OAUSA Net - March 9. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

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OAUSA Net - March 9. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#1

Post by DaveK » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:40 pm

OAUSA Net for March 16, 2017

We ran out of time last week before we could cover all of the topics that were planned. So, we will conclude our discussion of Cold Weather Camping this week.

PREVIOUS POSTS

The snow delay is over. We originally scheduled to do this net about a month ago, but were unable to do so due to storm damage to our repeater. It is now rescheduled for this week (March 9, 2017.) Fortunately, there is still plenty of cold weather left to enjoy.

Original Posts

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. Pictures and further posts to follow.

Our most important advice: Be prepared (courtesy of BSA).
Bundled up for the cold.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#2

Post by KK6GFF » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:06 pm

One of my favorite topics! I'll try to make it to the net.

A few months ago I noticed the Arctic Oven Tent on the Outdoor Channel. It's the tent that Jim Shockey uses and I have seen it in other shows too. It can accommodate a stove and it's supposed to be extremely warm. It's not cheap tho. Does anyone have any experience with it?

https://arcticoventent.com
ArcticOven12VestibuleLive.jpg
Arctic Oven 12
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This video goes through the tent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alJL4M1E-no

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#3

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:08 pm

You will get a completely different view of your favorite mountain or desert location when the weather turns cold. It's not better, JUST different, and if you have not experienced the winter months in these locations, you owe it to yourself to do so. Although it should go without saying, it deserves to be mentioned, at least at the start of the net - the enjoyment you can get from cold weather camping will only be appreciated, IF you are prepared. I have seen way too many people completely turned-off to camping, and especially in the winter, because they failed to properly prepare. This is where we will spend the majority of the discussion. When properly equipped and prepared, it is a lot of fun.

So, just to give a glimpse of the benefits of winter camping, we offer these shots. I know that many of you have a favorite spot as well, and we would like to see them.

CAMPING AND 4 WHEELING IN THE HIGH SIERRAS
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Camping in the snow.JPG
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CAMPING AND 4 WHEELING IN THE HIGH DESERT
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#4

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:19 pm

Its been a few years since we last did a net on cold weather camping. New products have hit the market and a lot of old time tested favorites remain. This topic is one where we can all learn from each other and we want to promote that during the net and on the website. So, here is where we encourage everyone to participate with suggestions and pictures.

In the past, there was much more material to discuss than one net would cover. So, there is the prospect of 2 parts for this topic - we''ll see!

We have broken down the major topics into 9 categories. The net discussion will follow pretty much in the order, as below:
  • 1. Vehicle Prep and Emergency Items to carry in Vehicle
    2. Sleeping
    3. Cooking
    4. Shelter
    5. Comfort Items
    6. Clothing - Day and Night
    7. Camp Fire
    8. Pre-Trip Preparation
    9. Footwear
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#5

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:43 pm

SHELTERS

The tent you select should be at least as rugged and capable as the conditions you expect to encounter. For many camping situations, including mild cold weather camping, a 3 season tent will suffice. If the area you plan on visiting sees rough or extreme weather, you will need a 4 season tent. There are a number of high quality tents on the market today, and ultimately you will need to do your research to match your needs to the available tents.

For those who have listened to our nets for any length of time, you probably have heard me talk about my favorite tents, made by the Kirkham Outdoor Company, under the name of Springbar.

Springbar tents have a number of significant advantages:

1. made entirely in the USA
2. tall enough to stand up in
3. requires no rain fly
4. lifetime warranty
5. support poles are double-walled aluminum and steel tubing
6. tent body is made from breathable heavy duty cotton canvas
7. all windows and doors are reinforced with Army Duck canvas
8. capable of withstanding the wettest and windiest conditions
9. a true 4 season tent

Springbar tents have seen service in the most extreme environments. Here is what they say:

The Everest Millennium Expedition was successful in positioning GPS equipment at the summits of Mt. Everest, East Lhotse, and Nuptse South. Veteran climbers Pete Athans and Bill Crouse used these receivers to ultimately make the most accurate measurement of Mt. Everest - 7 feet taller than previously thought - now known to be 29,035 ft.

Bill and Pete chose a Springbar® Tent as their "nerve center" tent at Camp 2. The Springbar® tent selected by Pete Athans and Bill Crouse for the Everest Millennium Expedition was the Model 7001. A 10' X 14' version of the Family Camper. Minor modifications were made, but the tent was essentially the same as our regular stock model.

This nerve center at 21,300 ft. was a community center for the entire crew. All the cooking was done in the tent as well as eating all meals, drinking tea, or just getting together.
SPRINGBAR ON MT. EVEREST
Springbar Tent Everest.jpg
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SPRINGBAR TENT IN THE WINTER
Springbar Tents 1.jpg
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While guying a Springbar tent is not usually necessary, it is an option, if the conditions are extreme. Check-out this video of a Springbar tent, without any guy tie downs whasoever, in some extreme winds (65-95 MPH): https://youtu.be/h-0bZoGm9Is
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#6

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:00 pm

SLEEPING - Part 1

The net will cover some of the most important topics that fall under the "sleeping'" category, such as"
  • 1. sleeping bags
    2. cots, pads, air mattresses, blankets, ground covers
    3. sleeping bag prep, warmers and liners.
Everything needs to start with a high quality sleeping bag. There are quite a few on the market and ultimately, you will need to do your research to determine which one is best for your needs. Like so many other things we will discuss on the net, like tents, clothing, and cooking gear, sleeping bags are not an item on which you should pinch pennies. With VERY few exceptions, if you buy cheap, you will compromise quality and your comfort.

There are a number of bags on the market that offer very high quality and they deserve your consideration, but for the budget conscious there are ways that you can still get the warmth you will need. We will discuss these options on the net.

Some important features to look for:

1. Low temperature all season rating (below zero)
2. Roomy enough for comfortable sleeping
3. Rugged construction
4. Good warranty
5. Made in the USA

There are a few bags that meet these criteria, but, as before, if you have listened to our nets for any length of time, you know that I have been using and recommending the Butler All Season Sleeping Bag for several years. It meets all of my criteria, and then some. From the Butler website (https://butlerbags.us/product/all-season-sleeping-bag/)
Rugged Comfort! This model features three sleeping compartments to choose from, depending on outside temperatures. There is also a fourth pocket for easy storage of your ground pad or air mattress. The All Season Bag also features sewn in end ropes, two nylon chinch straps and double heavy duty carrying straps. Sold world wide to outfitters, sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts who love style, comfort and quality.

Like all Butler Bags, this sleeping bag is constructed with a heavy duty, dual control brass zipper with an anti-draft water flap sewn to the outside. The exterior features the use of tough, long lasting marine grade canvas and the inside is lined with polyester/cotton flannel, designed for comfort, warmth, and durability. At the head of the bag is a flannel lined flap to cover you on extra cold nights.

Size: 41″X84″ (approx. sleeping area)
Comfort Zone: -20 to +65 degrees.
Weight: approx. 22 lbs.
Filler: Hollofil 808
Outer: 12.5 ounce marine grade, water repellent canvas
Lining: Polyester/Cotton Flannel
Zipper: Heavy duty brass zipper
Color: Desert Tan / Woodsman Plaid
All seams reinforced
Made in the USA
Butler All Season Bag.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#7

Post by DaveK » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:12 am

SLEEPING - Part 2

Sleeping pads.

In cold weather, you not only need to protect yourself the cold air, but when you bed down, you also need to protect yourself from the cold ground. The best sleeping bag in the world will not offer full protection from the cold ground, which will act like a giant heat sink as it draws the heat out of your body.

There are several products that will provide good insulation from the cold ground and finding one that works for you is a must in the winter. Some sleeping bags (like Butler) have pockets sewn into them, that will allow the insertion of insulating sleeping pads. Therm-a-Rest offers an all season sleeping pad that can meet the needs of cold weather campers, under the name of "NeoAir All Season Mattress." Available on Amazon for about $110.00. There is an excellent review of 4 season sleeping pads by Outdoor Gear Lab here: http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Sleeping- ... All-Season .

From the Outdoor Gear Lab website
Therma-a-Rest All Season Sleeping Pad.jpg
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Traditionally, one of the best natural insulation materials has been wool. It is still true today. Placing a thick wool blanket under your bag is another way to help protect your from the cold. The 5+ pound all wool blanket is just such a product and it will double as a great piece of gear that should be in every vehicle for unexpected needs.
5 lb. blanket.jpg
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Cots are another means for getting your bag off of the cold ground. With the proper insulation underneath, they can also add an element of comfort. Cabela's sells a cot that will accommodate larger sleeping bags, under the "Outfitter XL" name. The sleeping surface measures 84 x 40 and set up is much easier due to their pivot arm assembly.

The specs:
Built-in pivot arm delivers the leverage needed to make setup a breeze
Huge 85" x 40" x 20-1/2" set-up size
Constructed with a heavy-duty 600-pound weight capacity
Rubber leg bushings absorb shock and add firm support
Folds down to a small 46"L x 7.5"W x 13.25"H for easy transport
From the Cabela's website (http://www.cabelas.com/product/CABELAS- ... 752509.uts)
Cabelas XL Cot.jpg
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SLEEPING - Part 3

I'll mention two items here, one being for comfort, the other, a convenience.

Bag Warmers
When the mercury drops, slipping into that cold bag at night can be a real eye opener. Warmers.com has the solution - the Mega Sleeping Bag Warmer, See: http://www.warmers.com/sleeping-bag-warmer. Not a necessity, but a very pleasant way to start the night.
Sleeping Bag Warmer.jpg
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Bag liners
If you use your bag even moderately, it will eventually require some sort of cleaning. One way to protect the inside of your bag and gain a little more in terms of your cold weather rating, is a bag liner. There are several models available and the choice is not as critical as the bag. I like the fleece liners as they are fairly rugged and inexpensive. If your bag is on the large size, there probably is not a liner that will fit your bag. In that case, I simply took two liners and had them cut and sewn together (complete with zipper) to match the interior size of my bag. Here is just an example, from Osage River, sold through Amazon ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KT ... _i=3401701 )
Sleeping bag liner.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#8

Post by KK6ATH » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:06 am

Ok, so I have some fond memories of the cold in Germany, Washington State and elsewhere.
I fell in love with the US ARMY GI YUKON STOVE: unfortunately, everyone scooped them up when they were like $70 NEW.
Now, they have doubled in price. Good luck finding a new one. Anyways, they are light weight, a little bulky, but they sure work well.
Almost everything fits inside the stove during transport. One can use solid fuel or diesel. We didn't sleep in tents much, but when we did, my platoon always asked me to fire up the Yukon. There is a reason why.....If you don't take the time to set them up properly, they will fill your tent with diesel fumes. This can easily be remedied, by ensuring to create an updraft in the chimney prior to firing up.
Image

There is one other alternative, its the H45 Space Heater or "pot-belly-stove." They put out over 45,000 btu. Boy do they put out some heat! The only thing is that they were bulky. Perfect for a GP Large or Med. tent. They would fit into a GP small, but they took up more room, and would eventually bake you inside your tent. Just like a 55 gallon fire drum only smaller! They can be had for around $170 new, and that includes the stand for the jerry can: which doubles for heating or holding a water can. They are going up in price, but you can find them for $100 with surface corrosion and they clean up nicely.
Image


The other thing I love is my 4 piece US ARMY GI Modular Sleep System (MSS). When I got to Fort Lewis, they issued me a Cold Weather Bag. It sucked. We didn't use sleeping bags out in the field, (we didn't sleep much, and when we did, it was under a poncho liner. But back in the cantonment area, the cold weather bag was too hot. Like "Goldilocks", it was a problem of being either too hot or too cold. It was frustrating. But back in those days we used to make "patrol" bags by taking an intermediate bag, removing some of the stuffing and then sewing them back up again. What the Army would eventually put into service was the MSS. Its 3 bags in one. with all accoutrements, the MSS will take you down to -30. The great thing about this Sleeping bag is that you can scale it for exactly what you need. You get a real Compression sack to hold it all, a Patrol-bag for the quickies and warm weather; an Intermediate Cold Weather bag, and the "piece de la resistance," a GORETEX BIVY SACK! I got mine for $125 with a brand new Gore-Tex bivy sack and brand new Intermediate Cold bag. The compression sack had one broken buckle, but that was remedied with a new buckle and sewing machine, the Patrol bag was probably used 3 times.

Image

The other thing we used to like were the sleeping bag covers and yah, "body bags." Some people creeped out. But out in the rain and mud, you won't mind. The only thing is that the they don't breathe very much. Perhaps, its because they were designed to hold in "bodily-fluids." The other bummer is that the zipper isn't meant to be opened from inside...go figure. I dunno: sure, they were meant to handle human remains, and they we're a poor mans version of a bivy sack. But back in the day, we had, what we had. Image

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#9

Post by N7AJJ » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:04 pm

Great and valuable topic. I understand Keller has been "down" this week due to power outage. Effect on today's NET? Also, I'd like to enter a time-saving early checkin if possible. Thanks much..as always, looking forward to the NET!

N7AJJ - Dale
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 26. 2017 - Cold Weather Camping

#10

Post by toms » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:21 pm

Camp Fire

A camp fire is particularly welcome on a cold weather campout and for the ill prepared, they may be up all night feeding the fire.

o Build the fire first when arriving at the camp site while it is still daylight and your hands are hands warm.

o Starting a fire may be a bit more challenging in cold weather due to cold hands, wind, snow and damp wood.
Some things to mitigate these issues:

 Fire starting materials such as fire paste, Vaseline – Fire balls, bring your own tinder if concerned snow has covered natural tinder or it will be too damp

Extra tools: Mag Starter, flint & steel, Swedish light my fire

Bring some of your own wood as backup to get a good fire going. In some places these days it is not an option to gather wood.
besides "good" wood is always handy for other stuff - like being stuck.

Gather dead wood that is off the ground. Use the branches on the down tree that are sticking up in the air.

Tools: ax & saw . You might need a lot of wood to stay warm

 matches and lots of them

o what not to wear around the campfire

 (synthetic clothing melts by ember.)
 Wool is one of the best, most fire-resistant natural materials and is great for this.
 Down jackets with synthetic shells are awful, and you can lose tons of feathers this way
 Don’t melt your boots; If wet, let dry slowly

o Tips
 coals under the chair will keep you toasty. They need to be refreshed frequently.
With a little trail and error you will find the right formula for how many coals
See you on the Trail!
TomS
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Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

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