trap Hills, Ottawa National Forest

December: Big Falls, East Branch Huron River

2020

January: O Kun De Kun Falls, Ottawa National Forest

February: Silver Mountain, Ottawa National Forest

March: Cascade Falls Bluff, Ottawa National Forest

April: Jumbo Falls, Ottawa National Forest

May: Deadman's Lake, Ottawa National Forest

June: Mattie Lake, Ottawa National Forest

July: Otter River (Misery Paddle Tour recap)

August: Howe Falls, Hiawatha National Forest

September: Norwich Bluff, Ottawa National Forest

October: Hacking Site, Ottawa National Forest

November: Gleason Cliffs, North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

December: Big Carp Trail, Porcupine Mountains

2019

January: Oren Krumm Shelter (coldest campout so far, -19°F)

February: Snow hole on Norwich Bluff, Ottawa National Forest

March: Lookout Mountain, Victoria Reservoir, Ottawa National Forest

April: Tokiahok Head, Huron Mountains

May: Trails End Campground, Copper Harbor

June: Trap Hills, North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

July: Skyline Lake, Ottawa National Forest

August: Horseshoe Bay Wilderness, Hiawatha National Forest

September: Trap Hills, Ottawa National Forest

October: Penegor Lake, Ottawa National Forest

November: Norwich Bluff, Ottawa National Forest

December: Bald Mountain, Huron Mountains

2018

January: Loon Lake, Sylvania Wilderness Area

February: Paul's Falls on the Sante River

March: Snow Volcano on Lake Superior, Fourteen Mile Point Lighthouse

April: Luke Manger-Lynch Memorial Shelter, North Country Trail

May: Trails End Campground, Copper Harbor (during Father's Day Flood)

June: North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

July: Trails End Campground, Copper Harbor

August: Mount Houghton

September: Craig Lake State Park

October: Sturgeon River Falls, Ottawa National Forest

November: Echo Lake, Ottawa National Forest (super late-season paddle trip)

December: Escarpment Trail, Porcupine Mountains

2017

January: Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River, Ottawa National Forest

February: South Hacking Site, North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

March: High Rock Bay

April: Pictured Rocks, North Country Trail

May: Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness Area, Ottawa National Forest

June: Sturgeon River Gorge, Ottawa National Forest

July: Rabbit Island

August: Mouth of the Huron River

September: Interlochen State Park

October: Trap Hills, North Country Trail, Ottawa National Forest

November: Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness, Ottawa National Forest

December: Firesteel Trestles on the Bill Nichols Trail

2016

January: Point Abbaye

February: Cut-over woods near the CopperDog 150 sled dog race

March: Lake of the Clouds overlook, Porcupine Mountains

April: Black River Harbor area, Ottawa National Forest

May: Hacking Site, Ottawa National Forest

June: Southern end of Portage Lake

July: Michigan Tech Trails with the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers

August: Sucker Lake, Ottawa National Forest

September: Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness Area, Ottawa National Forest

October: Norwich Bluff, Ottawa National Forest

November: "The Bluff" south of Ewen, Ottawa National Forest

December: Silver Mountain, Ottawa National Forest

2020 camping.jpg
2022 camping.jpg
NCT Snowshoe Camping - January 2023-23 copy.jpg
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