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Old 11-02-2013, 14:13   #26
Lone Kimono
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Originally Posted by AK_Stick View Post
Coldest I've done is -50. But regularly do -5 to 10 or so.

Good gear tailored to your needs is critical.
I think the people who posted above are right on about no wearing jeans. Since you do it often what would you suggest in their place?

What gear did you learn to bring that you didn't before you started?
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Old 11-02-2013, 18:02   #27
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Old 11-02-2013, 19:51   #28
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I have not yet done true winter camping. I have camped in places in the summer where it got down to 25-30 degrees at night. That's the coldest I've done. Luckily the days always warmed up.

One thing I learned was how to interpret sleeping bag ratings. They are rated for the average build male sleeping on a pad with a base layer on. Women or skinny guys should add 10 degrees and no pad adds 10 degrees. So for a skinny guy sleeping on the ground a 30 degree bag becomes a 50 degree bag. The rated temp they advertise is where they expect you to be able to get a comfortable nights sleep. If you dig deeper in the ratings you might also see a survival temp (colder) and a comfort temp for women (or thin built guys) (warmer).

I started with a synthetic bag and no pad. I quickly upgraded to a better down bag which was rated for colder temps and lighter weight. I added a prolite plus pad from thermarest. Even in the summer I carry the pad for comfort.

Other than that if I were camping colder I would need the additional appropriate layers and maybe a heavier bag depending on weather.. My new bag is 15 degree. i pretty much always plan for hot meals anyway. i dont drink coffee, but i would probably take tea bags for hot tea. If i had to melt snow i might need more fuel for a stove or build fires. I always carry a rain coat, but if i had to trudge through snow i would probably want waterproof pants.
This is incorrect. Your (high quality) sleeping bag is built to keep you warmest in little or no clothing. A "base layer" insulates some body parts from others and will result in you being cold. A sleeping bag works by creating a pocket of warm air around your body. Clothes can affect the way your bag fits and restrict blood flow...keeping you colder.

Moisture, read sweat, inside the bag is also a no go and can kill you in crappy circumstances. The only downside to sleeping in the buff is that it will make your bag dirty faster.

So, make sure your clothes are not dirty and get into the bag dressed. Undress when in the bag and keep your clothes in the bag with you. This will keep them warm for morning or the late night call of nature.

You'll be warmer and enjoy a better nights sleep
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Old 11-02-2013, 19:56   #29
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One thing that I carry during winter camping is an extra boot sized nylon bag. I put my boots in it and put them in the sleeping bag with me so they wont freeze. It takes a few hours for my feet to warm them up under normal conditions, and its a few hours too long.
Take care of your feet, otherwise you're screwed.
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Old 11-02-2013, 22:41   #30
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Dont tent camp in the winter. Do have a tiny cabin at a hunting property. No power, propane lantern hanging from ceiling, wood stove, thunder pot toilet. Freeze my butt off in there most nights if its a really cold night. Usually warmer outside by the fire pit than inside. Its really nothing more than a rain cover and wind break.

Sure beats waking up at 330 am and driving in to be in the woods by day break.
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Old 11-02-2013, 23:09   #31
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Originally Posted by actionshooter10 View Post
This is incorrect. Your (high quality) sleeping bag is built to keep you warmest in little or no clothing. A "base layer" insulates some body parts from others and will result in you being cold. A sleeping bag works by creating a pocket of warm air around your body. Clothes can affect the way your bag fits and restrict blood flow...keeping you colder.
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Originally Posted by Copper_Candy View Post
One thing that I carry during winter camping is an extra boot sized nylon bag. I put my boots in it and put them in the sleeping bag with me so they wont freeze. It takes a few hours for my feet to warm them up under normal conditions, and its a few hours too long.
Take care of your feet, otherwise you're screwed.
Am I reading this wrong? Something is up with the way you guys buy sleeping bags.

If it is too tight when wearing cloths, the bag is too tight.

And on the other side.

How small are you that you have room in the bag for your boots? Socks sure. Water bottle sure. Winter boots, there is not enough room in my sleeping bag for my winter boots and me.
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Old 11-02-2013, 23:15   #32
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Coldest I've done is -50. But regularly do -5 to 10 or so.

Good gear tailored to your needs is critical.
I don't think most of us will be out in -50. -20 including wind chill was hard on my body, I think I would die in -50.

What would you recommend for those of us out in 40 to maybe 0?
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:32   #33
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My bag is rated at 40 (again - Florida...)

My super cold sleep gear is:

Long underwear (tight - poly cotton blend)
Sweat pants/shirt (loose around me)
Socks!
Hat

I fully agree IME that tight base layer + loose outer is key. Air does not conduct heat well. Tight jeans against that base layer will conduct it right off of you. And if the outer gets wet, it will wick into the base very fast. And water REALLY conducts heat away, because all heat flows from warm to cooler spots.

And if you tent - keep the tent small!!!
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:25   #34
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Am I reading this wrong? Something is up with the way you guys buy sleeping bags.

If it is too tight when wearing cloths, the bag is too tight.

And on the other side.

How small are you that you have room in the bag for your boots? Socks sure. Water bottle sure. Winter boots, there is not enough room in my sleeping bag for my winter boots and me.
I'm guessing that you and I are approaching this from different perspectives. I pack my stuff in and am not carrying a 10lb bag that's 40" wide. Just not gonna happen.

I use high quality mummy bags to save on weight and space. Mummy bags are pretty snug...and I'm not a small guy.

That said, you're missing the whole purpose of my post.

The point of my post was that clothes are bad when calling at the edge of your bags range for the reasons I mentioned.

Do your own research and see what the consensus is from professional/high volume campers.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:52   #35
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Am I reading this wrong? Something is up with the way you guys buy sleeping bags.

If it is too tight when wearing cloths, the bag is too tight.

And on the other side.

How small are you that you have room in the bag for your boots? Socks sure. Water bottle sure. Winter boots, there is not enough room in my sleeping bag for my winter boots and me.
I guess I've never had an issue fitting them in the bag with me. during the "warmer" winter camping I use a North Face Hotlum XL, and I can either fit them between my legs, or on either side of my chest. Its not 5 star comfort but neither is camping in winter, in general
I know with some sleeping bags I would never be able to fit my hikers in there with me. I buy winter sleeping bags with being able to keep my boots in there with me, in mind. It if weights an extra few ounces or even a pound, I'm willing to bear the extra weight.
Also, as a size reference. I', 6ft. 2in., and about 235lbs with a 48 inch chest and no gut, so it makes it easier.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:40   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Kimono View Post
I think the people who posted above are right on about no wearing jeans. Since you do it often what would you suggest in their place?

What gear did you learn to bring that you didn't before you started?

It really depends on what I'm doing in that weather. But a lot of times, I'm wearing jeans and/or carharts, with layered long underwear beneath.

Everything they said about jeans in the cold is true. But a -10 and greater, there is so little moisture, getting wet isn't generally a huge concern. And I'm more interested in the abrasion resistance and ruggedness, than worrying about water.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:45   #37
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Originally Posted by RWBlue View Post
I don't think most of us will be out in -50. -20 including wind chill was hard on my body, I think I would die in -50.

What would you recommend for those of us out in 40 to maybe 0?

How do you get to where you camp?

I can recommend tons of good gear, but the whole group reading this would struggle to pack my gear anywhere.

The only thing I can really recommend, to everyone, is the Cabelas Alaskan guide model sleeping bag. It's the softest, warmest, most comfortable bag I've ever used. And has replaced all my other bags, except my military bag.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:29   #38
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I have spent a considerable amount of time snowmobiling and skiing in -20 to 0.

Not as bad as people would think. But I really would not want to stay in it inactive overnight.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:17   #39
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I have spent a considerable amount of time snowmobiling and skiing in -20 to 0.

Not as bad as people would think. But I really would not want to stay in it inactive overnight.
That's the difference. I grew up in -20 to 0F. Cold out, but dress warm and go out and play in the snow. Come back inside later and get a cup of hot cocoa, warm by the fire.

But having to stay out there when the activity is done, is a whole 'nother story.

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Old 11-04-2013, 08:53   #40
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Did it when I was younger, I'd avoid it now if I could.

Equipment varies, but it's the knowledge and skills that you really need to survive. You need to insulate yourself from the ground. Something really insinuative or you won't be warm at night sleeping against the cold ground.

I've never been too much of a tent guy when camp and still aren't in the winter. I like to build my own shelters out of rope, tarps, trees, brush and branches that are around. Obviously you need to make your shelter dry and wind proof as possible.

One reason I like doing this is because you can do a trick that you just can't do in a tent. When you build your fire, place plenty of rocks around it so that they get nice and warm after a while. Dig up the floor of your shelter about 8-12 inches deep or so and fill it with these hot stones, then cover it back up with the dirt. Keeps the ground under you nice and warm.

Now, if we are talking about something crazy like an Alaska or Siberian winter, I say find a perminate shelter and stay warm and get out of the elements. Don't go running into the woods when it's -40 outside.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:14   #41
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How do you get to where you camp?
I haven't in a while. As stated before, as it gets cold/wet/nasty it is so easy for me sit inside warm and dry and work so I can play on nice days. I am just not a cold winter person, but I want this skill set.

I use to hunt in a shack and I really didn't see any need in building a fire. But this was car camping. I took a lot more than I could carry.


Now...I am thinking I will drive to a spot get on the bicycle. I will bicycle in away from people 5+ miles then setup camp. The worst part of this plan is I know I will get hot and sweaty in parts and other parts will be cold by the time I get to a camping site. There is just no way around it. The good part is I can still take more than I can carry, but not nearly as much as car camping.


Besides just surviving while I am out there I will probably grab the camera and see what I can shoot.
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Old 11-05-2013, 19:14   #42
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The only camping I do in the winter is to hunt. As far as camping in the summer I take a travel trailer with me. It has AC and all the other things like home.

For winter camping I use a four season ten, a flannel liner for my sleeping bag, and all sorts of light weight camping stuff.

I hunt in Daniel Boon Forest in Kentucky. Last time I was there I had 4" of snow on the tent and wet boots. I had to hike to the truck and change my boots to stay in the hunt. After I got my feet warmed back up I was good to go.

No problems with camping in the Winter if you can just stay dry. We get a lot of wet snows around that time of year. It may be twenty at night then go up to forty or better in the day time. It is best when it just gets cold and stays cold. You don't have to fight the wet that way.

Last edited by I Shooter; 11-07-2013 at 03:03..
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:58   #43
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...I hunt in Daniel Boone Forest in Kentucky.,.
If you're going to talk about uncle Dan'l, please spell his name correctly. (My 90-year-old dad still lives in kentucky.)
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:02   #44
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Please for give me I have always had problems spelling. I have people that live in Manchester and London Kentucky.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:02   #45
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Please for give me I have always had problems spelling. I have people that live in Manchester and London Kentucky.
No forgiveness needed; hence the "" in my post. Just saw it as an excuse to toss out my (distant) relation to Daniel Boone.

There's not a whole lot of nodes in my family tree that I'd brag about...
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:54   #46
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I found this. I think these guys are serious about there winter camping.

http://www.backpacking.net/wintertips.html
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Old 11-07-2013, 13:25   #47
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Good info there.


Something else, when sleeping in the cold like that, boil some water, then put it back in your nalgene or what ever water bottle, and it will keep you warm for hours. Good trick for keeping the wife/gf going out with you. Do the same thing in the morning and you can put on a set of toasty warm boots.
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Old 11-07-2013, 19:37   #48
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I enjoy winter camping in the mountains. Plus the dogs love it. Last winter spent 5 nights tent camping in a state park. It was almost completely empty, besides the park ranger and one other hiker we had the park to ourselves. At night it got down into the single digits but the dogs kept me plenty warm. As long as you have the proper equipment it's great!
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Old 11-07-2013, 20:39   #49
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A good woman to share your tent... bag... with would be helpful.
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Old 11-07-2013, 20:56   #50
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I camped a few times in the snow.
Mostly my usual gear, plus bulky insulation, sleeping pad, more serious layers and stove.
Some no-cook food in case of stove failure.

Once at a slightly more civilized campground there were electrical outlets. Some guy knew about this, and added an electric blanket and some Christmas lights to his tent.
Damn show-off.
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