It was only an overnight trip, and not even a camping adventure. A group of us were heading into the White Mountains to spend a night at Carter Hut. What made it different was the temperature. It's all fine and easy when the temperature is 82 degrees, but it is a very different trip when the daytime high is 30 degrees and the trail is under two feet of snow.

There is a sense of purity that accompanies winter hiking. A blanket of white coats the ground. Sound seems to be swallowed by the snow so that the world is almost silent. All you hear is the soft granular sound of your footsteps, and the occasional crack of ice, hopefully not under your feet

The beauty of the day was matched by the night sky. I spent the night looking at the vast array of stars that can only be seen on the cold clear nights of winter. Surrounded by mountains, we slept on the helicopter landing pad, watching the celestial display. Expedition-grade sleeping bags and a more than healthy allotment of Jaegermeister made for a comfortable night.

I may never forget those stars.

The trip back the next morning was wonderful; a river kept us company as we descended the trail, loaded with packs full of warm clothing and empty bottles.

Camping during the warm weather is fine for adventure, but if you ever want to feel alone and at piece in the backwoods, head out when the trails are frozen and the skies are clear.