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OfflineoDin
Registered: 08/13/99
Posts: 5,789
Last seen: 3 years, 5 months
winter backpacking
    #4648500 - 09/12/05 01:15 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

i posted this info in a hiking BB last spring

thought it might help any of those interested in such activity, esp the links listed. i love winter packing for several reasons

1. little to no people around
2. serene and many times surreal
3. major decrease in bear activity, esp good in high bear areas such as glacier park, where i currently reside
4. i find it easier on my joints and muscles, this may only apply to us older farts and fartettes

i find its important to take more time in trip planning, route, provisions and articles to take along. both for survival and comfort, personally i find that rewarding.

anyway here are the posts from this spring, they were in response to a few questions, the hike was up to the summit of Fremont peak near flagstaff,AZ:

1.well its all about synthetic layers and not overheating; long johns, fleece, shell. i like to take a pair of rubberized gloves to set up camp with,collect snow etc, it will keep your warm gloves dry...i learned this lesson the hard way. i highly recommend a lightweight snow shovel for setting up camp and for safety in case you have to dig an emergency shelter or dig someone out of a slide. read as much as possible on avalanche awareness. little tips can save your life. we crossed several well defined paths on our hike. personally im going to take a class soon.

i use spray on silicone on my gloves,tent,shells, boots etc

we used msr accent snowshoes, they worked very well esp on walking along the sides of hills. leather mountainering boots with warm socks and a liner sock. there wasnt ice or rock at the peak of fremont, so after recieving advice we went with just the msr's

my pack was pretty heavy cuz i tend to take more weight thus allowing my wife to go lighter. no guess really , it was heavier than summer packing.

setting up camp in the snow...well we use a 3-4 season tent (seirra designs alpha). we pack the area down 1st, very important, then set up the tent, then i like to dig a trench in front of the tent door, but still within the vestibule, about 1.5' deep and the width of the door, this allows you to set at the door , take your shoes off ect. it also helps minimize the snow getting into the tent. i call it tent hygene, but basically esp on 2+ days its very important to keep snow out of your tent and overall keep dry.

even tho its not recommended, if the weather is bad you can cook/melt snow inside your vestibule. if you do this i recommend starting the stove outside and moving it into the vestibule after its going good. i wouldnt do this with out the trench imo. also dont let the water boil long, as soon as it starts pour it thus lowering condensation in the tent.

we have very warm sleeping bags. also we heat up water and fill nalgene bottles before going to bed and sleep with them in the bag. this acts like a bed heater and you have melted water to start the morning with. melting snow is one of the major time consuming tasks in winter camping. i always take extra fuel in the winter. foot and hand warmer pads are nice if it gets real cold, esp to sleep with. we use 2 sleeping pads each and i like to put an emergency blanket between the pads and the floor of the tent. this may seem like a little much, but i like it when my wife goes with, so i try to make it as comfy as possible esp at nite.

its important to eat often and drink alot, esp at high elevation. we have found on warm days you can add a little to snow to your nalgene as you hike and it will melt. be careful not to add too much at a time. we have found hydration bags to be more of a pain in the winter.

2. a few other things i thought about:

using tin foil around your stove and pan as a windshield helps ALOT on fuel use and time heating water. i think you can buy these but heavy duty foil works just fine. also you could carry the same foil and a survival candle day hiking, just in case, so you can melt snow in a desperate situation.

make sure your tent has adequate ventilation. when you sleep you create alot of condensation. make sure your rainfly is pulled away from your tent wall with stakes and ropes. we like to take along a highly absorbant camp towel to wipe up wet spots...ie snow that makes it into your tent and melts. this is one area that i consider key.. a dry sanctuary is important. also if you get snow on yourself at anytime, try and wipe it off immediately. its harder to dry wet clothes than prevent it. you can dry clothes by sleeping with them in your bag but remember...some of that moisture will end up in your bags insulation, increasing the bags weight and diminishing its warmth.

put your stove on your shovel so it doesnt melt into the snow. i selected a metal shovel for this reason.

when we arrive at the campsite and its getting dark, we use our ski poles, snowshoes and a shovel handle as tent stakes. when time allows i will go find some sticks or branches to replace them with so we can dayhike. as the snow sets it will bond and your stakes will become very secure. i have pulled the basket off my ski poles a couple of times trying to pull it out...use shovel to find basket :smile: . this is one area i would like to know what others use. i have seen bags you fill and bury with snow for sale. i was thinking bout trying some walmart bags filled and buried with snow as they are strong and lite. plus you could tie off to the handles.

a few urls i have found helpful;

basic winter camping info:
http://www.pikpuk.com/members/snowcamping/
kinda trying to sell a stove but good info

http://www.princeton.edu/~oa/winter/wintcamp.shtml
nice reference

http://www.theozarks.com/WinterCamping.htm

avalanche info:
http://www.avalanche.org/%7Elsafc/TUTORIAL/TUTORIAL.HTM

http://nsidc.org/snow/avalanche/

avalanche course info:
http://www.americanavalancheassociation.org/education.html


i still consider myself in the early learning stages on winter camping and mountainering. read read read and read some more. then ask questions, alot of them. ask usfs, nps, locals(sporting goods stores can help alot) and online sources. if i had not asked some questions at this site i would have tried a different trail, and after seeing the backside of agassiz peak, im glad we didnt try traversing it to get to doyle or fremont saddles to camp.

and most importantly enjoy what is

3. a set of dry clothes to sleep in is key also, esp extra socks. wear a hat and maybe even a neck gaiter when you sleep. its important not to breath into your bag to keep the moisture down.

good luck!

another good online resource: http://www.backpacking.net/winter.html#hiking

end of old posts


Edited by oDin (09/12/05 02:14 AM)


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OfflineoDin
Registered: 08/13/99
Posts: 5,789
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: oDin]
    #4648575 - 09/12/05 01:29 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)













































pics from various winter trips we have done in NM, AZ and MT


Edited by oDin (09/12/05 02:05 AM)


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: oDin]
    #4650512 - 09/12/05 04:01 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Great tips and great pics! :thumbup:

I'm going to use this thread as a reference for backpacking this winter.


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Offlinekindkesey
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: Shroomism]
    #4651389 - 09/12/05 07:26 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Kool post and even kooler pics!!

I've done it at least once every winter for the past 4 years, and lovin it!

:smile:


--------------------
Stay Kool, and enjoy the bus ride.....



"Intrepid Search For Innerspace"

DAVID JONES where are you?


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Invisiblevivid
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: kindkesey]
    #4690660 - 09/21/05 04:52 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

awesome post oDin, can't wait to get out this winter.  I've only snowcamped once though, usually winters here just mean insane rainfall, which is another challenge to conquer :laugh:.


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Offlinekindkesey
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: vivid]
    #5251678 - 02/01/06 05:51 PM (10 years, 10 months ago)

Got me my winter campin done and a chance to test some new gear(ems sleepin bag) out to! I've been really missing the shroomery and all you kool guys....  but i've been gettin alot of traveling and climbing done latly. I wont be around long cauz i'm heading down to KY to climb the RED.

So untill next time as ripple would say "Shine On"

Oh and heres a few pics for ya!








:smile:


--------------------
Stay Kool, and enjoy the bus ride.....



"Intrepid Search For Innerspace"

DAVID JONES where are you?


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Invisiblevivid
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: kindkesey]
    #5251820 - 02/01/06 06:27 PM (10 years, 10 months ago)

nice pics man!

what kind of tent is that?


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OfflineHBS
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: vivid]
    #5261135 - 02/04/06 12:59 AM (10 years, 10 months ago)

that's rad!


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Offlinekindkesey
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Re: winter backpacking [Re: vivid]
    #5267083 - 02/05/06 08:55 PM (10 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

vivid said:
what kind of tent is that?




Thats the EMS Tundra Dome, its a bomb prof double wall. Its kinda of pricy and heavy but sure kept me warm!

:smile:


--------------------
Stay Kool, and enjoy the bus ride.....



"Intrepid Search For Innerspace"

DAVID JONES where are you?


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OfflineoDin
Registered: 08/13/99
Posts: 5,789
Last seen: 3 years, 5 months
Re: winter backpacking [Re: kindkesey]
    #5275984 - 02/08/06 02:38 AM (10 years, 9 months ago)

sweet pics


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