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Old February 15th, 2020, 08:59 AM #1
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Any winter camping experience?

Anyone out there with experience in winter camping? I mean really cold weather winter camping, 0 to -20 degrees. My son's Boy Scout Troop is planning their next high adventure trip. We are going to Northern Tier Okpik. I've done some winter camping in 20 to 0 degrees and survived but I'm looking for as much information as I can find. Anyone have suggestions for websites to find more info on gear and how to stay comfortable?
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Old February 15th, 2020, 09:03 AM #2
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Two words:

Sea Base
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Old February 15th, 2020, 09:07 AM #3
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Yea. In the Army. It sucked.

My idea of camping these days is in a hotel room.
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Old February 15th, 2020, 09:09 AM #4
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I know a guy that does Canada in extreme temps , he is a pro in every way . Has all the gear to survive -whatever . He pulls a sled with his gear and hikes to a DZ . But for me to point you in a direction or to make suggestions i am not your guy .
I think i would be okay doing it , i more then likely would pick spring or fall . I done 7 days in the Oklahoma wilderness and enjoyed it like no other vacation .
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Old February 15th, 2020, 09:40 AM #5
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Two words:

Sea Base


We've done Sea Base Virgin Islands. It was rough, didn't know if I was going to survive. Week long trip on a sailboat sailing around to different islands and mooring. Then snorkeling into the beach. Northern Tier in winter is 3 days out on the ice sleeping out in the open or in a snow shelter that you build. At least there won't be any bugs.
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Old February 15th, 2020, 10:02 AM #6
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Old February 15th, 2020, 10:22 AM #7
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Sleeping bag properly rated. Get off the ground with a water resistant mat. Actual wool clothing and blankets. Lots of layers. A tent rated for the temps, many people forget this.

I wouldn't go below 0 until they have done below freezing and then into single digits. Below zero can turn dangerous to deadly quick.

Personally for those temps I like mummy bags. And I like foam mats over air. Air mats don't provide a resistance to the cold. And everything needs to be rated for those temps. And layers of clothes, wool. I've done long Jon's, wool socks, gloves and knit cap, wrapped in a wool blanket. Change all clothes and dry before bed. You don't want to sweat in those temps in bed. Add layers until they are comfortable, you don't want to sweat. I like wool below my bag and on top. I don't care for the synthetics, wool has for thousands of years been king of cold. A layer of something below the wool, like long Jon's. The winter gear you currently have, probably won't cut it; jackets, gloves, hats, ear, and face.
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Old February 15th, 2020, 10:55 AM #8
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Spent months out like that with no tent below freezing and below 0. Not fun. Can be pretty at times but then the cold brings you back to reality.

Matlack hits a lot right on.

Don't sweat. Stay hydrated. Buy the right gear which will not be cheap. I like light weight poly-pro as my base layer as it didn't get me too hot. Discipline to take stuff off or open zippers as needed is key.

If you're not doing the tent thing figure out the snow shelter/ditch ASAP.
Bivy sack may be an option.

Plan for your boots when you take them off. They will be frozen solid in the am if you're not careful and your feet will never get warm in them.

Change socks a lot.

Look into stove fuel options, the gas cylinders will sometimes freeze at low temps so you have to keep it in your jacket so it will maybe work. I went with white gas for that reason. Good/reliable stove is key. Have a plan on how to thaw your water out as it will freeze.

Attention to detail and discipline is key. Don't be in a hurry. Plan your sleep well and get everything right (jug to whizz in at 0300) as a bad night will ruin your day and cause you to make more mistakes which then takes it downhill.

Will you need skis or snowshoes? That is another issue to address.
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Old February 15th, 2020, 11:09 AM #9
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Plus one on white gas stoves at those temp.............
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Old February 15th, 2020, 11:35 AM #10
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Quote:
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... discipline is key. Don't be in a hurry. ...

It actually takes discipline to CHANGE INTO DRY CLOTHES before racking out for the night but, whether you feel it or not, the clothes you have on during the day are soaked in moisture ... talk about setting ones self up for not being able to get warm again ... D*MN!!!!!!
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