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

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 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


Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#144293 - 01/03/11 04:42 PM Overnight Snow in the Canyon
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I finally got a chance to head to the hills and do some winter camping.
I put this in the winter camping and not trip reports because it has nothing to do with lightweight backpacking and more to do with winter camping. This is also the first time I took my son winter camping. The trip was meant as more of a learning experience and as such was close to home and not very long while I tried some things out.
My original plan was to go on Monday. But I couldn't find a good place to go with enough snow. However, on Wednesday December 29th, Utah was hit with a good winter storm, and we got lots of snow. So, I grabbed my stuff, my son and my dog and pulled the sled into a good spot.

Here is the sled I used. It is one I made with 2 downhill skiis mounted to 2X4's and plywood. I made it last year with the scouts.


The sled proved to not be as good as I hoped. More on that later.

Here is my son next to the sled after we pulled it to our camping spot.


The canyon we went to has a gate at the entrance. In the summer, it is a well used canyon with RV's and car campers. However, because of the gate, only snowmobiles and hikers can get into it. You can still camp, you just have to walk. Luckily for us, snowmobiles had packed the fresh powder. We dragged the sled on the packed trail fairly easily. However, once we hit the powder, the sled became a boat anchor. I decided to camp about 1/4 mile from the gate due to laziness. We stopped at a nice RV site with picnic tables and lots of snow.

Here are some deer we saw.


My dog tried to chase them, but they were way too far, and she soon realized she couldn't get them. Silly dog.

Here is a picture of me. This is the best I can do with an 8 yr old taking it.


I am wearing a wool blanket jacket my wife sewed for me, mil surplus wool pants, army cold weather boots (not extreme cold weather mickies) and some OR gaitors. The wool clothing proved to be very warm and comfortable. It shed the cold fluffy snow well, and also did a good job blocking the wind. And, of course, it breathed exceptionally.

Here is our campsite in the morning.


I used an 8X10 tarp for a shelter. It snowed all night with a good 2 ft accumulation. The overnight temps were between 10 and 20F. For sleeping gear, my son used 3 sleeping bags two sleeping pads, and my army gortex bivy. He was perfect under the tarp. I didn't have another bivy, and just used my normal winter bag. Both of us were very warm, however, I got a lot of snow drift on my bag during the night. If I had gone for two nights, I would have had to do some serious drying. I think I pitched the tarp too high. I also think a bigger tarp would have been better.

The next morning, we had a hard time pulling the sled through 2 ft of powder. It took me a good 3 hours to travel 1/4 mile. The sled did not float at all. I probably loaded too much as well, but I had to pack for two. I definitely need a sled that floats on powder better.

My daughter got a new camera for Christmas and I didn't realize she took pictures of loading us up to go home. These are all taken inside the van by a 9 yr old.



I got my dog a carting harness from Black Ice. It is the same as a freight harness (has the spreader bar in the back), with the addition of a chest strap with loops for the cart bars. I want her to pull a cart in the summer and this way I only need one harness. I ordered it the Saturday before Christmas and received it the 23rd. That was fast.

Another thing I learned is that if I want good pictures and video of me, I need a tripod and not rely on an 8 yr old.


Edited by finallyME (01/03/11 04:53 PM)
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#144294 - 01/03/11 04:54 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: finallyME]
Loomis Offline
member

Registered: 01/03/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Milwaukie, Oregon USA
Looks like a great trip! I love the picture of your son next to the sled. He looks like a real trooper.
_________________________
If it's not work I love it! Browse my adventures.

Top
#144298 - 01/03/11 05:44 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: Loomis]
Richardvg03 Offline
member

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 276
Loc: San Diego, Ca
What part of Utah is this? I'm headed to Canyonlands next Monday.

Your base on your sled needs to be much wider or your platform needs to be higher off the ground... one of the other. The front of your sled is catching all the snow obviously. Think about putting a piece of tin on the bottom and bending it to form a sled bottom? Just throwing ideas out there.
_________________________
Sgt. Richard V. Gilbert
USMC Retired
Scout/Sniper

Already getting notifications to be more "gentle"..?? smile

Top
#144304 - 01/03/11 06:32 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: finallyME]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
"The next morning, we had a hard time pulling the sled through 2 ft of powder. It took me a good 3 hours to travel 1/4 mile. The sled did not float at all."

Thanks, I've been trying to warn people that home made sleds and any heavy sled becomes an anchor in fresh snow. This happened to me about 2 miles in one January. My friend broke trail and I dragged the sled behind her and my tracks, but it wasn't enough. It was a drag...

Looks like you had a good time though. Maybe get those kids some photography lessons.
Jim smile
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#144307 - 01/03/11 07:02 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: finallyME]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I think he took excellent pictures!

As an aside - looks like REI will now ship the Paris Company Expedition Sled for $15 (plus the $40 for the sled itself). (http://www.rei.com/product/609482) - if I remember correctly, it used to be only to REI stores. They are back-ordered right now, though =(.

I had the ski-jor harness from Black Ice - it outlasted the dog. (he was adult when he was found, though) - excellent workmanship.

Heather

Top
#144325 - 01/03/11 10:39 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: Richardvg03]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
All of Utah was hit pretty hard with snow and very cold temps. I am just west of Salt Lake City. The canyon I went to was a mile from my home. I was about to pull the sled on the road from my house, but the plows beat me to it, so my wife dropped me off. A lot of our snow was lake effect. I doubt that Canyonlands will have a lot of snow. But don't quote me.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#144326 - 01/03/11 10:42 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: Heather-ak]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If you can order enough stuff to get to $75, REI ships free. They always did ship to you; the only reason for having things shipped to the store is to get free shipping if the total order is less than $75.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#144327 - 01/03/11 10:43 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: Heather-ak]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I saw some similar sleds at a local store for $25. I definitely need a light one that floats. I think it needs to be around 6-8 ft long.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#144331 - 01/03/11 10:53 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: finallyME]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Unless going along sidehills, why not get a plastic toboggan? Too much gear on it for two people? Many use them as a rigged up pulk.

Top
#144341 - 01/03/11 11:26 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: hikerduane]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Wow, I paid over $300 for my mountainsmith sled, maybe 20 years ago. I used a lot of kids sleds, but I started losing gear over board when they flipped over, and they will, so I got a good one - they're now Kifaru. Just be aware that performance always comes at a price. Don't get a system that is too sloppy for your purposes.

OTOH a really light sled strapped onto the back of a pack can be pulled like a sled when the going is easy, and picked up and carried when it would take less energy than pulling it.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#144342 - 01/03/11 11:32 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: Jimshaw]
Jimshaw Offline
member

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

Hey its the narrow runners. I'm sure they just bit through the soft snow. My Mountainsmith sled is flat bottomed. Yours might have worked better flpped over, but I think maybe the tobaggon concept or the "slippery piece of plastic as tobaggon" concept, might be better for your purposes because it has the float for powder. The Canadians use them.

Runners are great where the snow is compact as they are fast and can go in straight line. Then theres the old skis for runners idea and they come in all sizes and widths - anyway have fun with it and it sounds like you're outfitting a platoon. smile
Jim.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#144346 - 01/04/11 12:55 AM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Great Trip Report! looks like you both had a lot of fun!.

Love the blanket coat - I'm actually jealous of that smile


Originally Posted By Jimshaw

OTOH a really light sled strapped onto the back of a pack can be pulled like a sled when the going is easy, and picked up and carried when it would take less energy than pulling it.
Jim


This is actually what I typically use - a light orange pelican sled lashed to the back of an MEC expetion pack. wiht a cover tarp when it's not being used as a backpack. if I get into deadfall and crap I can pick it up and carry it as a backpack, and most of the time I can drag it like a sled.

orange kid sleds work pretty good if you do three things:

1) don't overload them, and put the weight at the bottom, or they tip.

2) tarp your load - if you do tip it you don't want it full of snow.

3) add a couple little bars of angle iron or aluminum to the back with pop rivits to keep if from sliding sideways.

I don't use runnered sleds because in my kind of snow they will dig in like that.

If you ski with it, you may need to consider poles ot pull it pulk style so you don't have the sled running you over. as I snowshoe I don't bother, it's eaiser to deal with ropes for me.





Edited by phat (01/04/11 12:56 AM)
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#144372 - 01/04/11 01:20 PM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: finallyME]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Nice tip finallyME! Your son looks like he had a great time with his dad.

On your sled...It might be your driveway but the runners look warped slightly concave down. They probably need to be ever so slightly concave up with a bit more blend at the leading edge. Also, just like skies, longer runners will run better. Actually, the idea of using old skies on the flats sounds functional.


Edited by skcreidc (01/04/11 01:27 PM)

Top
#144783 - 01/13/11 01:07 AM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: finallyME]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Well, I finally decided to try this Youtube thing out. I made my first video about this trip.

Video
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#144785 - 01/13/11 01:32 AM Re: Overnight Snow in the Canyon [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Good job with the video. Check out the tobaggans on wintertrekking. Most are homemade from sheets of 1/4 inch plastic with wooden pieces screwed onto them for cross pieces.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Knife, Fire Starter, Ignition Source
by Jim M
12/11/17 07:34 PM
Bivvy bag with wired peak
by Petro1234
12/10/17 01:06 PM
How cheap can you go?
by EMT Dave
12/05/17 07:07 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Greetings - and a question
by valongi
12/11/17 11:35 AM
Just found out about UCO candles
by toddfw2003
11/30/17 08:41 AM
Hitting the eagle rock loop, Ark in 3 days
by toddfw2003
11/19/17 11:31 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Plant based insulation...
by billstephenson
11/18/17 02:58 PM
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
10/22/17 06:13 PM
avalibility of thin ti rod
by the-gr8t-waldo
01/26/17 04:45 PM
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
1 registered (), 22 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
valongi, Atkinson J, Dcarpenter, Woodland, ultralight
12469 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