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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Me and my buddies go camping every winter to test ourselves a far as what we have gotten together all year for preparedness. the major problem we are finding is our tents, and really just our basic gear. We seem to be more focused on long term survival than getting the basic tent sleeping bag and cooking equipment optimized. Any ideas would be great i prefer to stick with o.d. green gear when i can basic forest camo isn't a prob though. And last but not least we realized that when the SHTF we probably arn't going to be somewhere where there is a campground style fire pit with a grill so i would like to pick up a portable one also.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you have.

also i am still new to all of this so don't leave out any of the tiny details or basic stuff please :)

most of the time we set and camp in the rain and snow
 

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I tent with a tarp overtop.. that way the load isnt on the tent.. and it doesnt get as wet

ive had tarps rip with water on them so tieing them off is important was a very heavy rain storm
 

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Stuck in the City...
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i was about to buy that trango 3 by hard wear,, i was talked out of it and bought the REI equivalent. saved 150$???ish. i went home and set it up.. it stayed up through high winds for 2 days and rain for 12hours.. not a drop inside the tent.. i was impressed...

i wouldnt worry about a fire ring,,, just gather some rocks and dig a small pit.
you can rent gear from REI,,, this might help you to learn the pros and cons of different gear. also i browse sites like amazon, rei, backcountry and read the customer reviews.
 

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Back of beyond!
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One of the best 4 season tents, believe it or not, is the Cabela's XWT.(extreme weather tent). It is reasonably priced, and it holds up to very strong winds,approaching hurricane force. Its tight and solid, sealing out heavy, wind-driven rain.
 

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Doomsayer
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Me and my buddies go camping every winter to test ourselves...
also i am still new to all of this...
??

Which is it?

when the SHTF we probably arn't going to be somewhere where there is a campground style fire pit with a grill so i would like to pick up a portable one also.
...to test ourselves a far as what we have gotten together all year for preparedness
???

You guys 'test your preparedness by 'camping' in a campground with BBQ grills?

Do you guys not own any tents now? Have you been sleeping out on the ground?

We seem to be more focused on long term survival than getting the basic tent sleeping bag and cooking equipment optimized.
What? How to do you 'focus on long term survival', without having shelter and cooking figured out?

I apologize in advance, but your post is VERY contradictory.
 

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Stoves are fine but in the short term you might get by using a stove, before long the fuel will run out, or be to valuable to waste on cooking. Learn how to cook over an open fire. A couple of 2 foot lengths of ¾ or 1” angle iron make nice fire irons. Propped up on a couple of rocks over a fire and you have a base to put pots. I like them better than a grill. A great stove is a Svea 123. These have been to the top of mountains. You may have to look hard to find one however I believe they are no longer made. Parts are available, and should be for years to come, the stoves built of solid brass are heavy but bomb proof. I found one in a swap shop for $4.50 years ago, miss-labeled as a welding torch.
I feel the same about tents. Fine for short term work, but learn to build debris shelters, or snow caves, then you will always be able to have a roof over your head when things really get bad.
REI and EMS both rent gear. Try out a few different brands and styles of tents, stoves and bags before investing. What works for a member here might not be right for you. Good gear is not cheap, try before you buy if you can. Don’t buy cheap and buy twice.
Jon
 

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do yourself a favor and think basic. get yourself
a good size tarp at least 8x10 and learn at least three ways to set it up with one way allowing you to keep the rain out
six army shelter half poles or one or two trekking poles although the army poles will give you more versatility
at least one good wool blanket
at least a hundred feet of paracord
at least about 20 feet of good strong rope
at least 4 good long bungee cords
some kind of stakes or learn to make stakes whereever you are. rocks can be used to hold down the edges of your tarp.
ya might wanna throw in a bug net or a poncho. a poncho can double as a door for your tarp shelter.
get yourself a good fixed blade knife withabout a 5-6 inch blade. mora knives are good
a good folding saw that will fit in your pack
get an old coffee can or similar size can and learn how to build a stove out of it or buy a stove that doesn't take butane or propane or anything like that so that you can use sticks and other similar size things to burn for fuel. vaseline cotton balls work great for starting fires with just a strike or two from a ferro rod. also i hear good things about wetfire tinder and esbit tabs.
get yourself a slingshot with some strong bands.
a gi canteen cup will give you a good vessel to boil water, and cook in as well as something to drink/eat out of and holds a gi canteen like a glove. also some kind of pouch to hold the canteen and cup would be good.
get a little extra rope or a good belt to hold the canteen set and your knife.
roll all the rest except trekking poles if you got'em up in the blanket and tarp (with the tarp inside the blanket so it doesn't get holes in it) with the ends of the rope sticking out and the bungee cords holding it all together.
take the ends of the rope and tie them together for a sling type setup to throw over one shoulder. wear the knife and your canteen set on your belt or over a shoulder on the extra rope.
now you should be all set except for whatever food and maybe extra water you want to carry. if you have enough rope you can also set this up to carry like a backpack.
like this.
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D914C2EC442ABBD6&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&v=XTFfnT5g0ls
 

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Free Born
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??

Which is it?





???

You guys 'test your preparedness by 'camping' in a campground with BBQ grills?

Do you guys not own any tents now? Have you been sleeping out on the ground?



What? How to do you 'focus on long term survival', without having shelter and cooking figured out?

I apologize in advance, but your post is VERY contradictory.
I was thinking the same thing, if you don't have your basics covered, how the heck can you even think long term?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
read the name of the thread if you don't understand and yeah when i say campground it refers to a site with a fire pit 5 miles hike into a national forest so yeah we have no choice but to use the fire pit. our long term survival is set up based at our bug out location which is well supplied out of the way and at the same elevation that we camp at. my group and i are 90% ex military except for the kids there is a total of 10 of us excluding the kids so we know how to survive cook hunt make fires fish farm improvise and adapt however aside from the gear we used in the military we are unsure what will work the best for camping and backpacking to our bug out location which is a 3 hour drive and therefore a very long hike from where we are located as i said in my post i need to optimize my gear specifically the things i listed each for very specific reasons. i said "i am still new to all of this so don't leave out any of the tiny details or basic stuff please" to make sure that i get every detail covered as this is going to be my biggest foreseeable challenge mainly be cause i have 3 kids all under the age of 4 so while i can do what i need to do i need to make everything as smooth as possible and in some areas i need the best equip to ensure my kids are safe.



I apologize for the confusion. and yeah we have tents cooking gear and sleeping bags but they are not up to the standard they need to be in many ares such as our tents would fail in a windy rain storm or blizzard my set of pots is heavy and in the case of my frying pan starting to warp when you have kids even the small things are going to matter and in my case since i have 3 under the age of 4 years old i need to be absolutly sure that my gear will preform 110% of the time everytime

thanks for the info so far guys already some of the items and advice has been placed at the top of my list
 

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so my post was probably useless to you huh? sorry if it was. i still think it's good info for the other people that might read this thread and are complete noobs to the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
actually i copied the whole post and put in my note book some good ideas and i never really had thought of how useful a simple wool blanket could be so that is now on the list
 

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Permaculturist
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Me and my buddies go camping every winter to test ourselves a far as what we have gotten together all year for preparedness. the major problem we are finding is our tents, and really just our basic gear. We seem to be more focused on long term survival than getting the basic tent sleeping bag and cooking equipment optimized. Any ideas would be great i prefer to stick with o.d. green gear when i can basic forest camo isn't a prob though. And last but not least we realized that when the SHTF we probably aren't going to be somewhere where there is a campground style fire pit with a grill so i would like to pick up a portable one also.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you have.

also i am still new to all of this so don't leave out any of the tiny details or basic stuff please :)

most of the time we set and camp in the rain and snow
I have successfully camped in 12 Degree F temperatures with wind, in the forest, in a Eureka 4-person A-frame Outfitter tent. It presented very comfortable on that trip, and held off the snow and sleet extremely well.

As far as my sleeping bag configuration, I had a mummy-style 3-layer that was rated at 0 degrees F. The outer layer was full OD, and purchased from the sportsmans guide for $150. Highly recommend a plastic pee bottle, because it will be much warmer in the bag than in the tent! When winter camping, you want to avoid leaving your tent at all costs once you settle into your bag for the night. Some people swear by propane heaters in their tend, personally I do not because I have woken up in the middle of a freezing night gasping for air after I have used one. Sleeping in a freeze requires a good wool face mask and eye mask, so that only my nostrils are exposed to the cold air inside my tent. I would also recommend stocking charcoal hardwarmers to pre-warm your bag for you. This works exceptionally well if you are using silk long johns. Considering their high price, silk long johns are highly, highly recommended. Beats the snot out of polypro for me. As far as silk is concerned, if I am totally naked in my bag, and putting on silk long johns, I just say to myself, "15 seconds from cold to warm". Put on the cold silk uppers & lowers, and in 15 seconds you will be warm and comfortable enough to sleep.



Another consideration for planning ahead for winter camping-- frozen wood. Keep a really close eye on the forecast.
If there has been a rain in the past week, and freezing temperatures, you can bet that some of the wood you will be harvesting will be frozen. You need to find dry wood. Otherwise, you will be stuck trying to dry out the wood that you harvest. And let me tell you, when it is 15 degrees F, you want as much dry wood as you can possibly have.

Make sure that there are no areas of ice on the floor of the forest from which you will be gathering wood. I can't stress enough how critical it is to be observant about the area you will be gathering wood. Leaves may be covering the ice, if it is there. I once had a very embarrassing experience with frozen wood a few years ago, and we ended up canceling the entire trip, packing everything up, and staying in a nearby hotel (40 miles away) because of improper planning and having a, "we'll work it out when we get there" attitude. You can't screw around with it, even if you think you are harder than hard. We did, and paid the price. One member of my unit began displaying signs and symptoms of hypothermia, so we decided that a camping trip wasn't worth losing his feet, or nose.

In all forms of cooking on successful winter camping trips, I have always had good results with the use of a single-burner propane stove that accepts the propane bottles you'd normally use for a lantern. All water should be stored with the awareness that the water will freeze, and either need to be unfrozen or stored in a cooler that has a warm element (for instance, handwarmers and a thermometer can tell you in advance whether this will be a viable water storage method for you. Cooking on an open-pit fire in the middle of the winter is possible, but you do much better with the coals. The problem is that it takes a long time for coals to achieve their optimum level of effectiveness. I found much more "quick success" bringing a small teapot, single propane burner, and things such as Cup O' Noodles / or the latest Maruchan knockoff.

Regarding clothing, I found jackets such as the N3B style OD to be quite effective when paired with a silk long john top & wool OD mil-type sweater. I stay away from V-necks. Fleece OD bibs or insulated "duck" coveralls are quite effective at maintaining a warm stasis provided that there is some silk bottoms underneath. Gloves-- whatever mitten or glove configuration you choose, I must recommend the very thin dexterity-promoting Cold Gear gloves by underarmor. Once out of the warm vehicles, these gloves don't leave my hands the entire trip. I use them as under gloves, and find that I can effectively squeeze them into leather work gloves with no problems. When preparing food, the under gloves stay on. They are thin enough to provide dexterity, but warm enough to avoid the bite of the winter air and winds.
 

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actually i copied the whole post and put in my note book some good ideas and i never really had thought of how useful a simple wool blanket could be so that is now on the list
I get my wool blankets from the sportsman's guide, but there may be other surplus places with good selections too. I paid about $22 for a really big one before hunting season. Wool blankets are the way to go IMO.
 

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I have successfully camped in 12 Degree F temperatures with wind, in the forest, in a Eureka 4-person A-frame Outfitter tent. It presented very comfortable on that trip, and held off the snow and sleet extremely well.

As far as my sleeping bag configuration, I had a mummy-style 3-layer that was rated at 0 degrees F. The outer layer was full OD, and purchased from the sportsmans guide for $150. Highly recommend a plastic pee bottle, because it will be much warmer in the bag than in the tent! When winter camping, you want to avoid leaving your tent at all costs once you settle into your bag for the night. Some people swear by propane heaters in their tend, personally I do not because I have woken up in the middle of a freezing night gasping for air after I have used one. Sleeping in a freeze requires a good wool face mask and eye mask, so that only my nostrils are exposed to the cold air inside my tent. I would also recommend stocking charcoal hardwarmers to pre-warm your bag for you. This works exceptionally well if you are using silk long johns. Considering their high price, silk long johns are highly, highly recommended. Beats the snot out of polypro for me. As far as silk is concerned, if I am totally naked in my bag, and putting on silk long johns, I just say to myself, "15 seconds from cold to warm". Put on the cold silk uppers & lowers, and in 15 seconds you will be warm and comfortable enough to sleep.



Another consideration for planning ahead for winter camping-- frozen wood. Keep a really close eye on the forecast.
If there has been a rain in the past week, and freezing temperatures, you can bet that some of the wood you will be harvesting will be frozen. You need to find dry wood. Otherwise, you will be stuck trying to dry out the wood that you harvest. And let me tell you, when it is 15 degrees F, you want as much dry wood as you can possibly have.

Make sure that there are no areas of ice on the floor of the forest from which you will be gathering wood. I can't stress enough how critical it is to be observant about the area you will be gathering wood. Leaves may be covering the ice, if it is there. I once had a very embarrassing experience with frozen wood a few years ago, and we ended up canceling the entire trip, packing everything up, and staying in a nearby hotel (40 miles away) because of improper planning and having a, "we'll work it out when we get there" attitude. You can't screw around with it, even if you think you are harder than hard. We did, and paid the price. One member of my unit began displaying signs and symptoms of hypothermia, so we decided that a camping trip wasn't worth losing his feet, or nose.

In all forms of cooking on successful winter camping trips, I have always had good results with the use of a single-burner propane stove that accepts the propane bottles you'd normally use for a lantern. All water should be stored with the awareness that the water will freeze, and either need to be unfrozen or stored in a cooler that has a warm element (for instance, handwarmers and a thermometer can tell you in advance whether this will be a viable water storage method for you. Cooking on an open-pit fire in the middle of the winter is possible, but you do much better with the coals. The problem is that it takes a long time for coals to achieve their optimum level of effectiveness. I found much more "quick success" bringing a small teapot, single propane burner, and things such as Cup O' Noodles / or the latest Maruchan knockoff.

Regarding clothing, I found jackets such as the N3B style OD to be quite effective when paired with a silk long john top & wool OD mil-type sweater. I stay away from V-necks. Fleece OD bibs or insulated "duck" coveralls are quite effective at maintaining a warm stasis provided that there is some silk bottoms underneath. Gloves-- whatever mitten or glove configuration you choose, I must recommend the very thin dexterity-promoting Cold Gear gloves by underarmor. Once out of the warm vehicles, these gloves don't leave my hands the entire trip. I use them as under gloves, and find that I can effectively squeeze them into leather work gloves with no problems. When preparing food, the under gloves stay on. They are thin enough to provide dexterity, but warm enough to avoid the bite of the winter air and winds.

reading your exp in winter camping got me to thinking maybe haveing a tipi and have a small fire in the center like the indians,just maybe the way to go



http://www.redhawk-trading.com/tipi.htm

http://www.idfishnhunt.com/tent.htm#Tipis




http://www.tipitent.com/outfitter_tipi.htm
 

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Beans, Bullets, Bandaids
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Spray paint can make any tent a camo tent in a pinch... I wouldn't worry about the color too much.
 
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