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Head North And Get Your High Adventure On

Canoe, Backpack, Ski, Snowshoe And Dog Sled In Minnesota And Canada

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Northern Tier's 3 bases, located in Minnesota and Canada, offer top-notch canoeing, backpacking, and fishing in some of the most remote locations in North America. (Photo submitted to Summit Blog)

Looking for some of the best wilderness adventure in the world?

Don’t worry, the Summit Bechtel Reserve will open soon enough.

But if you’re one of those who just can’t wait (we don’t blame you), there is plenty of adventure to be had at the Northern Tier High Adventure Bases, in the meantime.

There are actually 3 high-adventure bases where you can strap on snowshoes, paddle a canoe, ride a dogsled, cross-country ski and plenty more.

Interested? Check out Northern Tier’s New Site!

A Wintery, Watery Wonderland

The 3 bases, located in Minnesota and Canada, offer top-notch canoeing, backpacking and fishing in some of the most remote locations in North America. In fact, it’s not uncommon for crews to go days without seeing any other people in the 1 million acres of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, where much of the adventure takes place. 

After a ski trek at OKPIK, you might just be ready to go pro. See what these super winter athletes are doing to prepare for the 2012 Youth Olympic Games by sharing this story with your friends.

To make your experience truly one-of-a-kind, your crew will decide what routes to take and how to spend your time along the way.

Hiking not your thing? You can paddle from camp to camp along the 1,500 miles of canoe routes and over 2,000 campsites.

That’s still only the beginning.

OKPIK: There’s No Adventure Like Snow Adventure

The Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base also hosts the OKPIK Winter Adventure program, which specializes in cold weather camping and training.

What does “cold weather training” include?

At OKPIK it’s more than just learning how to build a fire and bundle up. This program offers all of the snowy adventure you could ask, whether it’s skiing, dog sledding or ice fishing. If you can name it, OKPIK has it.

Adventure By Foot

Skiing and snowshoeing expeditions at the Northern Tier are hugely popular and great choices for beginners.

You’ll ski or snowshoe to your campsite where you will make shelter, ice fish or just work on your snow travel technique. If you’re especially motivated, you can earn your OKPIK Winter Trek patch by traveling to a new campsite each day.

Adventures By Fur

Are you an animal lover? Try a dog sledding expedition instead.

“There’s nothing more exciting than being behind a dog sled team of eight,” said Carl Boyles, director of programs for Northern Tier.

OKPIK actually offers an entire camp devoted to mushing. As a musher-in-training, you’ll learn the ropes on training, caring for, harnessing and running sled dogs.

Mushing

OKPIK offers an entire camp devoted to mushing. (Photo submitted to Summit Blog)

You’ll get to stay in a heated yurt the entire time unless you’re feeling extra adventurous. Then, you can opt to sleep in a tent or a Quinzee.

Sounds fun, but don’t forget the Northern Tier bases are know for their high-adventure. That means there will be an extra level of intensity to go along with all that fun.

For example, the BSA considers cold weather camping to be anything under 50°F. However, the Northern Tier considers cold weather camping as anything under 30°F and above -40°F.

Slightly colder, yes?

Don’t think you’ll be cold the entire time though. The folks up north are pros at keeping warm in the chilliest of weather and you’ll be taught all of the skills to make sure your toes are nice and toasty.

Bring Out The Long Johns

The folks at OKPIK are the best at teaching cold weather survival techniques and systematically dressing for the cold is something you’ll learn during your stay.

The Northern Tier bases will introduce the layering system early in your program and you’ll be an expert by the time you leave. The layering system allows you to customize your apparel no matter what the weather is doing.

Learning to simply tough out the shivers is definitely not a goal of cold weather adventuring.

“We don’t teach kids how to survive in the cold. We teach them to thrive,” Boyles said. “All they have to do is bring a good attitude, wool socks, long underwear and a fleece and we’ll take care of the rest.”

Now that you can rest assured your teeth won’t chatter day and night, there’s no excuse not check out what the bases have to offer.

So if you need to get a taste of some high-adventure before the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, the Northern Tier is ready for you.

 

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