Winter camping

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Winter camping

Postby RWBlue01 » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 00:46:44

Talk to me about winter camping.
Tips, tricks...

Show me some pictures of your winter camp.

I am not really interested in your cabin or car camping. I am thinking about getting out and if I can't carry it, it can't go.


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Re: Winter camping

Postby RWBlue01 » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 00:47:29

tap....


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Re: Winter camping

Postby Jakeiscrazy » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 01:25:24

Tip 1: Don't.
Tip 2: Rent a cabin.
Tip 3: Bring your heater.

I'll be honest I don't winter camp. Its not fun for me it's just to dang cold! That said a friend of mine wants to do backpacking over winter break. We'll see about that!
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Re: Winter camping

Postby Snakester » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 07:14:22

It seems Jake knows what he is talking about .....He's not that Crazy after all ! :clap:


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Re: Winter camping

Postby Reverenddel » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 09:17:13

HEY!

I ONLY WINTER CAMP! I cannot stand Late Spring/Summer camping! We start in September, and go thru till March, unless April is cool/cold as well.

Tips/Tricks
1.) DO NOT SCRIMP ON YOUR SLEEP SYSTEMS! I carry an Exped SynMat 7 Air Pad with Pump, and a Slumberjack 0-degree bag, along with a poncho liner. I have slept in 4 degrees, and kept as warm as sleeping in my house.

2.) LAYERS! Do not go with ONE BIG COAT! You'll either be too hot, or too cold.

3.) GOOD SOCKS/BOOTS! I have merino wool sock with a synthetic liner, plus a pair of Rocky Hunting boots that are 1000 grams of Thinsulate.

4.) TARPS! Sportsman's guide has some inexpensive waterproof nylon tarps that fold well into a backpack, and are a blessed item during bad weather.

5.) WATER- It's gonna freeze overnight, it just is, so make sure you have the ability to get the ice out to heat it up for breakfast, and keep some on during the day. Leave the bottles out in the sun during the day, and this helps melt it faster.

6.) HANDWARMERS- At the end of your sleeping bag? Nice for when your feet get a bit cold.

7.) FOOD- Double what you would normally bring in snacks, and eat small amounts all day, this generates internal heat.

8.) STAY AWAY FROM PUNKY WOOD! Smoke sucks when you're standing near a fire to stay warm.

9.) PEE QUICKLY! Just sayin', ain't gotta go into details.

10.) BRING BOOM-BOOM- The liquor... not the gun, but bring a gun don't drink boom-boom then play with gun.


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Re: Winter camping

Postby RWBlue01 » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 17:11:25

Reverenddel wrote:I ONLY WINTER CAMP! I cannot stand Late Spring/Summer camping! We start in September, and go thru till March, unless April is cool/cold as well.


Sounds like you are the expert I need to talk with about winter camping.

Why not year around camping? It is a skill which may be needed. It does require specific gear for the weather/temp.

1.) "along with a poncho liner." How does the poncho liner come into play?

2.) Yep.

3.) Yep.

4.) "TARPS!" Tell me how you use your tarp. Is it just to keep the rain off and have somewhere to cook/eat or...?

5.) "WATER- It's gonna freeze overnight," I am thinking about keeping the bottle in the sleeping bag with me. If I heat up the water before going to bed, it will hold the heat and keep my feet warm. I am also thinking of using my bicycle bottles. They are insulated this means that I could carry some hot drinks or at least not have my water freeze over night.

6.) Hand warmers/feet warmers, I bought some years ago. I wonder if they are still good.

7.) "FOOD", I still have some fat to burn. Do I need to bring extra food or not? I assume that I need to eat or drink something warm before I go to bed, but ...?

8.) Wood fire: Where I am gong, I will probably not have easy access to wood for a big fire. Is it essential? Can I go fireless and just use a small backpacking stove?

9.) "PEE QUICKLY!" It only comes out as fast as it comes out. I think the bigger issues is #2 and that is an issue of getting enough cloths off to do the deed and then certain parts of the body get cold and it is harder to do the deed. I don't think there are any tricks to it. It is what it is.

10.) Alcohol, I am not a fan of alcohol for most people when out in the cold. http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-f ... ld-weather It feels warmer, but it is really just moving the heat from the core. Then again I have Raynaud's disease and I have found that limited amounts of bourbon counter act Raynaud's.


A picture says a thousand words, please show me a photo of camp.

Talk to me about what you sleep in (cloths and tent).

What I have done in the past isn't really going to work for what I am planning. I am thinking of arriving by bicycle. This has been my camping mode of transportation this summer and allows me to get to a camping spot away from the masses. This also allows me to carry more than I can on my back, but not nearly what I can in a motor vehicle. The down side is I will arrive at camp, hot in spots and cold in others.


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Re: Winter camping

Postby Palladin » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 18:48:51

#9 LOL
For an old geezer like me, pee comes knockin round 330, 4am... sorry, I ain't getting up to go get frozen in 15°F on some windy ridge, then lie awake chattering til dawn trying to warm back up. Might as well break camp and go back to hiking. Solution - empty quart gatorade bottle, do the deed in the bag, back to sleep, toasty all night long. Takes a little talent, but works for me.
Now is the time for all good men to get off their rusty dustys...


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Re: Winter camping

Postby JustinCase » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 20:09:25

Thick bottom mat, good sleeping bag, good tent.. You can layer up inside the bag for added warmth if needed.

Sleeping booties or really really thick fleece socks (good luck finding either in a store) is a sweetheart, cause your piggies will get cold, even with a good sleep set.

I run a USGI ICW bag, and also have a USGI Patrol Bag that I can layer inside if I need to.

Skip hammock camping unless you have a GREAT underquilt. Go to the ground with a 2" minimum self inflating pad, such as what Gander Mountain sells (there store brand is very good).

A watch cap can help keep the warmth in.

A mummy bag trumps a regular bag every day.

Dont breath INSIDE your bag, the moisture from your exhalation will generate condensation INSIDE your bag, and you will be cold!

If not a tent, that a bivy bag or tarp at minimum... try to break the wind, and must keep dew off... Yeah, dew settles even in the winter.

Warm chow and hot liquids.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, etc..

Layers is better than 1 big bulky thing.

Sweat pants and top are cheap and efficient ways to keep warm, out the bag and in...

Dont get in your bag all sweaty.

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Re: Winter camping

Postby VACoastie » Mon, 04 Nov 2013 20:28:40

Haha, he said "try to break the wind."

All jokes aside, good topic!

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Re: Winter camping

Postby OldEagle » Tue, 05 Nov 2013 22:19:03

1) You must stay dry--layer off at first sign of sweating
2) It's a lot easier to stay warm than to get warm--layer on when you start to get cold
3) Wool or pile watch cap--balaclava even better--lots of insulation for the size/weight. Heat loss through the head is wildly disproportional for the skin surface area exposed
4) If your feet are cold--layer up--increased body warmth improves the circulation warmth out at the edges
5) Tent with a close-fitting fly adds 10-20 degrees warmth when you're in it compared to a single wall tent without fly--the air between the layers does insulate somewhat
6) Food = warmth: digestion generates body heat
7) Exercise = warmth. I kept from freezing when I got caught out unexpectedly in the Alps one night by getting out of the wind, under cover, and doing pushups every 30 minutes. All night
8) Two bodies are better than one once you stop moving. Bring your girlfriend (unless you really like your buddy)
9) Sit or lie on insulation--not on the ground and certainly not on snow or ice. Even a small foam pad is good. Lie on your pack and your spare clothes if you don't have anything else
10) Bring more food than you think you need
11) If your water bottle doesn't leak, keep it inside your sleeping bag at night. If you don't know whether it will leak, find out before you go. If it does leak, get a new one before you go.
12) Your urine will freeze before it hits the ground at -30. Watching the golden crystals hit the snow is an experience not to be missed
13) There's more but that's enough


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Re: Winter camping

Postby Reverenddel » Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:30:44

The poncho liner INSIDE the bag gives an extra layer, and I have found a poncho liner HOLDS heat... I have an R6 rated airpad, I'm toasty on the bottom, but that poncho liner helps hold heat in from the top, and over your head when it's really cold. Which also keeps condensation OUT of your bag! A damp poncho liner dries MUCH faster than a sleeping bag!

YEP! on the Pee Bottle, I have a bottle that fits perfectly. It's better than peeing out your back tent fly! :roll:

I would say if you have a couple good nylon tarps, a wind break, and a small fire? You'll be 20-30 degrees warmer than the regular temps. It literally can form a "den" that keeps you fine.

That's why you don't use punky (IE: wet/rotten) wood. Smokes too much.
You can carry a small saw, and use that to cut the dry tree fall, and have some excellent burning wood.

I wish I could add photos. I have one where we were camping, and a snow storm came in, then sleet. Between the two? My tent was INSULATED from about 12 inches up.. and I was just fine! Got the fire going, and coffee, and I was straight up happy.

Yes... there is something distinctively wrong with me.


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Re: Winter camping

Postby Reverenddel » Tue, 12 Nov 2013 23:39:38

COLD this past weekend... Slept like the DEAD!

I sleep better in a 0 degree bag with a poncho liner in the woods than I do on my mattress at home!

People ask, "What's the best part of winter camping?"

Melting glass.

We use a cedar/red oak mix in the fire, and it gets between 500-700 degrees... you are NOT cold... We're talking push in found beer bottles (we use cans), and it becomes a glowing glob by the end of the night.


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Re: Winter camping

Postby Palladin » Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:17:04

20° here last night... bet it was rockin' up on those windy ridges! :clap:
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Re: Winter camping

Postby bryanrheem » Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:44:09

Reverenddel wrote:We use a cedar/red oak mix in the fire, and it gets between 500-700 degrees... you are NOT cold... We're talking push in found beer bottles (we use cans), and it becomes a glowing glob by the end of the night.


Do you buy chips? How do you get that in the fire?


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Re: Winter camping

Postby Reverenddel » Sat, 16 Nov 2013 18:03:27

We cut the wood. Our camp has a stand of red cedar that was killed by disease, so we cut the dead standing timber, and put that into a stack onto two boulders...

We had a red oak fall a couple years around, and cut a bunch of firewood outta that...

we go back to the same campsite, so we have a couple cords of red oak, and cedar pre-cut into a fire pit... and after 5 years of using the same site, we have lined the pit with rocks, and bricks, so it holds the heat.

Another good trick to staying warm? SPORTSMAN EMERGENCY BLANKETS! Not the cheap-o ones for your pocket, but the heavy duty folding ones. I carry two. One for the floor of the tent, and one over the tent before I put in a rain fly.

It holds the heat in better than the nylon, BUT allows ventilation so it doesn't get DAMP...


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Re: Winter camping

Postby bryanrheem » Sat, 16 Nov 2013 22:56:20

^^ Great idea with the thermal emergency blankets on the floor of the tent. A lot of heat is lost through the cold, hard ground.

I have both an air mattress (comfort) and a thermal sheet (heat retention) that I sleep on. Adding the blankets below and above will further keep the heat in!


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Re: Winter camping

Postby arlington22201 » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 03:40:15

Not quite winter yet, but am camping out in the backyard tonight with my 4 year old and 6 year old. Getting them ready for future trips...

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Re: Winter camping

Postby dmharvey » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 08:16:43

The army's sleep system is top-notch, as is their ECW clothing system (GEN2 and especially GEN3). While stationed at Fort Drum we would sleep in them with temps down around -25 below freezing (plus wind chill). A couple of tips that stand out in my mind which I'm sure others have covered...

- Stay dry. Dressing in layers helps reduce sweating and base layers that wick moisture are well worth the money.
- Drink lots of water, same as you would in hot weather.
- Keep an eye on those around you and look for signs of frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, etc.
- Add about 20-50% of extra time for tasks, depending on how cold it is, and understand how colder weather impacts your gear/equipment.
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Re: Winter camping

Postby Reverenddel » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 22:53:18

The one time we were out there, and it was 0-4 degrees at night, even with the sleeping bags, and Sportsman's blanket, it was still a balmy 30 degrees in the tent, so Naglene bottles freeze up HARD (IE: they do not BURST!).

I woke up, and rubbed my beard feeling something hard, and realized it was condensation frozen, so I rolled over, felt the water bottle, and hit the netting inside the tent... and it snowed inside the tent from condensation.

That was a COLD trip! 40 degrees was the WARMEST it got during the day... but with the fire pit, and a tarp over that to reflect the heat back down, it was about 50 under the tarp.

That ECW stuff is righteous! One of our crew wears that gear, and sleeps in a bivy by the fire pit (The heat dries out the ground, and the coals keep it fairly warm for a couple hours. He is zipped, set, and sleeping before we're even settled.


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Re: Winter camping

Postby bryanrheem » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 23:02:54

excuse my ignorance, but wouldn't a tarp over the fire melt?


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