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cajuncody

Winter Camping

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I have occasion to travel all over the country and see quite a few things. One of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen happened in eastern Kentucky. It was late March and I was driving from Jackson, KY to Lexington to catch my flight. It was mid afternoon and it started to snow those huge lazy flakes that happen in the spring. After awhile I noticed that the snow would stick on the tops of the trees but not on the ground. Then the trees would be covered from the top to the ground. I realized it had to do with the elevation I was at. You could draw a straight line to the horizon and it didnt matter how much the ground undulated, the line stayed straight, above it snow, below it was just wet. As I journeyed out of the hills, the snow line ranged up and down the trees, it was one of the most breath taking scenes I have ever seen. I wouldnt have minded camping there at all. Y'all remind me to tell you the story of the Kentucky Cheesecake sometime, its a real hoot

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Having camped in -35 in upstate NY, things are needed for staying warm. Cover your head with fleece, intake high calories before bed, have a DRY layer for sleeping. If it really geets cold, a naglene bottle filled with hot water in the sleeping has kept my wife toasty until dawn. Just make sure the lid is screwed on tight. Winter camping is fun but not alot here in TX.

 

 

 

If you need some helpful hints, I'll send more.(This message has been edited by Double Eagle)

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Our Council does not permit Cub Scouts to camp from Oct till May.

I worry that taking Cub Scouts away when it can be cold will turn them against camping for ever. If the boys in your pack are as poor as you say they are I very much doubt if they can afford the equipment for camping if the night should turn chilly. The sleeping bag with the Power Rangers, Big Bird or whoever is OK for sleepovers at a pals house but are useless for damp and cold nights.

Pack and Webelos Scouts Camps should not be run when there is a risk of cold nights. Here it PA. It went down to the mid 30's last night. We have already had a couple of good frosts.

I agree with the ruling of our Council. Wait until it gets warm before taking Cub Scouts away to camp overnight.

Eamonn.

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Dan

 

KY winter weather hx just for fun.

 

Yesterday afternoon when I left the office it was high 40's, 25 degrees on my front porch in Richmond 30 miles south of Lexington when I left for work this morning. Oct 31, 2003 Hallowoods Cub Scout campout 29 degrees

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Well my last message was chopped up by the great computer god I guess. This is what is should have been.

 

KY winter weather hx just for fun.

 

Yesterday afternoon when I left the office it was high 40's, 25 degrees on my front porch in Richmond 30 miles south of Lexington when I left for work this morning. Oct 31, 2003 Hallowoods Cub Scout campout 29 degrees droped from 60 degrees that afternoon forcasted high for the night was to be 55 degrees. Needless to say she who must be obeyed decided she'd never go on another Scout Campout after September.

 

Klondike derby Jan 28, 2002 (last year as CM our 3 webelos attended) 30's on Friday, Saturday 5-10 degrees depending on which TV/radio weather man you listened to.

 

Klondike derby Jan 21, 2004 20 degrees freezing rain 1/4 inch ice.

 

Annual Christmas parade first Saturday in December always high 20's to low 30's even when day prior is in the 50's-60's.

 

Other extreme fall camporee Nov 17, 2003 70+ degrees clear and nice all weekend No rain!.

whoda thunk that for a district camporee doesn't it always seem to rain?

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I have to admit that I am not a fan of winter camping. Sure theres a challenge and satisfaction quotient to it, but I primarily see it as a Gear sport. Without the proper gear, conditions and situations that are wholly of your control can literally mean the difference between life and death, or, the loss of toes and fingers.

 

Good winter gear is very costly. I believe that its out of line for a Scout Leader to have the parents shell out that kind of money for a few nights of fun in the dead of winter. Cabin camping on the other hand, is a different story, provided the cabin has some source of heat.

 

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Never underestimate Kentucky weather. Just when you think it is August, and so it should be 90 with a 90 percent humidity, you will instead wind up with some freak cold front moving in and drop the temperature down to 60, but still with that 90 humidity, so everything winds up cool and very soggy. Then throw in a tornadic thunderstorm on the second night for added kicks, and then you have a weekend.

 

Or the previously mentioned 70 in November. Heck I think it hit 80 on Halloween this year. Some years it snows on Halloween. Most years it seems to rain.

 

Really, Kentucky weather isn't as hot, or cold, wet, or dry as some other places. The problem is, you never have any idea at all what the weather will actually do. You can plan a winter camp-out for a weekend that it has snowed on every time for the last hundred years, and instead you will get high 50s and a driving rain storm.

 

Another problem is, in Kentucky we really like our nice fall and spring weather. Most of us plan for that sort of stuff. It is also what most of our equipment is best for.

 

So, when we get down to summer camp and it is 90 all week, with it never dropping bellow 80 at night, all our equipment is too heavy, hot, and closed up.

 

In actual cold weather, that same equipment is too airy, light, and cool.

 

Heck, I think the legislature may have even out-lawed true four season tents the things are so rare.

 

Yet my council managed to find 120 four season dome tents with full length flys to take to the 2001 Jambo. Talk about hot. Of coarse, being Kentucky boys, and knowing Virginia can't be that different from Kentucky, we didn't dare take those rain flays off. We rigged the things up for bad weather as soon as we got there. That put us in good standing the afternoon the severe thunderstorms ripped through and tore everything up. Our council's tents constituted about half the tents left fully intact in the entire sub-camp. All the rest either collapsed, partially collapsed, had their doors blow open and the rain pour in, or some other unfortunate thing. In fact, despite the unfortunate lightning strike, I think most people were far too frightened by that little bit of weather, and at the same time too many didn't really seem to know have prepared for it. Don't they have thunderstorms every wear? I thought that was pretty much a universal part of weather. Anyhow, the point I was originally going to make was, that we wound up using the best winter tents I have ever slept in, for the National Jamboree, in Virginia, in late July and early August, in an area that is basically a swamp. Go figure.

 

Another nice thing about Kentucky is no one knows what to do about snow and ice. Sure, there are salt trucks and snow plows. But in Kentucky, we usually end up wasting all the salt on tiny little snows that don't stick in the first place, then some giant last minute freak storm hits with 6 inches of the stuff, the road crews are out of salt, and there aren't enough snow plows in the entire South to dig the place out in reasonable amount of time. (Which explains why you sometimes see private citizens taking matters into their own hands using backhoes, front end loaders, tractors, pickup trucks, even once saw a bulldozer and a lawn mower, being used to clear snow. Heck, some people have wound up shoveling their way to a cleared road after a few days of being snowed in.

 

Though the most fun I have had with a Kentucky winter was a the year it snowed so much they literally closed the state. All the parkways and interstates were closed. All US highways were shut down. Nothing moved. The National Guard had to use helicopters to move people between hospitals if they needed to go to one in another town for special care. It was a mess. But, there was great sledding, we missed a lot of school, and I even got to ride a snow mobile. (The snow mobile was in my dad' warehouse on the other side of town, so we didn't get to it until after a good deal of the snow was already gone.)

 

And I know. Every state and country has its own weather stories. I wouldn't want any part of winter in the north east. Or summer in south Texas. I wouldn't know the first thing about actually building a snow shelter (other than what the books say). Snow shoes and cross country skiing are unheard of around here. So in some ways you guys have opportunities we don't. Sure, every so often someone decides there needs to be a Klondike derby, sledges and all. However, it doesn't take long to determine that those sledge races seem a bit different in Kentucky than the ones written up in Scouting or Boys Life. Maybe it is the running them in mud instead of snow?

 

(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

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