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Thread: Cold camp !

  1. #21
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Mine is modest compared to those NE winters I suppose! But maybe mine is kind of unique, in that it is in the Summer. -25F actual (not wind-chill) at 17K camp on Denali, about 7 nights total, but -25 was the coldest. I've had dozens of nights in the -10 to -20F range in CO in the winter. Big deal.

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    Ding, ding, ding, I think we have a winner so far. Wow what a trip that must have been. Crazy temps for summer for sure. You didn't state was there wind? A good wind with those temperatures oh my!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Ding, ding, ding, I think we have a winner so far. Wow what a trip that must have been. Crazy temps for summer for sure. You didn't state was there wind? A good wind with those temperatures oh my!!
    Two trips, actually, about the same both times, yeah there was always wind, but we were always in our tents at those temps. You actually have to build wind walls out of snow, not safe without them. One little thing, somehow -25F doesn't quite feel so bad when it's daylight outside.... Sunset was around midnight, sunrise about 2am, something like that.

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    worked a shift outside at -35 but breaks etc were inside, slept in my vehicle -30 but put my magnetic oil pan heater inside, tested sleep system in the back yard at -20 but forgot to bring the pee bottle and stayed in after 5 hours (was otherwise fine)

    for all night on the trail, a few times around -5

    critical gear for below -10 is a mask with a copper coil to breath through

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    Wow, I'm impressed by how nutty y'all are and disappointed by how soft I am. Lol

    My record was 9F with 10-15 mph gusts in an open field. We were car camping with the Scouts so we had plenty of gear. The most impressive thing about that trip was that my 6 year old tagged along and loved every minute of it.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by pettas View Post
    Back in the 90's I guided a winter overnight in the Catskill Mountains of NY for the AMC. On the first night it got down to -28 F; the second night was colder yet at -32 F. Both evenings were crisp, cold and breathtakingly beautiful. The stars jumped out of the sky and all night long you could hear the trees creaking and cracking in the cold air. Everyone was well prepared for the conditions so we all had an enjoyable weekend. I've been out in colder temperatures (-50 F outside Old Forge in the Adirondacks on two occasions) but during those times I was staying in a cabin with a wood stove so we never had to worry about the cold once we were back inside at night.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
    Your post reminds me of the time I was pulling a December trip in 2006 and it got so cold the trees started popping like gunshots---freezing water popping in the trees---and my dog went nuts so I brought him inside the tent for a few moments (which he hates) and he left the tent just as quick. The gunshots were driving him hysterical.


    Here's the campsite the morning after the popping trees---at around -15F. In such cold I always keep my cook pot full of water so when I wake up all have to do is fire up the stove and melt the frozen chunk---as this pic shows the pot full of frozen water. It's a good way to store water without severe cold freezing up your water bottles/bladders.


    And here's my panicked dog the night before trying to get thru the Popping Madness.


    The Joy of Winter Camping.

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    Favorite cold camping activity: I get enjoyment from letting a water bottle get supercooled, then knocking and watching it crystalize from the inside.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bumpy View Post
    Favorite cold camping activity: I get enjoyment from letting a water bottle get supercooled, then knocking and watching it crystalize from the inside.
    One of my faves is to squat in the tent vestibule and dump a turd pile onto a paper towel and place the wad in a Hefty bag and throw it outside to let it freeze solid in 15 minutes. No way I'm going out at midnight at Minus Ten in a 40mph wind to dig a cathole and get half naked. You know it's cold when this happens.

    Then the next day you can bundle up and hike to a Cathole Arena and bury the beast.


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    In a similar situation and was using I vestibule to pee out of but couldn't figure out a way a to poop and waited to long ooooooops,,,, shart!! Don't let this happen to you!!

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    In a similar situation and was using I vestibule to pee out of but couldn't figure out a way a to poop and waited to long ooooooops,,,, shart!! Don't let this happen to you!!
    People always debate whether to take underwear on a backpacking trip---or not---and my answer is---it's alot easier to wash out a pair of undies after a Shart Event than it is washing out merino or capilene leggings.

    The secret to successful Vestibule Pooping is to be able to do the Deep Squat in a small space---and to have good aim onto a small area---and to NOT hopefully have diarrhea or the Splashing Turtlehead---which oft-times is caused by a big bean dinner the night before.

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    Oh shart, probably another advantage of the hillenburg as well eh? Not quit as easy in a half dome.

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    Thank goodness I was able to wash my sharted underwear out in the closes drinking hole by the shelter. Before the hate starts coming I'm joking.

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    But staying on topic here, I heard a story not long ago this fella was cold camping and he had to poop so he walked away from camp fell into a crevasse and ended up using his own frozen turds as ice picks to escape. This one might be fiction. But theoretically plausible I guess.

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    The frozen thurd ice picks might have worked if his hands were frozen, too.
    Can't imagine the feeling of the thawing thurds softening in the hands in the middle of the climb...

    Coldest camp I've had so far was during our ascent to Mont Blanc, when we camped near the Refuge de Grand Mulet at ~3000m.
    The tiny thermometer I carried was stuck on the lower end of the scale at -20C (-4F) inside the tent, guess it had been like -25C outside.
    Two clever things saved our ass, first we kept the boots inside the slepping bag, and second we had a car gasoline stove to boil tea no matter how cold.

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    12/17/19 antero reservoir Colorado -44F ambient temperature.w Waverly-34 F. Cowdery-32F. All ambient temp yesterday morning.

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    That's a good point there leo L if you find yourself having to use your frozen turds as ice picks to save your own life, gloves first.

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    And if it be used as ice pick and can be used as a self defense weapon as well. The multi purpose frozen turds.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    And if it be used as ice pick and can be used as a self defense weapon as well. The multi purpose frozen turds.
    "Are you packing heat??"

    "No, I'm packing cold . . . turds."

  19. #39
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    I've been on numerous expeditions where we had to either poop into a can, kinda looks like a bear canister or into a bag and carry it out. thankfully, all of these trips have been very cold, the poop freezes nicely, zero smell.

    Yep, -44F not too far away yesterday morning, I used to have a place pretty close to Antero Res. It's in South Park, a notoriously cold place, especially because it's not very high (relatively). Gunnison CO, Fraser CO, all those places are "low" spots where the cold air collects and sits.

    This phenomenon is why one should avoid camping in valleys (or even flat areas surrounded by hills/mountains) in cold weather. One trip a few years ago, Denver was forecast to be a high of around 0F, and we had an overnight trip planned to climb Mt. Elbert scheduled, about 9000' higher than Denver, most of the trip participants were freeking out, most of us went anyway. Guess what? Every 1000 feet or so the air was 2-3 degrees warmer, bottom line it was 25F at 14,430 feet, Denver was at 0F. Since we were at the highest point in CO, we figured we were actually at the warmest as well.

    Summit photo, plus evening photo at 12,000' camp:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by colorado_rob; 12-18-2019 at 11:19.

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    Here in the Southeast mountains of TN/NC we have the opposite effect---for every 1,000 feet of elevation the temps drop by 3 degrees. This is why Mt LeConte at 6,600 feet is -20F while the valley below is 10F or 15F.

    A perfect example is during the Polar Vortex of January 6-7-8, 2014. I was camping on the BMT on Brookshire Creek and got a couple days at -8F. Mt LeConte not too far away got 3F for the high and -17F for the low.

    Records on LeConte are kept here---

    http://www.highonleconte.com/daily-p...ally-defeat-me

    Here's a pic of my camp on Brookshire during that plunge---

    TRIP 152 113-XL.jpg

    The problem here with winter camping next to a big creek or in a river valley is the high humidity cold air which settles in the valley pretty much all day and all night. I could be at 2,000 feet next to a river and freeze my butt off at 20F while 5,000 feet above me it'll be 10F and still be cold. The moist valley air just feels colder as it "gets into the bones".

    There's not much I can do to alleviate this valley/river cold except to carry overkill geese (which of course loses loft in the humid air)---and bring hot hands heating packets---and let my white gas stove heat up the tent on occasion---but only if I have fuel to spare. The best scenario would be to have a hot tent with a woodstove---which none of us carry.

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