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Old 01-22-2015, 04:13 PM   #21
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If I were to winter camp in the Dacks I would purchase a very light 0F bag and extend its range if need be with VBL, nalgene full of boiling water, underwear etc. If the forecast was for really cold I wouldn't go.

In the olden days we quickly gave up on the tent because of white crystal showers every time we moved. Using a tent fly and materials at hand we made open shelters not unlike lean-to's.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:52 PM   #22
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-57. February, 1979, Tanana River, near Big Delta, Alaska. Army sent me from Ft. Hood Texas to be an evaluator at an annual training exercise called Jack Frost. Those soldiers, in what was known then as the Alaska Brigade, were just amazing in they way they operated in those conditions.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:59 PM   #23
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Luxury. We used to camp completely naked with just a bit of tarpaulin for cover in gale-force winds when it was 100 below. Aye, but if you told young people that today, they'd never believe you...

My apologies to Monty Python and the four Yorkshiremen
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:20 PM   #24
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Okay, I'll fess up. I was on a fishing trip once and the temperature almost dropped to the freezing point! Not very cold but it convinced me I wasn't interested in winter camping. I would like the solitude but one can find that on a day hike during the winter.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:54 PM   #25
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Forecast looks pretty good this weekend for a camping trip, if I may be so bold for saying so!
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:46 PM   #26
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-20 for our annual winter camp out a few years ago. The 20 bag I used was supplemented with a couple surplus wool blankets under and a couple woobies over it. I'm still alive with all parts attached.

Worst part was the beers were frozen...
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:10 AM   #27
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-38. Winter of '02-03.. Not gonna lie, it sucked. Spent lots of nights out in the winter when i worked hoods in the woods, sometimes out for a week n it never came up above zero..... No interest in winter campin now cause noone's payin me to do it!
"Ahh! The old fishing hole... so peaceful and relaxing. Doesn't even matter if I catch a single fish -- ah! Come on you stupid fish, take the bait! Don't make me come down there!" -Homer Simpson
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:06 PM   #28
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-30 in the White Mountains. I was there for my practicum for Winter Recreation (a course I took at Paul Smith's College). I had fun, as did the other 2 members of my camp group. We ate lots of food and stayed active during the day to stay warm.

I had a -20 bag and two liners (a regular silk liner and a vapor barrier liner). It also helped that the snow was deeper than the lean-to was tall, so for all intents and purposes, we were in a snow cave.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:07 PM   #29
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Nothing too extreme, but I do remember a few cold nights...

As a teenager I flew down to northern Florida in mid-February to attend a Civil War reenactment and visit my Great Aunt/Uncle. I stayed 3 nights in a shelter tent at Olustee Battlefield. A freak cold-front came through and on the second night it got down below freezing. I had only one wool army blanket and got to shiverin'. All I could think about was the headline the next day "Yankee freezes to death in Florida!" I couldn't have that so I crawled out to the fire with another guy and got the fire going. Slept so close to the fire that night I was pickin' black boogers out for 2 days. Who knew it got that cold in Florida!

I remember another reenactment in Southern PA in April it got down below freezing but I was prepared with a "non-authentic" sleeping bag. Some retreated to their cars and got a jabbing for it the next morning. I just remember everyone complaining that their canteens were frozen when they went to make their morning coffee.

I remember a friend convinced me to spend an October night at a Lean-To (since-removed) at Marcy Dam when I was a teenager. Since it was just lightly raining and in the 40's he said I wouldn't need my warm boots so I wore Chuck Taylors (pre-hiking days of course). The next morning we woke up to a foot of snow outside the lean-to! I put my feet in bags and warm socks but they still froze in the wet snow on the way back to the trailhead. Learned some valuable lessons that day.

Makes you consider Napoleon's troops in the Russian winter or other unprepared winter military campaigns throughout history, now that's some tough service.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:38 AM   #30
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50 degrees Fahrenheit, if it's any lower it is too cold for this old man!
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:23 PM   #31
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I think the most enjoyable thing about winter camping is the incredible sense of quiet at night when the air goes still. It's a whole different quiet than you could ever experience in the warmer months with the cacophony of crickets, katydids, frogs, peepers, etc. A nearly surreal experience for me that always makes me feel like a small part of the cosmos as I stare up at the night sky. The sky is so much more clear as well, it's much more of a mufti-dimensional experience.

I also love being in a warm bag, breathing cold, crisp air.

For the less experienced reading these posts, be very careful with winter camping in the Adirondaks. Those here with considerable experience can absorb foolish missteps much more easily, without so much risk to life & extremities they'd rather not part with. Sometimes the predicted temperature, or the temps from day to night, can be astonishingly off. Many people have gone in thinking they were well prepared for 0˚s and woke up in the middle of the night at -25˚ in serious distress. It sounds fun pushing your limits, but do it with someone experienced the first few times.

Talking about using supplements to your winter bag... I've shoved my zero degree down bag inside of my larger/roomier, 35˚ three season bag a time or two to push into lower temps. Not sure what the actual rating might be, but it certainly makes a difference. Wool blankets are great too & they keep the incessant frost/condensation off your down.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:27 PM   #32
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Looks like I've dived into the coldest camping I've done yet. Showshoed in the Breadloaf Wilderness in Vermont to get to an alpine lake (had to bushwhack and follow moose tracks, trail was nonexistent because of the sometimes waist-deep snow) and @ 3,400 feet it was -25 F (not sure how much with the wind chill) when I got there around 8 PM. Instead of a lean-to there's a barebones cabin on the lakeside with no fireplace so kept all my gear on, used reflectix, ALPS pad, Grabber all-weather space blanket, and my 0 degree bag to cocoon myself entirely. The Bavarian winterland views with several feet of powder made it all worth it but it will definitely be a while until I attempt something like that again.

Last edited by Boreal Fox; 02-02-2015 at 02:48 PM..
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