wisdom is knowing when to quit and learning something from it.
The Following User Says Thank You to RMB444 For This Useful Post:
I wouldn't call it a failure. I've learned more from trips like this, than trips that went perfectly. While perhaps not being as relaxing as we would like, they are priceless for testing our skills, knowledge and gear.
Thanks for sharing this trip.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Leonard E. Jonsen For This Useful Post:
Thanks for the video, I learned through so many many bad nights of winter camping, I kept trying different things, Finally have it down as it seems, I do not get cold any more and the dogs don't either. But the coldest the dogs have camped with me was 11 last winter. It was a big harder to sleep with them in the shelter with me, they are way to interested in the raccoons.
The Following User Says Thank You to captainamer For This Useful Post:
A few things I have learned from winter camping in extreme cold is that normal tents are useless if you can't put a stove in them. If you are "on the run", as in, hoofing it and changing camps every night, don't even bother taking a tent. one of the fastest shelters you can make is to cut a small tree down as high as you can reach, an evergreen, but only cut it halfway or so and then bend it over to the ground like an A-frame. then, you either pile up a bunch of brush or if you have a canvas tarp or something, wrap it around everything and get a fire built. leave a hole at the top so the fire can vent.
Guaranteed, if you have something hot anywhere near nylon or plastic, eventually you will end up burning huge holes through it.
I think one of the biggest mistakes to make in winter, if there is snow on the ground, is to wear a backpack and snowshoes. The best way to travel is with a plastic sled that you are dragging over the snow, and if you carry snowshoes, carry big ones that you KNOW work, because you have used them lots of times. Don't THINK your homemade bindings on your native style snowshoes will work, you better KNOW they work.
the worst thing in winter travel is to not know what you are doing and have equipment that is not up to the task. If your snowshoes are less than 40 inches and you are in deep powder sinking to your hips with every step, all you are doing is breaking trail for the people behind you. if there is no one behind you, and you are not going back the way you came, you have to ask yourself what on earth you are doing.
I usually find that if I just look around a bit, I will find a way with less snow, because maybe it was windblown or protected by more trees or whatever, and I have been thru some crazy times, and very rarely have I ever had to resort to snowshoes. and i found out the hard way that most snowshoes aren't very good. The best pair of snowshoes I have ever owned is a pair of 48 inch sherpas with spiked, hinged bindings, so I didn't have to take them off if I had to go up a steep incline.
Bush Class Basic Certified
Thanks for sharing your (last year's) outing with us. I'm not sure why you call it a fail, though. Looks like you and Scout stayed warm and dry, everything else is just window dressing. As you said, that was the best time to do your first solo outing. From now, or then, on everything will be easier and more enjoyable.
Just keep on keeping on.
Good job man, don't consider it a failure. Wet snow is the worst, it's tough to stay dry and warm no matter what you do. There's always another outing to apply what you've learned.
I had a similar experience last year also. We scheduled our trip weeks ahead of time and a storm came in on the first night! It was -5 deg F, and I couldn't sleep at all because my gear was inadequate, I would start shivering uncontrollably if I laid still for too long. So I stayed up all night and called the trip early. I sure learned alot, and will do much better this upcoming winter as I'm sure you will also.
I tried my clip flashlight solo tent last winter with the fire about 10 ft away. It worked fine but I got no sleep because I was worried my tent would melt away. I just bought a canvas usgi puptent for this winter, with it set up in a leanto, my MSS and with a fire I should sleep nice n comfy.
Originally Posted by Greatgreyowl
Thanks for filming and sharing your experience.
Big mistake a lot of people make is to go with ultra lightweight modern synthetic material tents, etc when in wet snow conditions. This usually means having to keep your fire too far away from you at night. Basic equation; snow + lack of fire = cold at night, so you need to be able to sleep close to your heat source to keep warm.
Have a read through Mors Kochinski's literature - he recommnends being no firther away from your heat source than 1 large stride, otherwise your wasting that heat source.
A fire 10 feet away is as useless as no fire at all.
You're far better off with a 6'x4' tarp than a modern synthetic tent IMO.
Overhead cover + good fire is far better than a cold synthetic tent anyday.
Dont build big fires. Instead a trench fire that is 6 feet long will heat far more effectively, especially if it has a good reflector behind it. When utilising your fire think always of reflection to maximise the fire's warm. Once it dies down the coals can also be covered with soil to create a nice warm bed.
Wet snow presents it's own challenges, but if you can clear an area of snow, & there's adequate fire building materials, then there's no reason to be cold at night.
If the snow is powdery, or even hard packed, then that snow itself had inherrent insulating qualities that can be used with the right knowledge.
You must be adept at building a suitable shelter & fire before even contemplating heading deep into snow country.
I know it's always easier said than done, but comfortable snow camping is usually the result of a LOT of practice. Not out there when it's most needed, but practicing when it's not needed so that you have the methods/techniques down pat before having to call on them. The very last place to learn about survival & the wilds, is in the wilds.
Once you get out there you gotta KNOW what you're doing, not start learning about it.
God gave us all back yards so that we could practice bushcraft. You don't really think he meant them just to create a place to run our lawn mowers do you?
As long as you've learned from your previous situations & made it back to try again at a later date, then there's no such thing as a 'fail' IMO. It's all part of yer learning curve, & experience is a great teacher.
That was last year.
I am looking forward to your update when you go out this coming winter.
Winter camping does seem to bring out the dichotomy of the various styles, but UL or heavy camping both work, although it is sometimes hard to mix the two styles.
Fires and wet snow is plain hard work but I have had some success; my sleeping bag and bivvy weigh about the same as my axe and saw so guess which one I usually take.