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#170192 - 10/06/12 10:33 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: Brotherbob12]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I camp all year. 8 deg early morning frozen fog, not a soul for miles, pure heaven!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170306 - 10/09/12 11:55 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: Brotherbob12]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6271
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'm curious how you cope with the short nights! 14-15 hours of darkness is too much for me--and your nights in Sweden are a lot longer!
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#170310 - 10/10/12 01:10 AM Re: why winter camp? [Re: OregonMouse]
Brotherbob12 Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 71
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I'm curious how you cope with the short nights! 14-15 hours of darkness is too much for me--and your nights in Sweden are a lot longer!


The best way to cope with long dark nights are good company and if Im not in a sensitive area I make a small fire to warm the hands and make coffee.

If I go alone I try to choose clear nights with full moon. Those bright silver winter nights when I can travel with headlight turned off are beautiful but also the coldest. Best chance to see northern light.

We have small children so a long undisturbed nights sleep now and then is welcome :-)

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#170340 - 10/10/12 04:16 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: Jimshaw]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
To the OP, why winter camp?
Your first sentence (about the appeal of winter camping as you get older, which I am) is what caught my attention. I really don't have any expereince (nothing to speak of anyway), winter camping.

Where I'm living now, cross country skiing, or even snow shoes, would not be remotely practical, we don't get that much snow here, or if we do, it's gone quickly.

But back to your first sentence. I never really liked cold weather much, but (I've had this conversation with another poster in a PM), I think I'm going to try to get out at least three or four weeks, this winter, not all at once. smile Which means some new gear for the lower temps, and such. I'll pretty much hang close to a base camp, unless we have some of our 45 to 50 degree weather, which we can have here. And if it's really cold 10 to 5 degree weather, even more so.

I'm just going to try it because of the solitude. Not many people here in KY, backpack or camp in the winter, and, according to some of the park Rangers, very few. I tend to sleep lighter when there are absolutely no distractions, so, I'm guessing I'll be spending a great deal of the night sipping coffee, and just enjoying the solitude.

So, from what most of you are referring to, trekking and backpacking through snow, well I have no real experience with that, and won't get a chance to learn those skills, but the rest of what you describe sounds incredible. I'm really looking forward to it (I never thought I'd here myself say I'd be looking forward to Backpacking/Camping in the cold, rather than enjoying a football game at home at 70 degrees,), but this is something I've actually been pondering for quite a while.

Maybe, if all goes well, I can arrange a paid guided trip, with experts, in "real" winter conditions, and see what it's really all about at some point before I kick the bucket.

We'll see, but it sounds great....

J.

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#170371 - 10/10/12 11:48 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: jbylake]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
You don't need a guide unless you are going somewhere remote. I winter camp in Yosemite and am just a mile or two from my car. Once all the day snowshoers are gone (they turn around usually around 3pm or so), then I could be anywhere in the backcountry.
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Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#170420 - 10/11/12 05:18 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: TomD]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Tom, yes I would like to do a remote trek, maybe I should have stated that better. I wouldn't have a clue as to what dangers I might face, and how to recognize them. I also wouldn't have a clue on using snowshoes, or cross country ski's. I would need expert help and advice every step of the way. But in reality, I doubt that I'll ever complete that part of my "bucket list", so I'd probably be pretty close to my vehicle at all times.

J.

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#170822 - 10/22/12 05:21 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: jbylake]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Many years ago, I took a basic mountaineering class in New Zealand. Similar classes are taught here in CA, WA and back East. Learning to snowshoe is easy-put them on and start walking; really, that's all there is to it. Skiing is another story; lessons do help, but basic cross-country skiing on moderate terrain isn't rocket science. I have skied and snowshoed in Yosemite several times. I have never used a guide except for the mountaineering class where we had two instructors and 6 or 7 of us, as I recall. It was great fun and well worth the cost. You can learn winter camping by going with someone more experienced. My first trip was with Jim Shaw in Yosemite, so I've gone back there several more times because I know where I am when I get there and know what to expect from the weather.
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Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#170828 - 10/22/12 09:55 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: jbylake]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2116
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
J., start later in the winter if you don't have proper gear. If you can bp, you can move onto winter/cold weather camping/bping. With the shorter days about to hit us hard pretty soon, maybe spend the next few months gathering clothes, gear. A good time to go would be when your gear intersects with expected temps, like February or into March for colder weather camping without the really cold temp penalty. I've had to pack in two sleeping bags to get to a warm sleeping temperature. Don't forget a good sleeping pad or two if the ground has snow or is frozen, a headlamp for reading and the book of course.
Duane

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#170829 - 10/22/12 10:55 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: hikerduane]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
I have some extreme cold weather gear (bag's) from military, and now that folks have clarified to me that a 3 season tent would work just fine with the kind of cold weather and snow we have here, well, the rest is just gear I guess.

TomD said snow shows are just walking in them. Would never have a reason for them here, but in case that someday I get to go back to the mountains, or high up in the Rockies, that's good to know.

I'm receiving some new gear this week, and hopefully if it's cold enough in late November or early December, I'm going to one of our state parks and see how well everything works out.

It's still tentative, but I've been invited to join a (I think it's 10 miles) trip in Feb. Although it's only an hour and a half, maybe two hour drive north from here, their weather can be much more severe than ours, or at least more often. But it'll give me a chance to get out in the cold for a couple of days, and see how I like it.

Thanks for your replies,

J.

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#170830 - 10/23/12 12:05 AM Re: why winter camp? [Re: jbylake]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
J, you only need snowshoes in soft snow. I've seen people wearing them on hard packed roads and that is just silly, but in the soft stuff, you will wear yourself out without them. Not true for skis. Skis on hard pack are handy, but take more skill.
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Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#170832 - 10/23/12 08:54 AM Re: why winter camp? [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2116
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I've been seen carrying my shoes when I can walk on snow, slip and slide some but quicker without at times. I just use them for deeper snow.
Duane

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#170854 - 10/23/12 04:16 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: hikerduane]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Also, on hard pack, some sort of light crampon style traction device like Kahtoola Micro-spikes is very useful. I could have used something like that in Yosemite a few years ago just for walking around the Village. REI sells a variety of them-
http://www.rei.com/category/12221603

They seem to be pretty popular in New England where the trails get iced over, but snowshoes may not be necessary.


Edited by TomD (10/23/12 04:24 PM)
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Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#170861 - 10/23/12 07:24 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2116
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Tom, I could use those around my place in the winter, especially walking down our self-plowed dirt road, it gets icy.
Duane

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#181039 - 11/30/13 10:42 AM Re: why winter camp? [Re: TomD]
Chasing Crow Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/30/13
Posts: 4
Loc: oh
At the risk of being an echo......LESS PEOPLE!! LESS BUGS!!
I all but refuse to use chemical bug repellents and have had too many experiences with ticks.
Solitude, quiet, and great views make winter camping!

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#190545 - 05/13/15 01:19 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: Jimshaw]
mimstrel Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/12
Posts: 37
I like to sleep cold and snuggled up.

No, seriously. I do minimal to no camping over a large chunk of summer because around here, the nighttime lows just don't get low enough for me to sleep comfortably.

Granted, actually strapping in tight and zipping up a mummy bag is how I found out that I'm actually claustrophobic. But I can sleep comfortably down to some pretty low temps (-15 F is the lowest I've been out in and it wasn't a problem) without zipping up, by tucking the side under me.

Other advantages:
No bugs! I love camping without a tent, but I'm now paranoid about ticks so I think my days of sleeping out on just a ground sheet (at least in this part of the country) are over.

You can build a shelter from snow and ice.

You can put your pack in a sled and pull it behind you. If you're mostly on pretty flat surfaces (like frozen lakes, as a not-so-random example), it's WAY easier than carrying a pack on your back. Low center of gravity FTW!

Also, there's the BA factor. A lot of people are convinced that winter camping is cold and miserable, they don't understand that with proper gear and preparation you shouldn't be cold. So when I tell them about winter camping, they're in awe of how "tough" I am.
I tell them, the coldest I've ever been was in my apartment in subtropical Australia. Why? Because I wasn't prepared to be cold in Australia.

Disadvantages: Requires heavier gear. If you pay for the lightest stuff you can get, I imagine you can get away with MUCH lighter weight than the monstrosities I've had to deal with... but still heavier than the same quality summer weight gear.
Maybe if you use a tent in summer and a tarp or snow shelter in winter?


Edited by mimstrel (05/13/15 01:26 PM)

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#190804 - 06/01/15 12:34 AM Re: why winter camp? [Re: mimstrel]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I can't believe I missed this one. When people tell me they don't like camping in general, it is because they don't like crowded campsites with noisy people, bugs, and dirt everywhere. They also don't like being cold and wet. Obviously, in winter, there is no bugs and nothing is dirty, and most campsites are closed to RVs. It also generally doesn't rain. Dealing with the cold and wet is just equipment....just like in the summer.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#190826 - 06/02/15 12:05 AM Re: why winter camp? [Re: finallyME]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2690
Loc: California
Dealing with cold and wet is a lot more than just equipment! Backpacking in serious cold and wet conditions requires serious experience and training. Car camping is a good place to start, test your equipment and gain experience while you can bail out to a warm car if things go bad. In fact, your back yard is a fine place to start! Day-hike snowshoe trips are also a good way to learn winter travel. Many National Parks have short Ranger-led winter snowshoe trips. Most ski areas also have cross-country trails. If you want to backpack in the winter first you must learn to be comfortable and have fun in the snow (or whatever winter conditions exist in your area). The next step is to camp overnight. Lots of other skills may also be needed- like avalanche safety.


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#190830 - 06/02/15 03:03 AM Re: why winter camp? [Re: wandering_daisy]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I've been cold on my few winter trips, but never wet. By winter I mean with snow on the ground and by cold l mean before I add more layers or until I warm up in my bag. I always have enough clothes and gear for far colder than I expect. With the right clothes, winter camping is quite enjoyable and this is from someone who hates to be cold and wears a fleece jacket in LA most of the year in the evenings at least.


Edited by TomD (07/09/15 01:40 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#191258 - 07/06/15 03:13 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: TomD]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3847
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I don't mind cold, or snow, but I do not like cold and wet and I avoid that as much as possible.

I plan my winter trips around the weather. If it's going to rain or ice I'll put it off. Snow is fun, and stunningly beautiful. I'll play in that.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#191915 - 09/17/15 09:13 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2116
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Ah, some snow close to home at Lassen VNP. Getting closer to snow camping season.
Duane

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#197711 - 02/18/17 12:49 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: Jimshaw]
Dia Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/17
Posts: 27
Loc: VA
For me it is about the lack of bugs, lack of other campers (which means more space and more quiet), and the excitement of doing something out of the box.

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#197731 - 02/20/17 04:29 PM Re: why winter camp? [Re: Dia]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 590
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
+1 on the no bugs.

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