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jps

Winter camping

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Tips for scouts

Here in the midwest winter camping tends to be wet and cold.

 

1.) What do you tell the scouts to wear for pants? Most of them do not have technical clothing and jeans are a horrible choice, but what they usually wear.

 

2.) How do you dry your clothing at nite when tent camping in the winter. Hanging in the tent does not work and you certainly can not put them on or under your bag.

 

JPS

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As far as pants go, we told our Scouts before Klondike Derby to wear pants that wouldn't soak up water, would dry quickly, and were big enough to wear thermal layers underneath. We definitely recommended against cotton.

 

For drying clothes, if it's a short-term camp, bringing extra dry clothing sealed in plastic bags will get you through. If it's not, you can usually dry wet clothes the next day by draping them over a line or over the tent rain fly. That won't dry them at night, but it's another argument for bringing dry clothes.

 

KS

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My sons are actually have better pants for outdoors that I do. A lot of their school pants these days are the techy-looking convertable pants with all the zippers, loops and cargo pockets. They actually make pretty good outdoor gear. Many of them have cotton liners, so watch that. A decent pair of acrylic fleece sweats or long-johns underneath and they are good to go.

 

My best trick for staying warm and comfortable at night is to change in to tomorrow's dry socks and underwear at bedtime. Nothing worse than sleeping in damp, clammy clothes. I also sleep with a tent flap open unless it's raining outside. You will stay much warmer by letting the moisture excape from the tent than you will by the few degrees you gain keeping the tent sealed up.

 

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Convincing scouts to leave the tent flaps unzipped a few inches is one of the hardest things in the world to do. They insist on zipping it up to the top and the next day the inside of the tent is like a sauna.

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Waterproof boots, nylon outer pants, unless snow is wet and slushy, then waterproof outer pants with a thermal layer or two underneath. I prefer polypropylene unders. Good wicking action. Waterproof gloves and good head gear.

 

Extra gear if thought to be needed. Push the idea that a scout is prepared.

 

Chemical heat packs are good to. As far as the tent is concerned, set the example and explain why a gap is left at the top. Most scouts will pick up on the idea.

 

As far as drying, cotton will be a lost cause unless you set up a fire with a clothesline close but you will find that the scouts will soak cotton faster than you can dry it. Nylon dries fast.

 

LV, got any ideas?

yis

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Most midwesterner kids have snowpants, or ski/snowmobile clothes they can borrow from someone -

 

It kind of depends on what they are doing -

if they are going to be in the snow and kneeling on the ground - possibly getting wet - they need something waterproof - like snowpants or nylon/poly over insulating / wicking layers.

 

Layers are the key - peel if they get warm - before they get soaked with snow or sweat - and a windbreaking/ waterproof outer layer.

 

If I'm not getting wet - long Johns or sweats under jeans have been just fine for me - but then I don't play football in the snow and tackle on the ground like the boys do!

 

And I try to kneel or sit ON something, so my knees don't get damp.

 

good SOCKS - extra socks and layers of socks are your best comfort item. nobody is happy if their feet are cold! You almost can't have too many changes of socks!

 

full changes of clothes are a must - no matter how well they are dressed - they can still get sweaty, clammy and cold - and it's alot easier to warm up a clean set of friged, DRY clothes than some sweat-damp ones. TwoCubDad is right! Change into fresh right before bed - besides - then you're half dressed and WARM for morning! (somehow it always seems colder in the morning! LOL!)

 

This is a really tough one to teach - no matter how often we lecture the boys - AND THEY REPEAT IT AND KNOW IT - it's still like pulling teeth to get them to change all the way down to fresh skivvies at night. it's part a modesty thing and partly a comfort thing - they just don't want to take off body warm clothes and put on cold stuff out of their packs - they'll do anything to avoid that chill. ACtually, if you're in a tent or shelter and no breeze, you really don't loose much body heat by stipping down if you dress FAST! They don't realize how quickly the fresh stuff warms up and KEEPS them warmer!

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