Critique my Winter Camp Packing List

Discussion in 'Winter Camping' started by greencitygardener, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. greencitygardener

    greencitygardener Tracker

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    Hi BCUSA,

    I decided this is the year I will go winter camping for the first time. I've read quite a few of the threads aimed at beginners over the years but would appreciate it if you guys would tell me if my packing list looks OK.

    I'm planning on a car camping trip to Stokes State Forest in NJ to get my feet wet without doing anything too dangerous since I'll be alone, most likely. It is also close to a relative's house so I can bail in the middle of the night easily. I'm planning on going MLK weekend, and expect lows in the single digits and highs around 20-30F.

    Shelter:
    - Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter Lt. Tarp tent
    - 2 sleeping bags, Kelty cosmic down 20 (short size) nested inside a eureka 15 degree synthetic bag, regular size.
    - windcatcher air mattress (maybe it is R2?) I am considering buying a piece of foam board insulation to sleep on since you can get that fairly cheap and it'll have a higher R rating. Is that necessary?
    - mylar blanket as a ground cloth
    - I have a SOL Escape bivvy, should I put that over my two sleeping bags? Overkill?
    -Camp chair
    - wool blanket
    - diy fleece sleeping bag insert

    Clothing:
    - Base layer synthetic boxers and shirt
    - Long underwear
    - sweatpants and sweatshirt for pajamas
    - Wool socks, 2 pairs, one for sleeping
    - Balaclava
    - Fleece pullover
    - Wool hat
    - Winter coat
    - Insulated bibs for keeping warm when not moving
    - chemical hand and feet warmers
    - leather gloves and glove liners

    Cooking Tools
    - pot
    - nalgene for a hot water bottle
    -Insulated mug
    - misc stuff and food

    Tools
    - hatchet
    - saw
    - knife
    - multitool
    - Headlamp
    - backup light
    - lighter
    - lantern
    - ferrous rod
    - extra tarp or mylar blanket for a wind break or fire reflector.




    This is obviously a lot more like a glamping trip than a hardcore bushcraft outing, but I figure I'd like to be comfortable so I want to do it again! If anyone has suggestions or thinks I'm under-prepared, I'm all ears.


    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
  2. Luafcm

    Luafcm Scout

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    Ground insulation is a good investment, with that in mind consider taking a insulating seatpad to use on that camp chair. It's one of my favorite pieces of winter gear. It doubles as a great pillow. Mine is a Remington branded one, but it's the heat-a-seat product basically.

    [​IMG]

    Also, when hiking around there are lots of places to sit in the winter and relax, but around midday most will be wet. I carry this seat to park my butt on fallen trees or stumps or whatever.
     
  3. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I'd be adding in a CCF pad or even 2 of them as weight and bulk don't seem to be an issue
    I'd take the SOL escape bivvy but keep it for a VB just in case
     
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  4. Makarov

    Makarov Scout

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    best gloves I found for snow camping are cheap, plastic dipped cotton gloves (usually brown in color) with military wool glove liners. don't get the tight ones but the loose ones that are dipped from the fingers to the wrist. if snow is not in the equation, the rubber dipped work insulated work gloves work well. the leather gloves get soaked and stay wet.
     
  5. Luafcm

    Luafcm Scout

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    A couple more,

    Watch out for moisture build up in the tent, or it will be raining frost in the morning. A candle lantern can help.
    Put your clothes for the morning inside your sleeping bag, so that they are body temp when you want to wear them.

    Also, if you're car camping anyway I'd be taking everything. You may want to try some gear experimenting while you're out there, so having all kinds of gear in the car is a great idea. Take the kitchen sink if you can, sounds like you are going out to test yourself and your gear anyway. Nothing worse than thinking "I should have brought the whatnot".
     
  6. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    I would add:

    -Another pair or two of wool socks.

    -Another set of underwar so you can change them before putting on your sweats.

    -Lip balm.

    -Sunglasses, if there is snow.

    -FAK.
     
  7. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I grew up outside Syracuse (so, not a LA native!)

    Looks like a good level of overkill... you want that. Be a shame to bail for want of an extra inch of sleeping bag thickness. You will learn more from what goes wrong on this trip.

    I don't like mylar for a ground cloth as I think it's too thin and punctures easily. I personally would use part of a poly tarp (I have 3x7 and a 2x5 pieces that I use for trips. The one is 8oz, the other is about 4.) In scouts, we used to use old shower curtain liners (but they'd crack if it got too cold!)

    You have an air mattress, but without some insulation on the bottom, you will be cold laying on it. Get a cheap blue foam (or green military) pad. That wool blanket folded in quarters about 6'x2' will also work.

    You'd probably be ok sleeping in the long johns and base layer, but that's up to you.

    Bivy might be too much and trap moisture. I don't like them myself... just make sure you don't have any drafts in your tarp and you should be ok in that arena.
     
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  8. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Good luck! I'm familiar with Stokes, and it's a great place.

    Just a thought, if you haven't paid for the spot yet - Jenny Jump State park - west on 80, has cabin sites, called "shelters". I mention this only because it would give you a great opportunity to test your gear, but a really easy bail out option that wouldn't involve having to work with family. The cabins are primitive and small but have four walls, a working woodstove and basic bunkbeds. Specifically, shelter site 006 has the cabin with a small porch and a typical picnic table and fire ring, but unlike the other spots, it has an extra clearing a little above the cabin (with a small stone fire ring, when we were there this past September) that would work nicely as a primitive tent area.

    As for gear, I'm not an expert by any means, but you might consider reflectix as an alternate extra pad. You can get a whole roll relatively cheap at Home Depot, it's waterproof, reflective, and can be easily cut to size for any number of projects. Keeping away the conductive heating factor would seem to be a biggie in that kind of weather, and remember your bags will compress on bottom leaving you with a lot less insulating value.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
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  9. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    More under insukation. you want at least 4.5 rvalue. reflectix a cheap easy boost. MIN for winter camping in my experience.
     
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  10. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Agreeing with anyone who says that your under insulation is on the light side for the temperatures you've listed. Recommendations:
    1) Definitely beef up your under insulation. Pick up a closed-cell-foam sleeping pad, they can be very cheap and will all roll up (unlike foam board insulation, unless you are thinking of different foam boards than I am). For example (Amazon links): Wenzel (R:1-2?) ; Ridgerest (R: 2.8) or Ridgerest (R:3.6) or ZLite relatively expensive. Cheaper (sub $20) CCF can also be found (for example, surplus army mats), and reflectix is also a good dirt cheap option. And if the higher price tags of the aluminized Ridgerest and Z-Lite are not immediately distressing to your budget, consider bumping up another $10 and just getting Klymit's insulated static V (an insulated inflatable with an R value of 4.4) to replace the windcatcher as your cold weather pad.
    2) If you pick up a CCF pad and keep everything else the same, I would layer ground cloth, CCF pad, inflatable, then drape the wool blanket over the inflatable and tuck in around the edges where ever possible (not sure how large your wool blanket is) as a thermal barrier for the air in the inflatable. If the wool blanket is too small for that, ground cloth, inflatable, then CCF then wool blanket might be a nice combo, if it doesn't feel too unstable. Regardless, I suggest using the wool blanket for your *under* insulation, not your top insulation.
    3) I would reserve the bivy AND the fleece sleeping bag insert for if you wake up cold at 3-4am. I think your double bags system will work nicely and that the weakest link is currently your insulation from the ground. Food for thought: if your top insulation is too hot and makes you sweat, then it will get damp and become cold/less effective at insulating you, so don't overlayer (with bivy, fleece insert, or by wearing anything besides your designated PJs, sleeping socks and a hat) when you first lie down to sleep.
    4) A bonus of having the CCF pad is they are great to put on your camp chair and keep your back and butt warm while you are sitting, then move them to your bedding when it's time to fall asleep.
    5) What are you going to wrap your nalgene full of boiling water in to keep it from burning you when you use it as a hot water bottle? (Just think about this ahead of time.)
     
  11. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Empty your bladder and eat something just before crawling into sleeping bag(s). Seems logical but easy to forget if you're thinking about everything else. Enjoy, you'll be fine and will learn a lot.
     
  12. TN_Woodman

    TN_Woodman Scout

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  13. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    All these mixed layers of ground insulation tend to slide around if allowed, I usually take a few webbing straps that can hold them together but a better solution is to make a sleeve, if done with the correct fabrics it also acts like your groundsheet and couple of yards of silpoly 30 inches wide won't weigh much, ditto the top half which can be anything soft and lightweight
     
  14. Hilda23

    Hilda23 Tinder Gatherer

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    Good luck for your first winter camping. Camping is really a great idea and i'm planning for one this month after Christmas. I was searching for information regarding camping and i'm glad that I found this thread. While searching for camping ideas I found an useful article Tips For Storing Belongings In The Winter | Jiffy Self Storage Blog. Hope this'll be useful for you in case if you want to store any valuables.
     
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  15. HalM

    HalM Supporter Supporter

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    Food?

    My first winter camping trip with 5 friends into the ADK was something I thought we were totally ready for, but we were a hair from disaster. (We were a 2 mile snowshoe in from the truck and then a 40 minute drive to cell reception, and it hit -6) We did just about every single thing wrong we could. Starting with a car camp is safer and a good idea. By our second time, we had it wired.

    We generally do a mix of things for food, but we now do this for ALL our camping trips:

    1. Frozen hot dogs and sausages, with tortilla shells, for suppers. As easy as other things are, when there is a fire, dang it, I want some charred meat!
    2. Mountain House (or other) for Breakfast and sometimes lunch. (Get the Breakfast Skillet and use 3/4 a cup less water than it wants, and put it in a warned tortilla shell for a breakfast burrito, and have a biscuits and gravy as well.. mmmm!)

    For those, I made us all simple pouches out of reflectix which also double as a great sit pad. Problem solved.

    Light? You should be ok at those temps but our coleman stuff froze totally up at -6. I have since replaced all nalgene seals with leather.

    Other invaluable tips we now use:

    1. 2 Nalgene bottles. One you want to fill with boiling water right before bed and put in your sleeping bag when you get in, then you also wake up with water for coffee and breakfast. The other keep for drinking.

    2. Pee before you get into your sleeping bag. Buy a big gatoraide and keep the empty bottle in reach to pee in at night without having to get out of your bag.

    3. Use a Long Fire. IA Woodsman from here made a video on how to do it and it has been a game changer for us.

    4. Anything with batteries will go dead in the cold, so keep them inside your jacket. (they don't really go dead, warm them back up and they work, but they don't work well at very low temps.)

    5. Constantly be making sure you have enough wood (2 times what you think is enough) and constantly be processing water.

    6. Brandy in a flask.

    7. Clothes you want to dry out (generally all of them) put in your bag with you at night, should be dry by morning.

    Feet and hands. Feet and hands. Keep them warm, you will have fun. They get cold, it is misery.


    I use a Wiggy's pad for my ground pads always and they work fantastic for me, down to -12 tested. In fact, in my Wiggy's bag with that pad, I sleep in just boxers right down to -5 or -10... and am toasty.
     
  16. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    "windcatcher air mattress (maybe it is R2?) I am considering buying a piece of foam board insulation to sleep on since you can get that fairly cheap and it'll have a higher R rating. Is that necessary?"

    I would strongly, in the strongest terms possible recommend against using an un insulated air pad. The insulation within your bag will get compressed under body weight and things will go downhill fast. Get a closed cell pad (or two) if looking for something inexpensive. The ground pad is just as important as the bag.
     
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  17. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Lip balm is the coin of the realm. The rest are good additions as well.
     
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  18. riverrunner

    riverrunner Scout

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    Ditch the air mattress and go with a closed cell pad or two. Wear a beanie to bed and you will be a lot warmer. Have fun!

    And stay hydrated!
     
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  19. Flint_2016

    Flint_2016 Guide

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    In Pennsylvania they have primitive cabins which are heated with wood fires(fireplace insert.Gotta find wood nearby or buy it.Sometimes past renters leave firewood at one of the cabins.World's End State Park which rents these,are available year round.Gotta reserve them through reserveamerica.Cabin's have electricity,stove/oven and fridge appliances.Bathroom with shower is nearby.Stream nearby,and lots of trails to hike.Two night minimum stay during the off season.World's End S.P.would be the closest to New York/New Jersey.The website gives location.I've stayed at the rustic cabins at the Promised Land S.P. many times and loved it.Here's the website for the park(park is between Wilkes Barre and Williamsport PA.).PA DCNR - Worlds End State Park
    Rustic Cabin Time Frame Resident Price
    Peak Season
    Resident Price
    Non-peak Season
    Non-resident Price
    Peak Season
    Non-resident Price
    Non-peak Season

    Sleep 2/3 Per Week $211.32 $192.45 $254.72 $233.96
    Sleep 2/3 Per Night Fri - Sat * $43.40 * $50.94
    Sleep 2/3 Per Night Sun - Thur * $26.42 * $33.02
    Sleep 4/5 Per Week $252.83 $230.19 $303.77 $267.92
    Sleep 4/5 Per Night Fri - Sat * $50.94 * $60.38
    Sleep 4/5 Per Night Sun - Thur * $32.08 * $36.79
    Sleep 6/7 Per Week $311.32 $279.25 $364.15 $330.19
    Sleep 6/7 Per Night Fri - Sat * $62.26 * $74.53
    Sleep 6/7 Per Night Sun - Thur * $38.68 * $45.28
    Sleep 8/9 Per Week $364.15 $330.19 $439.62 $400.00
    Sleep 8/9 Per Night Fri - Sat * $74.53 * $90.57
    Sleep 8/9 Per Night Sun - Thur * $45.28 * $54.72
    Sleep 10/11 Per Week $430.19 $384.91 $515.09 $462.26
    Sleep 10/11 Per Night Fri - Sat * $86.79 * $104.72
    Sleep 10/11 Per Night Sun - Thur * $52.83 * $63.21
     

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  20. designtom

    designtom Scout

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    Winter nights are LONG. Bring or make some friends. A book and spare battery for phone works, but are a poor substitute.

    Do the sleeping bags actually fit each other? I've seen many people have better luck with their mummy 3 season bag into a cheapie rectangular bag. You don't want the inner bag to bunch up anywhere. It needs to lay flat. Pile on the blankets if you're going below single digits F

    You won't have the ability to move or pick your camp due to wind consideration. Making a real wind break can be important. I'd suggest the strongest, thickest poly tarp with major reinforcing of grommets with duct tape (you have to do this at home, the glue doesn't work as well in the field). 20x12 size is usually the longest/least tall I've found or used. Four pieces of firewood/walking staves 6' long are helpful. Huge nail spikes, and a maul to drive them. Don't stake the bottom to the ground. In high winds, you're better off with 6' of 550 cord that can stretch. The stakes can become dangerous projectiles if they're ripped out of the ground.

    I wear booties/slippers all night that allow me to exit sleeping bag and use the privy (if ground is frozen). A bottle that can be used inside the sleeping bag has many merits.

    As mentioned, the air mattress is going to cause more problems than it solves.

    Cordage, lots of it
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
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  21. greencitygardener

    greencitygardener Tracker

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    Thank you to everyone who responded; I really appreciate it!

    I will definitely get a CCF pad for underneath me. Probably the Ridgerest Solar which is R3.5. I have a thick yoga mat (1" thick) I will bring too, and all that along with the air pad I think will do. I'll bring some cordage to bind it all together. I will still probably bring the windcatcher sleeping pad because I actually haven't had a chance to see how it is to sleep on, even though I got it for Christmas last year! If it is more of a bother, I'll just not use it.

    I have experimented with the two sleeping bags on my mom's balcony, and they do nest together and don't squish each other too much. I sat out there for like 40 mins and felt OK in like 10 degree weather.

    Instead of the mylar blanket, maybe I'll pick up a Grabber Heat blanket. Those seem to be sturdier, and could double as a wind break.

    I'll definitely overpack on socks and clothes.

    I also have a UCO Candle Lantern. I have never used it inside a tent because usually it isn't cold enough and I don't want to die of CO poisoning. I could definitely hang that inside the tent, or place it inside of a terracotta pot on the ground, so there wouldn't be any risk of it falling or melting the tent or anything. My tent has an open floor, so I obviously can't melt the tent floor. The tent has vents, and I'm also expecting to not have a perfect seal with the ground, so that'll let some air in. Is that enough precaution?

    I have thought about Jenny Jump, the place in PA seems really nice too, but a little far for me for just a weekend trip alone. I also like to go places I've camped at before if I am going alone. I used to live about 15 mins away from Jenny Jump, but all the cabins are booked more or less, and my winter camping adventure was a bit of a last minute thought! My partner could be convinced to come if we got a cabin. I don't think he would be much for sleeping on the ground in the winter. Maybe next winter.

    I'll bring a book and some carving projects to occupy the time. On the topic of food, usually I bring way too much food, so I have that covered.
     
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  22. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Good luck and looking forward to hear how it goes!
     
  23. gwynn1975

    gwynn1975 Misguided Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    In my experience with cold weather camping, sleeping in just my underwear seems to keep me warmer. Your body heat will fill the inside of your sleeping bags instead of being trapped in you PJs. I know, sounds contradictory but it works. Try. It's ways if you're doing multiple nights. The night you sleep without the PJs, keep the PJs in the sleeping bag in case you find that you want to put them on.

    Hope you stay warm and most importantly, have fun!
     
  24. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    Quite an extensive list, especially in the mattress department but its better to overpack in your situation than to underpack. Once you get a few winter outings under your belt and really test your gear, you'll have a solid idea of what to take and what not to take next time.
     
  25. billdawg

    billdawg Supporter Supporter

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    If you're car camping, bring as much as you want, that's the beauty of car camping. That way you see what works for you and what doesn't. Now to your list

    -Bring a set of underwear/socks for each day and one extra just for sleeping. NEVER, EVER (unless it can't be helped), sleep in the clothes you sweated in all day. I always pack mine in ziplock bags.
    -Ditch the mylar thingy. They serve a purpose, but you shouldn't need it.
    -Make sue your pad is not air filled, but foam/closed cell. Air conducts cold, then you are cold.
    -Take a tarp for a footprint under your tent
    -Bring a camp chair to sit by the fire. Nothing sucks worse than sitting on a wet log in the winter
    -Get a big Nalgene bottle and make it your all time pee bottle. I've used one for years and highly recommend it, especially for winter camping
    -Make sure you drink plenty of water. You can get de-hydrated just as easily in the cold and snow as you can the sand and heat. But, most times you won't be sweating out your liquid, you will be peeing it out...so see above, lol
    -Bring a book or a good project to work on while it's dark and you can use a light. Night comes a lot earlier in the winter and it even surprises me at times, when I think "Man it's dark, I should be hitting the hay." and it's only 7:05 pm, lol
     
  26. Revolverrodger

    Revolverrodger Tracker

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    I like using a closed foam pad and an autoinflatable pad
    Works good
     
  27. designtom

    designtom Scout

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    Tools:
    small whisk broom. Push the snow to the corners of a shelter, sweep snow off your fleece or wool clothing
     
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  28. Backyard

    Backyard Supporter Supporter

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    Regarding your gear.
    • Good call on the grabber reflective tarp. I used a ripstop nylon tarp and the grabber shiny side up in mid-December. I'd bring an extra to use as a fire reflector / wind blocker.
    • I find less clothing is more when sleeping. I bring two pair of long johns, one to wear during the day, one to change into before bed. I hang them from my tarp ridge line to dry when I'm not wearing them.
    • I would suggest light gloves to wear while sleeping along with the balaclava and fresh pair of loose wool socks from your list. On most winter occasions my ridge line looks like a clothes line. Dry means warm.
    • Anything more than a self inflatable pad is going to take longer to heat up. I would suggest not using anything you need to blow up.
    • As stated above, sit pads are awesome for so many reasons
    We did the following on my latest trip
    • 30 minutes collecting or processing firewood
    • 15 minutes drinking water and resting
    • Repeat until you can't imagine you can burn that much wood. You'll be wrong, as I was. Better to collect more than you can process. Easier to cut or baton wood that is right next to your shelter.
    Good luck! Looking forward to the trip report.
     
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  29. maineman1985

    maineman1985 Scout

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    Klean makes a wide mouth stainless steel bottle in 64oz make a sack to put it in from old wool or flannel shirt and have one heck of a hot water bottle to bring into your sleeping bag with ya.
     
  30. xRangerx

    xRangerx Woods wandering bird nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    I did my first cold(ish) weather trip last winter and learned a lot. Water bottle in the bottom of the sleeping bag worked great. I used the same shelter as you, and had a 20* wiggys bag and the temps got right to 20*. I slept pretty well, got a little chilly and threw on another jacket. My feet got the coldest and I have since thought about getting some of the booties that wiggys sells, we will see! Good luck, take notes, and have fun!
     
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  31. HalM

    HalM Supporter Supporter

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    Wiggies Sunwalkers. They are fantastic. I also did an overnight on NYE and my feet were too warm if you can believe it. Those booties are great in their versatility. Have worn them and nothing else on my feet for many nights around camp with no visible wear.

    This was my first solo and my first tarp shelter only. Learned a lot.

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  32. Canajun

    Canajun Guide Bushclass I

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    I've put my comments next to yours in bold (as I couldn't see how to make them another colour). Just thoughts on the concept or indicating what I use. And bear in mind I am something of a minimalist as I have pretty much always had to carry everything on my back. If I'm using a vehicle, it means I'm hunting and that's a different game for me, so I do carry extra "snivel kit" as I don't have to pack on my shoulders!

     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  33. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    With all threads like this it is a good idea that the OPs come back and give their own critique on what went well, what didn't and how much fun [ or not] they had
    This helps us all
     
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  34. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    regarding your bags, insure they fit together- you can reek havoc with the loft if there isn't room for one or the other to fit inside (or outside)

    there is nothing wrong with an air mattress for winter camping, just needs to be the right one- the Xtherm has a 5.7 R value- I'm very comfortable to 0 with it (a thin ccf added if it's possible to go below 0)

    I like a piece of Tyvek (cut to size) for a ground cloth

    unless your sweat pants and sweat shirts are fleece, ditch them- cotton as sleeping wear in the winter is not a good idea, use a spare (dry) set of thermals

    gloves are fine, but always bring mittens (always) for winter outings

    you don't mention boots, but pac boots w/ spare liners work really well- think Sorels or the like

    a small chunk off ccf pad added to your chair will be most welcome :)

    have fun and take lots of pictures :4:
     
  35. greencitygardener

    greencitygardener Tracker

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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I actually ended up having to work this Saturday so pushed my adventure to February. I will post an update once I finally get out there.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
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  36. DRKMNZ

    DRKMNZ Tinder Gatherer

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    I'm about to embark on my first winter camping trip as well. This thread was just the right thing to answer my questions and get psyched up. One thing for sure, I better go get a CCF pad!
     
  37. winterlover

    winterlover Supporter Supporter

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    Lots of good advice here... Hope I'm not being redundant; but i'll throw in my 2 cents.. You need at Least R5 under you for winter, R6 or more if you really want to be comfy. Forget the air mattress unless it is one of the insulated ones; the air convection inside an uninsulated air mattress makes it useless in winter. I like an insulated air mattress (thermarest, big agnes, Xtherm, or similar) plus a ridge rest or blue foam; any closed cell pad will work fine though. Just make sure you have at least R5 total under you. Don't use a non breathable bivy sack over your sleeping bags, you will just get sweaty and your bag will get frost in it. Be sure to wear a hood or a very warm hat. Have a pee bottle handy! Take a hot water bottle to bed with you (but put it in a waterproof bag in case it leaks!) Have a warm coat handy to throw on if you have to get up for some reason. Take pics and have fun, sounds like a fine adventure!
     
  38. Minos

    Minos Tinder Gatherer

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    Ok, I finally made it out for my first winter adventure. I ended up changing plans and went with a friend to Jenny Jump State Forest and we stayed in a shelter there. My friend isn't a cold weather fan, so I knew tent camping wouldn't work and having a buddy with you makes everything way more fun. Anyways the shelter had a woodstove, but no insulation. Even in the shelter it got super cold, ambient air temp outside, when the fire died down. I had a ton of blankets in addition to my sleeping bags which came in handy. They had some mattresses in there to sleep on. I was comfortable but definitely see the value in more insulation underneath your body at night. I did the hot nalgene in a sock trick and that was great. We had a great time and it was nice to spend time away from the city and to turn off our cellphones for once. It was tough getting up on the last day and putting on cold clothes in 15 degrees inside the shelter. I think that I definitely could do winter tent camping now, but I don't know that I'd enjoy it. It is one thing to be cold for a little while and another to be cold the entire day with wind whipping your face and then to spend the night cold too. I think I need some more three season backpack trips under my belt and then I would consider maybe a titanium stove and tent setup for winter if I really want to do that. Still, the shelter was really great. It was so nice to have snow outside and play with the woodstove and read a book or work on carving projects. I highly recommend considering doing a shelter first before tent camping outside in this weather for people like me without years of experience. Thank you to the poster who recommended Jenny Jump!

    Edit: also apologies, apparently I have two accounts on this forum accidentally and I posted under the wrong one. This is the OP, greencitygardener.
     
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  39. trailmaster

    trailmaster Tracker

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    Pee bottle. It's sucks to get up to take a leak in the middle of the night. It will also help keep you warm. (*lid must be firmly secured*)
     

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