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mrkstvns

Winter Camping Quick Tip

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15 hours ago, MattR said:

I think everyone should mention their definition of cold weather camping. For us, the 20's are considered cool for September, but not that unusual. Cold is below 0.

17 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

I did many a cold weather camp as a scout and in earlier years as a leader.  It was not unusual to clear snow before building a fire, or chip ice in the morning.  We were a military troop, and all used army down mummy bags year round.  My very first scout camping trip was in December of '64 in Massachusetts.  Lots of snow on the ground.

Now that I have been in Florida for 30 years, I layer up at pretty much anything below 50.  Coldest we have done was a couple of years ago on an OA ordeal weekend when it dropped down to 27 on Friday night.  We are camping next weekend, and as my great-nephew was talking on the way home from the troop meeting last night, he asked if it was going to be cold.  My reply: no, it will only get down to around 67 at night.  His reply:  that is cold!!  We have two sleeping bags, one is a 40 degree bag that we use most of the time, the other a 10 degree for those rare cold FL winter nights.

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8 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Come spring, same temperature, and I might be in shorts.

Not sure I could handle shorts in your part of the country at this time of the year, or in the spring.  Barely wear them in FL.

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18 minutes ago, qwazse said:

It always feels colder at the beginning of the season ... this frosty morning on my walk to the coffee shop I crossed paths with one of our committee on his way home with his dogs. He busted my chops for me having my balaclava on. "Too soon for that." Said the guy who already had his coffee in hand!

Come spring, same temperature, and I might be in shorts.

Ah! I understand now. When I order balaclava for dessert at Greek restaurants, they never have any because it's the wrong time of year. :o

Barry

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Our Troop camped this past weekend just north of the IL/WI border, with some snow/ice on the ground and low temperatures in the evening  around 24 degrees.  We had a great troop meeting in advance with the scouts leading a discussion on cold weather gear and camping tips.  All had a good time and most were well prepared.  You can discuss cold weather gear at a troop meeting multiples times, but for a few scouts it takes a trip in the 20s with snow and ice on the ground for the suggestion that they wear boots and not gym shoes to actually sink in.  

We will have a post-trip discussion/rose buds thorns at tonight's troop meeting.  

Filling the naglene bottles with boiling water at the end of the night and putting them in the bottom of sleeping bags worked quite well, except for the scouts that brought insulating Swell bottles and didn't understand why they were not conveying any heat.  Again, good lesson learned.  

The Scouts made a ton of beef stew with a few dutch ovens on Friday night. We have been increasing our use of dutch ovens over the past 2 years and the Scouts appreciated how they kept their meal warm as they returned for seconds and thirds while enjoying a cold night around the campfire.  

Jeff 

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So this is turning into a cold weather camping tip thread...ok.  I was lucky enough to do most of my youth camping in the winter.  A few things changed since then.  A dirty dozen of tips. 

1.  Don't leave anything outside you don't want covered with overnight snow.  It makes a heck of a time finding it.

2.  The hot water bottle in the sleeping bag is a must.  The dirty "water" bottle in a tent is a must.

3.  Not sure how you will manage this one.  Check "snow flowers" to check hydration of scouts and tell who is drinking and those holding out. 

4.  Most parkas have inner chest pockets for a reason, use them to deter freezing.

5.  Keep scouts from kneeling on hot coals while maintaining their fire ( usually a big smoldering mass).

6.  Check for frostbite and frostbite often.

7.  KP is the best job in winter, there is always warm water to enjoy.

8.  No cotton clothing during the day or while sleeping.

9.  Scouts will do almost anything to keep warm,  stress no candles/candle lanterns, flames, or liquid fuels.  No bare skin fuel handling.

10.  Avoid getting anything wet as it will soon be an icicle.

11.  Stress warm fluids like soup, broth, or hot chocolate.  Never run out of it.

12.  Retention cords (used to be called dummy cords) are great with knives, compasses, and things that may fall in the snow and not be found until spring.   

 

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On 11/20/2019 at 12:09 PM, mashmaster said:

What is snow?

Oh, come now!  You've seen pictures of snow.....it's that white stuff that covers the ground in the frozen tundra of northern climates....like Dallas.

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