I’ll be honest: Cold weather camping has always scared me a bit. I love to camp during the fall and summer, but I honestly had never given much thought to doing it in the sub-freezing dead of winter. On paper, it’s not my idea of a good time. Then my boss asked me to attend “Into the Cold” press camp in Crested Butte, Colorado, to learn more about winter camping.

There, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the Ice Man, himself, polar explorer Eric Larsen. His passion for all things arctic rubbed off. If anyone needs a cold-weather camping buddy this winter, and doesn’t mind having a newbie along, hit me up.

Turns out, I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by winter camping. That’s exactly why Larsen is launching an eight-day winter expedition course in January for those adventure-seekers willing to brave the cold. I talked to the avid snow enthusiast to learn more:

SNEWS: What’s the biggest mistake people make when camping in winter?

Eric Larsen: The most common mistake that people make is sticking with something no matter how the conditions change. Whether it’s getting too warm or too cold outside or getting too tired themselves, I think the biggest problems arise when people don't adapt to changing conditions. I try to emphasize constantly assessing your environment and your body and making both small and big adjustments to things like layering, hydration, sleeping, and more.

SNEWS: What is the most unexpected, yet essential, item we’d find with you on a cold weather journey?

EL: Two things. I'm not sure if it's unexpected, but I'm fanatical about bringing my Garmin inReach in any outdoor situation, especially if it's just a day trip or short outing. I've had some of my most serious situations on shorter excursions. After that, soup. For longer days out in the cold, I usually take a small Stanley food jar filled with hot soup (I usually buy Lipton Cup O’ Soup because it's convenient). Having hot soup in the middle of a freezing cold day is a great way to help with hydration and energy levels as well as something to look forward on the trail.

SNEWS: Tell us about your Polar Training Course. Who should take this course?

EL: The course is designed as an introduction to winter camping and polar style travel. Based out of a remote cabin on Lake Winnipeg, we start slowly for the first three days alternating between more classroom style seminars then outside to practice new skills skiing, setting up camp, cooking, sleeping in the cold, and more. The second half of the course is a small expedition on Lake Winnipeg where temperatures routinely drop to well below zero.

I think this course is a good building block for a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts. From someone who simply wants to learn more about winter camping and traveling in the cold to someone planning their own extreme weather expedition. Equally important, a lot of the skills and concepts that we discuss apply very directly to nearly all outdoor activities.

Have what it takes for this course? Check out this awesome scholarship (an $8,000 value) and apply now.



Eric Larsen: Last man walking

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2015 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 5 – 8. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update ...read more

eric larson and family

Renowned explorer Eric Larsen receives cancer diagnosis

It was with great sadness we confirmed today that one of the most beloved figures in our industry, the legendary polar adventurer Eric Larsen, has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.  Known and cherished by many of us for his big heart, generous spirit, and true passion for ...read more

Eric Larsen's Earth Day tribute

Eric Larsen's Earth Day tribute

Using footage from the past eight years and from adventures on five continents, polar explorer Eric Larsen created a mash-up video to inspire people on Earth Day. One of Larsen's biggest sources of inspiration is Robert Service's "Call of the Wild" poem, a reading of which ...read more

Rachel Sarette

First Ever Scholarship Recipient Selected for Eric Larsen’s Polar Training Course

Montebello, California - January 4, 2018  From an impressive roster of nearly 300 applicants from over 15 countries, 25-year old Rachael Sarette has been selected as the recipient for the ALLIED Feather & Down and Helly Hansen scholarship fund for Eric Larsen's Level 1 Polar ...read more

Bergans of Norway Rolls with Eric Larsen

Bergans of Norway Rolls with Eric Larsen Company sponsoring world-first bicycle journey across the Antarctic continent to the South Pole LONGMONT, Colo. - December 10, 2012 - In 1911, Roald Amundsen led the first successful trip to the South Pole, and Bergans of Norway was ...read more

LastSouth_ELProfile (1)

Industry Buzz: REI, American Alpine Club, Eric Larsen, BioLite, and KEEN

Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at snewsedit@aimmedia.com REI Co-op is investing $1 million in the Outdoor Foundation, the charitable arm of Outdoor Industry Association. The donation will go to the Thrive Outside ...read more

waterfalls at hanging lake near glenwood springs

Industry Buzz: Vibram, Camber Outdoors, Eric Larsen, plus new restrictions at a popular Colorado spot

Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at snewsedit@aimmedia.com Vibram is getting a new president. Michael Gionfriddo announced his retirement as the company’s president and CEO effective Dec. 31, and that Fabrizio Gamberini ...read more


Arkansas' outdoorsy scene is no secret at this #CoolShop

Ozark Outdoor Supply opened its doors in 1972 with the most organic of intentions. “Some hippies had a vision that Arkansas needed an outdoor gear store,” said Owner Jim Frank. In the beginning, the store never really had any significant direction or management, Frank said. But ...read more

Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen Bicycling to the Geographic South Pole

On December 12, Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen will attempt to conquer a new feat: biking to the South Pole. His expedition, Cycle South, will be a world-first bicycle journey across the Antarctic continent to the South Pole. Covering nearly 750 miles, the route will traverse from ...read more