Author Topic: Winter Camping/Cold Weather Camping  (Read 2871 times)

Offline Cedar

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Winter Camping/Cold Weather Camping
« on: April 30, 2011, 08:09:02 PM »
I did not see a topic on winter camping, so I apologize if I overlooked it.

I enjoy winter camping and I know it is not everyone's cup of tea so-to-speak. In all the years I have done it, it was only me and the dogs. I was just curious if anyone else here enjoys it and does it regularly. I did it as I was mostly running the dogs (recreationally), but there is also the added benefit of no mosquito's, no-see-ums and no blackflies.

If you live in areas where you actually get a winter and TSHF happens, are you prepared for winter living outdoors if need be? What equipment do you use? I would not necessarily recommend the tent I usually use, but since I have to watch my weight in my sled bag, it is the one I use, but you can see my sleeping bags, which are -30C sleeping bags, and I have 2. I also LOVE my two hot water bottles I toss into bed about 20-30 minutes before I am ready to sleep. The coldest I have slept out is -27F (with straw under the tent), but although I would require a little bit more of shelter, -40F does not daunt me, although I may question my sanity about 3-4 am that morning.

Problems that I had was my little cook stove would not fire up due to the cold and the elevation (my guess anyway) and then actually caught on fire one trip (and it permanently died). My first year my sleeping bags were not cold weather sleeping bags and I was pretty sure I was not going to wake up in the morning.. so I did not sleep. But that is pretty much it. Although I was alone in my tent, I was not always alone in camp, so emergency issues were not a problem in the big gatherings as if I was off training on my own.

Idid carry recommended equipment all the time on my sled, and in my wool army pants in case I got separated from my dog team. OH.. the other issue was moose. Moose are unpredictable and I am more afraid of them than bears, and I did encounter a few of them on the trail. I know some of the guys (sledding tends to be more of a man's sport) used to carry flare guns as it was illegal to shoot a moose at that time of the year, but I lucked out as although I had some close encounters, nothing happened.

Tell me your winter camping experiences..


Offline mootz

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Re: Winter Camping/Cold Weather Camping
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 06:42:09 PM »
I'm not as quite hardcore- I use my truck when I go winter camping.  In fact, I do quite a bit of snow camping and just started snowshoe/backpacking.  It is now my preferred time to camp- no bugs, less crowd, etc.  I've found that rain is way harder to deal with than snow.  With snow, you can brush it off, but rain, it goes in the tent with you.  So, having a tent with a decent sized vestibule is a plus.  It's all about keeping things dry.  I also believe in a place for reprieve, such as a good fire or a roomy tent with an improvised heater, like a white gas lantern (of course using it with carbon monoxide precautions).  Which brings the idea of weight.  If backpacking, I've resorted to getting in shape to carry the load- in my opinon, there's no other way.  Choose everything carefully, because it'll all be on your back.  I've never used a sled, so I can't comment on that.  So far, the truck has been the savior, but I'm still in the learning stage.  The experiences has been humbling, but the take-away is REALITY.

Offline jasperg357

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Re: Winter Camping/Cold Weather Camping
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 07:25:40 PM »
I am currently living in Ga. and we don't get much of a winter,I was stationed in Alaska for 2 1/2 years spent a lot of the winter months in the field so I guess that would count as winter camping. My preferred time to camp would be in the early spring or fall here in Ga. Most of the time in Alaska we slept out side, Most we would have would be a poncho shelter and I remember being really cold a lot. Also from what I have seen military equipment has come a long way.

Offline Andy in NH

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Re: Winter Camping/Cold Weather Camping
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 01:04:37 PM »
I did not see a topic on winter camping, so I apologize if I overlooked it.

There is some good info here from an older thread.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Winter Camping/Cold Weather Camping
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 05:45:29 PM »
I prefer winter camping over any other time. No bugs and no people if you stay off the snowmobile trails. I have tried a couple of snow caves and don't like them. I have had better luck hiding under a wolf tree. Mornings can be a pain in the b@#t to get up and get going since I'm basically nonfunctional until my first cup of coffee. My bag is rated for zero put I take a fleece liner for the inside and a wool blanket to wrap around the outside. I sleep on 2" of closed cell foam or make bed with tree bows. The foam works better. After a quick cup of hot cereal and coffee it is bacon(thick slice) eggs and toast followed up with hot chocolate. Mostly I like to snowshoe. ;D