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Old 01-09-2017, 11:22 PM
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This is the ground pad I use. Mine is several years old and still good. Since the bottom of a sleeping bag offers very little insulation value, some ultralight products simply come with a pocket on the bottom to slide your pad into. Some people skip the bag altogether and go with a high end pad and a down quilt.

https://www.rei.com/product/881575/t...m-sleeping-pad
Old 01-10-2017, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandoBrando View Post
What is the best way to keep a fire going the longest?

I have a physics shelter that gets warm. But one the fire dies down it will get super cold again. I only have a 7 degree sleeping bag. Terrible I know I know. So my next question is. Should I but an emergency heat reflector sleeping blanket inside of my sleeping bag or put my sleeping bag inside the emergency sleeping bag? I got some hot pouches as well. Basically I'll be right under a reflector The bottom will have a thick layer of pine. Next will be a half tarp the other half i'll throw over everything for the final layer, next will be my sleeping pad, next will be another emergency reflector, now do I put the emergency sleeping bag in or over top of my sleeping bag?

oh and one more thing. I heard you get warmed by sleeping in your shocks, underwear and tshirt instead of your dry snowpants, sweater and coat. Thought on that?
The problem with the heat reflector blanket is that they don't breathe, so you will have a problem with the issue of moisture condensation. --If you're not stealth camping, invest in a proper sleeping bag and a four season tent.
Old 01-10-2017, 06:52 AM
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Have to agree with those above me who suggest not to rely on fire but rely on your gear. Best way to become a statistic: "He was camping, he was so experienced, he had a sleeping bag and all (badly rated and much too cold), he went out there a lot. We don't know what happened. He was just lying there with an empty lighter in his sleeping bag. We guess he couldn't make a fire. He was so experienced, it's just not possible!"

Rain, wind, fatigue, hypothermia, all things which can make your firemaking hell very fast, especially combined. Rely on your gear for warmth, not on fire.

To Tony above me: rating depends. I rely on EN rating because for me, it works. a 5C comfort bag, for me personally, works to a bit lower than 5C when using a bivy and in long johns. If it's a rating set by the manifacturer: definitely never rely on that one. (I'm not saying the rating will work for everyone btw, but once you know your "offset", you're generally good, since they are all tested the same way.)
 
Old 01-11-2017, 11:17 AM
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Camping in the winter, in snow and ice, at 0 degrees. Why didn't I think of that? Oh yeah, getting caught out in the mountains and being forced to spend the night a couple of times cured my couriosity on the subject Try it with no sleeping bag, no gear, and no tent. That will get it out of your system pretty quick! This little activity is extremely dangerous, I would suggest holding off
Old 01-11-2017, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by biathlon View Post
I keep a collapsible Nalgene bottle in my bag at night to pee in so I won't have to exit my bag or the tent. Yes, the tent WILL help to keep you warm if it's the right tent. The one in these photos is my Catoma one man. I really like the whole side opening on it as I can get in or out of it easily and also swing my rifle into action if I have to.
Pine boughs are worse than a real bad idea and are only a last resort. You'll end up with pine sap permenantly smeared all over your self, your clothing and your tent.
It is also extremely flammable.
Just noticed you mentioned the tent in this post. Thanks.
Old 01-11-2017, 12:24 PM
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biathalon has figured out how to make furniture out of the snow pack. Good photos showing how it is done.

There is no need for a $600 winter sleeping bag for average winter conditions. I use a sled pulled by a dog for the extra weight for winter. I just add some wool blankets. Insulation from the snow is important and do not forget a pad for your dog.

Having dry clothes for sleeping is important. If you have a -35 degree sl bag then sleepig in a t shirt might work. I have a +20 degree bag so I usually wear a lot of clothes including a down jacket. I am good to around 5-10 above.

In a forest protected from the wind, I like a Whelen lean to with a fire. Unless it is unusually cold I don't try to keep the fire all night. Sometimes in deep snow a fire will burn its way down through the snow and collapse on itself. Tamp down the snow beforehand, and try to find some green logs to build it on.
Old 01-12-2017, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayden View Post
Camping in the winter, in snow and ice, at 0 degrees. Why didn't I think of that? Oh yeah, getting caught out in the mountains and being forced to spend the night a couple of times cured my couriosity on the subject Try it with no sleeping bag, no gear, and no tent. That will get it out of your system pretty quick! This little activity is extremely dangerous, I would suggest holding off
So your suggestion is based on your own lack of preparation when going out in a dangerous situation? Try it with a good sleeping bag, well insulated clothes, a decent tent (or tarp, or bivy, or whatever you want to use which works for the situation). Seems like a smarter thing. I actually prefer winter camping myself. Granted, it doesn't get as cold here as for some of you guys, but not doing something because someone else was unprepared and got in trouble or died, isn't a good argument. If we all followed that, noone'd come outside anymore, you know you could get hit by a car!
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:24 AM
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Default Few questions for Winter Camping.

I'm not sure what the op's "physics shelter" is, but I suspect it might be what I've heard called a super shelter. Clear plastic sheet in front and tarp with space blanket (reflector) behind. With this setup and a small fire OUTSIDE you can stay warm. Suggest a "long fire" for all nightish. Surf over to bushcraft.com or similar for more info on either supershelter or longfire.
If you're camping in snow country use care not to build your fire under a snow loaded tree.
I also never rely on Fire for warmth, I have invested in good down under/over quilts for my hammock and have been comfortable down to -5 with an open ended tarp over my hammock.
If you're on the ground in a supershelter you won't need or want an underquilt but you should invest in a decent ground pad.
One version of self feeding fire:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TnVe0-99ks0
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:23 AM
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Try a "Long fire". Here is another fire that lasts awhile.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTKGD6Y2mDw
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:50 PM
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Long fire with minimal maintenance will require large long burning logs. They don't necessarily need to be split unless completely soaked with rain. Snow is normally not as much of an issue moisture-wise because it's mostly air in content. There are tons of setups, some of which are good for deep snow to prevent fire sinking.

Survival Russia, a channel I like, has at least a few videos showing excellent setups for such conditions; below are 2 of the more recent ones:

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Old 01-15-2017, 01:22 AM
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To the OP.
I use an mss cause I don't backpack long distance. I've never had a problem staying warm with it. I was taught to sleep in underwear so the bag can do the job it is designed to do. Thermal underwear including head and feet is recommended for use with the mss at the lower temperature range, down to -40, they claim. It has always kept me warm in freezing temps with no fire. I fold a flannel blanket in 3 layers and sleep on it. The earth will suck the heat right out of you, but you already know that.
Old 01-15-2017, 12:53 PM
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Most of the people against using fires in winter have never tried it with a lean to.
In the early days of the Forest Service after 1900, there were plenty of guys out in the winter with a couple of wool blankets and a lean to with a fire. People have survived these conditions for thousands of years doing it this way.
Old 01-15-2017, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RandoBrando View Post
Thanks RandoBrando. I have built and slept in similar shelters in winter, and these are excellent! I actually learned to build them in a class with one of Mors' students, Kelly Halton. Last winter I walked across a frozen lake to an island with my 3 oldest boys and we camped out in one of these. Went down to -20 degrees C (I'm in Alberta, Canada) with the wind. Our sleeping bags were rated for 0 degrees C, but we were comfortable! Kept a fire going all night by stacking logs about 6-8 ft long in front of the shelter about 6 ft away. Put little spacers (rocks ) between the logs to keep about half inch gap along the length. Kept them burning. Stack of 3 logs burned about 2.5 to 3 hours. Had to get up a couple times to put more logs on, but had a decent sleep.
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:58 PM
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I'm not against fires, just against relying on them when it's not needed . We can't make fires in Belgium while camping, so we have to rely on our gear to keep us warm. Granted, it generally doesn't get as cold here as some regions in the US, but still. It just feels safer to be able to rely on what i'm using, than having to need to make a fire in order not to get into trouble.

Now, if you're free to make a fire, and just enjoy it, go right ahead. I'd do that too because i like doing that. Just not need it.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:05 PM
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Yes, fire is always a +. But not always doable. Yes doable is in the keyboard dictionary.
Old 01-15-2017, 09:47 PM
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Before I moved south I used to camp out regularly on both lake Champlain and lake George once they froze over. Upstate NY.

Lake Champlain was tougher because of wind. Wasn't uncommon to see -30 with wind chill.

Most folks wouldn't think it but my biggest challenge was actually being too warm. Sweating will kill you in temps like that. Which is why layers of clothing are best since you can shed some during activity and add back once your settled in. Cotton is a no no. Wool and fleece are the way to go for inner layers, with for me a Gore tex wind and water proof outer layer.

I always had a sled with me to pack in gear. Especially if it was an over the weekend trip on the lake. Easy to pull on the ice, and not too bad even with snow if it wasn't more than a foot or so. One thing I always brought was a cot. Elevate yourself off the ground, especially n the ice. Never bothered with a tent. Never needed one. I'd sleep in my bag, naked except for socks and a hat. A good bag is an absolute must. I did carry a tarp with me but rarely needed it.

My sled however was something called a "clam" had a bench seat and a fold down canopy. I used it primarily for ice fishing but did sleep in it a few times. Not real comfortable but with a small arctic cat propane heater I could be inside fishing or napping in a tee shirt. It got so warm inside I actually melted the ice around the sled and ended up having the whole thing frozen in place one night on lake Champlain.
Old 01-16-2017, 02:31 PM
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Default No fire

Just a few nights ago I did a little experiment.... it was -28 Celcius I think... -37 with the wind. So I put on my best/thickest thermal underwear, jeans, insulated Carharts, hoodie, Carhart jacket, toque, neck warmer, Baffin boots, good winter mitts with liners. I grabbed a thin foamy camp mat and went to lay in the snow to see how long I would last. After about an hour of lying still, listening to podcasts, my arms were a bit cold, as well as the exposed parts of my face. The rest of my body had cooled a bit, but I was still very comfortable. I think with one more layer on my torso and a tarp, I could have spent the night with no fire.
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
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Just a few nights ago I did a little experiment.... it was -28 Celcius I think... -37 with the wind. So I put on my best/thickest thermal underwear, jeans, insulated Carharts, hoodie, Carhart jacket, toque, neck warmer, Baffin boots, good winter mitts with liners. I grabbed a thin foamy camp mat and went to lay in the snow to see how long I would last. After about an hour of lying still, listening to podcasts, my arms were a bit cold, as well as the exposed parts of my face. The rest of my body had cooled a bit, but I was still very comfortable. I think with one more layer on my torso and a tarp, I could have spent the night with no fire.
There's still a difference between lying still, and actually sleeping. The body loses a lot of heat production when asleep vs awake, even if you're awake and inactive.
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:26 AM
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Default Cooler sleep

This is true. About 4 hours after falling asleep, body temperature is its lowest, having dropped a bit over 2 degrees. This can certainly affect comfort levels. In a cold environment, the body's temperature regulation will require a lot more calories to prevent a greater drop! A high calorie snack before bed helps alleviate this, especially something with a low GI rating that will digest slowly.
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