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Kerosene
12-04-2003, 12:55
What's the coldest overnight you've ever endured, regardless of location?


For me, it was during a weekend winter boy scout camp just north of the tip of New Jersey. It dropped down to -27* F that night, and only warmed up to -10* F the next day. This is where I learned that lacing your high-top leather boots tightly in cold weather is not conducive to keeping warm.

Steve W
12-04-2003, 13:30
For me it was also a Boy Scout trip in New Jersey. It was about 25 below. Boy, the things we did when we were young!

Kozmic Zian
02-10-2004, 01:45
ESwag between two sweeping hills. Anyway, the actual temp that night was 14 degrees, but the wind was gusting to 60-70 knots....trees were snappin' all around and the fire was flat on the ground....The wind chill was way below 0. I froze my ass off with all my clothes on in my little 30degree North Face Bag. The wind was blowin' right in the face of the shelter....got no sleep that night, and had to do some pretty rough ups and downs the next day, if you know where I was. Anyway, It was a really cold night on Da Trail....[QUOTE] [email protected]

Dan Morris
02-10-2004, 03:16
Yea my coldest was with the Boy Scouts too. We were at Turnagan Pass, Alaska. We were there for two nights three days it was at leaste -15 during the day and 20 to 30 bellow at night. Slept in snow shelters and tents. I suppose were kind of used to it being from here but any person knows it's friggin cold at that temp. I used two army surplus winter mummy bags and a wool blanket. We would piss in bottles so we diden't have to leave the shelter they would freeze very fast.

Uncle Wayne
02-10-2004, 05:13
A Boy Scout trip to Shiloh battleground in Tennessee. 15 degrees overnight.

Frog
02-10-2004, 07:18
Coldest night out uh,. One of my new years trips i guess. Camped on Grandfathers Mtn. around twenty years ago. It got down to minus 6 with blowing snow.Dont know what the wind chill was but it was alot. When i got up my breathe froze to my beard and when i went to knock some of it off it took my beard with it. Made me want to rethink my camping out on New years. Thankfully the next year was alot warmer.

okpik
02-10-2004, 07:32
Damn those scouts, Mine as well was -12 below in Granger Pond, ME last year.
We stayed in Quinzees ( snow caves) and were warm as toast.

weary
02-10-2004, 09:28
On my first "adult" winter backpack we took the AT into Katahdin Stream from Abol Bridge on New Years Eve 1970. At 8 a.m. the next morning my thermometer stood at minus 32 F.

I figured if I could survive that, I could survive most anything, so I've enjoyed scores of winter backpacks since. I've been physically colder, what with wind and all, but never since has the thermomenter reading dropped that low.

Weary

Guest
02-10-2004, 10:32
It was 36 below. We were in a tent in the Whites. Trees were snapping, we stayed awake all night! The next morning after a short trek we found our car oil had frozen and couldn't be started for a while. It was a memorable night, a slight wind.

slabfoot
02-10-2004, 11:03
minus 18 F. Manashka bay, Kodiak with boyscouts on weekend campout. the ranger came and got me the second nite to take my wife to the clinic to deliver my daughter Katie.

Daddy Longlegs
02-10-2004, 20:48
Two weekends ago I was camping with the boyscouts and it got to a low of 11. I am glad I am an adult so that I have more body fat to keep me warm.

Jaybird
02-13-2004, 12:56
i've been tenting in 20 to 30 degree weather...

i recently did a 10+mile hike in Land Between the Lakes trails (Dover,TN) it was 6 degrees....22degrees when we finsihed up. :D




i prefer the 50s & 60s but if you gotta hike....you gotta hike (plus that body temp. will soar once a few miles pass...) :D




see ya'll UP the trail

rumbler
02-13-2004, 13:49
A gripping and very tragic account of a unbelievably cold evening:
http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php3?threadid=1522&perpage=15&pagenumber=4



The balance of the morning saw relatively stable conditions. At noon it was a balmy 23 F in Whitefield and 8 F on Mt Washington. Not too bad, considering that this is January. But as lunchtime came and went, everything began to change. The bottom was about to fall out for Ken and there was very little he could do about itexcept experience it.

The temperature profile for the rest of this day presents a sobering lesson in what can happen as a Winter high-pressure system moves across New England. The barometer in Whitefield bottomed out at noon. It then began a steady rise indicative of clearing and colder -much colder- weather. Winds also began picking up and by 4 PM were gusting to 97mph on Washington. Even protected Whitefield was seeing gusts over 30.

During the afternoon Ken might have made his way up Bond Cliff toward the summit of Bond, where he would eventually camp. As the afternoon progressed he faced increasing winds and falling temps. The wind was likely not his main problem however. It was the free-falling temperatures. According to reports, Ken had camped near the summit of Bond on Tuesday might. That placed him at approximately 5K feet. Conditions he would experience here were probably not that much different than those recorded on Mount Washington: Maybe 5 degrees warmer with a bit less wind. The following hourly observations from Washington tell the tale.

Noon: +9 Deg F
1 PM: +7
2 PM: +1
3 PM: -7
4 PM: -13
5 PM: -16
6 PM: -20

It must have been a cold and rushed super that night. But a good bag and sturdy tent would be up to the challenge, if the thermometer leveled off at -20. But unfortunately it didnt. In a phone call with a friend that evening, Ken indicated that he wanted out, but seemed to be dealing well with the conditions and staying comfortable. However, things were going to get worse at 5k feet on the Bond ridge.

8 PM: -27
9 PM: -31
11 PM: -36
1 AM: - 40
3 AM: - 42
6 AM: - 43.6

Ken must have been a very courageous and amazing person. Under those unimaginable conditions he managed to rouse himself, pack up and move. The fortitude and stamina he mustered to do this is the stuff of polar exploration legend. On his ill-fated quest for the pole, Scott stayed in his tent (for days) when conditions became this severe. Ken apparently did not feel that was an option. He needed to get out, probably because he was unable to stay warm hunkered down in his camp.

As he turned into the wind and made his way north and west toward the Guyot and then South Twin, the cold did not relent. At 8 AM it is 42 on Washington and 20 far below the Twinway in Whitefield. At 10 AM Washington records winds gusting to 98 mph. At noon the temp has reached only 36. Oddly enough, visibility on Washington is pretty good at 70 miles. South Twin must have looked so close...

Needles
02-13-2004, 14:17
I spent the night at Spring Mountain shelter in March a few years back, that had to be my coldest night. Me and my hiking partner were planning on hiking in Virginia, but we got caught in a blizzard on our way up to Perisburg. We made a phone call to a friend in Hot Springs who said they hadn't had a single flake hit the ground there so we decided to drive down to Hot Springs and just do an overnight trip in that area. Got a shuttle up to the gap just a few miles north of Spring Mountain shelter and started hiking sount back towards Hot Springs.

30 minutes or so into our hike we were up to our knees in snow with no other footprints around. I thought we would never get to the top of that mountain, it was beautiful, but awfully slow going. We made it to the shelter and decided to set up the tent to stay a bit warmer, I was looking for all the warmth I could get as I had brought my Western Mountaineering Iriquois sleeping bag, it's a great bag but it's only rated to 38 degrees. After I climbed into my bag I also noticed that my sleeping pad had sprang a leak and wouldn't stay inflated, so there I was, wearing all of my clothing, inside a summer weight sleeping bag, sepperated from the cold, snow covered ground by nothing more than a plastic ground cloth, the tent floor, a deflated sleeping pad, and the bottom of a very thin sleepign bag. Needless to say I didn't get a lot of sleep that night.
I think it actually got worse when we made it back to Hot Springs and found out that the overnight low in Ashville had been something like 5 degrees, meaning it was somewhat colder on top of that mountain.

Andy
02-13-2004, 16:08
Hey Everyone,

I spent four (4) years in Alsaka as part of the old 6th Infantry Division (Light). As I was in a Rifle Battalion, we had to endure sleeping without the benefits of tents. The coldest I remember was at Ft Greeley in late January where the median temp stood at -37. We spent three days and nights in "snow caves"...Funny though, I remember being cold ONLY after we left the caves to begin the trek back to te base,

Furlough
04-02-2004, 16:38
Mine was when I was the 10th Mtn Div in Watertown NY on a field training exercise in Feb. Temp over night was -25 . This was back in 1999, stayed fairly comfortable in the "New Army Sleep System Bag". Worst part of it was that I had just recently returned from a year in Saudia Arabia so I was not yet aclimatized to cold weather conditions.

Harry

orangebug
04-03-2004, 13:10
My coldest night was March 5 & 6, 2001 in the Smokeys alone at Tricorner shelter. One mouse froze that Tuesday AM near my sleeping bag. Wind chills were probably colder than -10, which weather radio indicated down at the Asheville Airport.

It snowed heavily Monday evening and I simply stayed put Tuesday, making it to Carter Shelter (8 miles) Wednesday. I learned a lot about post holing thru thigh deep snow. It is more fun now than it was then.

foodbag
04-03-2004, 19:48
Winter camping trip in 1969 with the Boy Scouts @ -25F and using a kapok sleeping bag with a temperature rating of probably 50F!

U-BOLT
04-03-2004, 20:17
Mine was when I was the 10th Mtn Div in Watertown NY on a field training exercise in Feb. Temp over night was -25 . This was back in 1999, stayed fairly comfortable in the "New Army Sleep System Bag".
What is this New Army Sleep System Bag, and how much did it weigh?

Furlough
04-05-2004, 10:40
This is a system made up of three bags that fit into one another. A light weight summer bag that fit into an intermediate weight fall/winter bag and a gortex shell that fit over the other two bags. This coupled with the army issue cold weather polypro long under wear kept me warm. I am honestly not sure of the weight. But with the compression bag I could get the entire system smaller than the oldler style "down bag".

Harry

thetrail
04-05-2004, 12:26
My coldest night was -34 F while doing an annual winter camp weekend here in mid-Michigan. That was unusually cold for the middle of Michigan's lower pennisula. That was about 8 years ago...and since then our coldest temp has been -14 F which was this past February.

Thanks to North Face for making a sleeping bag that keeps fools like me warm when the temps are bitterly cold!

pjohnson
07-06-2004, 04:20
-20 in 1979 on a mountain overlooking the East German border. My truck (wrecker) got stuck in the mud and snow, and I had to wait out a blizzard in a small pup tent. I had a whole case of c-rations and plenty of fuel and tin cans to make stove. I ate good, but unfortunately too many greasy spiced meat meals and John Wayne bars kept me running into the woods. I almost froze my butt off!

Pencil Pusher
07-06-2004, 04:26
This question is kinda dependent on me having a thermometer, eh? Beats me what the temps were.

SGT Rock
07-06-2004, 06:50
About 7 degrees F.

Connie
07-06-2004, 12:17
St. Mary, MT

The warmest day, in three days, was -34 F

I have no idea how cold it was at night. I stayed under my 0 F Polar synthetic sleeping bag (boy scout store) as a quilt, my 20 F Dream Weaver 3D Polarguard sleeping bag, and I wrapped my core in my 100% alpaca fashion poncho over the top of my wool-silk longjohns. The sleeping pad was about 3" thick.

I only stuck my arm out to make three "cookies" of instant oatmeal, sugar and lard patted into cookie shape and pronounced, "You are a cookie." I ate one each day.

I kept water warm in bottles, next to me. I drank the water.

Curiously, I did not pee. I did pretend I was a hibernating bear.

The rangers asked me how I survived. This is it.

I walked out, in my Baffin -50 F boots I had purchased because the boot soles don't fracture in the cold.

Bloodroot
10-07-2004, 11:33
Mine was when I was the 10th Mtn Div in Watertown NY on a field training exercise in Feb. Temp over night was -25 . This was back in 1999, stayed fairly comfortable in the "New Army Sleep System Bag". Worst part of it was that I had just recently returned from a year in Saudia Arabia so I was not yet aclimatized to cold weather conditions.

Harry
Brother I can relate you your experience so well! Before coming to Iraq I spent a month doing field exercises in Ft. Drum (Jan-Feb). It got down -40 several nights. I was better off wearing tennis shoes rather than the Mickey Mouse boots. Coldest I have ever been in my life! Never knew wind could blow that cold! Great thing is when I de-MOB I get to come back to Drum during the same season. Yey!

Bloodroot
10-07-2004, 11:38
What is this New Army Sleep System Bag, and how much did it weigh?
Unreasonably heavy! Nothing you would want to take on a extended pack. But when you use all 3 layers it's like a furnace. Gortex shell repels water extremely well.

chknfngrs
10-07-2004, 11:47
Also as a boy scout, spent 2 nights in minus 30F in Jaffrey NH at the BSA camp, at the base of Mt Monadnock. It was February of probably 1988.

We stayed in 3 sided shelters, and tried to keep the wind out by tarping the front entrances. Didn't work, and it was cold.

Ramble~On
10-08-2004, 04:14
:-? Hmmmm. A small Thermometer weighs how much ?
Guess I should start using one for winter hikes.
Coldest night out would have to be while in military in either Alaska or Korea.
Cold.

Deerleg
10-08-2004, 08:35
Almost forgot about those early scouting tripswe did something called the Klondike I was about 12 or 13 and stayed in a large tent with about 6 or 7 other kids. Dont remember being that cold, but the scout master told us it got down to about 9 below during the night. Most of the other troops pulled out. I was wearing a army issued wool coat and my dads wool artic boots he had from WWII. They kept my feet toasty warm! :rolleyes: I think it was the most fun of any scout trip I was on.

deadair
03-01-2005, 14:16
new years eve at the red river gorge in eastern ky. few years ago it got down to about -10 wind chill, that was a fun night :clap

Wyoming
03-01-2005, 22:50
Dec 72, Wyoming, minus 45, wind gusting to 50 mph. Everyone got frostbite. One of the toughest days I ever experienced. To this day one of my fingers is still numb on the end. hmmm think I will go get in bed :)

Ramble~On
03-02-2005, 08:31
I don't know how accurate it is but I bought a little survival whistle, compass, thermometer combo. A couple weeks ago a buddy and I went into Citico Creek Wilderness, SW of GSMNP. One night we decided to spend the night up on a bald. At 7pm and out of the wind my thermometer read -15.
Two people plus winter gear is more than a Golite Trig II can handle...all buttoned up I came to realize that in that kind of temerature the tent has a major condensation problem....we stayed warm though but in the morning anytime we moved ice from condensation rained down on us.
-15 at 7pm just after sundown..I have no idea how cold it actually got later that night..it was cold

The Solemates
03-02-2005, 10:40
-12F or so without windchill New Years Eve 2001 on the summit of Cold Mtn, NC in Pisgah NF. wind was blowing 35-40mph, so no telling how cold it actually was. about 18 inches of snow base.

squirrel bait
03-11-2005, 05:13
Cripple Creek CO 1971
9400 ft
fire out
wet gear
cold.
This was the day I discovered the power of jumping jacks. Got back to town and mom said we all crazy. :jump 4 degrees.

Bearpaw
03-30-2005, 16:19
During arctic warfare exercises in Norway (while I was a young Marine) we encountered temps close to -30 F on a few occasions......... I think the lowest was in the -40's, but the coldest was a frightfully windy night at -22 - with howling winds that gave an estimated wind chill of -80..................... :eek:

Loafer
03-30-2005, 16:43
Spent a night on top of Mt Cheaha In late Jan. of 1996. The actual temp. was around 0. The wind chill was around -20.

minnesotasmith
03-30-2005, 16:44
I've dealt with as low as -42o F. actual in Minnesota.

Blue Jay
03-30-2005, 19:11
I've dealt with as low as -42o F. actual in Minnesota.

Cough, Cough (bull****), Cough

minnesotasmith
03-31-2005, 11:23
In January 1996, I was up there in MN/WI. Here's what www.weather.com (http://www.weather.com) shows the low temps there in Wausau, WI then:

Jan (http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/climo-dly.html?locid=USWI0727&climoMonth=1)22F4F13F1.09 in52F (1973)-40F (1951)


I was outside the town, where it was cooler, according to multiple thermometers at the plant at which I worked. Those temps in 1994 tied many records that they did not break.



================================================== ======

In Zimmerman, town just north of Minneapolis, another place I've spent time near: Jan (http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/climo-dly.html?locid=USMN0822&climoMonth=1)22F0F11F1.11 in55F (1981)-41F (1994)




Note the big regional cold spell in 1994 that tied or broke a lot of records in several states.
================================================== =======
And, Ely, MN, a town I spent a winter near:

Jan (http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/climo-dly.html?locid=USMN0235&climoMonth=1)14F-9F3F1.06 in49F (1981)-44F (1982)
================================================== =======

See, it really does get that cold in the upper MidWest. North Dakota and of course Alaska do get colder, but Minnesota will never be a substitute for Palm Beach or Phoenix for those people so old they have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

smokymtnsteve
03-31-2005, 11:31
I've dealt with as low as -42o F. actual in Minnesota.

just for clarification..did U camp over night in these conditions..

did U backpack ...or was this in a house/cabin

what did U do in these conditions???????????

MOWGLI
03-31-2005, 11:32
MS, I believe the question was referring to a night spent outdoors.

Dainon
03-31-2005, 11:44
I came very close to being in serious trouble (hypothermia) while hiking in steady drizzle with temps in the upper 30s/low40s -- damp from sweat, no evaporation because of rain, etc. Just to say that for those with little experience, danger can be found in temps above freezing if one isn't prepared.

minnesotasmith
03-31-2005, 11:55
I've slept in a vehicle with the engine and heat off all night when the air temperature was below -22o F, with lots of specialized winter clothing and -40o boots, I'll add. I also once spent a winter in an uninsulated cabin near Ely, the coldest spot in Minnesota (~30 miles from Canadian border) with no heat but for a woodstove that would go out if you didn't refuel it every 4 hours or so (which happened repeatedly during times of sleeping the whole night through). That last was during a winter that got to -30o F or lower. So, I've slept in an unheated shelter at -30o or so.

smokymtnsteve
03-31-2005, 12:06
I spent the whole winter in an log cabin with just a woodstove for heat...evenif the fire dies down in the cabin it does not quickly drop to sub-zero temps.

now about that car at -22 you slept in did it crank the next morning...were U plugged into a block heater...did U have a grass burner or other alternative means to warm the engine and get it started?

stomparound85
03-31-2005, 12:07
I would have to say 19E to Overmountain. It was a february weekender me and a buddy decided to head up to overmountain from 19E. must have to say there were 6 other adventurous folks out. who prepared a nice fire. but the wind gusts and the sleet and snow made for a cold morning. i would have to say it was in the teens to 20s that night. nothing compared some of the other stories.:banana

minnesotasmith
03-31-2005, 12:18
There are probably three main types of engine heaters, and my vehicle had two of them (block and oil). If a vehicle has its antifreeze composition mixed right, -44o F or so is no problem for it surviving the cold (succeeding in an attempt at starting the engine while it was that cold could be another story). Engine heaters IMO serve 3 purposes; a) to keep an engine from being damaged while simply sitting in the cold; b) to be able to start the engine while the air temps are still around that cold; c) to limit the excessive engine wear that even successful starting an unheated engine in very cold conditions tends to entail.

I was in a place where I could not plug in, so used none of them that night. Below -25o, starting the vehicle I had at the time was iffy, if it was not plugged into some kind of engine heater while exposed to outside air temperatures in that range. I normally found the best thing to do under -20o F. if my vehicle was outside without a plugin option was to wait until the next day to try to start my vehicle, after 10:30 A.M., when it would usually warm up to at least -10 or so.

When living and working in town, such cold temps were not so limiting. At home, I would usually have either or both of a garage (adds about 15 degrees to air temperature effectively even if unheated) or plug access for my vehicle heaters; at work, some places have vehicle plugins, and even if not, I usually worked during day hours, when it was not as cold as late at night.

smokymtnsteve
03-31-2005, 12:24
the butch way of cranking your engine at - 25 and below is to use a grass burner... :cool:

minnesotasmith
03-31-2005, 12:36
Are you referring to starting a campfire underneath your vehicle's engine, the way the Germans often did in wintertime during their invasion of Russia in 1941-5?

smokymtnsteve
03-31-2005, 12:54
nope,you cover the front end of the vehicle with a tarp including the wheel wheels
you take a 20 lb propane tank..a grass burning nozzle..and a piece of stove pipe, you position the stove pipe under/in the engine compartment...and then blast the propane grass burner thru the stove pipe
to warm the engine...in 15-20 minutes u can crank ur engine. at -38 and then U drive to Fairbanks and meet the fed-ex plane at -43 to pick-up your HIV meds.

oh yea...

ed bell
03-31-2005, 12:57
My lowest temperature was -5F in the Middle Prong Wilderness.


I've slept in a vehicle with the engine and heat off all night when the air temperature was below -22o F, with lots of specialized winter clothing and -40o boots, I'll add. I also once spent a winter in an uninsulated cabin near Ely, the coldest spot in Minnesota (~30 miles from Canadian border) with no heat but for a woodstove that would go out if you didn't refuel it every 4 hours or so (which happened repeatedly during times of sleeping the whole night through). That last was during a winter that got to -30o F or lower. So, I've slept in an unheated shelter at -30o or so.

I think the poll was about backpacking overnight, not winter vacationing in a heated cabin. Maybe I am reading the question wrong. Seems like everyone is talking about backpacking here. Sometimes I sleep in my car when I get to a trailhead late at night, but I have no problem adding 20+deg F to the inside air temperature when its cold out by just being in there all night.(the sun does wonders as well) How about in a tent while backpacking MS?:-?

minnesotasmith
03-31-2005, 13:07
I've laid down in the snow and taken a couple of hours nap in a copse of trees while on long day/evening hikes when it was -15 or so, with relatively little wind. (Yes, I was very appropriately attired for the weather.) How's that?

smokymtnsteve
03-31-2005, 13:09
I've laid down in the snow and taken a couple of hours nap in a copse of trees while on long day/evening hikes when it was -15 or so, with relatively little wind. (Yes, I was very appropriately attired for the weather.) How's that?


did U wake up ??? ;)

minnesotasmith
03-31-2005, 13:12
There is a story about a student in a beginning Philosophy class who asks the professor "How do I know that I exist?". He is given the answer "Who is asking the question?".:-? :D

neo
06-10-2005, 11:26
-5 degrees for me at savage gulf:cool: neo

Stoker53
06-10-2005, 12:34
Mid Jan 1979 between Hibbing and International falls Mn. Was working for an company that built power lines. We were building a 500KV line from Kettle River MN and Atakokin, Ont.


An inspector, with Northern States Power, and I had to inspect a 30 mile section of towers and put together a punch list of problems that needed to be fixed.

We spent 4 days on snow machines and camped every night. Have no idea how cold it was at night but during the entire trip the day times highs hovered around minus 12 to minus 15 F.

Never realized how hard it is to melt snow for 2 people for 4 days or how much I loved my Snow Lion down parka and Sorel boots.

Scribe
06-10-2005, 14:02
Quite few years ago, I kept warm whilst the temp outside fell to 6 degrees - I knew it was going to be cold so I had a minus-5 bag. The worst problem was getting out of the warm bag when the sun came up...!

fiddlehead
06-10-2005, 23:24
My first time above 5,000 meters was near Everest Base camp in Nepal. Somebody said the temp went down to minus 8 F that night and i was cold in my 20 degree bag. In the morning i noticed that the locals all slept together (4 of them) with one blanket between them! They live like that at that altitude most of the year!

My last time (last year) there we set up a tent at 17,500 Dhampus pass and it was a rough night because of my altitude headache but i wasn't cold because i've learned (from all my thru-hiking experience) to sleep with a hot water bottle. By the time it cooled off, it was time to get up and go for the summit (about 4:30 AM) So, it was probably below zero but I was so phyched for the climb, i didn't mind the cold (i do remember that headache though, and amazingly it went away soon after we started climbing!) Turned out to be one of the best days of my life!

Bolivershagnasty
06-11-2005, 10:16
Main thing I take from this thread is if ever invited to do a Boy Scout camping trip after September is to run!

TOW
06-11-2005, 10:43
while in vermont and waiting for a mail drop, i pitched my tent at the trail head outside of bennington for three days in january of 2002 with temps of 10 below and gusting winds that made it 30 -40 below. after i got that money i headed in doors for the rest of the winter, it took me a month to feel warm again........

Colter
06-12-2005, 01:07
I once had planned a snowshoe trip to a hot springs here in Alaska, and when I left it was -56 F. (ambient temperature, not wind chill.)

I had lots of warm clothing. Before I went to bed I filled up a canteen with near-boiling water and put it in a heavy wool mitten and slipped it in my bag. Then I crawled in my sleeping bag (with an overbag) wearing my down parka and long underwear and fleece pants and balaclava. About an hour later I literally woke up sweating and had to unzip the outer bag a ways. As the canteen cooled I zipped back up and slept snugly.

I WASN'T sweating in the morning while packing up! My tent was incredibly stiff, and it was a pain getting everything back in my pack. Instead of continuing to the hot springs, I headed back to my truck because it was simply dangerously cold.

smokymtnsteve, how I started my pickup was to put a pan of charcoal under the oil pan, and cover my whole pickup with a tarp for about an hour and a half. Fired right up then.

Stale Cracker
08-12-2005, 15:46
Mount Washington last March 4 - 6. We were delighted to get temps up to +10 the next day!

VGA

NoKnees
08-12-2005, 16:46
I have had many a cold night in the Adirondack high peaks in the winter, The coldest was in january of 1993 I think. It was below -35 when our group of five went to sleep. Thats as low as any of our thermometers went. The weather was calm no wind, no clouds. I expect it was below -40 in the middle of the night. We all slept well in our tenst. We too cancelled our trip in the morning becuase it seemed the margin for any type of error was very very small in those temps. Only one of the three cars we had brought started when we got out at 2pm. What fun

Joey
09-30-2005, 12:42
November 18, 2002 Tri-Corner Knob GSMNP 12 inches odf snow 50mph winds and minus 10 degrees

manzana
09-30-2005, 14:31
Several folks said they slept in "snow caves". How is this possible without either smothering or creating a cave-in? I would seriously like to know how to do this since I enjoy winter hiking.

thanks,
Manzana in Austin

Alligator
09-30-2005, 14:38
Several folks said they slept in "snow caves". How is this possible without either smothering or creating a cave-in? I would seriously like to know how to do this since I enjoy winter hiking.

thanks,
Manzana in Austinhttp://www.princeton.edu/~oa/winter/wintshel.shtml

kyhipo
09-30-2005, 15:11
have to say in the sierras -10 no prob do it again for the beautiful memorys :) ky

Seeker
10-01-2005, 02:00
fort drum, ny, western adirondack region of upstate new york, january 1992. minus 40 every night for 2 weeks, -15 during the day. no heated tents, no extreme cold gear, sleeping bags that were barely adequate at 35 above. have no idea how we made it... still haven't thawed out.

stargate
10-01-2005, 03:35
I would have to say twice at -15 I didnt know it could get that cold in Texas. Once with a Boy Scout trip and once on a backpacking trip. The first was in Abliene and the second was in Glen Rose. The first time we had planned a weekender and were sleeping in screen building with concrete floors. The highs were suppost to be 75 and the lows 40. It was interesting trip. I'll never sleep on concrete in -15 temperture again. On the Glen Rose trip my kids and I had been swimming in the streams all day it was that warm and then it started to rain. Never a good sign in March it got down to -15 that night. So we packed up the next morning and headed home. This was in 1999.

Seeker
10-02-2005, 01:44
Several folks said they slept in "snow caves". How is this possible without either smothering or creating a cave-in? I would seriously like to know how to do this since I enjoy winter hiking.

thanks,
Manzana in Austin
alligator's website was pretty good... when i was a boy scout (central new york state, late 70s), we used to dig snow caves into the side of a hill on some land we camped on. as long as the snow is deep enough, it won't cave in. you prevent smothering by poking an airhole with a branch or cross country ski pole. used to make the snow trench covered with tarps and skis one at home, to play in... they were always warmer than the outside air too... i used sticks and sheet plastic instead of skis, but it worked fine. never spent a cold night in a snow shelter, never spent a warm one in a tent.

Moxie00
10-04-2005, 08:37
When I was in the USAF I flew fighters with The North American Air Defense Command. Most of our missions were over Canada, Nothern US and the area between Canada and Greenland. In our survival training they would give us 3 panels of a parachute, a life raft and our small survival kit. that had a highly compressed down sleeping bag, and dump us off in some god foresaken area to spend the night. Shelters were made from fir boughs if available or a snow cave if not. I never slept on the ice pack but one fellow that did constructed a very nice igeloo out of packed snow. We slept in our raft.
We were told to evacuate our bowels and bladder before trying to sleep as your body didn't need to heat up poop and urine while it should be heating you. I was never as cold as I was one night on top of Granny Top in Georgia on my thru hike. The day before I had gone to the Dalonogia Hospital and been diganosed with walking pneuminia, given a steriod shot and a Z-pack and put back on the trail. That night I left Gooch Gap, the wind was blowing 40 mph and the weatherman said it would be 10 above in Dalonoga. I never found a place to set up my tent until dark and that was on a flat exposed ridge on the mountain top. I buried myself in my Mountain Hardware 20 degree mummy bag and went to bed without supper. During the night both my nalgene bottles that were in my tent froze solid and I woke up to several inches of snow. After that I figured things could only get better. They did and while I did have a few bad weather nights on my thru hike when I compared them to my night on Granny Top nothing seemed bad. Just put your head down low, plow through the snow and tomorrow things will get better.

Gray Blazer
08-15-2006, 14:28
Reintarnation.....ran accross this old thread...good stories...made me glad I live in FL. Just curious, was anybody in the Nantahalas last Mar23-26? It was freezing cold for this FL crackerhead. I didn't have a thermometer. I was wondering if anybody was out there who had a thermometer and could tell me what the temps were...say on Black Bald or Wayah Bald. It must have been in the 10s at night and it didn't warm up much during the days.

ed bell
08-15-2006, 15:58
Reintarnation.....ran accross this old thread...good stories...made me glad I live in FL. Just curious, was anybody in the Nantahalas last Mar23-26? It was freezing cold for this FL crackerhead. I didn't have a thermometer. I was wondering if anybody was out there who had a thermometer and could tell me what the temps were...say on Black Bald or Wayah Bald. It must have been in the 10s at night and it didn't warm up much during the days.
The only reporting station that would be relativly similar to say Wayah Bald would be Mt. LeConte in GSMNP. Probably a few deg. cooler than Wayah, but the low on the 23rd was 13degF; 24th was 13degF; 25th was 12degF; and 26th was 10degF. The NWS has a daily record storage at: http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=gsp Good stuff. Choose NC mountain reports or SMNP reports.

Gray Blazer
08-16-2006, 07:11
Thanks, Ed. Good stuff is right. I knew I was freezing my axx off!

StarLyte
08-16-2006, 07:36
:mad: Well this is where my horns come out. I can't backpack in cold weather due to my asthma. I can't hike in cold weather unless I wear a face mask and then I feel like I'm suffocating. Lots of fun.

I LOVE the snow - walking in it etc., it's beautiful. I love everyone's bkpking pictures in the snow. Wolf (not Lone Wolf) has a good bkpking snow story from the Whites. Maybe he'll read this and post it if he's not too busy giving COMMANDS!

I know - you're sayin why do I live in Cleveland. :o

Gray Blazer
08-16-2006, 07:56
I was camping on top of Black Bald. The system was coming out of the west so it was probably close to Le Conte's temps. I had guessed 10 degrees myself. About a foot accumulation of snow. Once again, nothing compared to others low temps but cold enough for this born and raised FL Crackerhead. The amazing thing is the amount of NOBOS who passed thru. I fed breakfast to a lot of them and gave snickers bars to the rest. The last guys who had breakfast with me helped carry my gear down to Tellico Gap (The Sopranos) Thanks again guys.

lucky luke
09-23-2006, 09:22
high,

coldest night ever was nailed to a wall in the karakorum at 19.000 feet, no tent, -35Celsius.

i had a night at denali pass in ak, at app 18.000 feet that was close to -30 c with storm and tent.

on the at i had my coldest night in New york, in ferbruary 1985. -25 F in the valleys, and f*** cold on the ridge.

greets
lucky luke

virtualfrog
09-23-2006, 13:40
First solo backpack in the Shasta/Trinity Alps late last fall. It was only High 20s/30o F, but I only had one of those zip-up fleece Coleman blankets, and a horrifically condensating tent. Needless to say, I was pretty darn cold. I woke up about every 10 minutes to rub some warmth back into my feet.

Now that I'm back home in Vermont, and have some good gear, I'm looking for some sub-zero stuff this winter :). Anybody have a list of some real good spots to snowshoe/hike into in winter (don't ski), and could PM me?

Egads
01-28-2009, 06:36
thought I'd bump this for some new posts

Coldest in my Hennessey was 14*

Coldest in a shelter was 10*

papa john
01-28-2009, 07:57
Wise Shelter last weekend it was 11*. I was in my hammock warm and toasty above all the snow and ice.

Ramble~On
01-28-2009, 08:10
During arctic warfare exercises in Norway (while I was a young Marine) we encountered temps close to -30 F on a few occasions......... I think the lowest was in the -40's, but the coldest was a frightfully windy night at -22 - with howling winds that gave an estimated wind chill of -80..................... :eek:

Mountain Warfare Training Center in California. 9000ft+ and wind I didn't have a thermometer though. I almost forgot. They'd take a layer away from us each day! :rolleyes: No wonder I love winter backpacking.. I have good lightweight gear now and no "plan of the day" !

Semper Fi.

Toolshed
01-28-2009, 08:35
Routinley it goes below zero there when winter camping in the Adirondacks.
However, the lowest recorded that I have with a tent was on a winter climbing trips -25 using a good min register thermometer on a 3 night trip in Feb-97.
The lowest recorded camping in a cabin was -42 in the Dacks in 2002 New Years. We had planned a weekend of camping and snowshoeing, but when we got the latest weather report, we were able to rent an old cabin. Problem is when it gets that cold, everything squeaks, vehicles tend to break down a bit more. and all anybody talks about is how cold it is :)

nitewalker
01-28-2009, 08:36
when i 1st got my -20 bag i stayed out and it got down to -16 that nite. i slept out tuesday the 20th and it was a warm 1*. real enjoyable that evening. here is my setup on the 20th. tadpole with only the rain fly and footprint. i also used a regular tarp under the footprint.

kanga
01-28-2009, 09:30
-4. i was young stupid and unprepared for a storm. (my body could take that stuff back then) i woke up with my dog, that hated being under blankets, in the bottom of my sleeping bag. water bottles were in the bag too but they froze anyway. i object to those sort of feelings now.

Tipi Walter
01-28-2009, 09:47
Coldest night out uh,. One of my new years trips i guess. Camped on Grandfathers Mtn. around twenty years ago. It got down to minus 6 with blowing snow.Dont know what the wind chill was but it was alot. When i got up my breathe froze to my beard and when i went to knock some of it off it took my beard with it. Made me want to rethink my camping out on New years. Thankfully the next year was alot warmer.

Old Grandfather gets pretty cold and windy in the winter. I could actually see the profile of Grandfather Mt from my tipi ridge in Sugar Grove, NC. The fotog shows the view from my ridge looking off towards Boone, Grandfather would be way over to the right of the picture, lookings towards Foscoe.

I wish I had kept a better winter record of all my nights out in the single digit midgets. I remember the winter of '81 when I was using only a tent fly as shelter, basically a tarp, as I sent in the tent body earlier for repair. North Face took 10 long weeks to return it, so for those 10 weeks I had nothing in Jan and Feb but a tarp. For one week I got hit with a -10 degree blizzard(that's minus ten) and woke up every morning with my body and bag covered in windblown snow. I heard a rumor that you stay warmer if you sleep naked, so during this time I tried it out and when I had to go outside in my naked form to pee, my pee stream froze to the ground and I had to chop myself free with a hatchet HA HA HA just kiddng but the stupid advice is dead wrong. Don't do it!

Then there was the January 1985 southeastern cold snap that hit -28 degrees below with Knoxville getting -18. I was camping out in the Conehead Preserve during the time and slowly made my way back into Boone to find a church building I could sleep inside. Threw my thermarest under a pew and slept like a baby.

Then there were the long cold nights up in Lost Valley where the only trail was a frozen creek as the low rhododendron was just too hard to get thru. I had to stash a pair of rubber high top boots under a rock just to wade the creek and reach camp.

An especially cold camp was up on Lake Michigan during Feb in my old NF Westwind tent. It never got above zero the whole time, but I was on a hitchhiking trip to the Sierra Nevadas and so left the cold north. It was warmer in California but it never stopped raining. Six days straight and I think I got walking pneumonia . .

I wish I could remember all the bedroll camps in zero or below, just threw down a ground cloth and a thermarest and crashed in my bag. Often I had to carry two bags to get thru the night. These frigid winter bedroll camps were everywhere, on decks, in the yards of friend's houses, in town cemetaries for stealth, out in the open by churches(I learned a down bag does not work when exposed to a high winter wind w/o a tent).

At the Tipi I still used my down bag and a thermarest but I had the benefit of a woodstove so I laughed at the single digit deep belows. The worst at the lodge was -14 below, and many nights in the subzero range, the worst aspect of cold weather camping is the wind. A high wind can turn zero degrees into something much worse.

The Blizzard of '93 caught me up at the tipi but the lowest it got was 6 degrees, balmy actually. It was the high winds and the deep snow that paralyzed the area. I stayed put in my tipi for several days and during the worst of the storm had to dig out my door all thru the night to keep from getting sealed in. Later I learned the old timers from Alaska had cabin doors that opened inward, my tipi door swung out. Oops.

In the last 8 years I've traipsed the Citico/Slickrock wilderness in the Cherokee/Nantahala and have to say the days of the tough Boone winters are over, unless I go to 5000 feet in the surrounding mountains. There I can find what it was like in the old days. Just recently I got back from a butt cold trip at -10 below, nothing special, but a wake-up call nonetheless. I dread the coming of Spring.

shelterbuilder
01-28-2009, 10:17
My coldest trip was on the upper end of the Horseshoe Trail in Pa. (near Hershey, Pa.), sometime in the early '80's. At that time, it ran through a section of Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation (don't know if it still does - they keep re-routing it up there) and I remember pitching near a military latrine so that I could at least sit down (out of the direct wind) to "answer the call". Temperature dropped to around -10* that night - my sleeping bag was only rated for +10*, but I had a liner, and I slept in some of my clothes, too. Thank God for tents: they really do mitigate the temperature! My boots were frozen the next morning, but at least I had a good night's sleep.

boarstone
01-28-2009, 18:47
Hopefully I won't experience any that go below the rating of my bag and if I do and survive, hope to live to post the results here....

Mags
01-28-2009, 19:04
The night my girlfriend and I got into an argument on a trip.

Some damn cold camping...

Tipi Walter
01-28-2009, 19:21
The night my girlfriend and I got into an argument on a trip.

Some damn cold camping...

I've had several of those. Conversation goes something like, "Hey, you can walk me out and I'll be back in 5 days to pick you up!" Grand plans dashed.

Or the inevitable breakdowns, near-misses(no pun), throbbing headaches, debilitating layed-out-on-the ground headaches, sour worldviews, etc, etc. But it all works out.

sasquatch2014
01-28-2009, 21:51
You don't spend winters in Northern Wyoming with out seeing a bunch of really cold nights not to mention a few days too.

Kanati
01-28-2009, 23:08
This is a system made up of three bags that fit into one another. A light weight summer bag that fit into an intermediate weight fall/winter bag and a gortex shell that fit over the other two bags. This coupled with the army issue cold weather polypro long under wear kept me warm. I am honestly not sure of the weight. But with the compression bag I could get the entire system smaller than the oldler style "down bag".

Harry

The coldest night of my life was somewhere in the mountains of West Germany in January 1967. We stopped the convoy for the night and I layed, not slept, under a deuce and a half (2 1/2 ton truck) in a feather filled sleeping bag on an air mattress on frozen ground. The temp wasn't really cold, only about zero F, but the Army's "sleep system" was inferior at best back then. I shook so hard I actually hurt and had cramps. I was sore for a couple of days afterwards.

Lyle
01-28-2009, 23:13
Series of below 0 nights with daytime temps in single digits for about a week straight. Lowest was -14*. I was using an OLD 15* synthetic bag with lots of extra clothes. First couple of nights I froze and got little sleep, then I got a second closed cell pad and slept reasonably well. That stretch taught me well the importance of bottom insulation. Many other similar nights since then.

Deadeye
01-28-2009, 23:21
Oops, I voted wrong... I thought it was 33 to 45 below zero that I was hitting. I should have hit the colder than -20 button. I guess I froze some brain cells on that 35 below weekend.

Mocs123
01-28-2009, 23:52
4* in Linville Gorge

Slo-go'en
01-29-2009, 00:07
minus 36, but there was a cabin with wood stove near by to thaw out in. Just wanted to see if I could live through the night at those temps. Apparently I did, but will never try it again!

Tipi Walter
01-29-2009, 07:58
minus 36, but there was a cabin with wood stove near by to thaw out in. Just wanted to see if I could live through the night at those temps. Apparently I did, but will never try it again!

Minus 36 is danged cold, but a woodstove changes everything. For this reason the Kifaru tipi-tents are used by cold weather campers--wood heat can turn a butt-cold backpacking trip into a downright homey, cozy lovefest. But who wants to carry the 10 plus pounds of shelter with stove included?

John B
01-29-2009, 08:43
I always thought that Sgt Rock's comments on taking advice from Tipi regarding where to camp are some of the funniest I've read; to paraphrase, 'taking advice on where to set up from a guy who likes camping in snow is risky business...' :D

Tipi Walter
01-29-2009, 09:36
I always thought that Sgt Rock's comments on taking advice from Tipi regarding where to camp are some of the funniest I've read; to paraphrase, 'taking advice on where to set up from a guy who likes camping in snow is risky business...' :D

Ah, I remember Young Rock atop a 5000 foot meadow in January, '08 with howling winds in a cold fog. He spent enough time with me to cook up lunch and then he was off on his northward journey. He ended up in a high gap with more howling winds and I figured he'd either get crushed by falling trees near Snow Camp or set up his hammock down off the ridge and away from the worst of it. Looking back, I probably recommended that exposed site to him--or told him to go even higher on a blue blaze where the gusty gap becomes an even higher windier open bald.

There's something about winter camping that feeds the soul, but let's be realistic, my winter backpacking in no real way approaches true winter camping with crampons, snowshoes or ice axes. I like the wind and the snow and the occasional subzero temps as much as anyone, but the true winter freaks are the guys who build snow caves and snow walls for their tents, who go out in -30 degrees regularly, and who trudge thru deep snow daily. Even if I go out all the time in the winter, and even see some snow and single digits, I'm still doing it all in the southeast--it ain't Maine or Michigan or Minnesota or the Rockies--and while we do get walloped here now and then, and I get to scurry about as one of the frozen chosen in the freezin' season, winters here are only partly serious.

Ewker
01-29-2009, 09:58
the coldest I have camped in was -5F. The coldest temp I have been out in for a very short day hike was -43F

SteveJ
01-29-2009, 10:03
~10 below, on Shining Rock in January 2006(5?). An unusual event for me....we expected temps of about +10, and I shivered in my 15 deg Big Agnes bag....

JAK
01-29-2009, 10:18
I've been fortunate that the coldest overnight in the woods solo was about 0F, as I started winter camping before I realized how forecasts can change while you are out. It's best to be prepared for the climate extreme for that month rather than the weather forecast. That isn't so easy for mountain tops, as those extremes are pretty insane.

In the backyard or within 2km of my house I've been overnight in -20F and -25F. I have found it can vary quite a bit through the night in cold air outbreaks. You have the old air getting pushed out, plus radiation cooling to an open sky, plus once everything finally gets frozen the temperature seems to be able to drop faster. You can go to bed with 0F and wake up shivering in -25F. Even with a decent sleep system it can be tough, so its good to be prepared to get up early, as one option, having things ready to go. It's nice to sleep in 'til it warms up and make hot coffee with just a nose and eyball and half an arm out of the sleeping bag, but sometimes you gotta be prepared to jump up and get dressed and get active. Sleeping, especially in the morning after your digestion has slowed, might only generate 60kcal/hour, whereas in the first hour of camp activity you can generate 300kcal/hour pretty easy, and dump another 50kcal of hot coffee in your stomach, plus get the furnace fired up with some breakfast. You do want to be able to get a good 6 hours sleep before all that though if you can, but bugging out in a hurry is something worth keeping in mind and practicing.

prain4u
01-30-2009, 02:24
-25 degrees fahrenheit (PLUS a windchill that was, at times, down to -35 or -40). It was 1978 or 1979 in Northern Wisconsin. I was an older teen. A bunch of friends went camping. My best friend and I built the two of us a small open front lean-to shelter out of a tarp, branches, etc. We had also made a 3-sided wooden "reflector" covered with aluminum foil and brought it along with us. We put the reflector behind our small campfire to direct the fire's heat back into the lean-to. The temp got up to +68 degrees inside the lean-to--prior to someone sitting on the thermometer and breaking it. Our friends (who chose to camp in tents) froze their butts off.

Transient Being
02-24-2009, 15:31
I don't know exactly how cold it was, but what I can tell you is that I was grossly unprepared. It was on the third night of a three night hike and I had been having a good time. I believe it was Sept. or Oct. I found a spot near the top of blood mountain to set my tent. I could tell that the temp. was dropping fast, but I had been warm the last two nights, I thought to myself. It got cold quick and stayed that way. 30-40 mph winds all night and I had some ****ty 40* bag. I put on every stitch of clothes I had and would light an esbit every couple of hours. THE most miserable night of my life. I kept praying for the sun to rise through the night that seemed to last an eternity. 0 sleep. As soon as I caught the first glimpse of light, I packed my stuff and hauled the five miles left to my car.

OldStormcrow
02-24-2009, 17:07
I nearly perished on a solo trip one time when it got down to around -20. I was a senior in high school and had hitchhiked to the trail carrying all kinds of worthless stuff, like canned beanie weanies (frozen solid), a cassette recorder and a bunch of tapes (batteries froze), a worn-out army goose down sleeping bag liner, a single wall K-mart $25.00 tent, etc. No snow, so the ground was frozen solid. Forgot my gloves, so I was wearing cotton socks on my hands. The air was too cold to breath outside of my bag that night. I had worn my sweaty hiking clothes to bed, also. By midnight I was hallucinating about an imaginary companion. I've gotten much older and wiser since.....

boarstone
02-24-2009, 17:24
I don't plan on going below my bag rating of 15* unless the view will be worth it....

zoidfu
02-24-2009, 17:38
-3 or -4

Tipi Walter
03-02-2009, 10:07
I nearly perished on a solo trip one time when it got down to around -20. I was a senior in high school and had hitchhiked to the trail carrying all kinds of worthless stuff, like canned beanie weanies (frozen solid), a cassette recorder and a bunch of tapes (batteries froze), a worn-out army goose down sleeping bag liner, a single wall K-mart $25.00 tent, etc. No snow, so the ground was frozen solid. Forgot my gloves, so I was wearing cotton socks on my hands. The air was too cold to breath outside of my bag that night. I had worn my sweaty hiking clothes to bed, also. By midnight I was hallucinating about an imaginary companion. I've gotten much older and wiser since.....

A good story and I've heard people talk about the imaginary companion though I myself have never experienced it. Just an inner drill sergeant telling me to shut up and keep moving.


I don't plan on going below my bag rating of 15* unless the view will be worth it....

What, and miss winter backpacking? I can't let a piece of gear justify that.

JAK
03-02-2009, 12:24
Someone asked me the other day if you could fall asleep at -25F or whatever and not wake up. I wasn't sure. I know the temperature can drop quite a bit while you are sleeping, so you might go to bed at -10F and it might be -25F by morning, so its a good question. I think as long as you go to bed warm, you should wake up if you start to get cold. Does anyone know? When is it not safe to fall asleep?

Tipi Walter
03-02-2009, 13:32
Someone asked me the other day if you could fall asleep at -25F or whatever and not wake up. I wasn't sure. I know the temperature can drop quite a bit while you are sleeping, so you might go to bed at -10F and it might be -25F by morning, so its a good question. I think as long as you go to bed warm, you should wake up if you start to get cold. Does anyone know? When is it not safe to fall asleep?

From my experience you will wake up chilled and shivering. First stage of hypothermia. It's not until the later stages that you get drowsy and "not wake up". Or at least that's my understanding. You never want to get to that point, hence a beefy pad/bag combo. Sure, you may be cold all night and not sleep, shivering instead, but you'll see the sun rise. We've all spent cold nights in a tent and a bag shivering all night. We couldn't fall asleep.

JAK
03-02-2009, 13:45
That's what I was hoping. Thanks Tipi. When I did the backyard thing I woke up shivering at 6am, about -25F, and I figured I had to either walk a mile around the block before going down again, or just go inside. I went inside. It was fun though. :)

bwb49
03-02-2009, 14:25
Boy scouts, my first backpacking trip. Before the days of all the high tech gear we have now (can you say "cotton"). Icewater Springs Shelter, December 1966. I don't know how cold it got, but the water in our canteens froze. I just remember that when the sun went down the temperature went with it. No sitting around and talking that night, got in our sleeping bags after we ate. Don't remember much more about it. I guess some things are best forgotten.

OldStormcrow
03-02-2009, 15:44
[quote=Tipi Walter;792236]A good story and I've heard people talk about the imaginary companion though I myself have never experienced it. Just an inner drill sergeant telling me to shut up and keep moving.
Yep, I kept "seeing" a friend of mine drive through the campsite in his Mazda RX3, saying "come on out dude, and let's go cruisin", then saw him in a boat, then a train engine, helicopter, etc. Glad I resisted the temptation.....

Ox97GaMe
03-02-2009, 16:56
coldest overnight for me was at the bottom of a canyon in Canyonland NP (Utah) if February. The thermometer inside the tent registered -40 that morning. I was never so happy to get out of a place. The next night, we camped up on the ridgeline near The Needles. The low that night was around 30. HUGE difference. I have a -20 Slumberjack Everest Exibition sleeping bag. That is the only time I have not slept warm in that bag. I knew it was colder than ........ when I woke up shivering just before sunrise.

It was so cold in that canyon that the stream for the water source had frozen completely. We chiseled through about 18 inches of ice all the way to the stream bed, but narry a drop was to be found. We had to melt the ice in order to get drinking and cooking water.

JAK
03-02-2009, 17:15
Breathing. Sometimes its really hard. Sometimes not so hard. What's up with that?
I've done all the tricks, like balaclavas and wool scarves, but its probably one of the toughest parts of sleeping, and that just -20F. To be honest the concept of -40F or -60F scares the crap out of me.

Live the Journey
03-02-2009, 17:45
Why does it not suprise me that most of you claim that your coldest night out was on a boyscout trip? Furthermore that most of you don't seem to think back on it with fond memories?

Is it a rite of passage or something to freeze your (fill in the blank) off on a Scout trip?!?

Kerosene
03-03-2009, 10:46
Is it a rite of passage or something to freeze your (fill in the blank) off on a Scout trip?!?Must be a rite of passage, as I've never come close to -27F since then.

The Weasel
03-03-2009, 11:50
Why does it not suprise me that most of you claim that your coldest night out was on a boyscout trip? Furthermore that most of you don't seem to think back on it with fond memories?

Is it a rite of passage or something to freeze your (fill in the blank) off on a Scout trip?!?

We taught our Scouts how to stay warm on nights under 0. Worked. Winter trips were the most popular, possibly because most mosquitos and some deer flies weren't as bad.

TW

bwb49
03-03-2009, 12:09
It may have been a rite of passage, but it did not scar me for life. I am getting ready to turn 60 and I still love to get out on the trail. And I believe that winter can be the best time to do it. Like someone else said, "no bugs".

The scout troop I work with is much better prepared for cold weather then we were back then. I guess that experience made us realize that we needed to prepare our scouts better.

freedompirate01
03-09-2009, 10:13
How cold air can humans breath before it damages their lungs?

LIhikers
03-12-2009, 22:43
The coldest for me is -25F below zero during a Feb.08, dog sled camping trip in northern Minnesota. Not much wind, but light snow over night while we slept out on a frozen lake without a tent.

saimyoji
03-12-2009, 23:03
are people listing temps as the inside the tent temp, or outside the tent temp? Because the inside the tent temp could easily be 10-15* warmer than the outside the tent temp.

BR360
03-12-2009, 23:07
One frigid winter in 1981 or '82 (maybe '83) when I went skiing at Snowshoe in West Virginia. It got balmy at -5dF during the day at the top of the mountain, with windchill down around -50dF. It was truly bitter. I spent half the day in the lodge.

That night after dinner with some friends at a restaurant, we went to a very drafty old log cabin with no electricity. It had a woodstove, but it was late so we just pulled out our sleeping bags and went to sleep. It got down to -27dF.

My sleeping bag was rated to -20dF, and I was toasty warm all night. But getting dressed in the morning was a bitch, and our car wouldn't start at first till we got a jump.

That said, the "coldest" I've ever been was in July. We'd been hiking ther Bartram Trail along the Chattooga River in the rain all day. At 5:00 or so, when we couldn't control our shivering anymore, we made camp. Stripped wet clothes, into dry ones, dove into sleeping bags, made some hot cocoa then soup...and two hours later were good to go.

Tich
05-22-2009, 16:07
I was 18 years old *sigh* and skinning, hiking and very occasionally skiing with group over Swiss border, a goodly part of it along glacier. 1st day gorgeous; liquid blue sky, etc good night, huts fine... 2nd day seriously unforeseen front comes in towards afternoon grinding us to a crawl and night spent sodden, stiff with cold and despite urgings I was too tired to eat (I know! I know!), in alarmingly dilapidated and precipitous hut. Morning no change in weather we're beyond cold but mostly dry, wet booted we set out up west-facing slope...have to say at this point me recall has gotten a bit fuzzy but our group ended hunkering underneath 'space-blankets' while two of us got air-lifted out due to hypothermia and one fractured shin. The rest made it down and out almost safely and were, in the end, the stronger for it but (and I've omitted the glut of panic-edged sniveling that took place for your benefit) after that I was convinced that if there was a Hell then it was ice, wind and snow rather than fire, smoke and ash. Toe-nails fell off due to frost-bite.

Was mighty cold.

World-Wide
05-23-2009, 03:36
Adding to the Boy Scout theme.....Three chilly winter nights camping at Starved Rock, Illinois. The high each evening averaged around 10 degrees. "Thanks mom," that quilt you unknowingly added to my gear really helped out!! :-)

Gladiator
05-23-2009, 05:17
Spent the coldest night of my life in Overmountain Barn in January '08. I would find out later from the weather almanac that it got down to -5, without windchill. Made the mistake of not keeping my boots in my sleeping bag, and they froze. Putting them on the next morning was most difficult.

I thought I had good gloves and mittens, but I was wrong. The next day, the wind was howling and I got frostbit fingers and toes going across Little Hump and Hump. By the end of the day, I had blisters on my fingers and toes, some the size of small grapes. They eventually turned black. I was worried that I might lose part of a couple toes, but fortunately I did not. Needless to say, I invested in good mountaineeriing gloves, and have learned to keep my boots from freezing. It should come as no surprise that my fingers are much more sensitive to cold now. I have to wear gloves any time the temp dips much below 40.


Gladiator

Tinker
05-23-2009, 08:37
Close to -20 at Kinsman Pond in February. Not a thru, not a section, just an overnighter to cure me of cabin fever. My Whisperlite stove stuck to my fingers when I tried to light it. Luckily I was able to blow on the affected area and get free. :D

Walking Dead
05-23-2009, 09:07
We try to do a extreme cold weather camping trip with the Scouts every year. It's called a freezeree. Even in NC you can get down to 15 and then add the windchill. Had some enterprising boys this year who scooped out a depression under their tent and then filled it with warmed rocks from the fire and then leveled it with the dirt and put their tent back on top. They said it really worked for a few hours.

Tinker
05-23-2009, 09:12
We try to do a extreme cold weather camping trip with the Scouts every year. It's called a freezeree. Even in NC you can get down to 15 and then add the windchill. Had some enterprising boys this year who scooped out a depression under their tent and then filled it with warmed rocks from the fire and then leveled it with the dirt and put their tent back on top. They said it really worked for a few hours.
Digging frozen ground to bury hot rocks????????
Have the Scouts ever heard of hot water bottles??????:confused:

Engine
05-23-2009, 11:31
About -10* in late November during deer season in the UP of Michigan. The next day it got even colder as the front continued through and with the wind chill it dropped to -60* and we decided it was time to go home. It was so cold that you could actually hear spit crackle as it froze in the air, ala Jack London.

Snowleopard
05-23-2009, 12:16
Sleeping in the car at the Arapahoe Basin ski area one Spring vacation, probably in the 0 to 10F range.
Mountain hiking trips, probably 10 to 20F.
Much time spent in the woods at -10F or lower, mainly in Upstate NY, but not camping.
I twice came pretty close xc skiing bushwhacking a new route. Once in NY, storm approaching, no light, no emergency gear, I made it down to the RR bed I skiid on regularly just as it got dark and had to ski 2 miles to home. It would not have been a good night.

Boliche
09-16-2009, 14:59
-15 Winter survival school for the Air Force at Fairchild AFB. Too much like winter if you ask me.

toegem
09-16-2009, 15:22
Lake Placid Feb. 1992 -30 F that spring I moved to Florida.

Namaste
09-16-2009, 17:53
Nepal Himalayas -22F.

Tipi Walter
09-16-2009, 19:31
It's good to see this thread come back to life, especially as a distant winter approaches, but the posts won't have any teeth in them until we're hit once and for all in a medulla-squirting deep freeze. Hold your breath, boys, and pray for cold.

Snowleopard
09-16-2009, 20:15
It's good to see this thread come back to life, especially as a distant winter approaches, but the posts won't have any teeth in them until we're hit once and for all in a medulla-squirting deep freeze. Hold your breath, boys, and pray for cold.
Yes, Walter, cold weather soon; I can't wait.
The leaves are starting to change here. It'll probably break 40* in the good direction by Friday. There has been frost in northern New England. Here's a few October photos from the White Mts to get you in the mood:
http://www.mountwashington.org/photos/journal/?month=10&year=2004#1300

mere533
09-16-2009, 20:27
-27 in the day, by the Snake River, Idaho in February

drifters quest
11-29-2009, 01:17
Up in the mountains of Northern Wyoming in February, not sure how cold it was- we were on a good foot of snow, I had a 20 degree bag, but it was much colder; low singles or negatives. Had some nice issues up there too. My sorrels got wet inside from the snow, friend put them next to the fire to dry... I didnt have any extra footwear and they shrank so much I couldn't put them on. Had to use my friends extra tennis shoes! Fortunately we didn't hike in very far, but it was a cold night.

Cookerhiker
11-29-2009, 10:59
I don't think I've camped below zero and probably not the single digits. Not having a thermometer, I'm not sure when of many cold nights over the years was the coldest but it was probably camping in a Algonquin wigwam in Quebec while on a dogsled trip in January '07.

Uncle Tom
11-29-2009, 22:41
I saw 47 below zero in an unheated tent in Labrador in 2002. People who were in the area saw 54 below one night earlier.