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THE PULSE - Your source for survival, skills, and more from Rocky Mountain Editor Steve Howe

Beginners Guide to Winter Camping

Solitude, beauty and yes, even comfort, await - if you go about it right.

Yo campers!
Hangin' with my relatives for the holidays has me fat, happy...and constantly looking out the window thinking about nights in the winter-silenced woods. So here's a checklist for those of you who've thought about camping in the chill season, but haven't tried it yet.

Preparation:
[] For your first camp-out, pick a scenic and sheltered destination that's not far from retreat. You don't need to go any farther than land management regulations or road noise require. If things go wrong, you can bail.

[] Choose a location with available firewood. You may not want a fire, but that way one is available if needed.

[] Camp near open water if possible, so you don't have to spend all your time melting snow. If you'll need to melt snow, plan on using three times the fuel you would for normal summer camping.

[] Know the weather forecast before you go. Don't get surprised by sudden cold, storm, wind, or even a thaw that will make for soaking wet conditions.

Gear:
[] Dress in layers, and have the gear to overdress. You'll need more clothes than you would for day-long activities like skiing.

[] Make sure your sleeping bag will suffice for long, cold nights. If you don't have a winter bag, take two 3-season bags and nest one inside the other. Check the combination at home for fit and interior space.

[] Your boots need to be warm and waterproof. If you just own light hikers, go buy a cheap pair of snowmobile/moon boots. Support is less important than warmth here. Make sure they fit well and are durable enough for your trip.

[] Don't cram extra socks into your boots unless there's plenty of room for them. Tight-fitting boots will cut off circulation rather than keeping your feet warm.

[]  Many three-season tents are perfectly adequate unless you expect heavy snow or high winds.

[] White gas stoves are best for winter, but in most conditions alcohol or canister stoves work fine. For cartridge stoves, avoid 80/20 butane/propane canisters (use isobutane), and warm cartridges in your sleeping bag or parka before firing up.
 
[] Hats and handwear are important. Choose a thick, warm hat. Mittens are more versatile than gloves, just pull them off briefly for dexterity needs.

[] Don't forget sunglasses and sunscreen. Reflective snow can cook you, especially from late February on.

[] Bring a good headlamp with fresh batteries. You'll want lots of light to deal with long nighttime hours.

On Your Hike:
[] If the snow is shallower than about one foot, don't worry about skis or snowshoes. Keep it simple. You'll want gaiters though.

[] Turn around frequently to survey your route, so you'll recognize it more easily on the way out, should snow or wind obscure your tracks. (A good idea in all seasons).

[] It's easier to stay warm than it is to re-warm. Don't let yourself get chilled, or sweaty. Anticipate upcoming temperature and layering changes to stay ahead of them. For example, it's smarter to layer up just before reaching a windy ridge top than it is to top out, get chilled, and then fight against the wind while layering up.

[] Don't forget to drink. It's easy to get dehydrated in winter.

[] You need calories to stay warm, so don't let yourself get hungry, but don't overdo it either.

At Camp:
[] Put on all your warm clothes immediately upon arrival. Preserve the heat you generated on the hike in.

[] When camping on snow, stomp out a tent platform immediately using skis, snowshoes or just boots and a shovel. Make it larger than you think you'll need, and be fanatic about packing it flat. Then let it set up hard before trying to pitch your tent.

[] Set up camp so you can cook food and drinks from your sleeping bag. If you cook in a vestibule, prime your stove outside the tent, then bring it in. Allow for plenty of ventilation.

[] Plan to spend lots of bag time, so have an activity to pass the dark hours, like a book, good conversation, games, or simple but multi-course meals.

[] If you start to chill, don't just sit there in misery. Go on a walk, do sit-ups or deep knee bends. Generate metabolic heat.

[] Hot water bottles also work miracles for chilled campers. Placed close to your body underneath clothes or bag, they'll pump heat for about six hours.

[] Mornings are the toughest time for winter camping. Temps are usually coldest just before dawn, and you'll emerge from your bag inactive and easily chilled. Get up and go for a walk. Then come back and break camp once you've warmed up.

Got your own favorite winter camping tips? Cough 'em up in the comments section.

--Steve Howe

(Photo by Mark Carroll)

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Nov 21, 2013

A good list of winter camping tips. Three more things I would add;
Thermos,
Pulk
Hot Tent
http://hardwatersports.com/camping/MN_wintercamping.html
It's good to start with a little car camping to test out the gear. When you're ready for the wilderness, pack your gear on a pulk (sled.)

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Winter is m favorite season to camp! My two tips are:

1. Fill a nalgene bottle with hot water (obviously not to hot) and place it high between your legs when sleeping to warm the blood coarsing through the ephermeral artery on its way down to the feet (frost bite sucks and attacks the finger and toe tips first).

2. Hang your food! Take it from painful experience. While bears are genearally hiberbating and cayotes and raccons generally avoid people, the key word here is generally. If the are critters about winter is the most likely time that their hunger may lead them to attempt drastic measures and if the most accessibe food for miles is in your tent expect a visitor.

Frankie (from the NE)
Jan 09, 2013

Winter is m favorite season to camp! My two tips are:

1. Fill a nalgene bottle with hot water (obviously not to hot) and place it high between your legs when sleeping to warm the blood coarsing through the ephermeral artery on its way down to the feet (frost bite sucks and attacks the finger and toe tips first).

2. Hang your food! Take it from painful experience. While bears are genearally hiberbating and cayotes and raccons generally avoid people, the key word here is generally. If the are critters about winter is the most likely time that their hunger may lead them to attempt drastic measures and if the most accessibe food for miles is in your tent expect a visitor.

Henry Mitchel
Nov 26, 2012

Never really tried winter camping. But I guess this time, I'll give it a blow!
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Rick
Nov 21, 2012

Great list from someone who has been there. Winter camping is so challenging. I remember building and sleeping in a snow cave. We got really wet building them.
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Pete
Feb 07, 2012

I have enjoyed winter sports for years. I have been out in temps below a neg. 40 before Ice fishing and I have found that clothing and boots make all the difference. If you are headed into the woods or mountains in winter I would highly recommend wool clothing. Wool works as an insulator even wet. During hunting season my wool coat that I sit in would keep me warm even in the coldest and wettest conditions. After two weeks of being in the woods all day my coat would gain 10 pounds of water and about the same for my wool pants, still kept me warm even close to zero F . Same with long underwear. Be careful of the synthetics they are not created equal. Always test your clothing before taking it in the field.

Steve Cash
Feb 07, 2012

Winter is a good time, especially if you are in an area new to you, to keep a compass in your pocket. It is easy in snowy conditions to get turned around. Tracks get covered, the sun is not visible, light is diffused, & landmarks can't be seen. I carry a pocket compass & occasionally look at it to verify & recalibrate my internal compass. I also turn around to view my return route. Free Tip: Be aware of sinus pressure. I notice that when I have a sinus headache, the needle on my internal compass doesn't turn as freely.

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Jack
Dec 27, 2011

Thanks for the write up! I found it really helpful! You covered some things I definitely would've forgotten for my trip! I just recently purchased a new sleeping bag (ARCTIC 800 PRIMALOFT by liberty mountain) for my trip from www.pkcampingequipment.com. The website has alot less expensive sleeping bags but I went for the top grade since I really feel the cold! If you're like me, I recommend this sleeping bag because I stayed warmer than I anticipated and had a great trip!

Anonymous
Nov 13, 2011

Andrew
Sep 01, 2011

Thats a pretty thorough write up, lot of helpful information there. As kind of a newbie to camping (it was never a thing in my family), its wonderful how many great camping tips you can learn from others who are happy to share their experiences for free on those blogs. I dont know if you guys have heard of it but as a DISH Network employee and camping self-proclaimed camping enthusiast, Im trying to get the word out on this awesome new piece of hardware that I think a lot of folks are going to enjoy. Its called the Tailgater and its an awesome little self contained, self-pointing dish that gets you HD television wherever you go. Check it out here: http://goo.gl/vd4M4, its definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

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Mar 28, 2011

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Jan 20, 2011

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May 22, 2010

http://wintercampinggear.org has name brand winter gear at reasonable prices

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May 16, 2010

Great winter camping gear is available at http://wintercampinggear.org

Anonymous
May 07, 2010

The biggest problem I've experienced with winter camping is that good gear sometimes gets pretty expensive. Is <a href="http://wintercampinggear.org">discount camping gear</a> or used gear as good as the new stuff?

Hikin' Jim
Nov 03, 2009

Avoid 80/20 canisters? I don't get it. Most 80/20 canisters are 80% isobutane and 20% propane. An 80/20 mix is going to burn better than 100% isobutane. Now, if the 80/20 is just regular butane then what you're saying would make sense, but most of the canisters I've seen are pro-iso (MSR, Jetboil, Snowpeak).

jumper cable 21
Feb 12, 2009

sleep on the stove cook ur self dumb good eatin

ilyunuyhbbth
Feb 12, 2009

well ur not retarted durdurudururur. Camp in sleepig bag stupid bleep head

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Feb 12, 2009

great site need improvement tho

Brad
Jan 26, 2009

"Cook from your sleeping bag are you serious? First, if you're in bear country this is beyond ridiculous and second, if your stove falls over in your tent good luck"

You do realize bears hibernate in the winter? Many people put the stove in the vestibule and their body in their bag, in the tent while they cook. If the stove falls over all you did was melt/season some snow.

MC
Jan 24, 2009

When doing winter day hikes (no snow or precip) from a campground with electricity, I have run a extension cord to the tent with a heating pad in the foot of a 35 degree sleeping bag. Slept comfortable and toasty. Tossed in a water bottle at the bottom and had water for the morning as well. Pee bottle is a must in cold weather.

MC
Jan 24, 2009

When doing winter day hikes (no snow or precip) from a campground with electricity, I have run a extension cord to the tent with a heating pad in the foot of a 35 degree sleeping bag. Slept comfortable and toasty. Tossed in a water bottle at the bottom and had water for the morning as well. Pee bottle is a must in cold weather.

Matt
Jan 23, 2009

Cook from your sleeping bag are you serious? First, if you're in bear country this is beyond ridiculous and second, if your stove falls over in your tent good luck

Kevin Hansen
Jan 12, 2009

Want liquid H2o in the morning? Dig a hole in the snow, put in a pot/bottle of water (Cold is good) and cover with a snow block. Yer mini snowcave keeps it from freezing. Also Camp higher above the stream. Temps down by the water can be 10 degrees lower than higher up. Are you having trouble getting folks motivated to break camp in the morning? Stamp out the camp fire.

HeyBales
Jan 10, 2009

Nothing but winter camping - love it.
Many great suggestions.

Even alcohol stove fuel needs to be pre-warmed. 0 F it will have trouble lighting cold. Pre-warm in armpit.

Change into new clothes before setting up camp, and don't sweat in them so you are dry in bed. Put any old moist items across belly while sleeping to dry out. Put moist socks in armpits during camp setup for same effect.
Don't want much moisture in bag, or it will freeze on its way out of the bag and make insulation ineffective. So don't breath into the bag. Cinch hood over eyes even. Practice with cap at home pulled over eyes if it feels weird.

If your foot punches through ice into a creek, you can dry your leg out by continuing to walk another few hrs, as long as nothing was cotton. Even if it's 0 F.

If sleeping bag chest baffle is not stopping air movement or you don't have one, put your fleece coat just around your neck bunched up around your shoulders.

Marcus Refsland
Jan 10, 2009

When setting up camp, take down camp, or building a fire make sure you are careful not to kneel to long. When you kneel you cut of the blood flow to your toes. You want to keep all blood flow going to all parts of your body so if you can try to squat more instead of kneeling.

dearnold
Jan 10, 2009

Test everything in the back yard before you go winter camping. Out in the bush is not the time to find out details like what it's really going to take to keep your toes warm so you can get some sleep. Snow shelters are fun, give you something to do and are very warm. Bring that packable shovel and go for it.

Snowman
Jan 09, 2009

At night, put your boots inside stuff sacks and place them between your thighs/legs in your sleeping bag. Putting them at the bottom of your bag near your feet crowds your feet and forces your feet to keep the boots warm. Result: cold feet.

The femoral artery running down your thigh carries a lot of blood, so this is also a great place to also put that water bottle filled with boiled water only if its in an insulated carrier. It will release the heat more slowly and actually be a bit warm in the morning giving you your first warm drink of the day.

When hiking, keep your water bottle in the insulated carrier and keep it upside down. Any ice that forms will be at the top, which is now the bottom. So, the mouthpiece will not freeze. Only use wide mouth bottles rated for temperatures of 100 C or 212 F or more so that you can pour boiling water into them.

I use two sleeping pads even now that I upgraded to a Stevensen down/air mattress (DAM). The DAM is the most comfortable sleeping pad I have ever used and for winter, it has the most insulation you can get from a single pad. But, it still gets blown up and I want a regular closed cell as an extra. While I either wear or put my insulation layers (down jacket and microfilm pants) in the sleeping bag, I put my hardshell jacket and softshell pants between the two pads for even more insulation.

Have one stuff sak to keep all of your keep warm stuff in. Toothpaste, contact lenses and solution, camera, gps, etc. That bags goes in the sleeping bag also. As another post noted, lithium ion batteries perform much better in the cold that alkaline or NiM rechargeables. An added benefit is that they weigh less. Four Li weigh 2.2 oz versus 4 alkies at 3.6 oz. It may not seem like much, but it adds up and every oz counts when you fit out at 30 to 50 lbs base weight.

Andre Leroux
Jan 09, 2009

I'm from northern MN-Everything freezes.
A lot of great suggestions. What i would add:
Duct tape a lighter on lanyard and wear inside your shirt - this keeps it functional. Invest in a water bottle cozy or two (frozen water bottles are useless and usually get the dreaded hole in the side from trying to defrost them by the fire). Insulation sack for dehydrated meals (don't want it to turn to ice before it rehydrates). High calorie candies to suck on throughout the day (I like Riesen - 43C a piece). Drink lots of water (the air is completely dry and you loose more water than you are aware of - leading to fatigue and cramps). Alcohol widens your pores and allows more heat to escape. Cotton clothes KILL stay away, look up convection. If favorable landscape, get the weight off your back and on a sled with stays (make one out of a kids sled). Bring lots of people more help, fun and community. Count on doing anything (setting up tent, cooking, moving) taking at least three times as long. Bring an inflatable palm tree or pink flamingos makes the experience ridiculous and funny. Gear the trip to the lowest level of experience. Pee every chance you get. Oversized mittens with gloves as liners. Read Stephen Gorman's Winter Camping every year/trip. Most importantly, make sure your car has a good battery, antifreeze, functionally sound and will start at a remote trail head/entrance. My guilty pleasure: Steger Mukluks in double extra wide Its like wearing slippers and they have the room to layer socks. The lightest warmest boot there is. Do it! It's a rewarding experience.

Andre Leroux
Jan 09, 2009

I'm from northern MN-Everything freezes.
A lot of great suggestions. What i would add:
Duct tape a lighter on lanyard and wear inside your shirt - this keeps it functional. Invest in a water bottle cozy or two (frozen water bottles are useless and usually get the dreaded hole in the side from trying to defrost them by the fire). Insulation sack for dehydrated meals (don't want it to turn to ice before it rehydrates). High calorie candies to suck on throughout the day (I like Riesen - 43C a piece). Drink lots of water (the air is completely dry and you loose more water than you are aware of - leading to fatigue and cramps). Alcohol widens your pores and allows more heat to escape. Cotton clothes KILL stay away, look up convection. If favorable landscape, get the weight off your back and on a sled with stays (make one out of a kids sled). Bring lots of people more help, fun and community. Count on doing anything (setting up tent, cooking, moving) taking at least three times as long. Bring an inflatable palm tree or pink flamingos makes the experience ridiculous and funny. Gear the trip to the lowest level of experience. Pee every chance you get. Oversized mittens with gloves as liners. Read Stephen Gorman's Winter Camping every year/trip. Most importantly, make sure your car has a good battery, antifreeze, functionally sound and will start at a remote trail head/entrance. My guilty pleasure: Steger Mukluks in double extra wide Its like wearing slippers and they have the room to layer socks. The lightest warmest boot there is. Do it! It's a rewarding experience.

Brian in ME
Jan 08, 2009

Along with eating before bedtime, it also helps to go for a short walk to get your body heat up before getting in your sleeping bag. (Which will be made much more welcoming by the addition of a hot water bottle prior to the walk.)

And to Ray, if you can go on a canoe trip where you live, you don't have an actual winter.

jerome
Jan 08, 2009

ditto on Koda's post. i bring a snickers in my bag and gnaw on it around 2am. as soon as we get to camp, the boots and socks come off, fleece socks go on and covered up with booties and over booties for setting up camp. before settling in the bag for the evening a snickers bar melted in hot choc is great. layer up when you stop. shed layers before you start to move. do not sweat. sleep w/ fleece socks and booties and a hot water bottle down by your feet if your cold natured. bring socks, gloves, and first layer in the sleeping bag with you and sleep with them. use a closed cell foam pad to insulated from the snow.

Ed
Jan 08, 2009

If you are going to cook in your vestibule or in your tent... VENTILATE VENTILATE VENTILATE! CO and CO2 WILL kill you. Don't think you can use your stove to keep your tent warm, either. Just be smart. There are plenty of stories of campers/backpackers/hikers who have been suffocated by the fumes from a normal camp stove inside their tent.

I know I am stating the obvious, but these tips are not for the super-experienced winter campers (because the CO/CO2 threat is obvious to them), the tips are for people about to transition into winter camping and do not have a lot of experience.

One more thing... Pop Tarts and Nutrigrain bars! They are 100 times better when they are frozen! The usually gooey sticky centers get really chewy. I love em in my pack when the mercury drops!

legeag1
Jan 08, 2009

Remember to be slightly under-dressed before you start out; if you're warm at the trailhead, you'll overheat on the hike. My first deep-winter trip taught me this leason and another: don't hike in your down coat (unless it is really, really, really cold). I sweated right through my old North Face across the shoulders and upper back. I had no choice but to wear it to get it to dry out without freezing. Not a mistake I want to make again!

Chuck
Jan 08, 2009

Try the Ozark Highlands Trail in January. We spent one three-day weekend a year for 13 years to get this done. When we started we did not have the "right" gear and spent some miserable nights on the trail. Some days were not so nice either. Freezing rain while on the ridge and just cold rain 100 feet below the ridge. When Gore-Tex became available we were buying it as fast as we could afford it. Short daylight hours meant that you might start hiking at 9 am and had better be in a camp site by 3 pm. Layers are a must and the previous comment to start cool is very true. Within five minutes you warm up. Most hikers seem to wear too many clothes on the trail while hiking. Key points are to use zippers/buttons, hats, scarves, and light gloves to adjust your body heat during the hike. Stay dry or keep moving until you do dry out. Develop a sleep system that adds your clothes to the sleeping bag and pad to keep you comfortable without carrying extra bulk/weight that is only good for one activity (sleeping). Winter backpacking has great rewards with longer views though the woods, fewer bugs and snakes, fewer poison plant problems, and (in the Smokies) longer vistas

Bill
Jan 08, 2009

I'm bald, and I find that if I put a chemical (air activated) toe warmer on top of my head under my balaclava I stay very toasty in my bag at night.

Bill
Jan 08, 2009

Put some water in your pot before you go to bed. It may freeze, but you can just put your pot on the stove and thaw it. If you leave it all in your water bottle, you may end up with a solid bottle of ice.

Richard - Buffalo River
Jan 08, 2009

I will be canoe camping at the Buffalo National River this weekend. Wind chills will be in the low 20s. This all fleece combination makes a world of difference for me when sleeping. Long scarf to wrap around my face, pill box style hat, light gloves and socks. I keep a set in the drybag with my sleeping bag. Another thing I do is keep a headlamp at the top of the bag. When I set up camp, the first thing out of the bag is the headlamp. I put it around my neck so that when it gets dark I am not fumbling through gear trying to find a light.

Jim
Jan 08, 2009

If using electrical devices (GPS, headland, camera, etc.), spend the extra money and buy lithium batteries. Alkaline or NiMH may not work as well in the cold.

Ray
Jan 08, 2009

Keep an extra "pee bottle" for the trip so that you don't have to go outside during the night. It saves putting back on boots and freezing your but off during the night. Make certain to have a good quality sleeping pad in order that you won't be losing body heat to the cold land mass below you. Being an avid canoer, I recommend doing winter canoe trips. It is the best, quietest, most scenic time to be on the water. Also it is easier to pack plenty of gear.

Gregor
Jan 08, 2009

These are great tips from readers and as a 10 yr vet of winter camping can ditto them all. I would add - try to find a sheltered spot out of the wind, views are great, but I've been perched on some spots where you can't lay ANYTHING down (even gloves) without them blowing away - not fun! Also, I carry a 1 ltr thermos with insulating sleeve and put hot choc enriched with a pat of butter (extra fat, you need it!) for the night. It's really nice to warm up when you return from the bathroom trip - which is also good advice. Good advice to start kinda cold when you hit the trail - you warm up fast. Enjoy! The woods are beautiful in the winter!

Chuck
Jan 08, 2009

Try the Ozark Highlands Trail in January. We spent one three-day weekend a year for 13 years to get this done. When we started we did not have the "right" gear and spent some miserable nights on the trail. Some days were not so nice either. Freezing rain while on the ridge and just cold rain 100 feet below the ridge. When Gore-Tex became available we were buying it as fast as we could afford it. Short daylight hours meant that you might start hiking at 9 am and had better be in a camp site by 3 pm. Layers are a must and the previous comment to start cool is very true. Within five minutes you warm up. Most hikers seem to wear too many clothes on the trail while hiking. Key points are to use zippers/buttons, hats, scarves, and light gloves to adjust your body heat during the hike. Stay dry or keep moving until you do dry out. Develop a sleep system that adds your clothes to the sleeping bag and pad to keep you comfortable without carrying extra bulk/weight that is only good for one activity (sleeping). Winter backpacking has great rewards with longer views though the woods, fewer bugs and snakes, fewer poison plant problems, and (in the Smokies) longer vistas

JR in MT
Jan 07, 2009

My only challenge sleeping in sub-zero temps is cold toes. As previously mentioned the air activated body warmers - whether marketed for body, hands, or feet work great - on toes too. Put them on top of your toes outside one pair of socks, before crawling into your bag. If you can't find the self-adhesive type, just put them between your liners and your thermal socks. Be sure to put on a dry pair of thermals to sleep in if you've been hiking all day.

JR in MT
Jan 07, 2009

I can confirm the success of combining bags. I have a ultralight +30 bag and a +15 bag. Putting the +30 inside the +15 kept me cozy in -25 temps at 8600 feet three weeks ago. Both being 700+ fill ultralight down bags I have all temperatures covered with only two bags. No need to invest in a sub zero bag. Sizing and fit is critical and must be confirmed BEFORE the trip!

JR in MT
Jan 07, 2009

I can confirm the success of combining bags. I have a ultralight +30 bag and a +15 bag. Putting the +30 inside the +15 kept me cozy in -25 temps at 8600 feet three weeks ago. Both being 700+ fill ultralight down bags I have all temperatures covered with only two bags. No need to invest in a sub zero bag. Sizing and fit is critical and must be confirmed BEFORE the trip!

Anonymous
Jan 07, 2009

if your boots have removable liners bring them in your sleeping bag with u a night. If not turn sleeping bag stuff sack inside out and put tour boots in there. Then put them in your sleeping bag. Frozen boots aren't fun in the morning.

Chuck In Minot ND yes it's cold
Jan 07, 2009

One of the simplest tips I've learned with cold weather camping is to urinate when cold (especially at night. Delaying the inevitable will only make you colder as your body trys to maintain your full bladder at 98.6 degrees.

comebackwalking
Jan 07, 2009

Have food that doesn't need to be cooked in addition to food that needs to be cooked. Hot food tastes great but cooking in a snow storm can be long and involved.

Koda
Jan 07, 2009

My previous post regarding your water bottles was more suited to if you are sleeping in a snow cave, not a tent.

Koda
Jan 07, 2009

Eat your evening meal just before you retire for the night. Your body will be digesting the food which will increase your body heat, thus keeping your warmer longer. Keep a Snickers bar nearby so if you wake up in the night and are a little cold you can eat it and warm up a little. Also, turn your water bottles upside down and push into the snow as far as possible. They will freeze from the top down (which is now the bottom) and you will still be able to open the Nalgene bottles in the morning.

Anonymous
Jan 07, 2009

Hand warmers and back-pain heat wraps make great body heaters for the long winter nights. Many will stay warm for 8 to 12 hours.

Dave
Jan 07, 2009

Carry your water bottle upside dwon so you don't end up with a cake of ice at the top. Take it to bed with you to use body heat to keep it from freezing. Caution: I once thought my lid was on tight but there were ice crystals in the threads. It thawed during the night and leaked turing my wool pants into one big gree ice block.

elcmilford
Jan 07, 2009

These thoughts have been running through my mind all week. Can't wait for the weekend to find the solitude!

Anonymous
Dec 31, 2008

When you start your hike, you should be cool, not warm. Your body will quickly heat up and many new winter hikers/campers have a tendency to overdress causing them to sweat. Sweat or becoming wet can be a quick killer in a cold environment.

Anonymous
Dec 31, 2008

Many new winter campers try to forgo urinating throughout the night, not wanting to leave the warmth of their bag. Your body uses calories to maintain the fluid in your body at 98.6. So, either invest in a pee bottle or if it not too cold, get up and go.

Elle
Dec 31, 2008

I appreciate these tips as someone who's always been a summer camper...seems like it's just that much easier now (especially in the Appalachians...what was I waiting for?)
-Elle (as in "Swell")

Erik
Dec 30, 2008

Great article with a lot of good info! Thanks!

The Adventure Channel
Dec 30, 2008

Now that's an interesting post!

http://theadventurechannel.blogspot.com

msc
Dec 29, 2008

Someone else gave me this tip and it worked wonders: rethink your sleeping system in winter. Layer a closed cell sleeping pad on top of an open-cell, self-inflating pad. The open-cell alone makes you chilly any time you move (cold air displaces the warm air that your body heated), and two closed cell pads are usually really bulky to carry. The closed-open combo keeps you off the ground (open cell), and keeps the heat next to your body (closed). It kept me nice and toasty!

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