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PostPosted: February 15th, 2013, 7:17 am 
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Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
I just watched one of Kevin's winter camping videos - not a bad way to whet your appetite. Done in the Kawarthas, nothing earth shattering nor technical but it could entice you to try it it you never camped out in winter before.
's got a Dave Hadfield song as sound track near the end, nice!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQWFqOz1z38

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PostPosted: February 15th, 2013, 4:41 pm 
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I watch a few of his recent winter videos this morning. Fun to watch!

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PostPosted: February 15th, 2013, 6:32 pm 
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Look out for the videos on http://www.lureofthenorth.com

Kevin is featured in one of the trips but there are plenty more trips documenting some very adventurous winter journeys.

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PostPosted: February 15th, 2013, 7:32 pm 
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I have camped out 100's of nights in the winter, and have never carried even 1/4 of his gear, even when using a pulk. I imagine this is many meant for setting up a base camp near the vehicle, as you would not make too much distance with his gear.

Still, getting out and having fun is the main thing, and that he seems to be doing.

Me on the final stretch of a 120km ski around the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit. Skis, snowshoes and crampons all made the trip. :)

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PostPosted: February 17th, 2013, 9:03 am 
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I presume you are camping without a wood stove? Or are you using one of the lightweight Ti Goat set ups?

Take a look at [url]wintertrekking.com[/url] for info about traveling with big loads on toboggans across shield country.

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PostPosted: February 17th, 2013, 10:20 pm 
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chris randall wrote:
I presume you are camping without a wood stove? Or are you using one of the lightweight Ti Goat set ups?

Take a look at [url]wintertrekking.com[/url] for info about traveling with big loads on toboggans across shield country.


No stove here. I just use a simple single walled tipi for the most part. If it get real cold, which I have not seen in quite a few years, I will built a quinzee, or dig a snow cave to be cozy.

I have just preferred to go light and quick, especially with undulating terrain, and lots of deep snow. I have used a backpack way more than a pulk too, as pulks are not that good in most areas of the mountains with lots of elevation gain.

I just have never considered going with big loads, though not against trying. It is a style I just have not considered yet. None of the people I do trips with in the winter use hot tents and stoves either.

At the Banff Mountain Film Festival this year, there was a film by a couple Aussies called Crossing the Ice, where they pulled massive sleds to the South Pole. Though they suffered a lot, they made it. There was a (I believe) Norwegian fellow who was doing it at the same time solo, with a much smaller load, that seemed to come out of it a lot better in the end. Of course, using wood stoves was not an option. :)

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PostPosted: February 21st, 2013, 4:26 pm 
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Location: Barrie, Ontario Canada
I've winter camped for many years. What I've seen is that you can put up with cold-camping for 3 or 4 days, fine, but after that you are very ready for warmth. Everything you own is damp. The wish to get out of the bush grows very quickly, and becomes quite strong. It can lead to bad travelling decisions.

Almost everyone who tries hot-tenting in the Shield forest prefers it. You have to be ruthless with weight, even more than when canoeing, but it's a good way to live in the bush for an extensive period. Out west, with steeper grades of course, it's less practical.

I do not countenance the idea of the quinzee as an emergency shelter. I know and have heard all the reasons for one. I've built them myself. But the problem with a snow-shelter is getting wet. Either you leave your coat on and you sweat as you make it, which makes you wet, or you take your coat off and the snow from the roof falls on you as you excavate, which melts and makes you wet. Then you are in poor shape to spend the night.

I'd rather walk to a place where there is ample deadfall and firewood, make a very big pile of it, light a small fire, and sleep sitting up beside the fire. It won't be a great night, but you'll get through it.

Dave


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PostPosted: February 21st, 2013, 7:22 pm 
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Dave, there is no doubt that camping in the winter requires proper management of perspiration. Firstly, avoiding it as much as possible, secondly venting it as required, and thirdly eliminating it from clothing. Footwear is usually the only thing I have troubles getting completely dry, but dry socks and warm feet help a lot.

Only once have I built a quinzee under what could be seen as an emergency situation. Young and foolish, I had not checked a weather forecast, and the temps dropped to -40°C(or F if you like ;)), and four of us pitched in and made a dandy one, nice and cozy inside. Otherwise, they were always a planned build. With little trouble, they have always been big enough that we did not contact the walls while hanging out. We do use bivy bags inside. Snow caves tended to be a one man build, small inside, and used for sleeping only.

And yeah, nothing beats a nice huge warm fire, though at -40°, no matter how close you are to it, your backside is still very cold. :roll: :lol:

The only folks that I know that have a hot tent type setup, are hunters, and the double walled tents they use are massive, and the stove is no small thing either. I wish there was someone I knew close by with lighter gear to give this hot tent method a try. I am sure I could get into it. :)

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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2013, 10:26 am 
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You can make winter equipment yourself, and have it much lighter than the hunter's rig you're describing.

When snowmachines, and quads, came into use the need to pare away weight decreased. Hunt camps now carry a huge weight of stuff.

Human beings make terrible sled dogs, and if you're hand-hauling, all you ever think about is weight-reduction.

My tent, an 8 x 18 wall tent which I had custom-made, weighs 14 lbs and folds up small. Most of it is uncoated nylon -- only the stove-corner is canvas. And my stove, which I made myself at 9" x 9" x 22", weighs 9 lbs with the 3" stovepipe.

But you're right, hauling this stuff uphill in the mountains would be painful. I did a winter trip up to the Edith Cavell glacier once, and I know what you mean. Hot-tenting works far better in the Shield-forest. (But there's no shortage of that!)

As for sleeping in front of a fire, there are 2 secrets: the first is you need a pile of wood about as big as a volkswagen (so it's always better to camp where the wood is, rather than haul it), and the second is to keep the fire small, and sit very close -- practically in it. (And that's why wool pants are better than plastic.) A reflecting surface of some kind at the back makes it much better, obviously.

I've got a book mostly written, about this kind of old-fashioned stuff. I've got to get it done....

Dave


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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2013, 8:59 am 
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Interesting discussion guys.
I too have cold camped exclusively for many years.
On a recent solo 9 d trip my rig weight was similar too if not heavier than a hot tent set-up
Chain saw, gas, oil, tools, thermoses, camp chair, candles etc. Adds up fast 175lbs!
Iam about ready to convert over to the luxuriousness of the hot tent. much lighter lol
On my last trip i was fortunate to be able to use a friends camp before and after my trip. Was able to use a woodstove! I did find it hard to for lack of a better word to ‘thermo regulate’
I quickly found my senses being ‘desensitized’ to cold comfort. By 10 degrees above zero i was feeling chilled and was eager to feed the stove.... more wood! lol
Just an observation. Not that 10 degrees is a problem

Heres my favourite site for cold camping complete with heat radiating chimney.
On my last trip i wasnt as fortunate to have found such a sweet spot.

Image
Image

Other criteria that i try and incorporate in a camp is to position the sleeping area at a higher elevation than the fire to capture as much heat as possible.
Unfortunately this pic dosent show the fire.

Image

Site selection really is key. and of course...more wood!
I agree, moisture management for multi day trips is both critical and a tough task.
On my way out id met up with some snowmobilers with a huge prospectors tent. They said they had trouble bringing it in even with the sleds. (2ft of snow w slush)
They had all the fixins tho generators, lights etc and of course fresh moose and caribou ! yum
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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2013, 12:43 pm 
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I look forward to your book Dave, especially the tent. I would like to convert one of my canvas ones to that, even though I base camp It would be nice to get rid of the weight.
After the rain I had on my recent trip trip the canvas (8 x 12) got really heavy which made it very "fun" to get out of the spot I chose.
I am surprised no one has said anything about their size of snow shoes.
Jeff

ps this is my "home" :thumbup:

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2013, 1:28 pm 
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Dave Hadfield wrote:
Human beings make terrible sled dogs, and if you're hand-hauling, all you ever think about is weight-reduction.

My tent, an 8 x 18 wall tent which I had custom-made, weighs 14 lbs and folds up small. Most of it is uncoated nylon -- only the stove-corner is canvas. And my stove, which I made myself at 9" x 9" x 22", weighs 9 lbs with the 3" stovepipe.

If the terrain is moderate, I have completely given in to the concept of pulling a pulk as opposed to carrying a pack for winter travel. At the end of the day, I feel I have exerted about the same amount of energy, but I am way less sore pulling the pulk.

Your tent sounds like an interesting concept. I had always pictured them being full on canvas. This got me to looking around a bit, and there are lots of tipis out there that are light weight, and made for using a stove in. I use a small lightweight Golite tipi myself for most of my winter travels, as it is really light, and can easily fit 2 and gear.

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2013, 1:30 pm 
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Blinker wrote:
On a recent solo 9 d trip my rig weight was similar too if not heavier than a hot tent set-up
Chain saw, gas, oil, tools, thermoses, camp chair, candles etc. Adds up fast 175lbs!

:o WOW! 175lbs? That is about 100 lbs more than I go with. That's gotta keep you warm pulling that. :)

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2013, 4:58 pm 
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ya its slightly ridiculous . its the anti-slothmobile :lol: i know there are others who have even heavier set-ups altho they are doing multi wk expeditions
and yes hauling sled def generates copious heat.
i too used to have a light compact set-up. that was before i got the crazy idea to bring a chainsaw and all this other stuff. :-?

i wish i had the craftsmanship/expertise that Dave Hadfield has so i could make one of those set-ups myself.

nic pic Jeff. i look forward to hearing about your Agawa adventure.
the pics look awesome.


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PostPosted: March 7th, 2013, 8:59 pm 
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Location: West Kootenays BC
Jim ; there are lots of folks who retrofit their Golite tipi's with a stove jack and use a small Kifuru Ti stove. Not for heating all night but for evening and mornings. Takes very little wood to heat that space.

- In terms of keeping socks dry and feet warm lots of folks are using vapor barrier socks under the wool socks and swear by them.

-Jim do the Bowron Lakes freeze over in winter?? ,,,,like Issac???. Never occurred to me about traveling those lakes in winter.


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