My last winter in the East I got into winter camping, not out of a love of being cold or to prepare myself for the next however many years of living at almost 10,000 feet but to get out and be alone. The solitude for someone who has ALWAYS been afraid of the dark (for no valid reason, mind you) was like a drug. I'd go off into the woods of a nearby state park or drive a little North to the AT and walk a bit and set up my sleeping bag and pad under a Rhododendron tree. My little trip into the woods happened a few times a month, the woods in the winter at night was far more appealing than sleeping in them in the summer. Having read My Side of the Mountain about 20 times as a kid I understood the appeal of being alone in the woods but I just lacked the fortitude that kid had. Also, having recently read Into the Wild I didn't want end up like that idiot. Short hike to a spot out of the wind, maybe bring a stove maybe not but just really to sleep and get the hell out of the way for 12 hours. Sometimes I'd wake up and make oatmeal while still laying in my bag, quietly starting the day at 20 degrees all around as the stove hissed up to boiling my water. Fully rejuvenated for a little while (at least) I'd get dressed and walk out, hoping that my car wasn't towed or broken into by the road. No iPod or cell phones, just a book usually and some noises in the woods. Simple enough.