It was years ago when I had the most extreme winter camping experience. In college money was always tight and spending money on traveling especially hotels was always out of the question. One day my friends approached me with "lets go skiing at Searchmont. Who was I to say no so we started loading the car.
To save money and not pay for a hotel we decided that we would just spend the night camping in the Upper Penninsula that way we could wake up first thing in the morning and make the last few hours journey. We were all equipped with zero degree sleeping bags as well as lots of high quality ski jackets and snow pants.
Setting up camp was quick as it was still dark. We tossed a tarp on the snowbank put several blankets down then our sleeping bags with blankets and tarps on top again. Inside our sleeping bags we wore our long underwear, snow pants, ski jackets, and as many layers of clothes as we could get on. To top it off we had some of the pocket heaters that we put inside our many layers just as an extra precaution.
The wind was terrrible and it was an extremely cold night sleeping more than a couple minutes was almost impossible. Our camp was not doing very well. In the middle of the night we retreated to the car so that we could get out of the wind. It was the longest night of my life.
In the morning we had the radio on and heard the weather report. The previous night had hit NEGATIVE 27 for the low. This did not even factor in the wind chill with winds tearing our tarp apart.
This was almost 20 years ago and I have never been camping in the winter again. The following night we had a hotel room.
Winter camping can be an adventure, but safety should be the priority. We could have died that night. The moral of the story is check the weather and plan ahead. Oh and dont do stupid things in college.