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Old 08-10-2011, 04:35 PM
ehg3322 ehg3322 is offline
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The topic kind of explains it
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:44 PM
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In the woodlands or mountains of the U.S., Therm-a-Rest Pad, excellent sleeping bag and a three or preferably four season tent for a start until you get a rock-solid shelter built and you will need a small axe and a folding saw for that.

Firestarting gear, more than you think you will possibly need, hunting, fishing and trapping gear, ditto, ditto, ditto.

Clothes are your first shelter, they are on you. Dress appropriately for the season and have spares.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:49 PM
Daggel Daggel is offline
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Depends on how cold it is, how you are traveling, if at all, if there is snow on the ground, how long you are going to be out, etc.

if there is snow on the ground and I am going to changing campsites every night, I don't even take a tent, especially in the extreme cold, unless you plan on having animals carry a bunch of heavy stuff for you like a canvas wall tent and a tent stove. the tent poles ferrules will get packed with ice, the tent inside will get crispy with frozen condensation and be impossible to pack, and you can't have a stove or fire in a nylon tent.

if you are traveling and there is snow on the ground, forget about backpacking and put everything you need in a cheap plastic sled. I have used all types of sleds and the plastic ones are the best. you can even stack them in case one wears out. they don't way anything. a 5 or 6 footer is all you need for all your gear for quite some time.

become very good at making a fire, and even then, carry a sure-fire "something" that will get even wet wood started, like a road flare. I carry birch bark tubes with chainsaw shavings/dust soaked in diesel, as well as a small bundle of dry kindling when I am traveling in ECW.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:29 PM
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Get a decent pair of gloves. You don't always need to wear them, but they will keep you in a mood to get stuff done instead of trying to get warm all the time.

Get yourself a good cap/hat or whatever to keep your head warm and dry.

Take appropriate wool socks, several pairs. Dry feet are warm feet.

Fire starting is an art and a science, find yourself two or more ways to start fire and practice it in adverse conditions. If you think a propane lighter from walmart will do the job, SAR will find your body under some bush in the spring.

Clothes should be comfortable and layered.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:34 PM
leaftye leaftye is offline
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Winters don't get very cold here even at the highest elevations and snow is gone within a couple days if it snows at all so my gear is very similar for fall, winter and spring.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
Winters don't get very cold here even at the highest elevations and snow is gone within a couple days if it snows at all so my gear is very similar for fall, winter and spring.

Hey your back what's up brother
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:42 PM
TJPHX TJPHX is offline
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some nice gloves!! it sucks trying to work with frozen hands
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:07 AM
leaftye leaftye is offline
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Hey your back what's up brother
Yep, I got back this morning after several months in the Sierras. My experience there reinforces the questions we've had regarding location. Some of the places I slept out there allowed my equipment to work well because I had more freedom to pick where I slept and was allowed to have a campfire, but the place where I spent the last 10 days was much colder and didn't allow wood fires. Even worse was a new down quilt that I foolishly brought on this trip without trying it out first and not bringing a backup. That quilt was nowhere as warm as my other quilt, and I slept cold many nights. Some nights were so humid that I was wishing for a vapor barrier so that my insulation would stay dry all night. So it really all depends on the location, season, etc. Down here in San Diego County a 20F bag or quilt and a puffy jacket is always overkill.

As far as gloves go, I'd rather have mittens, or even convertible mittens. Even cheap convertible mittens have been warm whereas every glove I've ever used has been cold.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:02 PM
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The only real difference to winter camping compared to the other seasons is a bigger concern over staying warm and dry.

As long as you have a waterproof shell and pants, good boots, wool socks and hat, and decent waterproof gloves your other clothing/camping gear should work fine.

I always use a waterproof bivy sack over my sleeping bag. It adds a few more degrees of warmth and keeps the bag quite dry.

A four season tent is a luxury and well worth the expense if you are expecting heavy winds or snow. I still use my hammock and tarp in winter. If you use a hammock, you really need an insulation layer to sleep on. Thermarest pads will suffice.

Your PSK should already be a 4 season kit.

Winter camping here in New England is very enjoyable. There are no bugs and no tourists!

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:16 PM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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self inflating pad, three piece military issue sleeping bag, 4 season tent Eureka assault outfitter, MSR stove, katydyn filter system, Ramens, rice, lentils, navy beans, molasses, lots of socks, 4 layers of clothing(polypro, wafle top and bottom, fleece top, gortex top and bottom), done thats all i need for camping i have alot more for shtf.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:09 AM
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If you're moving all day, what you're wearing is less important than how you're wearing it. Make sure you have layers of some sort, so you can adjust your body temps by adding or subtracting. You don't really want to get sweaty as that can lead to chills and hypothermia. If you live in an area where you're more likely to get 36 degrees and rain, then you need good waterproof outerwear. That's far more dangerous than 4 degrees and snow.

The most important thing for anyone on the move, is to have a really warm, dry bag at the end of the day, and enough shelter to keep it dry all night. You can screw up all kinds of things, but getting into a warm bag at the end of the day is a life saver.

Az
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:56 AM
Daggel Daggel is offline
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I know most of you don't live in areas with extreme cold, but if you are ever thinking about going somewhere that is, here are a few tips.

In ECW (extreme cold weather), as in 30 below zero F or colder, the most important thing to focus on is your hands. You can walk with frostbit feet, if you are moving at a decent pace your parka and pants are not the most immediate concern as to type, but your mittens and gloves are crucial to your survival, that and the ability to get a fire going quickly.

I really like the US GI ECW Arctic mittens for storebought ones, but you need them to be way bigger than you would use under normal conditions, so if you have big hands, even the XL is too small. you need to be able to curl your hands up inside them and rub your fingertips against your palms. I also like to wear oversized nylon or wool felt work gloves large enough to allow me to do the same thing while inside the mitten.

When I used to mush dogs a lot, I had huge mittens attached to the handlebars that I made out of canvas and an old sleeping bag. And I would stuff my already large mittens inside that.

For your feet, the Army mukluks are okay, but they don't last long. NEOS overboots are much better, stuffed with oversized Arctic liners of some sort and felt insoles. Homemade moosehide mukluks are great too. Some people swear by Bunny boots, but I personally hate them. They are really heavy and make jogging very hard, and they are uncomfortable.

Really, the only reason to be out in ECW is if you are traveling somewhere for whatever reason, checking a beaver set, getting wood, going to town. Trying to hunt in ECW is not good, you should have already had a supply of meat. For food on the go, jerky is the best, that and fat balls or pieces. Jerky doesn't need to be mammal either. Fish makes fine jerky. You need lots of water or tea too. I would avoid coffee in ECW travel. Despite what a lot of people think, there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating snow.
You just do a little bit at a time very regularly.

For pants, parka, and hat, don't go overboard on some giant parka and insulated pants and a huge Russian Army hat. If you are on the move, you are going to want to take stuff off or ventilate. Parka shell, inner parka or fleece jacket, wool or fleece shirt, tee shirt. Layer your hats too, heavy hat over a balaclava.

goggles can be nice if the wind is blowing really hard in your face, but most fog up rather quickly.

One thing often overlooked in ECW gear is to have or modify gear and clothing that can be manipulated, zipped, put on and off, etc with gloves or preferably mittens on, so oversized zipper pulls, elastic pull cords, mittens that can be put on off easily, snowshoes (like Sherpas) that can be put on/off with gloves on. The less you expose your hands the better. Ease of access goes for your food supply too. Things like Thermos or water bottle need to be carried inside your parka against your body or they will freeze.

Finally, in ECW, one important thing is to not overexert yourself. You can actually freeze your lungs temporarily and you will have heartburn for a couple of days, if not worse, and overexertion is one of the first steps towards hypothermia.

Last edited by Daggel; 08-12-2011 at 12:29 PM.. Reason: forgot a few things
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:25 PM
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It's really important to stay well hydrated in the winter. The air can really be dry at times and likely you'd be working harder to carry a larger load, so you'd be breathing harder, losing moisture. You'll sleep warmer if you are properly hydrated as well.

Consider using some lightweight waterproof sacks to carry your clothing and sleeping gear in. They come in really handy even for regular gear as well. Wet gear is heavy gear. Wet clothing and sleeping gear can lead to a bad ending.

A couple things you'll need more of are food and fuel. You'll burn more calories just trying to stay warm. With everything you'll be trying to heat up or cook, it will be starting out at a lower temp. than in warmer weather, so it will take longer to heat (using more fuel). Whether you use denatured alcohol, canisters, or even wood...you'll need extra.
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