Our winter backpacking trip


It's been a rainy week here in Maine. Ridiculous for February. I'm calling this the winter that wasn't.

Now this may be good for some folks but not us. One of the reasons we love Maine is because of winter. We love snow and we especially love outdoor snow related adventures. So I am very thankful that the rain held off till this week because last weekend was our family's snow adventure highlight; our (2nd annual) winter backpacking trip.

I wouldn't of believed you if you'd told me a couple years ago that I'd be backpacking... in winter. Not only that I'd be going but that I would love it. Ah, the ways I have changed. And my parents along with. They're real troopers; buying backpacks, learning to enjoy tent camping and re-hydrated food all in the name of experiencing the outdoors together with the grandkids.

My own experiences from the weekend are reminiscent of last year's, except this year I didn't have the pre-trip exhaustion, tears and anxiety about the unknown. Without those negative elements it was an even better trip than last time. If these adventures keep improving like this I'm not going to want to come back home.

I spent a couple hours this weekend most of Saturday writing about our trip over at ADVENTUREinPROGRESS. I really encourage you to check out that post especially if you're seeking specific trip details in hopes of doing something similar with your family.

I also spend some time in that post talking about being inspired to live according to our values. That's the stuff that gets me really excited. Almost as excited as I get when I hike sunlit, wooded trails with family and friends up to mountain top, ocean view summits.

One of the highlights of the weekend was having our friends the Sifferman's and their dog Ronin along.

John Sifferman wrote an great summary of our time together, from his perspective, at his blog Physical Living. He even put together a video of us all sharing what we loved most about the trip and what camping means to us.

If you have a soft spot in your heart for family togetherness or goofy kids (the video heavily features two of my kiddos) you'll want to check it out. You'll even see a mug shot or two of yours truly.


Our weekend was wonderful and inspirational in so many ways. We spent a lot of time talking about the kind of lives we want to live, as family units and in community. And I know that over the next couple months new changes and directions will unfold in our lives because of those conversations.

Some of those will make it to this blog as I, in my everyday life, work out the living of our ideals.

One such change is starting to take shape already (and has been discussed for months, not just this weekend) and you can watch it happen for yourself over at ADVENTUREinPROGRESS. Damien and I are partners in every aspect of our lives and we intend to bring the synergy of that relationship into the blogosphere.

To that end we are working to change our two distinct blogs into a more collaborative effort. We are all about simple in our everyday lives and we're hoping to bring that life value into our on-line efforts. Stay tuned for more developments on that front (and others) in the coming months. Get all the views you can of FIMBY as it is now because it soon will have a new look and feel that better reflects our family's overall vision and purpose.

Creative energies and collaborations are so much fun!

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  • nicola@which name?

    nicola@which name? on Feb. 28, 2010, 4:52 a.m.

    well now this post was a tease, wasn't it?! :) you know i am always inspired by your family togetherness, communication, and adventures, but this post it finally struck me not to be envious or feel lacking at what we are not doing. your recent descriptions are so much of what i remember as a child my parents were very similar to you and damien. we had little money but that never slowed my parents adventuresome spirit. we took road trips all over (although i had never been out of the U.S. until i moved to the UK when i was 12) and we backpacked and hike all over. i had skis when i was still quite little. there is a story of my mom backpacking when nearly due with my brother, and they packed diapers and other assorted good "just in case." mike was similarly outdoorsy and we had some fun adventures together in the outdoor environment we went to college in, while still in school and with no money. oddly, it was income (jobs), owning a home, kids, and dying and death in our family that squelched the time, energy, and enthusiasm. well, not the enthusiasm entirely. every time we got the change, we'd look at each other and say "why don't we do this more often? it feels so good?" i can feel us moving back towards the exploratory selves we used to be. slowly, but that is ok. it is happening and instead of feeling like a "SHOULD" it feels like a "WANT." and that is good. nicola http://whichname.blogspot.com


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on Feb. 28, 2010, 4:56 a.m.


    It's just been in the last couple of weeks that I have been reading your blog (and love it!); but I was wondering if with the new "look" if all the same content will be here? As in, is there anything I should catch up on before it's gone?!? :-)



    • renee

      renee on March 3, 2010, 1:29 p.m.

      No worries, the content will still all be here. I've worked for years on building this content, no way I'd let it all go now. I've been blogging here for 4.5 years in fact. The first few years were mostly just personal journal style blogging with the main audience being out of state family.


  • Earth Mama

    Earth Mama on Feb. 28, 2010, 5:06 a.m.

    Very inspirational to have the kids out there in the snow backpacking with you. We used ot do a lot of backpacking treks, but with #2 we kinda stopped. We still go camping, but not back woods treks. Someday...once my kids are a bit older, it would be fun to do again. How old is your youngest?



  • Heather

    Heather on Feb. 28, 2010, 2:28 p.m.

    I think the winter that wasn't is a perfect description, and seems to follow the summer that wasn't pretty well. I have to say I haven't missed the snow this year, and the warm temps we have had all Feb has made me ready to garden...I am ready to get my hands dirty and hopefully have some warm weather this summer...the rain...well I could use a little less of it :-) Although watching the ice jam on the Kennebec has been really interesting. I can't remember ever having seasons like this when I was growing up here.


  • Jenn

    Jenn on Feb. 28, 2010, 7:43 p.m.

    i really despise winter. i hate snow. it's pretty and all...but...i am more of a spring and fall person. i like the long lovely springs we have.


    • renee

      renee on Feb. 28, 2010, 9:21 p.m.

      Spring season in Maine is also known as mud season and is way too short. Starts mid april and ends early June. I love all the seasons and when I'm in each I think "oh, this is the best" but I usually don't feel that way for Feb & March. The dreaded in between of winter and spring, the worst time of all.


  • Rana

    Rana on March 1, 2010, 4:04 p.m.

    Backpacking in winter sounds like an awesome adventure. I'm hoping to go camping for the first time this summer with the in-laws who used to camp all the time. You have some great photos Renee!


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