Camping, Backpacking & Snowshoeing Course

Winter Camping School

To learn how to prepare mentally and physically to spend a night out in winter and the basics for successful camping in freezing conditions.

School registration is closed for the 2024 session. Information about register for the 2025 session will be posted on the CMC web site around 2024 November.

The 2024 session of Winter Camping School has three lecture nights and two optional QandA sessions. In order to graduate from the Winter Camping School, students must attend all three lectures and complete three Winter Camping School qualified trips listed later in the CMC Activity Schedule.

See full details about the school below.

This is a non-survival school for those who want to enjoy the winter, snow and moonlight in comfort. The Winter Camping School concentrates on the fundamental understanding, equipment and techniques to keep warm in cold environment on an overnight stay. It covers topics as dressing, traveling, setting up campsite, cooking and sleeping comfortably in the winter among others.

The Winter Camping School is open for every CMC member regardless of group membership and classification. This school is recommended not only for backpackers, but everyone who intends to spend extended time in the backcountry in the winter, like snowshoers or skiers.

In-person and online lectures (required):
February 13 (in-person lecture), February 20 and February 27 online at 6:20 PM
Online QandA sessions (optional):
March 5 and March 12, at 6:20 PM
In-person lectures will be held in the CMC clubhouse. Zoom id will be provided for online meetings.

Qualified Snowshoe Trips are not part of the school and will be posted in the CMC schedule on the following dates:
Day Trips: February 24 (required) and March 2 (optional snow structure building practice)
Overnight Trips: March 9-10 and March 23-24 (April 6-7 backup)
March 2 and April 6-7 is kept as a backup date if qualified trips has to be cancelled. Note, that these are not make-up dates for missed field trips.

Cost of the school is $110 for Denver Group members and $120 for CMC members from other groups. This fee includes all in-person and online lectures, QA sessions, presentations, videos, handouts and access to online manuals. Registration for the school will open in mid November and will be linked from this page.

All trips are snowshoe trips, skis are not allowed. Brief description of equipment required is below under Required Equipment section; more details about equipment and field trips will be discussed during lectures.

With any questions send e-mail to address. Expect a reply within a few days.

Since the School's new web pages still under construction, more information may continuously added to this Winter Camping School page.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

This school consists only lecturing and preparation for winter activities and camping in snow. This school does not have field trips, HOWEVER:

There are regular CMC trips to practice what is taught in the Winter Camping School.

These CMC trips are day-trips and overnights (see dates in the description). All trips are snowshoe trips and require:
- appropriate winter hiking clothing and boots
- food and drink
- essentials
- snowshoes (skis not allowed)
- snow shovel
- backpacking stove with pot, fuel, lighter, etc.
- seat pad (closed cell foam about 11"x15" piece)
Hiking poles are highly recommended.

Overnight trips require:
- 3-season tent owned, rented, borrowed (can be shared by people from the same household)
- 2 sleeping pads
- sleeping bag
- 2 light source (headlamp/flashlight)
- personal hygiene items

During classes there will be discussions and suggestions about all gear to be used. Trips are not part of the Winter Camping School so the School does not supply any gear. Only limited number of snow saws will be available to use during trips. 

Registration Questions

Please copy these questions into an e-mail body, answer ALL questions and send them to address.

  1. What is your best phone number? (Preferably cell phone.)

best phone number:

  1. What is your best e-mail address?

e-mail address:

  1. Date of last Covid-19 vaccination or booster shot you received?


  1. Do you have any medical condition that could affect your participation in the school or qualified trips (yes or no)?
    (If yes, please give relevant details and describe how instructors can help you. Any response here is highly confidential.)

medical conditions:

  1. Which CMC group you are a member of?

CMC group:

  1. What is your hiking classification? (If not sure, enter A.)

hiking classification:

  1. What is your snowshoe classification? (If not sure, enter none.)

snowshoe classification:

  1. Are you a summer or winter trip leader (yes or no)?

trip leader:

  1. Do you generally do any winter activities in the mountains at least 4-5 times a season (yes or no)?

winter activities:

  1. Which year did you camp last time in the summer (if ever)?

summer camping:

  1. Which year did you camp last time in snow (if ever)?

snow camping:

  1. Which other CMC schools did you graduated from (if any)?

CMC schools:

  1. What other winter camping related school/training you graduated from (if any)?

other training:

  1. What is your personal goal attending this school?

personal goal:

  1. What is your favorite color? (Just to see whether you pay attention.)

favorite color:

  1. Is there anybody (student or instructor) you wish to be together in a group of this Winter Camping school?

same group with:


Course Materials