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PostPosted: October 18th, 2002, 5:41 pm 
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Joined: April 16th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Hot tent, cold tent, little gear, lots of gear, too much weight, the right clothing, the wrong clothing, sleds and snow shoes.....

I really am confused.

Can anyone give us winter camping newbees a gear list of things to take?

February may be a while off yet but it would be nice to know what one should have before hand so we can be sure of having the "Right Stuff".

This would give myself and maybe some others a chance to get our gear together before the time to go arrives.

I've never winter camped up north so I really need some sound gear advice for this trip.


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PostPosted: October 18th, 2002, 7:22 pm 
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Location: Sombra, Ontario Canada
Dave...If you have a husky or two,it's really quite easy to pull a full sled.

My job was to keep everything centered on the snowmobile track. A pair of 15ft ropes were tied off to the sides of Nakina's harness with the other ends tied to each side of the front-sides of my wooden toboggen. I would take my place behind the dog (not much of a view I'll have you know...)and in front of the toboggon.My theory was that I would only need to guide the ropes and assist once in a while on any uphill grades.

So off we went!

Things were fine for the first little while until I noticed that Nakina was growing more interested in following all the pretty rabbit trails leading from the trail into the woods. Our(lack of)progress continually held up the rest of the group.I had to think of something quickly. I motioned for everyone to pull ahead of us and, after making sure that we were well behind( but within sight of the group)I gave the command to MUSH!!
Worked like a charm. Nakina instantly bounded off along the trail, trying to catch up to the others. It was all I could do to keep pace with him!!
Ok a few times we did happen to be going downhill.The fact remains that it is much wiser to have your friend pull from behind the group than to try leading it!

Trust me...

(BTW that pic of Nakina lying in the tent...well it was someone else's tent...oops naughty boy!)

I look forward to bringing him again...the biggest problem may be tring to get him to agree to riding the "Bud Car"...yikes.

Mike S.


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2002, 7:48 am 
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Location: Binbrook, Ontario Canada
For those that are interested in the Winter Gathering and have never attended, I'm 50 something and last winter I attended my first gathering.

It sure was different to go to Scouter Joe's home, knock on the door, not knowing what to expect. Well, I was welcomed in like an old friend and treated to some fine hospitality.

We started out, pulling our sleds and I had a heavy backpack, which was pulled off because of the rope that was around my shoulders while pulling my sled. My new snowshoes, occasionally fell off and I can remember saying to myself " What the hell am I doing here?" The adventure was full of many lessons.

Sled: I had a large plastic one and it was great. It was pulled only by ropes and the only time it was a problem was on the downhill. Adding a solid plastic leader would be slightly better. Some others had wooden ones and they all worked fine. The larger the better.

Snowshoes: It didn't seem to matter which type people wore, either high tech or traditional wooden, they all worked fine. It helps to have a couple bungie cords to attach the shoes to your sled when in packed down areas.

Backpack: On the way out, I had a heavy pack on my back and this was a mistake. The more on the sled the better.

Walking Poles: Great, especially in thick forest areas.

Tent: I did have a 4 season tent. I have read that fiberglass poles can snap in the cold. I do believe that some others had fiberglass poles but they did not have a problem.

Sleeping Bag: I had two bags. One rated for -15 and another down mummy bag. It was cold for the first 10 minutes, but then it warmed up. I slept on a closed cell mat and also my clothes that I was not wearing. Between the two bags I kept my cloths for the new day and also my boot liners. I also slept in two layers of fleece underwear with a cap. Needless to say I woke up warm.

Clothing: Layers, Layers and more layers. I was amazed at how effective fleece underwear works. It draws moisture away from your body so that you stay warm even when you are stopped. I brought more than enough layers, as to be cold would end the fun. Avoid cotton

Boots: The larger the better. Add the space with socks and a good insole.

Goggles: I brought a pair, but were not needed as we did not have a snow storm. I wouldn't leave home without them.

Food: I think everybody brought more than enough. I had plenty of snack bars for during the day.


Water: I believe that I was the only person to carry my own water which worked out to be about 2 litters per day. I carried a good thermos bottle so I could make hot chocolate in the morning and it would still be warm come evening.

Maps: Others led the way. My map reading skills are zero, something that I want to improve on.

During the three days, I met a fantastic group of people and had a most memorable time. I CAN'T WAIT TO GO AGAIN THIS SEASON. See you there.


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 12:14 pm 
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Joined: September 4th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Markham, Ontario Canada
For those guys that have gone winter camping before, are you guys concerned about hypothermia in your sleep. Once you fall asleep, if the heater goes out or something, or if you gradually cool down, hypothermia's first symptom is drowsiness and you are already sound asleep.

I don't fear spending all day wherever, it's the fallig asleep part that concerns me.


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 1:18 pm 
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Joined: May 14th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
i remember our scout leaders waking us up every once in a while to make sure our toes hadn't fallen off! :eek: but that was manitoba winter camping and even then a bit excessive.

if i remember correctly, in the book dave quoted, "winter wilderness companion", the authors (who are extremely experienced) say that hypothermia in your sleep is impossible. no worries. :smile:


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 3:56 pm 
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I've also read that fighting to stay away can lead to total exhaustion. As a result, the body can't generate enough heat & you die of exposure. So snuggle up in a warm sleepingbag & don't worry.

Sleep should be easier in winter than summer because you don't have to worry about man-eating bears. They are in hibernation.


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 4:46 pm 
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I have taught overnight winter camping skills to a hundred or so youngsters (11-15) and I guarantee that you wake up first.

You will wake up because you will be cold - just like you wake up when the wife takes the covers. Cold comes before hypothermic.

The trick is knowing a good sleeping arrangement and what to do before bed so that you most likely won't wake up cold.

If you wake up cold in a hot tent add some fuel to the stove, add a little fuel to your fire (gorp), have a pee and get back to bed.

And, because I won't be there, you could even snuggle up to the guy beside you for warmth. LOL :wink:

cheers, Ted


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 5:48 pm 
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Location: London, Ontario CANADA
I take the same idea, but again, different method then the TripperTed.

Hot chocolate , gorp, energy bar, all of those things you wish you could eat before bed as a kid! Sugar!!

Pee bottle is a definite necessity unless you like finding a nearby spot outside the tent. ( I only had to go once during that odd hour and that was no fun putting the frozen boots on and standing around in the winter with nothing but your undies and a touque.

With cold camping, you alone are your heater. Eat well and drink more than you think, dehydration seems to be something you can do easily when it's cold out.

Georgi


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 5:57 pm 
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I used to avoid drinking before bed because I hated the thought of having to get up at night. I found that I sleep much warmer though if I'm well hydrated.

The young English co-worker that I mentioned in another thread is quite interested in coming to the winter gathering. So is his girlfriend. Are any other couples coming?


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 6:27 pm 
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Joined: October 1st, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sechelt, BC
Mad and Tripper
You are right on and Eagle, even though hypothremia (sp?)is a real concern I think your concerns of not waking up when winter camping is not a real problem. You will definately wake up if you get cold before you slip into never never land. Many years ago I had a group of scouts out winter camping and during the night the temperature dropped to around minus 30 or colder. My son and I slept in a snow bank and was OK until morning when you had to get up BRRRRRRRR. We got a fire going made some hot coffee and made the best of it. Mind you we were not too far from the road and broke camp early but all were fine. Most didn't have good bags and even though some were a little cold in the morning we all enjoyed ourselves. The worst would have been not to have gone. I know that as long as you 'ARE PREPARED' you will have a good time. As I said in an earlier post as far as I am concerned if you stay dry you will stay warm. Dress in layers and remove or add clothing as you body adjusts to the conditions. Keep your sleeping bag dry and try to have a good layer of insulation between you and the ground. Warm feet are a must. If your feet are cold your whole body is cold. Take your liners out at night and put them in or under your bag to keep them from freezing. Don't leave them out and in your boots. God, nothing is worse than putting your feet into cold boots. Keep something on your head and I don't mean a ball cap. Your body temperature is monitered through you knoggin (head) so keep a good toque on even when you sleep.
If you are in a remote area, yes, you will have to be careful. Use common sense and you will be just fine.
As most of us that have experienced sleeping out in the winter will tell you, by using your wit and skills you will add another season that can be enjoyed as much as the other 3 seasons. Just remember NO BUGS.
Dan


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 6:42 pm 
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Joined: October 1st, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sechelt, BC
Mad
In answer to your latest post, yes, my wife said she is planning on going. She was getting worried that other women were not going. Hopefully we will get other replys as well.
Dan


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 7:16 pm 
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Joined: June 18th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada
For those who were looking for a good introductory guide to winter camping, have a look at this page from the Princeton Outdoor Action Center


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 7:28 pm 
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Quote:
On 2002-10-22 19:27, Merlin wrote:
Take your liners out at night and put them in or under your bag to keep them from freezing. Don't leave them out and in your boots. God, nothing is worse than putting your feet into cold boots.

Therte is something worse. Putting your feet into cold boots, with damp liners that froze solid overnight. I experienced that during my '98 trip.
It was a fight getting my feet into them, but I warmed up quickly once we started travelling.


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2002, 8:33 pm 
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Georgi's comment on a pee bottle - right on -always have one handy. One serious word of warning though. Make really, really, really sure you can tell the difference between your pee bottle and your water bottle. It's a mistake you don't want to make half-asleep in the dark. I put 10 thin strips of duct tape evenly spaced around the pee bottle and none on the water bottle so I can distinguish by feel.
While were on the subject make sure your pee is colourless. If it's yellow your either taking vitamin C suppliments or your not drinking enough water. As mentioned earlier, dehydration is very easy in the winter and the leading cause of mild hypothermia. I characterize mild hypothermia as unusual grouchiness combined with dumb ideas. (I quit V-C tablets 3 days before a winter trip just so I can use pee colour as gauge for water consumption.)

Re wet/frozen liners. Some people's feet sweat dramatically when slugging around the bush. I have seen frozen liners in the morning that could probably hammer nails. One often used idea is to put a vapour liner (bread bag) between woolen sock and felt liner. The sock is quite wet at the end of the day but the liner stays nice and dry. At the end of the day, they dry their feet off and put on clean socks that are used the next day tripping.

cheers, and keep your toes warm,
Ted


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PostPosted: October 23rd, 2002, 7:51 am 
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Location: London, Ontario CANADA
There's one more thing in protection gear that is truly worth having.

Sun/eye protection.

bring some kind of a hat and some sunglasses.
even sunscreen!

Snow reflects the sun and its UV light as well.

Georgi

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Georgi on 2002-10-23 08:52 ]</font>


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