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  1. #61

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    The cold was pretty pronounced even in southern New England earlier in the week.

    I tried to mentally compare it to winter hiking on the West face of Mt. Washington, hiking in the middle of winter in the huts of North Twin mountain, NH; those are far more of a challenge than even the worst cold we get in southern New England. But when you are restricted in breathing air nature is sending a message.


  2. #62

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    I've showshoe camped solo in the Adirondacks in the winter, deep snow and 20 below. Water bottles froze solid even if you keep them close. Worst part was the long long dark hours of night.

  3. #63
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    My wife and I recently went on a camping trip in northern Minnesota where the night time lows were -17, -37, and -38.
    And during the day the temperatures never got up to zero.
    Is that too cold? There were times I was uncomfortable, for sure, but I really enjoyed myself.

  4. #64
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Game Warden View Post
    I used to follow Colin Fletcher's advice (remember him?) and set up my stove and breakfast beside my sleeping bag, for a comfy breakfast in bed the next morning. But now I live in bear country, and now that would mean getting out of the tent and sleeping bag, retrieving the bear bag. However, I do have a cup of coffee before hitting the trail. Woe to any bear that comes between me and my coffee.
    (1) I usually have to get out of the bag to pee pretty soon after waking up. Perfect opportunity to retrieve a bear bag, crawl back into the sleeping bag and make coffee!

    (2) I'm sure Harrisburg is milder, but in the temperatures that I'm thinking of, how likely is a bear encounter? I don't think I've ever seen fresh bear tracks or scat in 0 įF weather. I'm a lot more tolerant of sleeping with food when the bears are asleep.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  5. #65

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    I pulled a 17 day winter backpacking trip from January 12 to Jan 28 and just got back yesterday. Trip report here on WB forthcoming.

    My coldest days were Jan 19-20-21---which reached 8F where I was camping on State Line Ridge on the BMT near Sandy Gap (TN/NC line).

    This pic was taken on the BMT(Brookshire Creek trail) climbing up to Sled Runner Gap/State Line Ridge a couple days before the Hell Storm---



    The components of the hell storm?
    Jan 16---the above pic.
    Jan 17---cold sleetstorm at 30F.
    Jan 18---Arrived in Hazel Gap below Hazelnut Knob.
    Jan 19---Hazel Hunker with 65mph winds and constant all day cold rain.
    Jan 20---Hazel Gap rain turns to snow and 8F at night.
    Jan 21---Monday morning and leaving Hazel Gap at 12F.

    Biggest problem? Packing up my big Hilleberg tent coated in a varnish of ice and impossible to roll up and stuff inside tent sack. Solution? Roll up heavy tent wad in my ground cloth and strap on the bottom of the pack---visible in pic---

    Trip 195 (183).JPG

  6. #66

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    Walter, I'm only surprised you came off the trail before the polar vortex plows in.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    Walter, I'm only surprised you came off the trail before the polar vortex plows in.
    I was supposed to stay out until Feb. 1 Friday for a 21 day trip but hanging with Little Mitten at home for this current snow and cold snap is also good.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I pulled a 17 day winter backpacking trip from January 12 to Jan 28 and just got back yesterday. Trip report here on WB forthcoming.
    Oooooh! I've been looking forward to this!
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  9. #69
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Iíve resisted so far. Dredging up a cold experience from the Wayback Machine.
    Winter. 1997-1998. Kazakhstan. NE corner of the Caspian Sea. Zero Dark:30. Still. Clear. -32 F. Walked 500m to the mess hall for oatmeal, bangers and mash. Walked another 500m to the office at 6 am. Sunrise at 8 am. Still no clouds or wind. Still -32 F. A gorgeous morning.
    The next 30 hours were bizarre.
    From -32 F to +34 F and rain. Then freezing rain and sleet and snow. By dark the following day the temperature was down to -20 F. This event didnít make it to the Weather Channel.
    Watching tv this morning brought back some interesting memories. A drive across the San Luis Valley and over La Vita Pass about this time of year in a 1961 VW Beetle was interesting.
    Those days and nights were cold enough for me.
    Be warm. Be safe.
    Wayne

  10. #70

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    For anybody keeping track, the Arrowhead 135 mile ultramarathon has been going on in Minnesota the last few days. I think they hit -60 with windchill and about -30 without. Quite a trek for those out there under 'normal' circumstances. This year is insane.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  12. #72
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Meanwhile...
    There are at least two teams of climbers attempting winter ascents of K2, the last 8,000 meter peak without a winter ascent. The teams are currently establishing high camps to support the summit attempts.
    All the best of luck to them.
    Wayne

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    There is really no limit. There are clothes that will protect you, and masks that warm up your breath. Here in Norway we love the snow and winter, and look forward to it, as we look forward to every season.


    Personally, I have experienced -40 F/C when I was in the military in Northern Norway. That was cold, but it is doable.

    In Norway we cross-country ski in the wintertime, instead of hiking (although a few are still hiking, even here). I live by the woods in the capitol, Oslo. And this weekend it has been full of people skiing in the woods. Even when it was much colder (5 F) it was a lot of people out, enjoying the winter. People are also tenting, and do sleep the night in the woods, or several nights in a row.

    In weekends or in longer vacations, people go up in the mountain and do multiple days cross-country ski trips. Some even bring their kids. This is especially popular in the Easter vacation.

    It only winds down to knowledge and experience. Snow and cold weather in it self are not a problematic. The only thing that scares me are avalanches.

    If you feel cold and/or wet you are doing something wrong. In Norway we have a saying. There are no bad weather, only bad clothing. Dress right, and enjoy winter. There is no reason to feel uncomfortable in cold weather. There are advantages with cold weather, too. No bugs and food keeps fresh. Fresh meat, fruit and vegetables are not a problem to bring on longer trips.

    Here is an arbitrary example of Norwegians enjoying a weekend up in the mountains. I don’t know these people, I just searched it up at Youtube. This is a common activity among Norwegians.


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    Would be interesting to know what you're doing about (optical) glasses?
    Whenever I'm trying to use any kind of mask or balaclava my glasses start to fog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Would be interesting to know what you're doing about (optical) glasses?
    Whenever I'm trying to use any kind of mask or balaclava my glasses start to fog.

    That always keeps me from going “full ninja” with my black base layers and balaclava.
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  16. #76
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    Agreed -- fogging up is completely frustrating when you wear glasses. Goggles are great, but only in the really good cold weather. I have never found any good solution.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

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    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Would be interesting to know what you're doing about (optical) glasses?
    Whenever I'm trying to use any kind of mask or balaclava my glasses start to fog.
    There are no really good answers.

    1. Use a tunnel hood (also called a wolf hood or shore hood) so you don't need a facemask and goggles nearly as much.
    2. (Expensive, and not covered by insurance, but many serious skiers do it) Use goggles with inserts for prescription lenses.
    3. Use a neoprene face mask that's well ventilated instead of a balaclava, and put an anti-fog chemical like Cat Crap on your glasses and goggles. Even better than a cheap neoprene mask would be a countercurrent one like the ColdAvenger - if you can stand the fact that it looks like a pig's snout and drips constantly.

    See page 25 of https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/954d1...583dc47f98.pdf - but I just gave a summary of what it says.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  18. #78
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    Great scriptum, Kevin.
    I've been through all the mentioned items, all worked for some limited time, nothing worked perfect.
    Maybe I should start over again with sunglasses with prescription glasses. Hey, found the old pre-WW2 leather "Glacier Glass" in the loft recently, still my old prescriptions built-in - should give these a try again, I guess.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSpirits View Post
    Agreed -- fogging up is completely frustrating when you wear glasses. Goggles are great, but only in the really good cold weather. I have never found any good solution.
    We used this http://www.ruoutside.com/fog-evader.html when snowmobiling. Kevin is right it does drip water but the neck gater keeps your inner clothing dry.

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    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    If it's possible to wear contacts instead of your glasses, that takes care of the problem. But then, some either can't or would prefer not to. For me, I'd rather go without my pants than without contacts! Back when I lived in Alaska, though, I did find that contacts were tough in the really cold weather. The extra dry air after the water vapor froze out of it really dried my eyes. And you have to keep them from freezing when you're not wearing them. Inserting cold contacts is a better wake up than coffee with a double espresso shot!
    Last edited by Hikes in Rain; 02-06-2019 at 12:25.

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