Well, I survived. Actually it wasn’t that bad at all. It was cold. It did not get warm and snuggly inside the canoe-per dome. I woke up at 4am, 6am, and then to my alarm at 7:30 which I forgot to shut off, so at that point I got dressed and headed out.
Back to last night.
At around 1030 I headed outside to scrounge for some pine boughs for my bedding. My neighbor had a good chunk of one of his trees fall under the weight of the snow last week so I decided it would be best to use that for my bedding and leave live trees alone. I brought as much as I could carry in one trip and decided it would suffice. It didn’t but that’s ok.
The stuff I used was not ideal because it had small pinecones and the branches were about 3/8” to 5/8” in diameter. The pine needles were short and stubby and there weren’t many of them. I am not sure what type of tree it was. I have used much better kinds for bedding in the past. I think I should have doubled the thickness of the bedding too. It was about 8” thick uncompressed. With my weight on top I could feel the snow in a few places once I was in the sleeping bag but I wasn’t getting back up to get more.
I set out my sleeping bag which is a 3 piece military deal including the goretex bivvy. This step was easy with the fairly high roof of the shelter.
Here’s a pic of my little thermometer whistle contraption that someone gave me. It’s the only thermometer I have, come to think of it. I had set it outside to get a reading before turning in for the night. The time was about 11:23 at this point and the outside temp was about 38f.
I used pine boughs to block the opening. I had cut them from a tree in the yard. I should have used this stuff for the bedding.
Took my clothes off and got ready to get in the sleeping bag. I actually slept in a t-shirt and shorts. I never sleep in t-shirts and I remember why now. I felt like I was in a straight jacket all night. Here’s my stuff. Dickies and issued poly-pro’s.
My 60 hour candle that I only let burn for about 10 minutes. I bumped into it twice so I blew it out. I figured it was better to wake up cold than ON FIRE.
And to all the gear junkies out there. This one’s for you.
Most of this stuff is EDC stuff that I carry in the bag seen below. The fiskars shears I use on hunting trips and… to cut pine bedding. Victorinox cadet, breath-right strip (had my nose busted a few times), petzl headlight (best headlamp ever), bic with duct tape, and maratac AAA with sere compass (best flashlight ever). Oh, and my keys.
Just incase I couldn’t sleep, a nice calming book to read. And incase I did get really cold, some warmers. I used the small warmer for the small outer pouch of my bag to keep my cell phone and camera from any possible cold damage.
Here’s a couple more items I carry in my EDC bag. TP and wet-ones, and my little gizmo tin. Its sort of like the idea of a survival tin but has some emergency stuff and some stuff I might forget or need day to day.
It has: Tylenol, little swiss army knife, one AAA for my maratac flashlight, little sharpie, bic with duct tape, chap stick, chopped down bic pen, paracord, LED light, couple bucks in quarters, button compass, tums, john-wayne, cuff key, safety pins, life savers, matches, post-its, little container of vasoline, and water purification tabs all in a tin from a Colombia wallet.
Another time/temp check inside before bed.
That stuff fits in the rear mesh pocket in my bag. Don’t even know its there. A pic of the inside compartment and the smaller outside one. Theres another mesh compartment on the front inside the big compartment too. This bag holds a lot more than I thought it would. I have had 8.5x11” pads in there with a shirt and a nalgene at the same time just to give you and idea.
Here’s my favorite winter hat and the little petzl. I slept with the hat on.
All in all I slept OK. I think I would have slept better with a sleeping mat down. I was cold the few times I woke up but I think it was more of the feeling of sleeping on rebar from the branches under me that actually woke me up. I did not want to get out of bed this morning, that’s for sure. Heres a time/temp check when I woke up. Looks like about 38f.
It rained for a good part of the night and we also got snow flurries. The roof of the shelter (bottom of the canoe) looked to have quite a bit more weight on it this morning from the inside. I didn’t get wet at all and the structure held up just fine.
Would I do it again? Definitely. I have had much worse nights’ sleep in much worse places. If I was camping out, it would get old after a few days but it would definitely keep you from freezing to death. If I had it to do over again I would change the design around a little bit. I think my vent was too big and I should have planned my candle location better so I could have kept it lit all night.
I hope this incredibly lengthy AAR for a pretty unexciting campout wasn’t too boring.
PS. The pooch slept inside.