Campers gather to show camping is a year round activity - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Campers gather to show camping is a year round activity

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Amery (WQOW) - When most of us think of camping we think of summer: the campfire, smores, the bugs, but for some, camping in Wisconsin is a year-round activity.

"It's a lot of fun. It's like being a kid again."

The only thing missing is the snow and ice but that doesn't bother the people at the winter camping symposium who came out to see new gear and learn new skills that are certain to make their winter shorter.

"People in the upper Midwest are resilient people," said organizer Ryan Fox, "and we need to find something to do during the five months. To be in the boundary waters specifically in the winter is the best time. There's no people and no bugs."

The small but growing community of winter campers draws people from all around the Midwest even Canadian Glen Hooper showed up to teach proper axe handling.

The event now offers seminars, a gear swap and most of all camaraderie

"It's more just reminiscing about what happened the year before," said camper Wayne Peterson, "You come out here you talk to people who are like 'oh we went up to the boundary waters this year and we did this and that. You've gotta try it sometime.' and you get these little ideas like ooo yeah maybe we'll do that this year."

Despite subzero temperatures at times these hearty campers think a canvas tent and a wood burning stove is the perfect way to pass time during a long winter.

"If you've got the right gear. Winter camping can be a fun enjoyable experience," Bishop said.

And if this winter is anything like the last one, they'll have to be prepared.

Organizers expect more than 150 campers for the three-day event in Amery which wraps up Sunday morning.

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