As you can imagine, winter is one of the best times to be completely prepared!
An unexpected slip into a creek, the loss of a tarp in a blizzard, a broken ski binding can quickly spell disaster. The old scout adage of “Be Prepared” is the best medicine.
The lakeshore staff encourage you to carefully plan your winter excursion into the park. Here are a few helpful suggestions.
- Before you leave home, let someone know where you are going, how long you plan to be out, a description of your vehicle, where it will be parked, and when you plan to return. Write It Down!
- Take plenty of liquids and snacks or food along with you ... maybe a little to spare in case something should happen.
- Take repair materials for skis, snowshoes, or your snowmobile.
- Don’t expect your cell phone to work in the park. Many areas do not receive reception due to a lack of towers, cloudy conditions, hilly topography and heavy forest cover.
- If you are camping overnight, be sure to obtain a backpacking permit at the Interagency Visitor Center in Munising.
- Know the local weather forecast and watch the weather. A southeast or northeast wind will often preceed a heavy snowfall.
- Take a compass and map and know how to use them. It is easy to get turned around in portions of the lakeshore when the days are short and the clouds block the sun.
- Realize that the park ranger staff is reduced in winter and response times are extended due to winter conditions.
Having considered all of this, remember that winter is one of the most incredible seasons at the lakeshore. You will likely see very few people, a lot of animal tracks, and will be able to enjoy a type of solitude unknown at other times of the year. Happy trekking!