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#5819266 - 07/06/15 08:10 AM Cold camping
Chief Joe Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 6075
Loc: Fredericktown, Ohio
Have any of you ever cold camped when out pursuing animals? What and how do you prepare? Thanks confused2

Perhaps "spike camp" is a better description.


Edited by Chief Joe (07/06/15 08:13 PM)
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#5819282 - 07/06/15 08:23 AM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Texas buckeye Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2965
Loc: Keller
Never camped while hunting but did entry of cold weather camping during my years up north. Best thing is have a different set of clothes for every day, base layers change out every day and if you sweat, that is important to staying warm. Have the appropriate tent and sleeping bag; a cot will actually make it colder in winter unless you have a really thick insulated mattress underneath. Sleeping bags are rated for survival purposes, not comfort purposes, so buy at least two levels below what you think you will be sleeping in temp wise. Staying dry is the biggest thing. Also, with a good sleeping bag, best thing to do is sleep in just undies and get dressed in the bag in the morning, otherwise you will either get clothes wet or sleep
In wet clothes, not good to staying dry and warm.

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#5819317 - 07/06/15 08:51 AM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41125
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Chief Joe
Have any of you ever cold camped when out pursuing animals? What and how do you prepare? Thanks confused2


The key is the right equipment. A tarp or UL bivey and an ultra light sleeping bag. Most likely goose down.

Old days it was a pancho and GD sleeping bag.

Now a days you have more choices: waterproof down, UL tarps, WP Biveys and UL sub 3lb tents. It comes down to how much weight you want to carry all day.






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#5819370 - 07/06/15 09:16 AM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Bbear Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 598
Loc: West Texas
Cold camped a couple of times in late October in Idaho. Carrying a 75-100 lb pack in included some basics as: Ground tarp, tent w/ rain fly, ground pad, sleeping bag rated to -25, clothing, small box of detergent, food, water purification equipment/tablets, extra ammo.
Grocery stores are pretty far away if you forget something.
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#5819377 - 07/06/15 09:18 AM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Theringworm Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 325
Originally Posted By: Chief Joe
Have any of you ever cold camped when out pursuing animals? What and how do you prepare? Thanks confused2


Chief, Bobo hit it on the nail. It's all about having the right gear and making camp in the best spot available. Stay dry, avoid wearing wet clothes. Simple common sense stuff after that. Watch online web retailers for sales. You can pick up very high quality gear aignificantly reduced if you know where to look and catch them at the right time.


Edited by Theringworm (07/06/15 09:26 AM)

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#5819443 - 07/06/15 10:16 AM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41125
Loc: Metroplex
The options are endless to cut weight also.

Two of the best money and weight savings options I have found

Sawyer in line water filter ($20) vs pump

And food national geographic dehydrated food. More calories and less $$

Camofire has some good close out deals from time to time on stove/cook sets also.

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#5819540 - 07/06/15 11:19 AM Re: Cold camping [Re: BOBO the Clown]
rdhibbs Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 04/08/15
Posts: 331
Loc: Dumas TX
Lots of cold weather camping in the Scouts. Not hunting, but trying to keep boys warm at night. whether on cot or ground have at least as many layers of insulation under you than over you, ground is cold air is colder, heat rises. Whether or not sleeping in just undies put on clean dry ones, dry socks, dry bogon to cover ears (90% of body heat lossed through back of neck and head, feet robbed of heat first keep this warm and ya got a good start.

during the day pay attention to when you are getting warm, remove layers before you began to sweat, When you pull layers off and wind hits sweaty cloths you get cold fast.

When done properly cold weather camping can be doable and even enjoyable, otherwise it is miserable and possibly dangerous to deadly.
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#5819614 - 07/06/15 12:01 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Western Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23592
Loc: Wise County Texas
Have done it many times chasing Elk and/or mules in the Rockies. Have noticed it effects different people, well, differently. I am hot blooded and love cooler temps and usually sleep in my long johns and the only time I will sleep with socks on. Main thing has been mentioned, plenty of warmth between you and the ground. I have slept on cots, air up beds and the ground and if you have enough insulation under you, the top is easy.

Another huge factor for what you may need is the sleeping arrangements, inside a tent, or outside exposed, done it both ways. Obviously outside exposed you need more layers of warmth. I get by in base camp woth the same few things. Generally will have a cheap tarp on the bottom, 1 unfolded sleeping bag, or heavy blanket, then the actual bag I crawl into, then I always have a thick blanket as a throw over, this set up lets me take off, unzip the bag I'm in, or layer up depending on the conditions.

I have slept on the trail as well and that usually is just a damn good 0* bag and lite wool type over blanket . I put the blanket down full open, then the bag, then pull the blanket over the bag after I crawl in, kind of like a "people burrito" grin

What heat source you are using makes a big difference as well, tent is no big deal with gas, or wood stove. Outside no biggy either with a fire going, just got to watch if the wood likes to "pop", you can get burn holes in the bag.

BTW, I like to take my wool house slippers, lost a few over the years, but great getting out of the rack, putting on the slippers to keep the feet warm and clean, then vegetate with coffee around the heat.


Edited by Western (07/06/15 12:02 PM)
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#5819723 - 07/06/15 01:05 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Spacemonkey Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 1189
Loc: North Texas
I have done my fair share of cold camping in below zero temps while out climbing mountains. -30 in the Alaskan mountains! I've slept in a number of snow caves and even an igloo. Much warmer than tents!

The most important aspect is a positive attitude, and second good gear! First you have to decide what kind of weather you will be camping in. Texas cold is much different than camping in the snow of the northern mountains. A good 4 season tent is a must in winter snow! Most cheap tents are 3 season tents. Rei has a good selection of tents and their return policy is impeccable! I suggest rei brand, north face, or mountain hardware for a good 4 season! There are other brands I have no experience with. The bright colored tents can help brighten your spirits if your stuck in a tent during a bad storm or blizzard. That's the theory anyways.

Next is a good sleeping bag! A mummy bag with 800 fill goose down is supper comfy in the coldest of temps and most def the way to go if it's real cold. When the temps are around freezing, things tend to be wetter so synthetic is a good compromise. Down loses almost all its loft and insulating value if it gets wet so if you use down keep it dry. Synthetic will maintain some degree of warmth and loft when wet.

Next use a good sleeping pad. Thermarest is kind of the industry standard but can be pricey. There are some cheaper knockoffs on the market that are good too. Rei brand is one. You can double up with a foam Pad beneath the thermarest as well. The bottom line with whatever you use is insulation from the ground. That ground will suck the heat right out of you. Don't wear a lot of clothes to bed. Just your base layer thermals and a beanie if anything. Good smart wool socks or similar are nice in the sleeping bag. A pair of down camp booties are worth their weight in gold. Don't use a cot or blow up air mattress that isn't filled with open cell foam. They will be colder than a witches teet unless you insulate on top of them real well.

If it's real cold, I will melt snow for drinking. Bring it to a boil for 2 minutes and pour it in a Nalgene bottle. Then pitch it down in the bottom of your sleeping bag by your feet right beforev bed. You will be amazed how long it will stay warm. If you have excess water in other bottles, you can bury it in the snow at night to keep it from freezing.

Don't leave your boots outside at night when it's freezing. Knock as much snow off them as you can and Put them in a nylon bag to keep the wet snow out of your tent and stick them between you and your tent mate to keep the sweat moisture in them from freezing. Otherwise you will be stuffing your warm feet into a popsicle in the morning. Trash bags are ok but don't breathe and let the boots dry out.

Get a good warm down jacket! Stay dry! Don't sweat! And maintain a good positive attitude and cold weather camping can be very enjoyable. I'll take it any day over laying in a pool of sweat with 90 degree temps at 11 at night.

Camping in deep snow can add a whole degree of challenges. Tent stakes have to be traded for deadman anchors, snowshoes or skiis are a must. You can dig out a pit in the tent vestibule to make a sitting shelf and easier tent entry/exit! Snow blocks can be cut from hard pack snow and placed on the windward side of the tent to block wind from blowing under the fly.

If in heavy snow storm, keep the snow from drifting on and around the tent or you can suffer from asphyxiation. And never never use a propane or gas stove or heater in a tent for warmth. Despite their popularity! They kill. Especially when snow buildup cuts down on ventilation. Carbon monoxide is a silent odorless killer! An abundance of winter campers have died and never saw or felt it coming! If you choose to do so anyways then ventilate the tent. Leave the tops of the doors open to draw fresh air.

Most of all, have fun!



Edited by Spacemonkey (07/06/15 01:11 PM)

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#5819729 - 07/06/15 01:08 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Elkhunter49 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 3268
Loc: Oak Harbor, Slidell La
This is how I do it when Elk hunting!!!





Edited by Elkhunter49 (07/06/15 01:10 PM)
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#5820458 - 07/06/15 08:13 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Chief Joe Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 6075
Loc: Fredericktown, Ohio
Perhaps "spike camp" is a better description....
_________________________

"It is the same boiling water that softens the rice, which hardens the egg." It's not always about the circumstances, but what you are made of....

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#5820680 - 07/06/15 09:52 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
rattler03 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/22/14
Posts: 769
Loc: Richardson - Archer County
These guys have given you a lot of great information, but I do have one thing to add. I would purchase the most high quality pair of long underwear you can. You want a pair that are made of some type of synthetic material, those old fashioned cotton long-johns aren't going to cut it if it's really cold. Go to REI and get one of their employees to walk you through all their options. Spending an extra $30-50 dollars on this item could be the difference between being comfortable or being miserable.
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#5825123 - 07/09/15 06:11 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
10pointdoe Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 1363
Loc: austin,tx
+1 on the long johns. I bought a pair of wool long johns , the brand is ice armor and they are the best thing I have ever seen. not that expensive but they are better than bottled [censored]. so good I bought 2 more pair just in case I ever needed them. Seems like they have them at Sierra trading post on the internet.


Edited by 10pointdoe (07/09/15 06:14 PM)

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#5826721 - 07/10/15 07:35 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Chief Joe]
Spacemonkey Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 1189
Loc: North Texas
Cotton long underwear was mentioned! I second not using cotton long underwear. In fact I would not even consider wearing anything cotton for extended stays in cold snowy weather and camping! Cotton Is widely known as the death cloth! It does not dry very easily and loses almost all of its insulating value when wet. Synthetic or wool clothes are warmer and dry much much faster.

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#5826930 - 07/10/15 09:37 PM Re: Cold camping [Re: Spacemonkey]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41125
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Spacemonkey
Cotton long underwear was mentioned! I second not using cotton long underwear. In fact I would not even consider wearing anything cotton for extended stays in cold snowy weather and camping! Cotton Is widely known as the death cloth! It does not dry very easily and loses almost all of its insulating value when wet. Synthetic or wool clothes are warmer and dry much much faster.


X2

Also if it freezing at night don't forget to put your water in your sleeping bag or it will freeze.

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