Winter Snow Sport Gear
Winter Hiking & Snowshoeing
Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#106405 - 11/12/08 05:31 AM Camping in the winter
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
I'm going car camping with Boy Scouts this weekend. Weather forecast is rain and snow mixed, high in the 40s.

I would like to know if I should bring any thing else. I am the kind of person that is cold all the time. I wear my scarf and knit hat in the office while my heater is on. Here is my winter-specific packing list for keeping warm:

- Sleeping bag rated to 0F. Plus extra wool blanket.

- I will be wearing these layers of cotton all at once: tshirt, sweatshirt, sweatshirt with turtleneck, with thin winter coat. Also long underwear, jeans, followed by heavy snow pants (cotton, very warm). I will swap my turtleneck sweatshirt with a wool sweater if needed.

- 2 thin sleeping pads to insulate against the cold ground. They should also bring straw to put under the tent.

- I also have knit hat, fleece balaclava, winter gloves, waterproof wading boots (very warm) along with disposable heaters (enough for all day and all night all weekend), and a charcoal powered heater.

- I have a thermos and tea bags with my alcohol stove. The idea is to drink hot liquids to help stay warm.

- There will hopefully be a fire there. I bought cardboard soaked in wax to help with firestarting, along with dry pinecones. Of course I have matches and a butane lighter.

I did not get any electric socks as I do not camp in cold weather much. I might want to invest in a warmer coat later as this one is rather thin. If I'm moving around gathering wood I think I will be warm enough. I am worried about keeping warm at night when I am laying still. I will have my disposable heater to help with warmth.

Am I missing something else I could bring? For example, to help me out at night?

Thanks.

EDIT: Forgot to add, I have a rain poncho too.


Edited by bulrush (11/12/08 12:48 PM)

Top
#106406 - 11/12/08 06:56 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Hi Bulrush,
You probably want to avoid cotton altogether. It will make you colder if you sweat while hiking. You might want to look at some heavyweight synthetic long underwear instead--something that wicks moisture.

At night, you might also want to heat up a water bottle full of hot water and throw it in the bottom of your sleeping bag a few minutes before you get in. This will keep your feet warm which will make you feel warmer overall.



Edited by jasonklass (11/12/08 06:58 AM)

Top
#106407 - 11/12/08 08:54 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: jasonklass]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I think you are way overkill on the sleeping bag, and your clothing is way wrong, but if you change just one thing just ditch the jeans and get some nylon hiking pants. If two things, change the cotton underwear for something else, anything else.

Wool blankets are always handy though, with kids about.

Top
#106408 - 11/12/08 09:28 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
mlipo Offline
member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 15
What kind of activities are you going to be participating in while camping?

Top
#106409 - 11/12/08 09:50 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
bulrush... are you being serious? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

Top
#106410 - 11/12/08 10:26 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: midnightsun03]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Bul, may I assume you are car camping and not backpacking?
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

Top
#106411 - 11/12/08 10:44 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: Trailrunner]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
You need more straw for sure. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#106412 - 11/12/08 12:46 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: mlipo]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
This is car camping.

As far as activities, I am just a chaperone for the Boy Scouts. I don't do much, maybe help the kids if they get hurt or something, perhaps gather firewood, help them pitch tents, inspect their tents (ground cloth must not be exposed under the tent or rain will collect there).

The kids have their own activities where they earn merit badges. I'm there to supervise but they are required to do all the work.

Do you mean I should wear nylon pants to keep the water/rain/snow off me? We're supposed to get rain this weekend. I don't have any nylon pants or special long johns, and we leave in 2 days. I am bringing a rain poncho. That will help keep me dry and I don't expect to sweat too much.


Edited by bulrush (11/12/08 12:50 PM)

Top
#106413 - 11/12/08 01:20 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Bulrush...

First and foremost, you are an example to these scouts, and if you show up with gear inappropriate to the siutation it sends the wrong message.

Cotton is not the choice for these conditions, period. You are asking for hypothermia, period. You get wet, you'll never get dry. Period.

As this is car camping and not lightweight backpacking, your local Wal-Mart should have very affordable options for rain gear and non-cotton long johns. Wool or poly socks, several pairs, would be good. Go to your local thrift and find a "beater" wool sweater, maybe even rain pants or nylon pants.

The suggestion of using a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag is a good one... I'd take up that suggestion. Also, socks in bed are good, but only if they are not tight fitting. Tight socks will shunt the blood out of your feet and make it hard for the blood to return, leading to cold feet and a miserable night.

Drinking warm drinks do not keep you warm... calories keep you warm. Warm drinks are more beneficial psychologically than anything else. Before you leave, go to the winter camping forum and scan back through the last few years worth of posts. This thread should be in that forum as well.

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

Top
#106414 - 11/12/08 01:44 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
azcanyon Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 264
Quote:
I'm going car camping with Boy Scouts this weekend. Weather forecast is rain and snow mixed, high in the 40s.


The cotton thing: others have cautioned against it, I'm sure more will, and the advice to stay away from cotton clothing has been repeated literally thousands of times on these forums. I actually think cotton has a legitimate place in backpacking/camping, but not so much in the conditions you describe. At least try to get long underwear (next-to-skin layer) that's synthetic.

You're going to have at least one car, and who knows what else in terms of safety resources, but you should take care. Wet with highs in the 40's F is the classic scenario for risk of hypothermia. When things get colder, it's actually easier to manage in many ways because the precipitation is frozen and you don't, say, get all your heavy cotton clothing soaked.

Have a great time and enjoy your trip. I hope you don't mind, though, if I ask: Is someone besides you giving advice to the scouts about how to prepare? This is pretty basic stuff that the scouts should learn.



Oh...and one other thing. You mentioned an alcohol stove. It's going to be a tedious exercise at best to bring a tiny little cup of water to a boil in those conditions. Buy or borrow a real stove (canister, white gas, or propane).


Edited by azcanyon (11/12/08 01:55 PM)

Top
#106415 - 11/12/08 02:13 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I hate to seem mean spirited, but based on your post, you are woefully uninformed as to what is involved with winter camping. If you think we are all jumping on you, it is for good reason based on lessons learned, so do youself a favor and pay attention. We have a great Winter Forum where you can read through the archives and learn from others, including learning from their mistakes, mine included.

Too often we have read stories about inexperienced campers out in bad weather and too often they do not have a happy ending. Granted, car camping is a different story, but still, it should be treated seriously.

What also concerns me, is that if your list is anything like what the Scouts will be taking, they also need a complete rethink of they will be taking. Whoever is leading this trip needs to make sure that each one of them has the right clothes, footwear and accessories-gloves, hats, lights, etc.

The Winter Forum has many gear lists for winter camping and there is a Winter camping section here on the site. Mixed rain and snow is about the worse condition I can think of. I've done it. I much prefer cold, clear weather over warmer, but rainy any day.

Where to start?
What kind of shelters are you using? In bad weather, you need decent tents even if you are car camping. By decent, I don't mean expensive, but a tent that will withstand wind, rain and snow loading. Something like a Eureka or REI tent will do fine and they don't cost all that much. Whatever it is, it must be seam sealed, otherwise, you are looking at water in the tent.

Forget the straw idea, that makes no sense whatsoever. A decent tent needs at most a footprint, which can be made out of Tyvek or similar material.

Clothes-The only cotton I wear is jeans and a t-shirt while driving up to the trailhead. Once on foot, NO COTTON IN WINTER, not even underwear or socks. Even the cheapest fleece from Target is better than cotton in winter. All layers of cotton will get you is layers of soaking wet clothes that will never dry out and will not keep you warm.

Wool is fine, it will be warm, even if wet. Make sure whatever you take is real wool, not some cotton/wool blend. They are not the same thing. If it is raining or snowing, keep your jacket or poncho on. If either has a hood, use it.

You can get relatively inexpensive synthetic underwear-long johns and a long sleeve turtleneck shirt (my preference) at most sporting goods stores like Dick's or Chick's or Sports Authority. Maybe even at Target or Wal-Mart. There isn't a Wal-Mart anywhere close to me, so I don't know what they carry. I even have synthetic briefs. Mine are Jockey brand, but I imagine other companies make them. Again, nothing I have on is cotton from the skin out in winter.

Bring extra gloves, you can get Kinco brand winter gloves at hardware or feed stores. Cheap and durable according to skiers who use them. Wool or synthetic liners in light waterproof mitt shells also work well.

Stove-forget alcohol stoves in winter. I know people here use them, but for winter, especially for groups, you need a real stove, not some dinky thing made from a Coke can. Your best bet is a canister stove. There are cheap ones for about $25 or so. Not the lightest, but they work just about as well as any other, regardless of price.

Canister stoves do not work well in really cold weather, but at 30-40F, they are fine. Lower temps, I'd get a white gas stove of some sort. Don't let anyone talk you into an XGK, you don't need one and they are really expensive.

If you think you can melt enough snow for cooking and drinking with an alcohol stove, you are wildly overestimating what those stoves can do. In winter, you need to eat real food. You can't live on just Ramen or something like that. Winter sucks up a lot of calories just staying warm. Since you are car camping, I presume you mean the car is within a short distance of the campsite. If so, you could even bring canned food like stews and soups since weight won't be an issue. Otherwise, dried meats, pasta etc. to boost your protein and calorie intake.

Forget the charcoal heater. If you use it in your tent, you may get carbon monoxide poisoning. When I say "may", I really mean "very likely" so don't chance it.

Your bag sounds fine. Use the two pads. If you bag is really a 0F bag, that should be enough. My bag is a +23F bag combined with an overbag and it is good to about +15F.


Edited by TomD (11/12/08 10:38 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
#106416 - 11/12/08 03:11 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
bulrush
You've been around here for a while. I'm surprised that you didn't take the Winter forum more seriously, and post there. Most hypothermia deaths occur in rainy 40s, its more dangerous than when its below freezing. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />


However I realise <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />u were probably roped into this and the scouts need an adult and sure they're supposed to be campers BUT - Your choice of personal gear indicates that you are not qualified to lead a bunch of people in the potentially disastrous circumstances, AND you are not personally prepared. You must lead if need be, you cannot become a liability. You should refuse to go unless a qualified leader goes, and get him to help with your gear.

Just my $.02 <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

P.S. to see if you are prepared, stand in a shower in your hiking gear for ten minutes. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#106417 - 11/12/08 04:16 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:

Do you mean I should wear nylon pants to keep the water/rain/snow off me? We're supposed to get rain this weekend. I don't have any nylon pants or special long johns, and we leave in 2 days. I am bringing a rain poncho. That will help keep me dry and I don't expect to sweat too much.


Yes, this is what we mean. If it means a trip to the store for some inexpensive rain pants, then I'd do it.

You don't need to spend a ton of money on fancy stuff for this one weekend, but you do need to be prepared.

Perhaps another question is why you all are going out in bad weather? If learning to camp in bad weather is the goal, that's great, but everyone, you included, needs to be prepared for it.

The good news is that if things really get bad weather-wise, you can all just pile back into the cars and go home, but that kind of defeats the whole purpose of the trip.

The example you and the other leaders want to set is one that shows the Scouts that they can eventually go out on their own if properly equipped. and that starts with you and the other leaders having the right gear.

There are some extreme examples of how not to do this posted in the Health & Safety and Winter forums.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
#106418 - 11/12/08 04:54 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
On a positive note, there are many things you are doing right in your original post.

1. going car camping with Boy Scouts

2. sleeping bag rated to 0F.

3. extra wool blanket.

4. thin winter coat. (wind layer for over wool sweater)

5. 2 thin sleeping pads. ( 2 x 3/8" is excellent )

6. knit hat, fleece balaclava, winter gloves

7. waterproof wading boots (+ felt insoles and thick wool socks)

8. thermos and tea bags with my alcohol stove... to drink hot liquids to help stay warm.

9. cardboard soaked in wax, dry pinecones, matches and a butane lighter.

10. rain poncho.

I think you will be just fine if you just ditch the cotton and add some synthetic and wool layers.



I agree that cotton is sometimes under wool, but that is usually in a situation where you are at a camp with a wood stove over several days/weeks and do laundry regularly. For a weekend cotton has no advantages and many disadvantages over silk, polypro, polyester, polyester fleece, or wool. It is somewhat fireproof, as is wool. Find a suitable skin layer, 100wt fleece, a wool sweater, something along those lines.

Top
#106419 - 11/12/08 07:23 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Hey Bulrush,
There's some good advice above. It seems to me that your initial strategy was taking "more" gear, rather than taking the "right" gear--an approach a lot of people take. But I think that if you heed some of the advice of more experienced winter backpackers here, you will find that "more" isn't always necessarily "better". I'm sure there will be more good advice to contemplate. I hope you have a great trip and we're looking forward to some pics! I want to see you in those waders! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Edited by jasonklass (11/12/08 07:26 PM)
_________________________
Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


Top
#106420 - 11/13/08 06:53 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
Ok ok, cotton in winter is bad. I know you mean well and I was just going off my (bad) knowledge from what I was taught as a kid. I don't think they had a lot of affordable polypro in 1974.

I did buy this morning, long underwear which is merino wool and polypropylene for my torso. It is supposed to wick away moisture. I did not get the bottoms, perhaps I should. I will go to MC Sports to look for rain pants as Meijer does not have them. I also picked up wool socks which will be loose. I intend to use them at night when sleeping.

Next, I am not the leader of this trip, just a chaperone. I have no idea how the kids have been prepared for winter camping. I did go to one meeting and the scout master said something like "Dress warm, and in layers. Bring disposable heaters for night time." He did not elaborate as I recall.

I did do this last year in the same conditions (high temps in 40's rain most of the day) and was very cold as my old and cheap rain pants broke. I was also wearing all cotton and no wool.

I may consider picking up a water bottle too.

As for my alcohol stove, I did use it last year in the same conditions (high temps in 40's, rainy) and it was hard to start but not impossible. And I have alternative fuels, such as fuel gel, one is alcohol based one is corn based. The trick is to preheat the stove with a lighter or over the fire, very carefully, making sure the fuel does not ignite. I may use a primer pan for this. (I use the top of a can. A side-cutting can opener leaves a lip on a can top, perfect for use as a priming pan.)

I guess I wasn't clear about the stove. The scouts have their own duel-burner propane stoves powered by 20lb tanks, but since I am on a special diet, I bring all my own food, and my stove is for my meals only. I also like to test my equipment. If my alcohol stove doesn't work, I have several alternatives: use the scouts' propane stoves, use the fire pit, or alcohol gel, or corn-based gel. We are not that far in the wilderness, we are 15 minutes from town. We should also have access to a water spigot so melting snow is not needed.

I also have brought all soup for my meals providing calories and liquids, which can also be heated over the fire which we will have (assuming we can find dry wood).

As for tents, they are name brand tents found in the Campmore catalog. I forget the name, but they have bathtub-bottoms (good for keeping the rain out), rainflies, but are not the most expensive model. They are non-profit after all. They are very likely 3-season tents, not designed for winter. They also use these in winter camping January-March. They use them year round.

Thank you for your prompt replies. I will be checking back here often as we leave Fri night. I can give you an update after the trip.


Edited by bulrush (11/14/08 05:49 AM)

Top
#106421 - 11/13/08 06:56 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: jasonklass]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
Hey Bulrush,
There's some good advice above. It seems to me that your initial strategy was taking "more" gear, rather than taking the "right" gear--an approach a lot of people take. But I think that if you heed some of the advice of more experienced winter backpackers here, you will find that "more" isn't always necessarily "better". I'm sure there will be more good advice to contemplate. I hope you have a great trip and we're looking forward to some pics! I want to see you in those waders! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Yes I am busy purchasing the right gear. I won't use it much but I will use it again. I was REAL cold last year (same conditions, cold and rainy), and surprisingly, I did not get even a cold. I will:

- Drop my cotton turtleneck sweatshirt and keep the wool sweater.
- Drop the cotton long john's and buy polypro/wool long johns.

Sorry, they are not waders, the are waterproof boots going to mid-shin or a little higher, not quite knee-high. But they are waterproof and WARM! I found them at Meijer for $25 years ago and they are much better than anything you could buy at the mall for $100. These boots have kept my feet toasty in -20F weather while I shoveled snow. (Must shovel snow to go to work.)


Edited by bulrush (11/13/08 07:29 AM)

Top
#106422 - 11/13/08 08:04 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

40 and rain/slushy/snowy? That ain't winter man.. that sounds like a colder day in june, or august <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

(however in all seriousness, everything that's been said about the right gear you need to
consider - and ditch the cotton as has been mentioned).
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#106423 - 11/13/08 08:27 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Bulrush...

Thanks for being a willing student... you've taken the advice offered very well <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Here is a link to information on cold weather injuries that I prepared for the Boy Scouts a year ago... item #11 is a powerpoint presentation that you might find helpful. Yes, it does address extreme cold weather as we see in AK, but much of the information is still relevant to your conditions. I'm giving essentially the same presentation again this year, except I will be updating some of the information to reflect some things I've learned about hypothermia this year (i.e. poor judgement can begin at a higher core temperature -- 97.5 F -- than usually presented... something I've witnessed first hand).

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

Top
#106424 - 11/13/08 11:25 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: midnightsun03]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Groundcloth, when it is going to rain, I either tuck edges in real good, (doesn't always work) or put the groundcloth inside. Other wise, the rain will wick or thru capillary action move under your tent. For your feet, put those chemical foot or hand warmers on your socks.


Edited by hikerduane (11/13/08 11:30 AM)

Top
#106425 - 11/13/08 02:00 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I would get the bottoms as well. I wear both and once I put them on, I rarely take them off until my trip is over. I've worn them as outerwear with a pair of nylon shorts over the bottoms. Mine are Patagonia Capilene.

I would take a water bottle for sure. Better yet, a water bottle and a Thermos or similar steel insulated bottle. Mine is sold by Liquid Solution, costs about $20, keeps hot liquids hot for hours.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
#106426 - 11/13/08 02:46 PM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“…trick is to preheat the stove with a lighter or over the fire, very carefully, making sure the fuel does not ignore. I may use a primer pan for this.”

This sounds like a poor alcy stove. You shouldn’t have to do that at all. One match, and a good stove lights even if it’s not prewarmed; howbeit, the jet’s start working faster if the stove came right out of your pocket along with the alcy fuel.

It’s very easy with an open jet alcy stove. Some people get bad results because of poor stoves. If the stove doesn’t light at 0F, I consider this a bad stove.
If it’s 40F and raining (like it is in MI this weekend), I do it under the tent awning. You should have hot chocolate going before the scouts will <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.

Most of our Klondike Derby’s are in conditions you are describing; wet, cold, muddy, rainy……so Good Luck!


-Barry

Top
#106427 - 11/14/08 05:48 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: BarryP]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
As for the stove, it is a Trangia style used by the East Germans, though it doesn't say Trangia on it. It is all brass. So it's not homemade.

After I bought my underwear bottoms, and a new rain suit with top and pants, my son called and said they had cancelled the camping. (I'm divorced and he lives with his mom.) I think that was a good idea. Camping it supposed to be fun, not annoying. But now I have all the right clothes for next time.

Thank you for your help, everyone. I'm wearing my wool/polypro top now. It is noticably warmer than a cotton tshirt.

Top
#106428 - 11/14/08 08:09 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
jaiden Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 123
I agree with everything said already. You can get nylon wind pants for $15 or so from walmart, though real waterproof rain pants may be advisable if you know it's going to be that wet. These are your shell. Under that, the NON cotton long johns. If you need more, a pair of fleece pants in between (real fleece, again not cotton). if you can't find any, look for fleece pajama pants. they are the same thing. Same thing up top... wool/poly long johns, covered by fleece (maybe several layers if needed) followed by a shell such as a wind jacket or rain jacket (or both)

don't forget underwear and socks. Target and walmart both have non cotton ones. If you can't find real winter socks, two pairs of synthetic dress socks would be fine. I wear stretchy synthetic boxer briefs from target year round. You can't imagine how uncomfortably cold wet cotton underwear can be until you've experienced it.

Also, check the hunting section, they tend to have good cheap clothes, if you don't mind camo or blaze orange. A knit or fleece hat can be found there cheap too.

NO COTTON. Also, keep your sleeping bag dry or it will go from 0 degrees to nothing

Top
#106429 - 11/14/08 09:56 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
bmisf Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 629
Quote:
Thank you for your help, everyone. I'm wearing my wool/polypro top now. It is noticably warmer than a cotton tshirt.


Hey, good for you for taking all this advice constructively and trying that out! I think you'll find the synthetic underwear dramatically superior for outdoor activities, and you'll be so much better off if it gets wet from sweat or precipitation.

Hope you get to take it all out for a trip soon - enjoy.

Top
#106430 - 11/14/08 10:30 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bmisf]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Canceling a camping trip because of bad weather is like canceling a dive trip because the water is too rough; I've done both. As they say, "discretion is the better part of valor."

Don't be afraid to look for deals on eBay or Craigslist. If you see something, but aren't familiar with it, ask here before buying or bidding. If it is a brand name item, someone here probably knows something about it.

I have bought a few items off eBay including a parka and cycling jacket that were both in like new condition for about half price off retail.

Also, you could put up a Want to Buy ad here. Members are always selling clothes and gear they don't need or are replacing with something else. I have bought and sold a couple of things here.

Our sponsors often have sales. REI and a couple of the others have outlet sites with good deals. Sierra Trading Post always has close-outs at good prices. I bought a pair of brand new current model $300 skis for $50 last year. They sold out in about an hour, but the deals are out there.

www.backpackgeartest.org is a good site for gear reviews. www.trailspace.com also has gear reviews, although those are not as detailed.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
#106431 - 11/14/08 11:14 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Bad weather is good experience. With that said, I don't always go on a trip if it is going to start out bad. If weather hits while out, you deal with and gain experience. As for the wet underwear not being fun, I've been snowmobiling in the winter, maybe had light snow/rain, still gotten wet with raingear on, the wet underwear sure doesn't "sit" well, nothing like a little squishy going on where the light don't shine.:) I was able to gain a little experience in early Oct. this year, bping with the threat of up to a foot of snow in Yosemite. Fortunately, only 4" fell at the higher elevations on my first night out, so I had to hike thru it for a few hours the next day in the afternoon. Got lucky, I found a spot the second night under a tree where no snow accumulated. Terrific day the third day out, down to my shorts and shirt in the afternoon and a dip in the water. By the way, I hiked thru the snow in my shorts, it wasn't that cold!

Top
#106432 - 11/15/08 08:43 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: hikerduane]
CAbackpacker Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/01/05
Posts: 13
Loc: Northern California
No point in duplicating all the great comments folks have already made, but I feel compelled to make this one...

I used to be a Scoutmaster & a Venturing Crew Advisor, we did a LOT of winter camping but I always made sure ALL of the adults attending had gone through our High-Adventure training first! We used to have winter camping trips just for the adults so we could review IN GREAT DETAIL, all of the requirements for safe winter camping. Even those who were "just chaperones" had to attend adult training sessions before we went on the trip, we did this because you never know when you might get caught in a blizzard or somehow ending up camping more nights than you plan! It greatly concerns me that folks are taking Boy Scouts winter camping without proper certification / training!

Maybe I'm over-reacting and if I am I sincerely apologize, but my troop was a serious backpacking troop & over the years we helped haul a number of people out of the backcountry who needed help because of poor planning & lack of knowledge of the basics!

Top
#106433 - 11/15/08 11:38 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: CAbackpacker]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
CAB, You make a great point and I don't think you are overreacting. I haven't been involved in Scouting since I was a junior assistant scoutmaster with a small troop a long time ago. I wound up with that position because we had very few people with any experience at all in my area and I had been a Scout as a kid. I consider myself skilled enough to take care of myself, but would not necessarily want the responsibility for someone else's child, so I appreciate those who take that responsibility.

I am sure Scouting has evolved a lot since my day, so it is good to hear they have the kind of program you mentioned. A poster I know from another board teaches similar classes and he has experience climbing, hiking and backpacking all over the world, including Antarctica, Denali and Africa.

One thing we deal with here is that Winter means different conditions to different people here. I have winter camped in mild weather at Yosemite, but our Canadian friends are out in -30C weather, which requires a whole different approach.

There is a thread here about a rescue in the PNW last winter involving a group that met up through the Internet for what was billed as a beginner level winter camping trip. The leader was ill-prepared, the group as a whole was poorly equipped (inadequate tents and bags, and no snowshoes) and no one checked the weather so they missed the report of an incoming "storm of the century." As a result, the group was fortunate enough to be rescued after a massive SAR effort involving about a hundred people, snow machines and 2 helicopters. A dangerous and expensive effort that could have easily be avoided.

Unfortunately, judging from the posts on another board from some of that party, some of them didn't learn much from their misadventure.

I have posted here many times a quote by the famous polar explorer, Roald Amundsen:

"Adventure is just bad planning."


Edited by TomD (11/15/08 11:42 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
#106434 - 11/15/08 01:48 PM Camping in Winter Quinzie [Re: CAbackpacker]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
CAbper

I was invited along on an adult BSA leader Winter training trip at Donners Pass as a guest Trainer, by my friend who was maybe the #1 Boy Scout leader in Ca at the time. I was quite appalled at some of the shenanigans and lack of LNT and respect for the park like area. They didn't realise that their leader was a pretty close friend of mine and I told him later about some things that would have frosted his chill. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I'd say the problem is the arrogance of the average BSA dad when it comes to camping gear/knowledge. They also just plain had bad attitudes, as in had little respect for the knowledge of the trainers. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I have a polar bear award for that trip. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

P.S> if you build a quinzie and especially if you will use it alone - be aware that they can collapse and if they do and you are alone - you die. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> One train of thought is to build a small campfire in the middle of it with a large air hole in the top so the heat of the fire warms the dome and then it refreases into a safer structure. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#106435 - 11/15/08 05:39 PM Re: Camping in Winter Quinzie [Re: Jimshaw]
CAbackpacker Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/01/05
Posts: 13
Loc: Northern California
"my friend who was maybe the #1 Boy Scout leader in Ca at the time"
Interesting comment Jim, who decided he was the # 1 leader????

I was also involved in Scouting at a District Level & had a fair amount of disagreemnet with a number of Scout Leaders who (in my humble opinion) weren't adequately emphasizing training or things like LNT, etc., and in fact many weren't emphasizing the training for what we had designated as "High Adventure" activities. We had a separate District Group that provided the High Adventure Training to any and all Troops that wanted to participate. Unfortunately, it wasn't BSA policy that you HAD to attend or be certified by our HAT (High Adventure Team) in order to take your scouts out, but the District did promote/suggest/recommend that all active Troops have adult leaders become certified.

Top
#106436 - 11/15/08 08:17 PM Re: Camping in Winter Quinzie [Re: Jimshaw]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Jim,
I'm sorry that you had such a negative experience with your friend's troop. As with any organization (BSA in this example), there are members who "don't get it". I'm sure if you compared a sample from this board to your average camper/backpacker you would find that most here are more aware of and practice common camping courtesy and LNT.

I am an Eagle Scout (1979) and was an assistant Scoutmaster for a large troop (75-95 Scouts) in the Dallas area for 4 years. We were fortunate to have 10 Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM) in addition to several other adult leaders. All of the ASM's and several of the adult leaders have attended adult leader training. All of the ASM's had attended basic outdoor skills training (2 sessions - 2 days each). Several of our ASM's have extensive camping experience. We took 3 crews to Philmont this past summer and 70% of the attendees were certified in CPR/AED. All Scouts were required to have earned First Aid merit badge. About half of the attendees were also certified in Wilderness First Aid.
We have two adults leaders that are certified in rifle and shotgun shooting, and another who is trained in climbing.
We also have some special needs Scouts and several ASM's are trained to deal with those Scouts.
Is this typical to have this much training? Probably not, but I would say that for our area it is not that unusual. We are fortunate to live in an area where training is readily available and have adults who take their responsibilities seriously.

We camp in all types of weather. (I, mean no disrespect to Bulrush). I can recall only one camp out that was canceled due to weather. It was forecasted to have ice on Sunday when we would have been coming home and it would have made the roads very hazardous. (Dryer can attest that people in Dallas have no idea how to drive on ice!) We typically have to deal more with heat than with cold and with violent weather (ie tornados).
In north Texas, we don't experience the prolonged winter weather that many on this board do. It typically comes in sudden bursts. We have left on Friday evenings with temp's in the mid 60's and by 11pm it is 35F with freezing rain and the temp still dropping. Of course, we listen to the forecast so we know what is coming. We spend 2-3 weekly meetings talking about winter camping and showing the Scouts what to bring (our troop is boy lead so it is older Scouts teaching younger Scouts - with a healthy dose of adult input based on experience). So, do they listen? Usually not the first time. It takes one really cold campout where they freeze their buttocks before they really get it. (We make sure they are in no real danger).
We have 2-3 campouts each winter where the weather gets nasty. The boys are taught to watch for signs of hypothermia. We had an incident last winter where one of our patrol leaders got chilled and had early symptoms of hypothermia. The other Scouts in his patrol got him into his bag and started getting warm liquids into him and came and got an ASM. We started getting calories into him then. Another time, one of our special needs Scouts became mildly hypothermic, frustrated and agitated (not related to the hypothermia) and his patrol members came and got adults to deal with the situation (as they had been taught to do).
So, I guess some of it does get through.

I can guarantee that if you went camping with our troop, you would find that we leave the place cleaner than we found it, otherwise we don't leave until it is. We emphasize LNT and we also teach to have the right gear for the situation.
Do the Scouts always listen? NO!, but as I said, some of it does seem to get through. We have a parent's meeting once a month (same time as the Scout meeting) so they know what is coming up and we share information with them about what type gear their son needs. We also use a group broadcast email to share information. Do they get? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It's not from a lack of trying on the part of the leadership. Most of our new dads pick up very quickly what is expected and none of us "old goats" have a problem with telling them (privately) if they are not putting forth a good example.

My family and I have relocated to deep east Texas so we are looking for a new troop and hope to find one as outstanding as the one we left.

I hope you (and others on this board) have better experiences with Scouting in the future.

Tango61

Top
#106437 - 11/18/08 08:21 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: bulrush]
LaoTzu42 Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 29
Loc: Indiana
So, after all of this. How was your trip? Our scouts had a camp out this weekend also and had a great time.

Top
#106438 - 11/24/08 08:23 AM Re: Camping in the winter [Re: LaoTzu42]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
I posted earlier that the troop cancelled the trip on Thu night at the meeting. Generally people around in Michigan wait until the last minute to cancel anything, and hope the weather will change for the better.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Backpacking/Camping Near Savannah, GA
by Sean&Brit
Today at 08:27 PM
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
Today at 06:13 PM
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
2 registered (), 35 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Sean&Brit, Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21
12425 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com