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fgoodwin

Heating Your Tent

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If I were to use a hot water bottle vs a Nalgene bottle, the lid/cap would have to be on exceptionally tight for me to put it in my sleeping bag. I tend to roll a lot. Rolling on top of a rubber hot water bottle could cause the contents to be distributed into the bag and on me, no thanks. Nalgene bottles will take a little more contact with less likely-hood of losing its contents.

 

A simple yet somewhat uncomfortable solution to frozen boots is to put them in a large water tight bag (maybe even double bag if they're wet) and stuff them into the bottom of your sleeping bag. It works better in a traditional bag vs a mummy bag.

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If you are using 5 gallon jugs, you are obviously heavy camping.

 

A 5 gallon water cooler will also keep water from freezing in the winter. The tap may freeze up a bit, but that is easy to fix with a bit of hot water. You can always take it out the top.

 

We use one of those coolers on heavy trips just for hot water. Before we even start cooking, we have hot water on the stove and dump it in the cooler for wash water afterwards so we don't have to wait. Our hot water container is orange so we know which is which and is fitted with a standard faucet that snaps in using a garden hose quick connect (the style that closes when you remove the hose).

 

Ed

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If you take your 5 Gallon Water containers and bury them under snow, atleast 12"of snow, This will keep them from freezing on almost all but the most extreme weather. Or take them into your igloo you made to sleep in

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At last years klondoree, we had 10 below weather. Not enough snow to bury things so we put them in the troop trailer. Everything froze solid. Insulated coolers didn't stop it. We put eggs and raw sausage links in the coolers then in the trailer. They froze solid. Water jugs froze solid. Had we not pre-filled our pots with water before bed, we wouldn't have a way to get water in the morning.

 

On a personal note, I had a -5 sleeping bag, I put it inside a 32 degree bag. I was in polar fleece, socks, gloves and hat. I was at the limit of comfort that night. I put a nalgene filled with water between the two bags. That morning, it was frozen solid. Needless to say, I resisted the middle aged trot that night.

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First of all, why are we so bothered by "heating our tents"?

 

Secondly, know you limits. I know my profile here says "Gainesville, GA" so what could the southerner know about cold weather camping. I grew up 20 miles west of Chicago. So, have a quality bag, good rating to zero degrees, quality tent, a foam pad, one or two space blankets and keep your poncho handy. Lay out the pad, then a space blanket on it to reflect your body heat back toward you, then your bag, use a second space blanket and / or a poncho on top of that to keep body heat in.

 

I hope this helps.

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Greetings all! Just got back from our districts Klondike. I tented out on friday night up here at Camp Indian Trails just outside Janesville WI. We used my old Coleman Montana 5 man 12'x7' tent. I put down a 4mil sheet of plastic after we tromped down the snow (dry powder), then we pitched the tent over that.

 

Inside the tent went sheets of 1" styrofoam insulation rated R-5. Over that we broke open and spread out 2 bales of fresh straw and covered the straw with sheets of cardboard cut to fit the tents dimensions.

 

I slept with my Thermorest inside an older down bag with my Slumberjack 40 degree bag lined with one of the flannel/fleece cheapo sleeping bags availible from the big box type stores. Over all that were 2 surplus army 100% wool blankets.

 

I wore my polypro longies, a cotton L/S shirt,a pair of cotton sleeping pants, a surplus German army sweater, A pair of UnderArmour coldgear boot socks, a wool scarf and wool knit cap.

 

Stayed very comfortable and warm, and temps were 0'F at 10pm and -5'F at 6 am this morning. There were 2 others in my tent with me, all went well and no one needed to hit the spare gear bag which had spare wool pants,socks,sweaters, etc..

 

We had a propane 2 burner stove to heat water and had quik-n-easy on the menu, Cup-o-noodles,Swiss Miss and instant coffee, it hit the spot and clean up was a snap. Only thing I'll do different next year is skip the large diet Dew at the Taco Johns on the road and the 2 cups of joe after the tent and gear were up and ready...the head calls at 1am and 5am were....well they were just cold...I'm glad I had a new pair of Red Wing Irish Setters with 4000 gram Thinsulate to traipse through the snow in.

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This is a great discussion. I'll try to keep it all in mind if we ever hit the double-digit latitudes again someday. Our problem is keeping the tents cool!

 

As to keeping it warm, I'm so glad there are so many new products out there now. Back in our days of the troops' canvas, floorless BSA Voyageur tents, all the Scouts would heat their tents with Campbell's Pork-n-beans. Glad things have improved, as we'd all wake up with sore throats from breathing through our mouths all night.

 

Take care folks, and take it lite.... sm

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First, I say no heaters in tents. They dangerous and if you have the right gear, unneccessary. Also, a sleeping bag's insulation works both ways, keeping the heat in the tent from reaching your body.

 

Coldest I've slept in a tent was -10 degrees F. I used a 40 degree mummy bag in a 30 degree mummy bag. Polypro wicking layer only, a knit cap over my eyes and nose and a fleese neck gaiter over my mouth. If I don't have some frabric covering my mouth, I get freezer burn on the back roof of my mouth. Does anyone else experience this?

 

As for what you should lay on top of when cold weather camping, use a good insulator that does not compress a lot with your body weight. It doesn't matter what, as long as it does not compress. Why incompressible? Trapped air is what provides the insulation. Where your body weight compresses the material, the air is pushed out and it loses it's insulation value. That's why packed snow works as an insulator - it has some air in it.

 

I heard that if you wear more than the one wicking layer in your bag you end up feeling colder. That any additional layers beyond that insulates you from the heat that your body builds up in the air in the bag. It's that insulation works both ways thing again. Has anyone else heard of this?

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"Also, a sleeping bag's insulation works both ways, keeping the heat in the tent from reaching your body."

 

I have to disagree with this statement. The insulation in the bag traps the warmth coming from your body and creates a cocoon of warm air around you. It is insulating against the cold air outside the bag. Try climing in a 0 degree bag in 90 degree heat and see how long the bag insulates you from the heat outside your bag. You'll be sweating in about 30 seconds.

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acco-40; yes, cotton sleeping pants. I had along wool pants as a spare pair or to wear if it got too cold over night, but I was very warm and comfortable in the cotton sleep/lounging pants...they had a plaid pattern on them...I cant bring myself to wear this style of pants with any NASCAR,NFL,NBA,MLB,etc...endorsements and NO WAY will I wear anything with spongebob on it!

 

As long as the cotton loungers are kept dry, they are adequate for the purpose they are designed for, sleeping.

 

Ive got to agree with SR540 with regards to the bag only retaining heat, if the opposite were true, it would be like having an air conditioned bag at summer camp...WAY COOL!

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I know a young woman who spent nine weeks of winter without any breaks in the trip, and in sub-freezing temperatures (sometimes sub-zero) and 5-foot snow drifts in a remote area of Utah - armed with only a sleeping bag, a pad, WalMart boots, NEOS, and a blue plastic tarp. No cooking utensils, no tent, no matches (fire by friction only), and backpacking 5-8 miles to a new camp every day. Their water froze every night so they just positioned it near the fire and drank the melt.

She was with a small group of similar young women and it was one of the best experiences of her life - it certainly changed her life.

So...heat in the tent? No way.

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Ok, here's how sleeping bag insulation works. The loft in a bag, either created by down feathers or polypro fibers, trap air molecules and keep them from moving freely around the space. The air molecules are the insulation not the fibers/feathers. The warm air your body creates cannot escape through the trapped molecules. The transfer of heat from the warm air to cold air is very slow because the heat must transfer from one molecule to another, like a long fire brigade line. So the more loft you have, the warmer your bag will be. The same insulation on the bottom of the bag is crushed by your weight and don't hold hardly any air molecules (poor insulation). Air mattresses have lots of air molecules but they aren't trapped and move freely around. They transfer heat from inside the bag out quickly. That's why its important to put a material that holds the air molecules stationary. The cheap Blue foam closed cell pads do this well. Open cell pads like Thermarest also let the air molecules roam and thus are not as warm as closed cell pads.

 

This is also a good reason to store your bag unstuffed. Prolonged compression defeats the ability of the material to create loft thus reducing its ability to hold air stationary. Dirty and wet bags also deteriorate this loft.

 

 

 

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