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Old 12-14-2005, 12:02 AM   #1
DEEPFOREST
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Winter Camping Tips.

Here are some good winter camping tips:

1- to slow your nalgene bottles from freezing up put them upside down in an insulated bottle parka. Outdoor Research "OR" makes a great one for $20. Note- water will still freeze if left in the parka overnight

2- If your hands ever start to sting or get numb from the cold take off your pack and swing your arms (front to back) really fast like a windmil while opening and closing your fist. It helps the blood flow to your fingers and warms your hands up quickly. (a French Canadian guy saw the misery on my face 2 years ago in Jan. on Algonquin and shared this trick w/ me)

3- leave the water pump at home and boil your water/snow. The little amount of water left inside will freeze the pump stiff. This happened to me last weekend camping in the Dix range. I thought i dried it throughly and even kept it inside an extra water bottle parka. After a day it was useless.

3- I use 2 sleeping pads, first the Therma-lite Z pad(or any egg shaped type hard foam pad) with another pad on top, I use the Therma-lite pro-4. If the pants you wore on the hike in get wet from sweat lay them between the pads and when you wake up they will be dry and warm. My gaiters were frozen stiff also so i put them under the first pad on the lean-to floor and they were also good to go in the morning.

4- use a nalgene pee-botle to avoid trips out of your bag at night and put a few rolls of duct tape around it to avoid any confusion w/ other bottles. Especially if you take an additional boiling nalgene into the sleeping bag to keep warm.

5- Most things can be put in a pot of hot water to thaw out if they freeze up like: a nalgene water bottle, contact lense solution, contact lense case, bottle of honey, egg-beaters, etc.

6- I found out this weekend La Choy Teriyaki sauce doesn't freeze up. I left a zip lock bag full of drained used sauce out overnight at 10' and in the morning it was still liquid. Mabye Prestone also makes Teriyaki sauce.

7- whenever you take your gloves off to do something put them inside your jacket.

8- Eat like a king (or queen), it really lifts your spirits and keeps you warmer if you take the time at home to prepare some great meals to eat at camp. Big fatty "stick to your ribs kinda meals". Everything stays cold so use foods you can't normally use in the summer like Cheese, meats/fish and eggs.

9- Bring an extra fuel bottle and extra headlamp batteries. Stoves use a lot more fuel to cook or boil in freezing temps. Use a wind shield and a heat deflector to save gas. Be aware the batteries on digital cameras/cell phones don't do well either(even when turned off), keep the camera close to your body as much as possible to preserve the battery.

10- I couldn't imaging hanging out at the campsite w/o a down jacket. It's the ONLY choice for keeping warm when not doing anything physical.

11- Hot liquids really help when it's cold, drink a hot cup of tea first thing in the morning, I set up the stove and mug of tea next to my bag so in the morning I can make a cup w/o having to get out. I like to wear the clothes for the next day the night b/f I go to bed so I don't have to change in the morning. First thing in the mng is the coldest part so do some jumping jacks when you get out of your bag to warm up.

12- Leather boots will freeze up if there sweaty/damp when you go to bed. I was told you can drop a chemical hand warmer in your boots b/f bed to help them dry, also take out the footbeds and put em in your bag at night. Plastic boots with removeable liners are great but can be very expensive.

any other tips/feedback are welcome.
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DEEPFOREST
Mabye Prestone also makes Teriyaki sauce
lol

That wouldn't surprise me.

Welcome to the forums and thanks for the tips.
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:52 AM   #3
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Great tips, thanks!
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10- I couldn't imaging hanging out at the campsite w/o a down jacket. It's the ONLY choice for keeping warm when not doing anything physical.
Obviously this set up works for you, but is down really the only way? What are others opinions on this? Obviously everyone is different, what works for one... (blah, blah)... but what is everyone else's setup for this scenario?
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by NukedRocket
Obviously this set up works for you, but is down really the only way? What are others opinions on this? Obviously everyone is different, what works for one... (blah, blah)... but what is everyone else's setup for this scenario?
Down jacket here as well.

I'm a convert. I used to stand around in my hiking clothes or layers of fleece. Down has been good to me, and when I'm done wearing it I stuff it in my pillow case and it offers the perfect head support for a good night's sleep. You can find nuptse North Face jackets on eBay for $100. Obviously you don't wear it in a rain storm.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Here are some good winter camping tips:

1- to slow your nalgene bottles from freezing up put them upside down in an insulated bottle parka. Outdoor Research "OR" makes a great one for $20. Note- water will still freeze if left in the parka overnight
On day trips when you know you are returning by the same trail put them upside down in the snow. Leave enough sticking out so you’ll see it.
Quote:
2- If your hands ever start to sting or get numb from the cold take off your pack and swing your arms (front to back) really fast like a windmil while opening and closing your fist. It helps the blood flow to your fingers and warms your hands up quickly. (a French Canadian guy saw the misery on my face 2 years ago in Jan. on Algonquin and shared this trick w/ me)
Ditto with the feet only replace windmill with pendulum.

Quote:
3- leave the water pump at home and boil your water/snow. The little amount of water left inside will freeze the pump stiff. This happened to me last weekend camping in the Dix range. I thought i dried it throughly and even kept it inside an extra water bottle parka. After a day it was useless.
No need to boil snow.
[QUOTE]

Quote:
4- use a nalgene pee-botle to avoid trips out of your bag at night and put a few rolls of duct tape around it to avoid any confusion w/ other bottles. Especially if you take an additional boiling nalgene into the sleeping bag to keep warm.
It makes sense but I’ll never do it. Drink less than you think you should before turning in. With a water bottle in your bag you can always “correct” your fluid level during the night.

Quote:
7- whenever you take your gloves off to do something put them inside your jacket.
If kneeling, place an outer mitt under your knee.
Quote:
8- Eat like a king (or queen), it really lifts your spirits and keeps you warmer if you take the time at home to prepare some great meals to eat at camp. Big fatty "stick to your ribs kinda meals". Everything stays cold so use foods you can't normally use in the summer like Cheese, meats/fish and eggs.
Make sure any dishes you prepare then freeze at home will fit in your pot. I once had to chop a lump of stew into pot sized pieces.

Quote:
9- Be aware the batteries on digital cameras/cell phones don't do well either(even when turned off), keep the camera close to your body as much as possible to preserve the battery.
In winter, think Lithium batteries
Quote:
10- I couldn't imaging hanging out at the campsite w/o a down jacket. It's the ONLY choice for keeping warm when not doing anything physical.
Absolutley, and with a big, thick hood.

Quote:
11- Hot liquids really help when it's cold, drink a hot cup of tea first thing in the morning, I set up the stove and mug of tea next to my bag so in the morning I can make a cup w/o having to get out. I like to wear the clothes for the next day the night b/f I go to bed so I don't have to change in the morning. First thing in the mng is the coldest part so do some jumping jacks when you get out of your bag to warm up.
Or take a nice little stroll along the trail, uphill preferably.

Quote:
12- Leather boots will freeze up if there sweaty/damp when you go to bed
They will be hard as rock. Inners booties or felt liners would be the best. Putting boots in plastic bags at foot of bag would be good.

All in all, winter camping with no fires is a pretty severe activity but it obviously can be done. The only way to equalize heat generation with heat loss is either to be on the move or well insulated.

I bought a synthetic insulated jacket this year and regret my decision. My son has a cheapo down jacket from MEC ($110CDN) and it has much thicker loft. I'll use the synth jacket for weather close to 32Deg. but for the -20's it's gotta be down.
Here's a test, dress up in your insulated layers and go sit outside tonight. How long can you sit there not generating any heat before you get cold? How long untill you start shivvering? Now, what if you became immobilized somewhere between Couch and Times square or Emmons and Donaldson and had to spend the night out?
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:51 PM   #6
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I disagree that down is the ONLY way to go. I have done fine in extreme weather (including Alaska, Montana Wyoming, Colorado, North and South Dakota) without down.

Using layeringolypro, wool, fleece, nylon and synthetics and shopping mostly via Army Navy Surplus stores and local thrift stores have had to spend very little money.

I have several outfits for what some people are paying for a jacket. Only thing I paid over a hundred for are my boots, gore-TeX rain jacket and sleeping bag (synthetic for better performance in damp/wet weather.

I pretty much agree with the rest of what's been said here though. You can also save a few bucks by using gatorade bottles instead of Nalgene.

Hey maybe what we need here is an "economy" thread!!
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:03 PM   #7
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Hey maybe what we need here is an "economy" thread!!
I buy security in my gear purchases, especially in the winter. Of course there's an alternative, cheaper option. Whether spending less makes it a better deal for the purchaser is up to them. I also know a lot of that Army Surplus stuff is twice the weight of comparable but more expensive gear. When doing 18 miles up mountains with snowshoes and a day's supply of water, every ounce off your back and legs helps in the end.
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:08 PM   #8
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For pure warmth (I'm not talking about moisture control while hiking):

Down keeps me warrmer than any synthetic. But I will also vote for wool. My merino wool turtleneck beats any synthetic one I have. I love my double knit wool gloves and mittens. The ragg mittens are super thick, with a wool knit liner inside and they're warmer than any other set up I've tried.

I loved a Woolrich hunting coat with a wool sweater underneath but it's too heavy for hiking very far and the coat no longer resides in the house.

Sorel boots with a thick felt liner.

I'm a pretty cold person so I'm pretty opinionated about what keeps me warm.

What I'd like to find is a good pair of wool pants cut for a woman. So for now I wear Schoeller WB400 pants and if I am just standing for hours I'll put a pair of fleece pants over them.
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:32 PM   #9
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Dick and Joanne purchased some pretty fancy down jackets last winter from Patagonia. They looked like they were very warm and extremely packable for a backpack. How are they working out, professor?
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:07 PM   #10
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Most down jackets(synthetics as well) come with a stuff sack, they are about the size of a small loaf of bread when compressed (with a hood) and usually weigh less than 2 lbs. I wore a down jacket while camping in the Dix last weekend. The temp droped down to 10 degrees at night and I was really warm sitting in the lean-to w/o a fire.

I take the jacket stuffed in it's sack in my backpack when I day summit as well. Soon as I get to tree line I switch from my sweaty hiking jacket and put on the down jacket.

There's a good reason world class mountaineers like Ed Viesturus wear down climbing suits on summit expiditions. Ounce for ounce it can't be matched for warmth or weight. And to boot many are made with a water resistant shells, just in case.

PS- Rumor has it Santa Claus's suit is actually lined with 800-filled down
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:38 PM   #11
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I picked up a 650 down jacket from Cabela's for $50 - my first down purchase and I'm loving it so far. This will be my first winter backpacking so we'll see how she does.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judgeh
Dick and Joanne purchased some pretty fancy down jackets last winter from Patagonia. They looked like they were very warm and extremely packable for a backpack. How are they working out, professor?
Superbly! Mountain Hardware, actually. At about 13 oz. or so with 800-fill down, it packs, as DEEPFOREST says, like a loaf of bread. We look like Tweedledum and Tweedledee when we wear them, but what the hey...who's in it for the style, anyway? For me, it's among my "where have you been all my life" gear.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:48 PM   #13
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My jacket was 1600 fill down and folded up to fit in my wallet. It slipped out of my hand on the summit of a mountain and blew away. There went 700 dollars.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:11 PM   #14
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My jacket was 1600 fill down and folded up to fit in my wallet. It slipped out of my hand on the summit of a mountain and blew away. There went 700 dollars.
And he's looked like this ever since.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:52 AM   #15
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My jacket was 1600 fill down and folded up to fit in my wallet. It slipped out of my hand on the summit of a mountain and blew away. There went 700 dollars.
Was that $700 Canadian or $700 U.S?
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:54 AM   #16
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My jacket was 1600 fill down and folded up to fit in my wallet. It slipped out of my hand on the summit of a mountain and blew away. There went 700 dollars.
Although seriously tempted, no dancing banana.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:45 PM   #17
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Although seriously tempted, no dancing banana.
Allow me!

I used to get away with $700 cdn = $45 US, but they've got enough of us drunk on their cheap beer that we actually believe their currency to be equal to ours...

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Old 12-17-2005, 12:04 PM   #18
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keeping warm

http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.p...7926#post37926

some stuff on keepiong warm
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