OAUSA Net - 1/29/15 & 2/5/15 - Cold Weather Camping

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DaveK
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OAUSA Net - 1/29/15 & 2/5/15 - Cold Weather Camping

#1

Post by DaveK » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:58 pm

We started this net last week (1/29/15) and it was evident from the start that we did not have enough time to cover all of the important topics concerning cold weather camping. With a little luck, we should be able to cover those topics this week. We have added more products below.

For anyone who has camped in the winter months or just when the weather is cold, you know that it is especially enjoyable, but only when you are prepared. We will cover many of the challenges and highlights of cold weather camping, and will offer some suggestions and some interesting products.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please add them to the discussion.
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 30, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#2

Post by DaveK » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:08 pm

When the mercury drops, your clothing requirements need to change. Camping in cold weather can be a great experience, but only when you are prepared. When it comes to the best natural fibers for cold weather clothing, it’s hard to beat wool.

Regular wool, for all of its terrific qualities, is not very comfortable, especially when it comes into contact with skin (rough and itchy). The solution to this problem is a soft and comfortable wool from the Merino sheep. Merino wool, in addition to its soft quality also is able to be machine washed and (in some cases) dried in your clothes dryer.

Two companies worth mentioning in the Merino wool market are Minus 33 (http://www.minus33.com) and Icebreakers, (http://www.icebreaker.com) Both companies sell a full line of Merino wool clothing, including caps, neck coverings, layering tops and bottoms, socks and gloves.

From the Minus 33 website

Minus 33 HDMerino wool top.jpg
Minus 33 HDMerino wool top.jpg (93.46 KiB) Viewed 1384 times
Minus 33 Balaclava.jpg
Minus 33 Balaclava.jpg (95.2 KiB) Viewed 1384 times

From the Icebreaker website

Icebreaker neck covering.jpg
Icebreaker neck covering.jpg (76.15 KiB) Viewed 1384 times
Merino Wool Sock by Icebreaker.jpg
Merino Wool Sock by Icebreaker.jpg (40.58 KiB) Viewed 1384 times
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 30, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#3

Post by DaveK » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:39 pm

Synthetic fiber clothing is another great choice for cold weather camping. When it comes to synthetics, polyester is at the top of the heap. One companay worth mentioning here is PolarMax (http://polarmax.com/). Polar Max makes their entire line of clothing in the USA and comes with a great warranty. Among the many qualities of the Polar Max line of clothing are:

Stretches for Comfort
Wicks Moisture Away from Skin
Quick Drying
Breathes
Scent Prevent™ Anti-microbial
Comfortable Flat Seams
Won't shrink
Easy Care – Wash & Wear

One of the best qualities of their clothing (IMO), in addition to it's warmth, is it's ability to stretch. As I normally turn during the night, its nice to have thermals that do not restrict your movement !!!

From the Polar Max website ( Comp 4 Tech Fleece Crew and Heavy Weight Quattro Fleece)
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Polar Max Comp 4 Tech Fleece Crew.jpg
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Polar Max Quattro Fleece Heavy Weignt.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 30, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#4

Post by DaveK » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:56 pm

In the coldest conditions, one of the most unpleasant parts of camaping is getting into a cold sleeping bag. Problem solved. The Grabber Sleeping bag Warmer (http://www.grabberworld.com/products/gr ... armer.html ) comes with a soft, cotton/poly blend pouch into which you place their Mega Warmer. They claim that the Mega Warmer is odorless, clean, dry, non-toxic, non-flammable, and biodegradable and that no shaking or kneading is required to activate the heat - just open package and it lasts for 12+ hours. The warmers can also be used for relieving pain associated with arthritis, sore muscles or a long day of hiking. Amazon sells a box of 30 for about $30. At a buck a night, that's a tough deal to beat !!!
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 30, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#5

Post by KK6DYO » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:02 pm

On a few nights that I've been too cold to sleep, I've cranked up a propane heater in the tent just long enough to warm up to a comfortable level then get back to sleep. My current such heater is a Mr. Heater Little Buddy, which is supposed to have a tip-over safety shutoff and an oxygen depletion sensor. I don't really trust the safety devices enough to run the heater while I'm asleep.

I recently acquired a Little Guy Rough Rider off-road trailer, which has an insulated sleeping area considerably more air tight than a tent. Ever paranoid, I've installed a CO2 sensor to raise an alarm if we haven't provided sufficient ventilation.

I would like to optionally use a tent heater in the trailer.

My question to the group is: do they use propane or electrical tent heaters (assuming no "shore power"), and if so, how do they ensure their safety against fire and oxygen depletion (or carbon monoxide) hazards?

BTW, I'm currently in Torrance Memorial for a heart-related procedure. I expect to be listening to Thursday night's net. Please check me in. Thank you.

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 29, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#6

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:32 pm

Paul

We have you checked in.

You deserve a whole bunch of kudos, and our appreciation, for listening to the net while you are in the hospital. We will definitely address your questions and spend some time on tent heaters (one of my favorite topics.) In my opinion, camp set-up is never complete until the tent heater is ready to go. If you have any additional questions, you can either post them here or Skype them to me during the net.

Lastly, we wish you the very best outcome with your procedures.
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 29, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#7

Post by Dub » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:40 pm

I am very much looking forward to this weeks net. We love cold weather camping and it's many advantages. Avoiding crowds is one of the main advantages. We always go to the Sierras in October for this very reason. The attached picture is my Wife, KK6PET in camp at 4:30pm. 9,000 feet above sea level up near Rock Creek Lake. No snow but plenty cold and plenty of ice. I will tell you that when I took that picture I was wearing shorts and a tank top. I just don't get cold.

One trip we had an extra cheddar cheese dog after dinner and fed it to our dog. It apparently didn't sit well with him and in the middle of the night he had to go. I got out of the tent with him and he had the runniest poop so I just said I'll clean that up in the morning. When we got up the next morning it was frozen solid and all I had to do was pick it up and put it in the trash. :D

We'll also set up in the snow or with snow on the ground. Clear an area for the tent and set it up. Start a fire and while I'm doing that my Wife digs trenches to channel the melted snow away from camp.

We do not use a heater in our tent. I'm not very comfortable with it. We have very good sleeping bags and I cannot remember ever being cold sleeping in them although we have woke up in the morning out in Borrego with ice on our bags.

Talk to everybody tomorrow night.

Dub KK6MBW
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 29, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#8

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:52 pm

Dub

17 degrees, eh. Now, that's getting pretty cold.

The mountains and the desert both seem to have a different personality in the winter and, as you mention, there are plenty of advantages.
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 29, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#9

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:29 pm

I divide cold weather camping gear into two categories, necessities and comfort gear. When it comes to enjoying a camp when its cold, comfort items can be almost as important as the necessities, especially for those who are being introduced to the outdoors for the first time. I have seen way too many people who were turned off to camping just because they were miserable (often times the misery came from being cold).

Necessities in the cold include things like a good sleeping bag, proper clothing and good footwear. A comfort item that can make things quite pleasant is a tent heater. There is nothing quite as invigorating as getting dressed in the morning when the temps are in the teens or below. A good tent heater can make your tent very pleasant and comfortable. Good for hitting the sack at night, too. There are a few different types of heaters available and choosing the right kind will depend on space, the size and type of your tent, and cost. For our 4 wheel drive adventures, the Mr. Buddy line of heaters are a choice that should be considered, (see: http://www.mrheater.com/product/heaters.html?cat=95).

Here is one of the Mr. Buddy Heaters (from their Website)
Mr. Buddy Heater.jpg
Mr. Buddy Heater.jpg (63.28 KiB) Viewed 1344 times
These are examples of one of our trips where the tent heaters really came in handy.
Camping in the snow.JPG
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Camping in the snow2.JPG
Camping in the snow2.JPG (157.82 KiB) Viewed 1344 times
DaveK
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 29, 2015 - Cold Weather Camping

#10

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:21 pm

One last product: Sno Seal

Sno Seal is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your leather boots water proof and protect them from rain, snow, sun and salt. It is made of natural bees wax and contains no silicone or oils. They claim that it does not interfere with the natural breathability of leather, and has no damaging effect on seams(nylon, polyester, cotton, etc.) or welts (Norwegian, Goodyear, cemented). It can also be used as an emergency leak stop for your tent.

Check here for an excellent article on the benefits of bees wax and why it is an ideal product for keeping your boots dry: http://www.atsko.com/boot-care/.

From the Sno Seeal Website
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Sno Seal.jpg
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