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Thread: Winter camping "Tip of the Day"

  1. #1
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    Default Winter camping "Tip of the Day"

    A few people (like me!) are new to camping in the snow and have some questions and concerns about what to bring and do when camping in snow, so I thought I'd start a thread asking the experts out there for some practical advice.

    I'll start with a quote from another website:

    "Always use a pad under your sleeping bag in the winter. Many people suggest two pads. Insulating yourself from the ground is more important than insulating yourself from the cold air."

    I've heard it is not a good idea to use an air mattress because the air inside free to move and actually conducts heat away from the body rather than insulate it.

  2. #2
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    The Hiram tip-o-the day!

    Invest in a "Mr. Buddy" heater, it's light, it's portable, and it's 9000BTUs of beautiful glowin red heat!

    It has a knockover safety that will shut itself off in case of a tipover, and it also has a low oxeygen cutout so that you wont suffocate yourself in your tent! I used it in a 6 person dome tent this fall, it got down into the 30s at night and we were toasty warm with it on the low setting.

    extended tip: leave the beer cooler outside, but within arms reach of the front zipper (I usually place my sleeping bag by the flap just for this reason)

    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  3. #3
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    My first winter camping experience was in 1962 while in the boy scouts.We built lean-tos out of hemlock broughs and also insulated the bottom with hemlock tips.Later in life while ice fishing on Allagash Lake we would use these same principals.Building shelters out of fir broughs and burying that with lots of snow.We still used the brough tips for insulating the floor.If laid in carefully they can be quite comfortable to sleep on.

    Nowadays I like to use a self inflating pad.These are close cell air mattresses(not to be confuse with the air mattresses you take to the beach)combined with an egg crate or foam pad under it.For the best insulating qualities I don't think you can beat foam pads all by themselves.My old bones just like the comfort of the self inflating pads.

    I'm a restless sleeper and have a hard time staying on the pad.Rolling onto the cold floor in the night will wake you suddenly.If you have this problem too, I would suggest the widest pad posssible.If using a sled to haul your gear and weight is not a issue a packing quilt or heavy blanket works great for a bottom layer with a pad on top of it.(some people I know use a pillow top mattres for the bottom layer,but I'll never tell)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram357 View Post
    extended tip: leave the beer cooler outside, but within arms reach of the front zipper (I usually place my sleeping bag by the flap just for this reason)

    But remember - beer WILL freeze!

  5. #5
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    Hiram I have no experience with these heaters,but it sounds like you have check out the safety concerns that come to mind.After reading of the two articles in the paper lately of carbon monoxide poisoning in our state it just worries me.

    Back in my beer drinking days we simply burried the beer in the snow to keep it from freezing.Just outside of the tent of course in case of an emergency!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram357 View Post
    The Hiram tip-o-the day!

    Invest in a "Mr. Buddy" heater, it's light, it's portable, and it's 9000BTUs of beautiful glowin red heat!

    It has a knockover safety that will shut itself off in case of a tipover, and it also has a low oxeygen cutout so that you wont suffocate yourself in your tent! I used it in a 6 person dome tent this fall, it got down into the 30s at night and we were toasty warm with it on the low setting.

    extended tip: leave the beer cooler outside, but within arms reach of the front zipper (I usually place my sleeping bag by the flap just for this reason)

    My parents had a propane heater that they used while camping occasionally when I was a kid . . . which is strange since we only went camping in the Summer (perhaps that's back in the days when Maine had real winters that lasted all the way until the 4th of July.)

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of those heaters . . . I know they have safety devices built in, but somehow it just doesn't seem overly safe to bring a device into a tent that is designed to generate heat (and as a result possibly carbon monoxide) . . . but again that's just me . . . call me Fire Marshal Bill.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  7. #7
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    On a side note . . . and not to get off topic (although I often tend to do so) . . . I thought of you Vicbiker last Friday since I was cruising through the Abbot area as I went from Newport to Greenville and back on the sled.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake View Post
    On a side note . . . and not to get off topic (although I often tend to do so) . . . I thought of you Vicbiker last Friday since I was cruising through the Abbot area as I went from Newport to Greenville and back on the sled.
    Some of the local riders are planning to lead some rides around some of our local trails the weekend of the camping event.Abbot has some nice areas besides the 90 mph highway to Greenville.Might be worth checking it out!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhereRWe? View Post
    But remember - beer WILL freeze!
    WHAT!?!?! You let is sit out long enough to freeze???
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicbiker View Post
    Hiram I have no experience with these heaters,but it sounds like you have check out the safety concerns that come to mind.After reading of the two articles in the paper lately of carbon monoxide poisoning in our state it just worries me.

    Back in my beer drinking days we simply burried the beer in the snow to keep it from freezing.Just outside of the tent of course in case of an emergency!!
    It's a really nice little unit, I heavily studied the product reviews of it before I bought one because I had a lot of safety concerns about a heater in a tent. I even tested it in my apartment before actaully using it, knocking it over and letting it run a few hours to check for any hot spots, ect... (it's a lot safer than those little coleman ones on wire legs)

    and yes, it is very important to plan ahead in case of an emergency! just remember that there is a difference between the funnel with tube in front of tent and the funnel with tube in the back of tent!
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

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