winter camping?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by DenverGirlie, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. DenverGirlie

    DenverGirlie Well-Known Member

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    We went camping on Saturday night. Live at 5800 above sea level (denver) but traveled up into the mountains to about 8200 feet and camped out. Fire was lovely, it was cold, in the 20's.

    I was chilled but okay until it came time to step into the tent and sleep. Misearble cold night... waiting for the sun to rise so we could come back home.

    Anyone else do "winter" camp outs?
     
  2. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    I have'nt, but my cousin did a lot of it when he was single. When I ask him how it was he always says, " it was cold", lol.

    I think a survival camping trip would be fun.
     

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I used to winter camp when I was yonger (teens and 20's) which wasn't that long ago. The key to staying warm is to insulate the ground below the tent floor with a thick layer of straw and to pile up snow around the bottom of the tent walls. When I winter camped, I used my dad's sleeping bag. Dad worked on the Trans-Alaskan Highway back in the early 1940s. His sleeping bag is stuffed with eider down. The outside of the bag is canvas and the inside liner is thick wool.
     
  4. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    You betcha. :) Just got a new sleeping bag rated to -20. :cool:

    - Good sleeping bag, good wool socks, and layers are mandatory.

    - Do not let any of your clothing/boots get wet, or you will totally freeze.

    - Sleep with flashlight, GPS, and any other battery-operated device in your pockets so the batteries won't die.

    - Make a big thermos full of hot soup in the morning so you can drink from it all day long - very welcome.

    You're making me want to head out right now, except it's supposed to reach 60 here today. :Bawling:
     
  5. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Was any clothing/sleeping bag made of cotton? Cotton is not a good insulator. in winter camping, cotton can kill.
    Were you insulated from the ground on a mattress?
    Were you wearing a knit cap (remember the old mountain man saying- when your feet get cold, put on a hat)
    Were all nightclothes dry or did you were sweaty stuff from the day that hadn't dried out yet?
    Winter camping is my favorite time of year1 no skeeters! and yes, it does get cold here in FL. In fact, it snowed last week.
    Think the coldest weekend backpack I ever went on here in FL was 17 degrees in the nearest city, so it was colder out on the banks of the Kissimmee River.
     
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    ....winter camping in Florida! *snicker* *snicker* *snort* *snort* :rotfl:
     
  7. NJ Rich

    NJ Rich NJ Rich

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    DenverGirlie, (sorry, this is long)

    When you read almost any article about cold weather and staying warm they always talk about layers. It doesn't matter whether it is going for a walk; going to work or camping. Wear wool; dress in several layers and don't sweat. Keep your head warm and dry.

    I have winter camped in recorded temps of minus 17. That's 17 below zero. Yeah, that's cold. I tried to talk with one of the other people in the group and they couldn't hear me till I thawed the words ot over the fire. :rolleyes:

    Cabin Fever gave you some great advice. You will never be warm if you don't have something between you and the ground. Another thing usually overlooked is changing out of the clothes you had on all day and put on fresh everything: undies; socks; top; insulated underwear. I mean everything. Believe me that makes a big difference in how warm you will be at night.

    Do not put all your clothes on for the next day because you won't have anything to keep you warm after you get out of the sleeping bag.

    Some of the best tips I can give you is too: wear a hat, gloves to bed. Put flannel sheets inside the bag. This will help insulate you from "cold nylon" most bags are made with. The sheets also can be tucked around your neck keeping out the cold air.

    Do not sleep with your head inside the bag. Your breath will dampen the bag and reduce its ability to keep you warm. If your sleeping bag is not rated for the temperatures you will be camping in use a summer bag over a winter bag. You can also use two summer bags together and add a wool blanket. Yup, two bags will get you through most cold weather camping.

    Store your outer clothing at the bottom of the sleeping bag and include your (dry) boots. Frozen boots can lead to frost bite faster than you can read this.

    Make sure you have some dry wood to start a fire when you get out of the tent. Don't forget the kindling. Lots of it. One of those "fire starter logs" will be a great help there.

    Have water in a pot so you can have a hot drink. If your water is frozen in a plastic drink bottle you won't be able to pour it out. Hot Tang will really get your blood moving on a cold day.

    Good Luck NJ Rich
     
  8. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

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    The trick to enjoying Winter camping is to be fully prepared for the low temps. With all the high quality sleeping bags,tents,and underwear available there is no reason for anyone not to be comfortable in even the -20 degree nights.

    A little research will lead you to the right equipment and gear to use. Winter camping is one area where you do NOT want to cut corners on when it comes to good gear.
     
  9. DenverGirlie

    DenverGirlie Well-Known Member

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    My bag ws rated to 20, his was to -20 but it's a mummy bag... I can't handle that.

    I slept in clothes with a stocking hat on and gloves. Good socks.

    Had several pads under the tent for cushioning (yah right... it's still the ground) along with a pad under my bag.

    Also had a warm fleece blanket drapped over my bag and another fleece stuffed into the bottom of my bag for my feet.

    We went to bed around 10pm, my tushy warmed back up around 2am, but my feet were miserable the whole time. Next time I'm packing some of those mitten warmer things that you open and shake and they stay warm for a few hours. Will layer them in my socks for bedtime!

    If my feet would have kept warm, I would have been fine... loved getting out for evening and enjoing the camp fire and conversation.
     
  10. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    lol
     
  11. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try applying genrous amounts of petroleum jelly to all areas. Maybe even switch to vix vaporub for your feet. A layer of grease helps hold the heat in -
     
  12. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If a sleeping bag is rated for 20 degrees, then it will keep me warm if it is 40 degrees. If I want a bag to keep me warm at 20 degrees, then I want one rated for zero.

    It might just be me: I get cold easily when I sleep.
     
  13. marinemomtatt

    marinemomtatt Well-Known Member

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    LOVE to winter camp! All the above advice is A1! I would like to add...from experience...if you wear contacts, tuck your container/contacts next to your body! Frozen contacts suck...hehehe!
    Also a little cayenne pepper in your socks will keep them feets warm!
     
  14. longrider

    longrider Southern Gent

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  15. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    The last time I bought a sleeping bag I purchased two instead of one. They zip together into one big one.

    The only way I'd winter camp is with a snuggle bunny.

    I hear tell that winter camping isn't too bad in campgrounds----where you can plug in your electric heater to keep in your tent.
     
  16. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    If you Winter Camp you need Snow,at least a foot.Full Moon makes it nice too. :dance:

    Around here a bunch Float the River New Years Eve,camp out over night.

    big rockpile
     
  17. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    That's kinda the reaction I had this summer when the news shows kept talking about the "heat wave" they were having in the NE. They were afraid people were gonna die from the heat 'cause it had been in the 90's for TWO WEEKS! :eek:

    Coldest camping I've done was 22, and it has got as cold as 1 here. That's right 1* farenheit. It does get cold in Florida. Just like the heat doesn't last long in the North, the cold doesn't usually last long here, but it does hit from time to time.
     
  18. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    I only tent camp on the warm days. If I'm taking a RV, then I don't care what the outside temps are.
     
  19. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just got back from five nights of primitive camping in New Mexico over Thanksgiving. Not terribly cold, down to the lower teens at night. I agree it is best to sleep dry and that means taking off the clothing you wore during the day. I have slept naked while camping for most of my adult life and it seems natural. However, sometime after I turned 60 I did start wearing a pair of fresh wool socks in the sleeping bag due to clod feet.
     
  20. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    I winter-camped for three weeks with a group. We had inner and outer sleeping bags. I pretty much bedded down fully clothed. We had insulating pads to put the bags on. On the really cold nights, we zipped two of the outer bags together, and put three people in their inner bags in each double bag. They were the coldest nights - but I was the warmest on those nights.

    I did have to sleep with a protein trail bar on me, because I don't seem to hold a lot of heat myself, and I would inevitably wake up cold, and was only able to go back to sleep if I ate something. That did have a drawback one relatively mild night when I was by myself, with a tarp rather than a tent...and woke up to the sound of pawing and snuffling around my head. I came to as I realised it was a small-ish animal (not a bear), and I said "HEY!" - and it startled, and waddled quickly away. Think it was a skunk.

    Ditto on the cotton. absolutely NO cotton on winter camping. That's practically anti-warmth!