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Campgrounds in Winter

Huck_It_Baby

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Many state campgrounds in ADK and VT close Sept/Oct and I am curious if anyone knows if it is due to the fact there is a significant drop in camper visits so it's not worth paying people to keep things operating or if there is another reason?

Would it be frowned upon if were to pitch a tent in the winter on a state campground such as Underhill state park on Mt. Mansfield?
 
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thetrailboss

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Money and traffic indeed. Also the [college] help leaves.

Good question as to camping in the offseason. That particular park is a major trailhead, so I don't know what happens with it in the offseason. Now that I think of it, I've only hiked in that area in the summer.
 

Huck_It_Baby

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I'm skinning back there all the time in the winter and the lean-tos are always empty. Making powder turns right to my tent sounds good plus the sites are low enough elevation that you can have a campfire.
 

thetrailboss

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I'm skinning back there all the time in the winter and the lean-tos are always empty. Making powder turns right to my tent sounds good plus the sites are low enough elevation that you can have a campfire.

I think, practically speaking, one could spend the night in the lean-too and not have any issues, assuming that of course you clean up after yourself and are discrete. It's not as if the State has police patrolling [empty] campsites in the winter. The official line would probably be that the campground is closed, use at your own risk, etc., etc. But the bottom line is really the same: they don't care. FWIW I used to live close to Branbury State Park on Lake Dunmore and in the off-season when it was closed we used to walk along the beach and through the campsite. There was a caretaker there but they were there to prevent vandalism. I never saw folks camping there.

And another "FWIW" the State used to have a ski dorm right at the base of Mansfield that was open to the public and had cheap bunks in a hostel format. But I don't think that they run it anymore and that they only offer group reservations for the stone hut on top.
 
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ScottySkis

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I think, practically speaking, one could spend the night in the lean-too and not have any issues, assuming that of course you clean up after yourself and are discrete. It's not as if the State has police patrolling [empty] campsites in the winter. The official line would probably be that the campground is closed, use at your own risk, etc., etc. But the bottom line is really the same: they don't care.

Talk about a chilling experience.
 

Rambo

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Talk about a chilling experience.

Many years ago, when I was in the Boy Scouts, we camped out, one weekend in mid-January at the Boy Scout camp. We slept in the open lean-to's and the temp. dropped to -5 at night. I wore my pack boots, Pants, long underwear, winter jacket, gloves and knit hat and slipped into my sleeping bag... good thing or my feet/toes would have froze. When we cooked breakfast, if you didn't eat your eggs real fast -they would quickly freeze on your plate. Anyways when Scouts camped out in the dead of winter, it was called "Camp Frostbite".
 

thetrailboss

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Many years ago, when I was in the Boy Scouts, we camped out, one weekend in mid-January at the Boy Scout camp. We slept in the open lean-to's and the temp. dropped to -5 at night. I wore my pack boots, Pants, long underwear, winter jacket, gloves and knit hat and slipped into my sleeping bag... good thing or my feet/toes would have froze. When we cooked breakfast, if you didn't eat your eggs real fast -they would quickly freeze on your plate. Anyways when Scouts camped out in the dead of winter, it was called "Camp Frostbite".

Ah yes, the freezeouts we used to have in Scouts. Loved them. I got a lot of good training in how to and how not to camp in cold weather, which being in Vermont, was almost always ;) Seriously though...drink plenty of fluids, have a pee bottle in your sleeping bag, put on a clean dry set of layers before bed, keep your boots in your sleeping bag so that they don't freeze, and keeping active helps a lot.
 
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Huck_It_Baby

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Thanks for the advice TB! I think I'll spend a few nights out there when the snow starts flying =)
 
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