Last years failed overnight.

Discussion in 'Winter Camping' started by RangerJoe, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. RangerJoe

    RangerJoe Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    Last winter Scout and I attempted an overnighter.

    The temps were not too low, but the snow was vey wet and heavy.

    I rigged up some crazy tarp setup over top of my leanto, but we got smoked out, and Scout was shivering, so we packed up around 3am.

    Knowing what I do now, I wouldhave handled the situation differently.

    Anyways, the video is a year old and I have not uploaded it until now, hope you guys enjoy it.

    Last years failed solo overnight. - YouTube
     
  2. sgtdesertstorm

    sgtdesertstorm Tracker

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    looks like you had a good start ,, weather is a heck of a teacher and WET weather is a Harsh teacher .. I reckon all we can do is learn and do better next time .. I like Pine straw on cold nights over buried coals ,, but you have to start the fire early in the day to have the right set up . I say this because its easy in Ga to do this not sure how much harder it was in your Bivouac AO.
     
  3. GrowlingBear

    GrowlingBear Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing your trials with us, Joe. Is this the same crazy dog who was swimming in a Canadian river in winter? He must be a little tougher this year. LOL.
     
  4. Howie

    Howie Guide Bushclass III

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    ayear from then to now, you've come a long way in your skills and set. good to go back and look ar where we started
     
  5. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    It didn't look all bad. If anything you probably learned more from this rather than if it would have went perfect. Thanks for sharing with us.
     
  6. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    I had some bad experiances last year too .
     
  7. jloden

    jloden Guide Bushclass I

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    Nice, kinda cool to look back at Joe from a year ago and seeing how much you've grown into an accomplished woodsman. Pretty funny to imagine that was your first solo overnight only a year back! Good stuff man.
     
  8. RangerJoe

    RangerJoe Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    very cool of you to say, thanks
     
  9. lonetracker

    lonetracker Guide

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    hey i remember that guy from last year ,Ranger joe...
    that wet snow is a tough one.looks like you had it right you were covered and drying by a big fire.its tough to see your dog maybe suffer though i remember cutting a few fishing trips short because my dog was shivering,he would not stay out of the water no matter how cold.or the deer flys were biting him so bad i could not take it.in any event you got to feel mother natures furry enough to learn she sometimes is going to win.thats living life.
    thanks joe
    bill
     
  10. Jason

    Jason Founder Staff Member Administrator Bushclass I

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    You're still the man JoJo.
     
  11. PropThePolecat

    PropThePolecat Tracker

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    Wet snow is one of the worst kind of weathers to camp in. Too bad that your dog froze...Have you considered bringing a pad along for him? They weigh next to nothing and he'll be able to carry it himself. The cold ground sucks the heat out of you, so a pad, will probably help your dog alot.
     
  12. RangerJoe

    RangerJoe Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    you are 100% correct, but no, at the time I did not think about it.
     
  13. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    You did what you thought was right for scout, that's commendable.
    He was your responsibility and you didn't take that lightly.
    Good decision, my friend.
     
  14. hillbilly75

    hillbilly75 Tracker

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    thanks for the vid joe. i have done lots of winter camping, if you do things right it is a blast. next time you build your shelter try to see which way the wind blows more constant. you dont want wind to blow form behind or to the front of shelter you want it to blow parallel to your shelter that way the smoke will never bother you. check my camp on winter camping,christmas 2010.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  15. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    Gotta watch out for your buddy man. Cant fault you for that. Lessons learned, at the time I'm sure it was frustrating, but a good part of recording your outings is self reflection at a later date. I still say good job my firend.
     
  16. bodhran4me

    bodhran4me Supporter Supporter

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    Sounds like you were OK but bailed for Scouts benefit. I am glad you did. You are the pack leader and you did your job. No shame there.
     
  17. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I don't know of anyone no matter what level of experience who hasn't had a bad night sometime in their past. Glad you learned from it and have progressed over the year. Good to hear you took care of your hound. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  18. sons of scotland

    sons of scotland Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    a year old or not always enjoy your videos, great stuff joe.:dblthumb:
     
  19. rthrasher2

    rthrasher2 Scout

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    No worries, winter overnighters can be brutal.
     
  20. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Amazing how much you can learn in a year. Good job Joe!
     
  21. RMB444

    RMB444 Tracker

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    wisdom is knowing when to quit and learning something from it.
     
  22. Leonard E. Jonsen

    Leonard E. Jonsen Tracker

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    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.
     
  23. captainamer

    captainamer Scout

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    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.
     
  24. Greatgreyowl

    Greatgreyowl Guest

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    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.
     
  25. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

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    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.
     
  26. huckfinn

    huckfinn Tracker

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    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.

    Cheers,
     
  27. tinyang

    tinyang Tracker

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    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.
     
  28. Boroffski

    Boroffski Scout

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    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.

    Thanks for filming and sharing your experience.
     
  29. Bartnmax

    Bartnmax Scout

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    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.
     
  30. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    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.
     
  31. ppine

    ppine Guest

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    Do not be discouraged. We have all had some problems out there over the years. Next time, now that you are more experienced get up and build a big fire and get warm. Make something to eat. Then after the sun comes up, put your bedroll in the sun and take a nap. Mental toughness comes with experience. Don't tough it out. Try something different.

    I like to sleep with dogs when it is cold, but they need insulation from the snow too. I use a parka to zip my dog in and she likes it, waking up in the morning still inside it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2012
  32. MarcoMontana

    MarcoMontana Scout

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    Is scout still around?
     
  33. rugersworld

    rugersworld Scout

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    Looks like you were on the right track. Had a good fire close to your bed, bed was off the cold ground, you were blocking the snow/ wind, and you had wool clothing and blanket. Maybe get a waterproof bivy sack for your sleeping bag, a good pair of thermals to wear while you sleep and adequate fuel supply. I think you could have made it till morning. You should look into a neoprene jacket for Scout like the ones duck hunters use for their water dogs. They really help the dog maintain a good core temp. Keep at it. And btw I hate cold wet snow also.
     
  34. ppine

    ppine Guest

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    For camping in the snow with dogs I have learned two things- they need insulation from the snow just like we do, and they can be zipped into a parka for warmth. My dog would stay in one all night and wake up with it still on.
     

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