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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009

Winter Camping: Winter Essentials How To...

Learn how to cook, make water, and...go to the bathroom when the backcountry is a winter wonderland.

by: Kelly Bastone

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Cooking | Winter Bathroom Basics

POOP
Deep snow and frozen ground make digging a cathole impractical. Instead, do your duty near the snow's surface, where the freeze/thaw cycle will help break down the waste.

Hike at least 200 feet from camp, to minimize your impact, and choose a south-facing location (sun speeds decomposition).

Substitute snowballs for TP (which must be packed out). Dry snow? Bring some packed-down snowballs from around camp.

Use separate pairs of gloves for cooking and crapping to avoid cross-contamination.


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READERS COMMENTS

NWestendorf
Sep 27, 2010

I discovered the following method for speeding water making. I use a large empty stuff sack to transport fresh, clean snow from our 'spring' to the kitchen. The stuff sack makes it easy to 'pour' snow into the kettle as the contents melt. A large stuff sack of powder will make around 1.5 quarts of water. We have also decided to carry two stoves for two hikers. While this adds the weight of the second stove, it doesn't affect the weight of the fuel used and may even stretch the fuel used a bit. It halves the melting and cooking time however.

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