Dude Stew: A Recipe for the Ultimate Man Camping Snowboarding Trip
From the January 2013 Issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding
Words by Joel Muzzey
By now you've explored and exploited your home mountain for everything it's worth. You’ve road tripped to Jackson, Baker, or the 'Bird. Maybe even paid excess baggage fees for a flight to the Alps or Alaska. You'll take powder over park any day. You can grow a legit beard. As soon as possible, you're moving to the mountains. After that comes the sled. And regardless of what your folks want, career plans have taken a backseat to shred plans. Your bros and your dog understand this but if your chick isn’t down, whatever. You've got places to go and mountains to ride.
If any of this rings true for you, congratulations. You've reached a new stage in life: You're a man. Welcome. You've earned it--and it's more than just the right to wear all black outerwear and drink beers at lunch. Manhood means you're finally ready for the holy grail of shred missions: the man trip. After spending puberty in the park and coming of age with your feet strapped in, the next logical step is to step it up. What you need now is untracked powder, a cabin in the woods, a crew of your homeys. If you're ready for an escape from the crowds, the scene, and the played-out sameness of regular resort riding, it's time for a man trip.
Understand that a man trip is not like standard snowboard trips. First and foremost, the man trip is an adventure for you and the guys. Under no circumstances are females allowed. (Even a massage girl. Just, no.) Do you get invited to the girl's yoga retreat weekend? No, you don't, and there's a good reason for that. Gender segregation makes sense sometimes. This is our rite of passage. Our escape. Bottom line: A man trip is what the name implies. It's for dudes, period. Now, moving on...
A legit man trip does not take you to Aspen or Whistler or some other tourist trap resort town. It takes you deeper. Probably not Jeremy Jones deeper, but not some place with Starbucks and nightclubs, either. Ideally it takes you off the grid for a week, if not longer; it transports your crew far outside your comfort zone and into backcountry habitat that supports wild animals and balls-deep snowpack. A shred mission worthy of being called a "man trip" should make you a bit anxious and stir up something of the caveman sizzling deep in your DNA. It should be badass. Think big, and when a trip of this type starts to take over your thoughts, there's nothing you can do but start making a plan. And plan like a man, because this shit needs to be epic.
Continue to the next page to learn about The Man Trip Code…
The Man Trip Code
Before getting too deep into planning, know the code. And make sure everyone else is on board, too.
1. Travel to a place you've never been before. Life's too short to recycle spots.
2. Bros only. It's gonna get weird, so it's best not to bring outsiders.
3. No phone calls home to girlfriends, wives, and especially not moms.
4. Go big or stay home.
5. Nonstop verbal abuse, shit-talk, and foul language are required.
6. Eat as much meat as possible, even you vegetarians.
7. No showering, shaving, or complaining allowed.
8. Always help dig out a stuck bro's sled.
9. What happens on the man trip stays on the man trip. No Instagram.
The Big Four: Crew, Location, Riding, And Food
Get these four key factors dialed and your trip will rip.
Assembling the right crew is the most important factor. As the code mandates, it's bros only. No crybabies, no pretty boys, and no dead weight dudes who can't add something to the mix. You need at least one who can fix a sled, one guy who can cook, another who can break trail or lead the crew. Make sure you cover all the bases. One poorly picked dude in the crew can turn your trip of a lifetime into a backcountry stress fest. Choose only like-minded pirates and you should be good.
Go to Canada. Yes, there are a lot of other places you can go, but "Beautiful British Columbia" is the promised land. It offers the best combination of terrain, sled access, consistent snow, and backcountry cabin options. From the video-worthy sled zones surrounding Whistler to the Kootenays to Revelstoke, and all points east along the Powder Highway, BC is the best bet. This region also has really good beer, a factor that should never be overlooked.
If Canada isn't an option, go here: [twsnow.com link to other cabins/zones]
The riding is the reason you're on the trip. Be sure that wherever you end up, there's plenty of shit to session. Ideal spots will offer terrain variety with exposed alpine, cliffs, pillows, gullies, and sheltered tree zones all within close proximity. As a grown-ass man you should know that the odds of snorkeling through fresh powder every day of the man trip are slim. It’s always possible but be prepared to get creative. With a good crew, even shit conditions won't put a damper on the good times. Building booters, trannies up trees, tow-ins, even a gap jump over the fire pit should suffice. The point is to ride. So ride every day and ride everything.
A wise man once said, "Do not go shy into the land of plenty." What that means is, eat steak for breakfast. Bring way more food than you think you'll need. Unless this is your first rodeo, you know food is a huge piece of the puzzle. You'll be far from civilization, so you don't want to forget anything. Plus you'll be going hard all day and spending long nights loafing in a cabin with little else to do but eat and drink. You want to be prepared for this. Plan a menu, coordinate group meals, and no matter what, overdo it.
Continue to the next page to learn about The Sled Factor and their Ultimate Man Trip…
The Sled Factor
The stink of burning fuel and the brazen braaap of snowmobiles makes them the manliest means of transportation to remote man trip shred zones, but if you're not down, touring out on a splitboard is always an option. In fact, many of BC's best backcountry cabins are split-access only. But whether your crew chooses to sled or shuffle into the wilderness, all other man trip rules still apply.
Our Ultimate Man Trip
Destination: Tenquille Lake Cabin, a remote backcountry zone north of Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada.
Trip Duration: 5 days
Crew: Jussi Oksanen, Mikey Rencz, John Jackson, Mikkel Bang
Filmers: Aaron Leyland and Tim Manning
Photographer: Jeff Curtes
Wizard: Shin Campos
Dead weight: Joel Muzzey
We brought a lot of shit. This isn't the half, but add it up anyway.
9 men 8 Ski-Doo Summits
1 rental Arctic Cat 2 helicopter sling loads of supplies
40 pounds of meat 20 gallons of water
4 bottles of booze 10 rolls of TP
6 dozen eggs 1 pack of baby wipes
72 cans of beer 24 Jerry cans of sled fuel
8 gallons of two-stroke oil 1 duffle bag full of rocks (makeshift steam sauna)
12 liters of coconut water 6 pounds of chocolate
1 chainsaw 2 porno mags
Dropping The Kids Off Your Sled: 7 Easy Steps
Unless you're staying in some deluxe backcountry chalet with running water--which you shouldn't be--dropping a deuce on your man trip means venturing out into the snow. The outhouse will be buried; can't use that. And moreover, out of respect for your cabin mates and considering the manly diet, you'll want a safe distance between you and the rest of the crew when it's time to do your dirty. What do you do? You get on your sled and go. Here’s how.
1. Pocket some shit tickets and start your sled.
2. Drive a respectable distance away from your cabin and/or water supply.
3. Pick your spot and stomp out a small pit in the snow to give your grumpy a proper burial.
4. Make a little seat by placing your gloves on one of the sled’s running boards.
5. Squat beside your sled resting one cheek on the padded running board.
6. Drop the bomb. Clean up, admire your creation, smile, then cover it with snow.
7. Roop back to the cabin to wash your hands or slather them in hand sanitizer. Or both.
Mission accomplished. Now go hit a jump feeling five pounds lighter.
Man Trip Reading List
Exploring The Coast Mountains On Skis by John Baldwin
•A great resource for finding and accessing the countless of backcountry zones of coastal BC.
The Bro Code by Barney Stinson
•This book teaches you everything you will ever need to know about being a bro.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
• The original guide to cabin life and existentialist/escapist ideology. A must read for all men.
It could be overstating the obvious but it's pretty much a given that you and the boys will require obscene quantities of stuff like steak, ammo, whiskey, chewing tobacco, and bacon on your dude cruise. But there are some other key essentials you'll need to avoid blowing it on your wilderness adventure.
Continue to the next page to hear about Cabin Etiquette, Safety and Essential Gear…
No matter how pimp the cabin is, living quarters on your man trip will feel cramped at times. A little courtesy goes a long way when everyone is crammed in tighter and potentially smellier than LNP's pants.
• Don't empty the last of the fresh water and just walk away. That's a bitch move. Refill it. Same goes for the coffee pot.
• Never wake a bro up early unless it's bluebird.
• Leave your shaving kit at home, but feel free to bring deodorant.
• Don't wake up in the middle of the night and piss on your cabin mates. Also don't aim your dong through the half-open door and piss on the front step because you're too lazy to put on your boots and step outside.
• Never hang your wet socks on a bro's balaclava.
• If you absolutely must throw a sleeping bag speed-jack on the man trip, do so quietly and discreetly--no moaning.
• If you didn't help cook dinner, you better help clean up after.
• Mix a drink or fetch a beer for the guys on firewood duty.
• Before you smoke one inside, get crew approval. Otherwise, go outside.
• Don't attempt to wax your board using the heat of the woodstove.
• Don’t bogart every hook, nail, and drying spot to hang up your wet gear.
• Bring your own supply of toilet paper.
• Bringing your bongos on the trip is cool but unless your name is Mongo Santamaría, don't play them for more than 15 minutes at a time--preferably before dudes are sleeping.
• The only "morning wood" your bros should see on the man trip belongs in the woodstove.
• Avoid total group blowout: Save the Indian food feast for the last night of the trip.
Safety First (Let's get serious for a second)
• Avalanche Transceiver, Probe, And Shovel
Having this stuff means nothing if you don't know how to use it properly according to your predetermined emergency action plan. When the shit hits the fan, you're only as safe as the weakest link in your crew. Don't be that guy.
• First Aid Trauma Kit
If your crew doesn't include a rider with some legit first aid know-how, you could really be bumming. Be sure your appointed medic and/or first aid kit is with you at all times, easy to access, and loaded with sufficient supplies for the size of your crew.
• Satellite Phone
If you're going to the right place for your trip, your cell phones aren't going to work. No cell service means you'll need a sat phone to reach safety services in the event of a disaster. Backcountry outfitters, mountaineering shops, and snowmobile shops are the best places to find a rental sat phone for your trip. Get this crucial lifeline, the emergency dialing sequence, and your game plan figured out in advance.
• GPS/Satellite Tracker
Everyone in the crew needs to share the man trip plan, location, and trip timeframe with someone who will notice if they don't return. But your crew should also be able to pinpoint their whereabouts if something sketchy goes down. A mobile GPS unit allows you to give safety services your exact coordinates over the sat phone. Satellite tracker/messaging units like the ones made by SPOT and ElectroFlip make it even easier for you to check in and/or alert safety services if you need them.
Something about being in the woods makes a man want to cut stuff with a knife. Swiss army style, Rambo machete, samurai sword, whatever you prefer, just make sure it's sharp.
The firewood isn't going to chop itself. A chainsaw is the ideal implement, but no matter what tool you've got for the job, just cut it, split it, and keep it burning. And remember, it's best to finish firewood chores before getting too deep into the Crown and Kokanee.
• Spare Binding Parts
Don't let Murphy's Law strike you down. On the man trip, shit's gonna break.
When it's time for that big build, you'll be glad you've got these. Great for packing down the in-run, little hikes to scope, and also longer hikes if you happen to enjoy that sort of thing.
After sledding, shoveling jumps, and rag-dolling down landings all day you'll be dead after dinner. But guess what? Dudes snore--especially dudes who wash down a dinner of pork chops and Toblerone with seven shots of Fireball. Add to that the symphony of wheezing, teeth grinding, and farts, and you might never sleep. But remember earplugs and you'll be out cold faster than Bozung in that one web video.
Drinking it blue doesn't always work. For the trip's inevitable down day or an after-dinner diversion, a deck of cards, a travel chess set, or some dice will make hours spent marinating in the cabin a bit more entertaining.
Your bros really don't want to lend you their headlamp for your late-night tinkle. Bring your own and pee freely.
• Rape Whistle
Backcountry guides often use a whistle to keep groups together as they make their way through tight trees or low visibility descents. It's not a bad idea to have one on your pack if you get separated. It can also come in handy if one of the bros overdoes it on the Crown Royal and tries to crawl into your sleeping bag.
It should be pretty clear that this steaming pile of info and questionable advice is mainly meant to fire you up for initiating a trip of your own. You're a man, so you don’t need some magazine telling you how to have a good time, right? Venturing out into the wild with your bros and your boards isn't rocket science. All it takes is some planning and motivation. Man up, plan up, and go.