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trainhopper
01-12-2011, 19:16
Just picked up my -20 degree bag and am planning to set out on the Appalachian along the NJ/NY boarder for two nights. Temps at night will be around 20 degrees. I have camped plenty of times but never in the middle of the winter. Just wondering if anyone has experience at it and if so any advice. I am going with two others by the way.

Lone Wolf
01-12-2011, 19:19
sleeping in a tent?

Luddite
01-12-2011, 19:21
Good sleeping pad. It makes all the difference in the world. Just like when you lay down a piece of cardboard on a cold grainer car.

trainhopper
01-12-2011, 19:24
Yeah we are bringing a tent and going shelter to shelter as well. I also have a good sleeping pad. I am more concerned about sweating and then becoming cold. I plan on having a change of clothes and dry others with a fire, but with all of the snow it might be hard to find anything that will burn.

bigcranky
01-12-2011, 19:52
Start hiking with *less* clothing than you think you need. Even in sub-freezing weather, I am fine with a light base layer top, wind shirt, and either hiking pants or long john bottoms and shorts. Light gloves and a microfleece hat are plenty. Hiking with a pack generates a LOT of heat.

For camp I make sure I have dry base layers to put on,. in the winter those are microfleece or Powerstretch, then a puffy jacket on top and rain pants for the bottom, and heavier hat and gloves or mitts. Down booties if it's really cold, and always some nice thick tall wool socks for sleeping.

Helios
01-12-2011, 19:57
I carry a Nalgene in the winter for it's ability to handle boiling water. Toss that in the bottom of your bag as you go to bed and you'll sleep toasty for sure!

Big Cranky hit it on the spot for hiking. A few nice layers, and alway always always keep a dry layer to put on in camp.

Two Tents
01-12-2011, 20:04
There is usually a lot of dead wood hanging. You may have to use a long piece to knock it down. Also look for a whole dead tree you can push over or snap off. Boil some water and put in the nagalene bottle to put in your sleeping bag. It will stay hot quite a long time and you'll move where needed. Then you will have water thawed for morning use. As long as an item of clothing is not soaking wet, put it in your sleeping bag to dry overnight. Have some chocolate or gorp handy to fuel your internal furnace in the night. An empty gatorade bottle to pee in so you won't have to get out of your bag.Wear a hat to sleep. Use your down jacket or vest over your feet inside your bag. There are some tricks for ya!

Two Tents
01-12-2011, 20:05
I was still typin and Joe Cross beat me to the hot water bottle idea.

OldStormcrow
01-12-2011, 20:15
Irish whiskey.....'nuff said.....

Luddite
01-12-2011, 20:17
Irish whiskey.....'nuff said.....

It does take your mind off the cold but it can be dangerous.

Cookerhiker
01-12-2011, 21:19
I'm glad you're getting some good advice re. clothing and camping. You should also be concerned about hiking conditions, namely ice. I recall that the NY/NJ border has those large granite rockwalks which could be problematic when icy. So if you're hiking in such conditions, bring yaktraks. Sometimes, even routine descents are treacherous when ice has formed on the slope.

You didn't say when you were hiking. I understand that the Metro NY area is getting a snow dumping which if deep enough, renders ice less of a problem. Then you have the issue of how deep does it get where postholing becomes an exhausting PITA.

nox
01-12-2011, 22:25
bring a stove that you know will work well in cold temps.. i don't have much luck with cannister stoves below 20 so when it's getting below 25- 30 I take my liquid fuel stove... Also, if you are going with friend make sure you have at least 1 extra stove in case yours quits. Nothing worse than not being able to drink coffee in the AM because the only stove you brought doesn't work. Esbit stoves are a nice backup for cold weather.

Tom Murphy
01-12-2011, 23:20
wintercampers.com

read the pdf file on winter camping

The Solemates
01-12-2011, 23:20
Just picked up my -20 degree bag and am planning to set out on the Appalachian along the NJ/NY boarder for two nights. Temps at night will be around 20 degrees. I have camped plenty of times but never in the middle of the winter. Just wondering if anyone has experience at it and if so any advice. I am going with two others by the way.

my advice is to not take a -20 bag if its only going to be 20 degrees. that aint that cold

kayak karl
01-12-2011, 23:29
its colder then 20 in the mountains. are you so stupid you don't know that???????????????

WI shepherd
01-12-2011, 23:32
Is there snow on the ground out there, and if there is are you going to use snowshoes?
Gaiters are always useful to keep snow out of pants legs.

Cookerhiker
01-13-2011, 07:18
its colder then 20 in the mountains. are you so stupid you don't know that???????????????

The NY/NJ border area of the AT is hardly "mountains."

The Solemates
01-13-2011, 10:40
The NY/NJ border area of the AT is hardly "mountains."

agreed...but i think kayak karl was just pulling our chain with a bad joke :)

Cookerhiker
01-13-2011, 10:43
agreed...but i think kayak karl was just pulling our chain with a bad joke :)

I think you're right - I shouldn't have posted before my first cup of coffee.:sun Karl, you're OK!

Buffalo Skipper
01-13-2011, 10:56
I carry a Nalgene in the winter for it's ability to handle boiling water. Toss that in the bottom of your bag as you go to bed and you'll sleep toasty for sure!

I also like a Nalgene hot water bottle. Just make sure you use the "Nalgene" brand, not the off brands. If you read the fine print on the knockoffs, they not for use for liquids over 140. My son and I were out last month. I had a Nalgene and he had an off brand. Look at what happened:
9930

handlebar
01-13-2011, 11:30
I've heard Yaktrax don't hold up very well under abuse. I can vouch for Kathoola Microspikes being rock solid and taking a lot of abuse.

WI_Mike
01-13-2011, 12:49
I got Yaktrax pro for Christmas. I plan on taking them back though because from the reviews I read they either can break easily or don't hold up very long (even the pro model). Combined with the fact that I'm not sure I'll use them any time soon I figured I'd instead spend the money on something I need. Although I hear REI is very liberal with allowing returns of products that break.

If someone knows of an alternative though that has gotten good reviews, I'd be interested in knowing.


I've heard Yaktrax don't hold up very well under abuse. I can vouch for Kathoola Microspikes being rock solid and taking a lot of abuse.

Two Tents
01-13-2011, 13:01
I like Hillsound Trail Crampons. They are close to the Kathoola but have longer and more heel spikes plus an additional strap. Close to same price too.

trainhopper
01-13-2011, 14:42
I hiked the rock ridges the other day and it wasn't terribly icy. The ridge is at the beginning section once you cross the NY boarder. The section we are hiking is all in NJ it just runs right along the boarder for a good 2/3's of our planned hike. We are planning to leave Monday January 17th. We have snow out here but its not anything that will prevent us from moving at a good pace. Weather during the trip appears to be clear for now. I know I went big with a -20 bag but I get cold easily so I want to make sure I stay warm at night. Plus the wind chills can make it feel much colder.

XCskiNYC
01-15-2011, 00:52
I'm glad you're getting some good advice re. clothing and camping. You should also be concerned about hiking conditions, namely ice. I recall that the NY/NJ border has those large granite rockwalks which could be problematic when icy. So if you're hiking in such conditions, bring yaktraks. Sometimes, even routine descents are treacherous when ice has formed on the slope.

This probably seems like an obvious question, but do poles help much used along with yaktraks or microspikes? How 'bout xc poles?

I hit a tiny stretch of ice in Sages Ravine this past April (2010) and got an appreciation for what a dangerous combination rock and angled ice make.

Panzer1
01-15-2011, 01:00
if there is snow on the ground you better use 2 standard closed cell foam mattress to sleep on. One does not cut it in the winter.

Panzer