Past Meetup

Sylvania Wilderness (Monday return)

This Meetup is past

6 people went

Price: $5.00 /per person

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Winter backpacking in Sylvania Wilderness, Michigan

Come enjoy the winter beauty of Sylvania Wilderness, a tract of old growth forest straddling the border with Wisconsin & Michigan.

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I'm looking forward to some outstanding natural scenery, big trees, winter solitude, and a stunning night sky. I'm also aware that winter camping has risks, and you should be prepared to keep warm/dry/safe on the trail.

This is an intermediate/Advanced trip for those with backpacking skills & significant experience in the wintry outdoors.

Snow levels might be high. Plan to have snowshoes or cross country skis. Be prepared to travel with your gear over non-groomed snowy trails.

Weather is unpredictable, and there will be a Plan B if extreme winter weather impedes travel to our destination or otherwise threatens our safety. I will update the group after speaking with the forest ranger again - closer to our arrival date.

[UPDATE] This is rifle hunting season, so be prepared to wear at least one fluorescent orange item on your outer clothing layer. However, due to the restriction on motorized/wheeled vehicles, it is unlikely that hunters will travel far into the interior of the park (they would need to haul the deer out). Be prepared regardless.


Saturday, November 23rd -

• Leave Chicago early in the morning

• Drive to the wilderness (~6 to 7 hours)

• Backpack 1 to 4 miles to campsite (Based on site availability, weather, & remaining daylight). Goal is to setup by dusk. (Sunset ~4:15 central time)

Sunday, November 24th -

• Mileage/route TBD based on weather conditions. (We may get deeper into the park or remain in a basecamp & explore the wilderness without our packs)

Monday, November 25th -

• Return to cars

• Group lunch before driving home

The role of organizers

Organizers are responsible for trip planning and organizing carpools. We have researched the location, route, and other logistics. We will also email participants to collect carpool information at least 7 days prior to the trip. Be sure to check email and respond promptly.

Expectations of participants

Backpacking can be a strenuous cardiovascular exercise. Participants should be in reasonably good health and physical fitness.

All participants are responsible for obtaining the essential gear for the trip.

Organizers will do their best to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time; however you are ultimately responsible for your own comfort. Late November in Michigan's Upper Peninsula can be icy/cold. Be prepared for any conditions. Also, don't forget any medications, prescription eyewear, etc. Let an Organizer know if you have any special requirements.

Please contact me with questions, and participation is at the discretion of the organizers.


• $5 meetup fee - not refundable

• [UPDATED] No fees for winter camping

• Gasoline costs split within carpool

Additional Information

Only group members may attend. +1 add-ons are not permitted. If you have a friend that wishes to attend, please have him or her join the group and add him/herself to the list.

Dogs, minors, or other dependents are not permitted.

We practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics ( and expect the same behavior from all participants.


Mike and Hui