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Winter Survival in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest

February 22, 2017

In Northern New England, winter can be a harsh and unforgiving season.  With a passion for winter sports and outdoor recreation deeply rooted in the traditional culture of Downeast Maine, being well-informed and educated about winter safety and survival techniques is of the utmost importance.  The earlier one learns these critical skills, the better.

Local students building a snow shelter.

On Tuesday, Downeast Lakes Land Trust held a “Kids Winter Survival Class,” led by DLLT Education and Outreach Manager Colin Brown.  Taking advantage of a warm and sunny February day, 12 students ventured into the Downeast Lakes Community Forest to learn the skills of building a proper quinzhee (snow shelter), fire making, winter wild edibles, and navigation.  Over four feet of snow fell in recent weeks, making for excellent conditions when practicing and learning how to stay safe in the Maine woods.

“Learning these skills at an early age is not only crucial for general safety reasons, but instills excitement and an appreciation for the outdoors during a time of year that is sometimes ignored due to the conditions,” said Brown.

Throughout the year, DLLT offers free, public education programs that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Downeast Lakes region.  Outdoor programs for children are offered during school vacations that explore different areas of the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.  To find out what’s happening next, please call DLLT at (207) 796 – 2100 or email