Cabin Camping Class

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Purpose of this document: To serve as a resource for instructors; ensure that all CC PE classes are taught to a consistent standard; that all participants will leave the course with a minimum base of skills.


To set-up a course for the next term, simply contact Rory Gawler near the end of a term.

We will set the limit at the reasonable use limit of the cabin, and expect some dropping out in the days before the trip.

Some description examples are below. This should include what the expectations are: that you will share the workload, help put away gear at the end.

The description should make clear what activities (snowshoeing, nordic skiing, hiking, sledding, etc) will be involved.

You should select a cabin, a weekend and also a day and time for a pre-trip meeting the Tuesday or Wednesday night before the weekend. This is to ensure that the students are prepared for the trip and to allay any fears that they have. Hopefully this will also cut down on crumping.

Do not set the date close enough to the add/drop deadline that people can see the weather for that weekend or they might drop out.

Use this meeting to clarify this curriculum and set expectations for the trip. Let the participants know that they will be responsible for washing dishes, hauling firewood, etc. and that this is not a guided vacation.


After taking this class, students should have a basic understanding of, or at least exposure to:


  • Travelling outside under seasonal weather conditions
  • Packing for an outdoor trip in seasonal weather conditions
  • Proper hydration for outdoor recreation
  • Layer management for dealing with cold/wet conditions

Cabin Use

  • Lighting a fire in a woodstove, including basic woodsplitting
  • Cooking/Preparing meals in a rustic setting
  • Proper backcountry hygiene (Washing dishes, hands, etc.)
  • Lighting and caring for gas lights, if in use at that cabin
  • Using an outhouse
  • Using the Logbook and reporting problems with cabins

Outdoor Skills

  • How to prevent, recognize and treat cold injuries like hypothermia and frostbite (winter)
  • How to deal with getting wet, such as by falling into a stream, when a heated space is not available to dry/warm up
  • Navigation, route planning and estimating travel time in the backcountry
  • Leave No Trace (esp. human waste)
  • First Aid for minor Injuries (blisters, burns and sprains)

Gear List

This list is for winter trips. Feel free to adjust as necessary.

Group Gear

  • Compasses-10
  • Maps-2 Sets Minimum
  • Map Case-2
  • Plastic Bags-20
  • Snowshoes (Traditional) X # Of Participants Plus One Spare Pair
  • Repair Kit: Brass Wire, Hose Clamps, Pliers, Sewing Kit
  • Heat Pads
  • Straps
  • Candles
  • Food
  • Lantern,
  • First Aid Kit
  • Pot For Heating Water On The Trail

Personal Equipment List

  • 1 Three Season Or Winter Sleeping Bag
  • 1 Pair Of Steger Mukluks From Rentals If It Is Cold And Snowy To Wear With Snowshoes – If It Is Cold And Wet/Slush Use Plastic Boots With Snowshoes
  • One Set Of Long Underwear ( Top And Bottoms)
  • One Extra Long Underwear Top
  • 1 Pair Of Polypro Liners/ Or Light Weight Leather Gloves
  • Shirt –Wool Or Synthetic Material
  • Warm Sweater-Wool Or Fleece
  • Trousers - Wool, Nylon, Fleece
  • Wind Pants/Overpants
  • Day Socks- 2 Sets Of Pairs ( One Light Liner Sock Plus One Heavy Sock
  • Camp Socks-1 Pair Of Heavy Socks-One To Sleep In
  • Mittens- Wool Or Fleece
  • Overmittens- 1 Pair Of Windproof Overmittens
  • Hat-Wool, Fleece Ski Hat Or Balaclava
  • Scarf, Neck Gaiter Or Balaclava
  • Anorak Or Windbreaker With Hood
  • Warm Jacket-Down Or Heavy Fleece

Personal Items-

  • Knife-Sharp, On A String (Optional)
  • 1 Lighter/Matches
  • Sunglasses
  • Ski Goggles
  • Bandana

Trekking Equipment

  • Backpack
  • Snowshoes
  • 1 Flashlight Or Headlight-With Extra Batteries/Bulbs
  • Sun Hat- Baseball Cap
  • Toilet Kit-Keep It Light
  • 1 Cup For Drinking
  • 1 Plastic Bowl For Eating
  • 1 Spoon
  • 1 Large Mouth Water Bottle
  • 3 Stuff Sacks
  • Camera/Film/Flash - Optional
  • Small Musical Instrument

Activity Options

Some former descriptions of courses

DOC Cabin Overnight Course (11W)

January 14-16

Instructors: Ellen McDevitt/Athena Aicher

Cost: $85

Max. Enrollment: 20

Spend two nights at the beautiful Class of ’66 Lodge on the slopes of Moose Mt. in nearby Etna! Do some light hiking and intense sledding, drink plenty of hot cocoa and catch up on some sleep. Meet new people! Learn how to use a DOC cabin, split wood, light and maintain a woodstove and use an outhouse. Leave campus by 5:30 on Friday, back home by around noon on Sunday. Price includes meals, gear, instruction and transportation.

DOC Cabin Overnight Course (11W)

January 21st-23rd

Instructors: Matt Dahlhausen/Eric Ross

Cost: $85

Max. Enrollment: 12

Spend two nights at Hinman Cabin on Reservoir pond, at the foot of Smarts Mountain. Spend your days hiking and exploring the woods and learn how to use a DOC cabin, split wood, light and maintain a woodstove, travel in the woods in winter and use an outhouse.

DOC Cabin Overnight Course (11W)

January 28th-30th - 5:30 PM-1:00 PM

Instructors: Jennifer McDonald/Rebecca Stebbins

Cost: $95

Max. Enrollment: 13

On this cabin camping PE class students will learn the basics of staying in and taking care of a cabin while also enjoying some beginner cross country skiing. We will stay in Billings Lodge, where we will arrive on Friday night for nighttime snacks. There, students will learn about making fires in woodstoves and how to split wood. During the day on Saturday we will do some beginner cross-country skiing. We will return to campus on Sunday by one.

DOC Cabin Overnight Course (13F)

October 25th-27th - 6:00 PM-12:00 PM

Instructors: Max Deibel and Paige Wilson

Enrollment: 10

Students came out to Ritchie Smith Cabin on Friday night. We started up the woodstove, had snacks, and played games. Saturday we traveled to Moosilauke Ravine Lodge to see some lodge crew members, explore the new bunkhouse being built, and hike up to the firetower off of the Al Merrill Ski Loop. That night we headed back to the cabin for more games, food making, and hanging out. In the morning we cleaned up, chopped and stacked new firewood, packed our things, and headed off.