Advice needed on my trip to Alaska and Canada

Discussion in 'Winter Camping' started by Moondog55, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I've been reading up in advance.
    Some experienced winter travelers are talking about stashing a second set of gear away from the tents with the sleds as a "Just in case" set of gear if the tent burns down in the nite. Some people are saying that when hauling sleds you should always carry a second set of warm gear in a rucksack to be secure if the sled goes though the ice and you lose all the stuff.
    I admit my total ignorance about these things but how likely is losing your tent to fire when cold camping?
    Hot tenting?
    Yes I use a liquid fuel stove but in 40 years of cooking in my tent I have never come close to a real blow-up, although I have once had a major flare-up and several minor ones before always starting the MSR with alcohol rather than Shellite.
    Ditto falling though the ice
    I have just arranged to buy a second smaller rucksack tho, my own winter sack is a bit too big to wear when sled hauling and the S/H price was right as were the payment terms. The new smaller bag is an Osprey Eather 85 and it is a full kilo lighter than my canvas 110 litre bag
     
  2. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx NRA Endowment Life Member Supporter Bushclass I

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    Not a bad idea. In a similar vein, about 15 years ago a quasi-renowned traditional bowhunter and former traditional bowhunting store owner, named Paul Brunner, was severely burned when an outfitter's camp stove or lantern flared-up. (I don't recall which.) Immediately after his release from the hospital, he became a vocal proponent for wool clothing (particularly for base layers), stating that if he had been wearing polypropylene or other modern fabrics, the fire would have melted his clothing to his skin and he would not have survived. His story made quite the rounds in the trad bowhunting world and MANY bowhunters took heed. More food for thought.
     
  3. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    get a couple pool noodles and affixx to the sled for emergency floatation.
    keep the extra clothes in your rucksack in a dry bag
     
  4. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    So this means a full spare set of clothing?
    Or just mid layers and storm gear?
     
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  5. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    Tagging for interest.

    Have no experience in this . Just curious.
     
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  6. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  7. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    Of course anything can happen, but weight and space are always limited. Light your stoves and lanterns outside of the tent. When they are generating and burning nicely bring them inside. Generally, sleds don't sink when they get in water, they float. Usually they are bundled so tightly that water doesn't get a chance to soak in. I wouldn't think there would be a problem with the sled. Your feet is what you will need to take care of.

    I've logged thousands of miles and many months winter camping and never burned down a camp. I've been in overflow and in water many times while winter camping, sometimes down to 40 below. It's inevitable, if you spend much time out. Always be ready to build a fire if you have to and always have dry socks and extra boot liners accessible if you need them.

    Have fun.
     
  8. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I am a skier not a walker so I will usually be wearing plastic telemark boots, those are OK in water up to my ankles but I will have snowshoes with me as well. I have a plan to buy NEOS overboots too
    @ Mark ? How many spare sets of socks is going to be enough then? I was planning on 1 spare set of warm sox plus 3 sets of liners [ I wear Injinji liners and these wear out fast] should I buy another set then?
     
  9. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    Well in the event of going through ice and getting soaked youd want a full change of clothes.
    Make some ice grippers , couple 6" pieces of stout broomstick an eye in one end of each piece tie together with 3' piece of paracord , drill a hole in other end and insert a stout screw, grind screw to a point.
    Hang round your neck when on ice, if ya go through use the grippers to pull yourself onto solid ice again.
    Unless your sled weighs more than you its likely that you will go through the ice before the sled, the sled spreads theweight across the entire bottom of the sled reducing the P.S.I. on surface of ice. Your foot has a higher P.S.I
    increasing your chance of breakthrough. I would also consider tying ruck to a separate rope and laying on top of sled,
    ya wouldnt want that on your back if ya went through. and if sled goes through ya can reel in the ruck.
     
  10. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    NEVER TOO MANY SOCKS!!!!at the very least 2 spares imho. If you put a hole in a pair you will still have a backup.
    Ive always been a firm believer in EXTRA socks.
    my packlist looks kinda like this: extra socks, food, extra socks, sleep bg, extra socks, stove, extra socks.........
     
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  11. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Ice picks are on my "To Do " list already courtesy of the fellers at Winter Trekking.
    Well a full set of clothes in synthetics won't weigh much and I was going to sew up a set in ThermalPro anyway.
    I'll make sure I pack in an extra set of insulated pants. I was planning on bringing my DAS parka as a backup Sounds like I have everything I really need except for the experience and there is only one way to get that. I am not looking forward to the ice-plunge practice but I guess I had better do it when I first get a safe chance
     
  12. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    you might consider goretex socks or similar over your socks to keep feet dry in your ski boots.
    @mark said what i was thinkin bout the sled floating, the look like barges so it stands to reason theyd float
     
  13. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    When I said spare I wasn't thinking of my Emergency sets. My ski boots don't use insulating socks as they have a foam inner boot; I am getting a second inner boot as a backup even if they are $200- I ski in very thin synthetic socks, a pair of Injinji liners under an ultra thin LW Alpine sock. I will need new snowshoes as mine are dead after 30 years of abuse over rocks and ice here so my other footwear isn't finalised.
    OK adding more sets of socks to my buy list, here before I leave or there after I arrive, price seems to be the same either way for winter socks
     
  14. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    yup, only ONE way to learn.....dive in and let the devil count the dead!!
    you might consider an outer layer that isnt synthetic for around campfire
     
  15. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Hey Mugsy G'Day from Australia, I have family in Binghamton not far from you there in Albany
    Yep a full cotton anorak is in the pipeline as well as a Ventile windbreaker. I am having a really hard time convincing my beloved wife that I really do need an anorak that is 85 inches in girth tho
     
  16. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    ventile is some good stuff
    binghamton is just a stones throw away
     
  17. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    I'll add that anything of survival value be put in dry bags; with the lightweight dry bags available today- no reason not to put clothing, sleeping bag, emergency bits in dry bags- mere ounces

    If a sled, pack, etc get dunked, you can be assured that items are still dry.
     
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  18. southron

    southron Guide

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    I asked a fellow who went up there from Alabama

    His first words were:

    fur lined jock strap. (Southron joke meaning take warm stuff, waterproof also.)
     
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  19. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp knife maker and survival enthusiast Supporter

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    The number of spare socks, or anything is dependent on the amount of time or miles you plan on doing. I'm not sure if you said. I would have one dry pare that are easily accessible at all times, and a dry pare of gloves. If you get wet, your feet and your hands are going to go first. If your hands get wet at thirty below, you're not going to be able to change your socks or start a fire. If your feet get wet, your hands will get wet. You'll have a very short amount of time to take care of those things. You may not even be able to open your duffel unless it is held shut with Fastex fasteners or similar.
     
  20. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Things are still very much in the figuring out stage Mark, and partly dependent on my mates availability.
    Too early to book LOTN trip etc
    All I have so far are a tentative arrival in NY in late October / early November 2020 and a 90 day ETA visa for the USA and Canada.
     
  21. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    A group I belong to here are now planning a winter ascent of Mt Rainier, I look like joining them for that, looking for a new and modern ice axe now and I may apply for a long term multiple entry visa and pay the extra cost, spend more time with the wifes extended family in New York state
     
  22. Road King

    Road King Scout

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    I agree with you. While in the Marines I had my polypro long underwear burn up trying to get a fire going. No light weight wool was available then. I pack Omni Wool which is fantastic and economical. And I like the idea of an extra bag with clothing. Only thing I do is pack that extra stuff in a dry bag . I have had my sled roll over in small streams and puddles.
     
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  23. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    The feelings about synthetic underwear are interesting, the British Royal Navy did a big study a while ago and came to the conclusion that polypropylene was easier to debride from burns than woollens but polyester and nylon were worse/harder to remove.
    Irrelevant to most of us I think unless we make a habit of sitting around a big open fire in our base layers.
    I'll be cautious but personally I am not going to swap the small advantages of wool base layers for the huge advantages of good polyester, I do intend to wear a woollen shirt when hot tenting tho as I know how quickly a synthetic shell can melt when it brushes against a hot steel stove and use leather shell gloves for minor domestic tasks.
     
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  24. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Tracker Banned

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    THIS!

    i would pack 3 emergency pairs of wooly socks and wooly gloves and a spare wool toque.
     
  25. KFF

    KFF Guide

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    Never done something like this, but still my first thought was packing everything in drybags.
    Securing a long enough rope to sled when crossing water and let it drag after me would be the second and the third thing was that is the 85l on your back too much? Dragging an 85 and sled would kill me.
    One of those lightweight 65 would be my choice if it holds spare clothes, tarp and fire and first aid. Something like exped backcountry or similar.

    If I was going it would be even smaller as a girl can't drag that much gear.

    Wool, down, leather, waterproofs. That trip is all about layers, thin, lightweight, warm, easy to put on and peel off and you will be doing that many times a day.
     
  26. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    G'Day all
    85 litres is a big pack but much smaller than my old canvas bag. That one is 110 litres.
    I'll be taking the advice and getting a couple of extra dry bags. One for the sleeping bag and another for the complete spare set of clothing. I already have a 90 litre dry bag liner for the big rucksack although it is a very heavy duty one that is weighty compared to new stuff.
    KFF I need a big pack simply because I'm a reasonable big sort of feller and my stuff is more bulky and weighs more, but I have no intention of carrying suck a big pack while dragging the sled train, it will be for day trips/ summit climbs etc and will stay on one or other of the sleds.
    I started making a set of ice crawlers today; interesting exercise.
     
  27. KFF

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  28. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    most definitely mittens are the way to go, though id have a midweight waterproof glove for dexterous use
     

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