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Do some here camp or at least day hike in winter?

How do you set up your hike or camp area?

Do you use cross country skis? or snowshoes?

If using cross country skis are they the groomed trail version or the Scandanavian wider long trail skis?

Any special kit that you have found invaluable? or food that you truky love in the winter?

Do you use a human powered or dog powered sled ( ;)LD)

What style of clothes do you bring along?

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Guest Lead Dog

I don't usually camp in winter, but do hike and, of course, run my dogs.  While it gets pretty cold here, we just don't get the snow I remember as a child.  It usually snows early in winter.  We will get a couple inches and it melts and turns the trails muddy after a day or two.  As a result, I usually hook the dogs up to a wheeled cart most of the time.  However, I always prefer to get the sled out when possible.

 

Given the lack of snow most of the time, my gear is not much different from hiking in other seasons.  The biggest difference is with clothing.  Layering, obviously, is key.  Base layer, fleece, and a shell (if windy or wet).

 

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Guest adrenjunky

I hike, and camp in the winter. I don't set up camp that much different, we haven't had much snow for the last twenty years. I cross country ski as much as I can, never used snow shoes but would like too. My 4 seasons REI tent is great.

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In the past few years, it seems that I've done more during the winter then I have during the summer.  

My shelter is either a quinzee or my 4 seasons tent, which can turn into a quinzee if I leave the snow on in the morning ;) .  

While my parents tried to get me hooked on skiing when I was growing up, but I can't stand'em.  While I will confess to never having the wider scandanavian skis, and only the narrow "trail" skis.  I always found them useless (which is untrue I know) for what I wanted to explore in the bush.  I was restricted to trails, and if I ventured off the groomed path, it was a horrible ordeal to go 20 feet.  Now, I am a snowshoe addict.  They keep me from sinking when I am off the beaten path, they are easier to go uphill with, and I can still "ski" down hill if I do it properly.  There are no special shoes, and I can get up when I fall down.  As a final bonus, they can fit on the back of a snowmachine.

 

For some reason, along with all of my usualy camp fare, winter camping breakfasts usually consist of "spitz" pumpkin seeds (BBQ flavour of course) and beef jerky in bed.  Either that or instant oatmeal.  It is always a toss up between staying in a warm bed, or getting a warm meal.

 

As for required kit.... my plastic sled, with a harness attached.  It beats the snot out of carrying a bag.  As well, if you toss some ceader branches into it, it makes a dandy couch.  or.... you can tromp down a  patch of snow , toss in a tarp, and use the sled to block the wind, (also to block wind to light a fire)

 

As for clothing and staying warm, you'll have to read my post in the "staying warm" thread

but.... lots of layers... and keep dry...

one of my favourite articles of clothing I failed to mention are my Ski Socks... knee length, extra thick socks.  They keep your tosies snug n warm!!  and warm feet are happy feet!!

 

Cheers --

 

ps.  even though my grandad would have told you that I am named for his favourite dog team driver, I've never been on, or mushed a sled in my life :(  

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I winter camp a lot and the only things that change is my clothing and sleeping bag everything else stays the same. I love being out in winter more so than in summer.

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I have camped out three nights with the Scouts. One night practice camp, then a two night district camp. The second night I woke up freezing. I loved winter camping but can freeze in a 70 degree room. My oldest son loves it and has done about 10 nights out.

We prefer making a shelter with tarps instead of sleeping in a tents. We always made up a waterproof bed roll to take with us instead of having to make it up at camp.

For food we made up boil a bag meals. Take a bag that milk comes in and fill it with just enough food that when flattened it is about the size of a slice of bread. (Do Not leave it ball shaped it takes to long to heat.) We used up our left overs making them up over several weeks. At camp we made a tripod and had pot of boiling snow water on the fire at all times. (Line the pot steel mesh to stop the bags from touching and melting- wire basket from a deep frier or make one out of chicken wire). We made up chains with clips (used to connect wires to batteries). Just hang in the water to heat, then roll down the top of the bag and place the whole bag in cup or bowl and enjoy. Only dirty dishes is your spoon.

Our favourite food choices- rice pudding(breakfast or dessert), pasta in sauce, soup, stew, scrammbled eggs and bacon.

Drinks- juice boxes (not citrus ones). Clip chain to corner, warm in the water ( do not over heat) Great alternative to hot chocolate.

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Yes eggs and bacon (suasage or ham) can be done in the bag. Cook your bacon and scrambled eggs like you normal would. Cut your bacon into bite sized peices and put them into the bag with your eggs.

 

I should have mentioned every thing should be cooked and cut to bite size peices because you just thaw then warm your meal. Anything you want can go in the bag. Some of the kids did pancakes or french toast with the syrup in the bag.

 

The only thing we did not like was some thing like pizza pockets because the out side crust went doughy.

 

It was great at camp because we didn't have any dishes to wash except our spoon and mug for those that drank coffee, hot chocolate etc.

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Winter camping is a must.  I especially love the quiet of the snow season.  So quiet you can hear the snow falling.   

I do prefer to travel light if hiking in, but a tent is so nice. 

As for warmth, I will carry a hot water bottle and fill it to warm my feet if necessary. A small comfort item I find is great as I get older.  Clothing is light and layered.  I have a parka rated to -50F. for in the cold.  Sleeping bag is also rated to -50F. so I sleep very well.

When snow is present, I boil and re-hydrate a variety of foods.  I ususally take the comfort foods of winter. Warm cereals, pastas, and soups; hot drinks are constant in an insulated jug.  I find dehydration can be worse in the winter depending on where I am. Prepared meals in foil are great for dropping into warm coals.

As for the snow, we have not had the depth I desire in over 12 years.  I am hoping for a good one this winter.

The closest we have come so far was in October and a few flurries disappeared before hitting the ground.

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Lost when winter camping on snow how do you set up your sleeping platform? Do you just but your bed role on the snow or what?

 

Lycan Ican the same question to you please.

 

I have not seen proper snow here for years so when it does snow i just clear the snow down to earth and bed down there.

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oo well, this is always a toss up

first of all, do NOT use an air matress, self inflating, or otherwise.  Either the warm air they were filled with will condense and you will end up sleeping on the cold ground, or the air will just chill, and suck all the warmth out of you.  I did it once, out of ignorance, and will NEVER do that again.

 

Now that I am just a tiny bit wiser my sleeping in the winter depends on what I'm sleeping in.

 

If I am in my tent, I will put a ground sheet down (tarp) then cover that with cedar boughs then the tent.  In the tent, I have a moose hide I put down , then my foam mat (sometimes) then my sleeping bags.  I haven't been chilled in that setup yet. 

When I'm in a quinzee I will sometimes put down cedar flooring, but usualy, just put down a tarp, and then my foam mat.  If I have the moose hide, I always slap that down.

 

While I have never tried a cot, or platform, I don't think it would be a good idea, as it would allow cold air to circulate under you, constantly removing heat.  Try it if you must, but you will probably have better luck simply insulating from the ground.

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Thanks for the reply. I do much the same when i go north, i always carry a raindeer skin with me to sleep on

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I have been winter camping since I was in my teens, and I actually prefer it most of the time to summer time. (I do NOT like crowds). I take one of my two four season tents, and I use to take a -30 rated SlumberJack sleeping bag, but I rarely do anymore. These days I either use my normal EMS bag, or more likely I just take my sleeping bag liner and a small wool blanket. I DO however take a thermarest inflatable sleeping pad, and I have had no issues with it at all. The setup works well, for me at least. Groundcloth under the tent, tent, sleepingpad then sleepingbag. It is the same setup I use in summer, but I take the rain fly off the tent, and tend to sleep on top of the sleepingbag.

 

I tend to not like carrying anymore gear then I have too, and this setup has worked well for me.

 

I snowshoe, but not a lot. I crosscountry ski, but not a lot. Most of the times I am just following the summer trails when it is cold and it isnt crowded. (the NH White Mountains can seem like a subway car at rush hour during summer).

 

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Adi ... sorry for the delay in responding.  In general, it depends on the depth of the snow.  If it is a light snow to one foot or so, I will clear as much as possible to the ground's surface.  If the ground is not frozen solid I will smooth out a base and lay a sheet of plastic.  Just some thin painters plastic as a barrier to the moisture and I will draw it up on the sides to prevent any major snow from falling in.  I try to leave a spare amount of plastic to act as a canopy over head and weight it down with snow on the sides.  If evergreen is available I will put down a base layer and then cover those with a half-folded, foil-backed light tarp. Then I will use a mat, and on the mat I will put my sleeping bag down (good to -50F.) and cover over with the other half of the tarp.  Extra evergreens can be thrown on top of that to keep light wind from pulling tarp off and acting as another insullator.  If the ground is frozen or the snow is deep, I hollow out a trench and build the snow up on the windward side and repeat the above so as to keep as dry as possible.  Similar to trenching in next to a fallen log.  In a very deep snow I would dig out a snow cave. 

 

I would definitely build up a sleeping platform when the ground is soupy and slushy.  There is just no way to keep from sinking in that cold slop.  I prefer the ground to prevent air from circulating but will use a platform as a last resort.

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Thanks Lost As i said i do much the same but i do like to sleep on a reindeer skin when camping os snow. I put bed of branches down then put the skin on top of that then add my sleeping bag. I dont like to use a thick fully Arctic bag as it insulates the body from the warmth of the fire. If i have more than one skin with me i sleep fully clothed and drape a skin over me.

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I have never been cold in my bag thank goodness, and it's not even a mummy bag.  I do warm my feet first and that seems to help greatly.  Depending on where I set up the fire, a reflector aids in directing heat towards me. Goodness, I love the outdoors. Come on snow!

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nope.... they're in a sleigh that I pull, so I can use it as an extra thick tarp over any other gear.  However if ever on an extended trip, then yes, it would be to cumbersome.

 

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That's what I thought.  I walk into where I generally want to go and have lighter materials.

I know there are benefits to having a hide, but as a female I would find it difficult to carry

all the time with my other gear.   Thanks!  ;)

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Guest Lead Dog

The book Gearjunky mentioned is about a woman's experiences on a solo, I believe, mushing trip.  I was laughing at Lycan's comment about Gearjunky being a woman mushing in the Arctic.

 

:)

 

 

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