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winter camping tip

12:45 p.m. on February 22, 2013 (EST)
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Want to turn your 20° sleeping bag in to a 0° bag? Boil a liter of water, put it in a wide mouth water bottle that seals well and throw it in your bag. This really works well and you'll have water to cook with in the morning!

6:17 p.m. on February 22, 2013 (EST)
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how long will that hold up?

6:47 p.m. on February 22, 2013 (EST)
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If you're talking about the heat, probably 3-4 hours??? I've slept well through the night when using this technique. The water is usually room "bag" temperature in the morning.

3:15 p.m. on February 23, 2013 (EST)
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I used to do that when snowcamping. it's good for warming the foot initially, then it cools off and your left with the temp rating of the bag itself. no real breakthrough here.

10:57 a.m. on February 24, 2013 (EST)
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I used to do that when snowcamping. it's good for warming the foot initially, then it cools off and your left with the temp rating of the bag itself. no real breakthrough here.

 

Exactly, but the initial comfort it provides helps stave off the cold and I fall asleep much faster.

9:04 p.m. on February 24, 2013 (EST)
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It does work, and is a good tip in general. However, if you expect to need near a 0f bag and only have a 20f bag and plan to use this method as the sole difference then that is a horrible plan and doomed to meet a very miserable end some day.

It is a good way to add a little heat/ comfort factor to an equation but should not be relied upon as a significant contributing factor.

Be careful of leaks! When you pour boiling water into a nalgene you need to leave the lid open for a few minutes and or crack open the lid after a few minutes to relieve the pressure. If you do not, the lid can slowly loosen and then begin to leak. it is recommended to place the bottle in a sock to prevent it from burning you, as well as serve as a barrier to any minor leaks. Those really paranoid of leaks put then in ziplock bags etc

9:35 p.m. on February 24, 2013 (EST)
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Many years ago I used to heat up several rocks in my campfire to place in or under my bag to do the same thing, I also used a flat heated rock to sit on while eating lunch after wade fishing in cold water.

Of course you cant drink rocks in the morning like a nalgene full of water, but you could "defend" the tent with the rocks during the night - haha.

Several heated rocks will stay warm for quite a while, then I'd wake up around 3:00 am wishing I had stayed home, nowadays I just take adequate insulation.

This is however a very handy trick in a pinch, or when you just want the added comfort.

Sleeping with a dog works too, if you can keep them from wandering in and out of the tent. Done that too.

MikeG.

8:52 a.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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I agree, and probably shouldn't have said turn a 20° into a 0°. There are times I wished I had a 0 bag, yet have made it out Alive! in a 20 or less. I've had a different water bottle for 20 years that don't leak. Not sure what brand, translucent white with a blue lid, and not very light.

9:49 a.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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Men spooning on Denali to keep warm.  There are somethings you don't want to know about hard core mountaineering.

Ed

9:51 a.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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Haha!

Trust Ed to keep it real :) 

10:09 a.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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Ed, I would only draw the line if both of you were naked, in the same sleeping bag and not hypothermic. lol You gotta do what you gotta do to stay warm! No rules that I know of, only to stay alive. I would cuddle with anyone, if I was cold enough. What about the chemical warmers in your bag, they could be swapped out in the night when they stopped workin. It would be easier than boiling water in the middle of the night to refill a water bottle.

6:06 p.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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I used to spoon with my dog....haha!

6:18 p.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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The hot water bottle trick is a good one to know. Handy when you wake chilled in the middle of the night, have a stove and can’t make a fire. Rather than toss and turn and shiver through those long, dark hours, get up, light the stove, have a hot drink, and heat a quart of water to take back to bed with you.

Shall we expand this thread a bit?

Winter Camping Tip # 2

This is gonna sound gross, but is related to tip # 1 above.

Pee in a plastic bottle and keep in inside the sleeping bag with you…                                                                                                         I told ya it was gonna sound gross, didn’t I? Ah, note that females usually do not find this a practical thing to do, but it works well enough for men, and “experience operators” even learn to perform this trick while lying down inside the sleeping bag. I mean, if ya gotta go in the middle of the night that’s fine, but why piss away all that heat? Save it and keep it inside the sleeping bag.  A light weight sports drink bottle with a 1.5 inch mouth works well.

Winter Camping Tip # 3

Beware the Zippo type heaters at night!

Once upon a time on an early spring "canoe" trip my wife and I pushed our 4x4 pickup as far as it would go, getting it well stuck in old snow pack, then set out on foot tobogganing our canoe and gear onward to a remote lake. When arriving at the lake late in the day we found it still frozen, so we set up camp on the windswept shores and called it a day.

We had two of the big Zippo hand warmers that ran on lighter fluid that a service buddy of mine had just given me.

In the military we used to hang these by our dog tag chains under our uniforms to try and stay warm while on duty outside at night.

That night we lit both warmers and tossed them under our single sleeping bag to warm it up a bit, then crawled under for the night. A few hours later we both awoke with burns from those @$&**^$# Zippo warmers!

That night we suffered from both the cold and burns! Sometimes I think it is a wonder my wife still likes to go camping with me!

Even inside the pouches they come with they get just hot enough to scorch you if you fall asleep against them, so don't use them in your sleeping bag at night! They seem like a great idea because they can burn all night long, unlike the disposable chemical heaters or the boil-to-reuse type, which do not last particularly long.

Winter Camping Tip # 3

Make sure you have enough insulation under you! I think this is even more important than having enough insulation over you.

I find that despite 40 years’ experience that I am still re-learning this simple and important "tip"!

My wife and I use a double sleep system of one type or the other where we use a single sleeping bag opened up or a quilt to cover, and just the sleeping pads for insulation below. We almost always use different sleeping pads. Last October we went on one last canoe trip of the season before the lakes froze up, and my wife slept on an old ( mid 80s vintage ) regular thermarest pad. Probably 2-1/2 pounds with an insulation value of R5? I slept on an 8 ounce Wal Mart blue foam pad, maybe R3, my favorite summer pad.

Snuggled under our single sleeping bag next to my wife I could really tell the difference in warmth between the two pads! To sleep comfortably that night I spread my down parka under me for the extra insulation.

A few winters back I slept in a tipi I have set up on my land with a nephew. It was January and quite cold. I used a huge old down military bag which is quite warm, and under me I had a layer of cardboard and a layer of pine boughs. I slept warm, until my body heat seeped down and thawed the earth below me. Then the cardboard started soaking up the moisture of the damp earth, and before long I had a damp spot on my sleeping bag where my hip contacted the cardboard and pressed the hardest. I woke cold, had to light the fire, find a dry bit of cardboard to lay on and roll the bag to expose the wet spot to the fire to dry it. Pretty dumb in retrospect. Sure cardboard is a great insulator - If kept dry!

If a fella uses a 36" or 47" inflatable thermarest type pad for three seasons, a cheap way to use the same pad for winter is to get a cheap wal mart or similar full length foam pad, and lay the foam pad down under the inflatable.

This saves the expense of having to purchase an expensive winter pad for the occasional winter trip, and I find the combo warm enough as it is my torso where I notice the lack of insulation,

Yeah, sleeping with just the pad under you sure is a way to learn how good the varieties of pads are! I simply hate the thermarest Ridgerest series of pads, and on a five day trip in July my wife and I got so cold at night we resorted to sleeping with every bit of clothing we had with us on, despite temps which never dropped below 50 degrees. The Ridgerest pads are the coldest we have ever slept on, possibly colder than no pads at all when sleeping on forest duff. I know many folks will probably not agree with this, but I think that is because they use a sleeping bag with insulation under them, and the waffle-like ridgerest pads probably work well enough with them.

6:19 a.m. on February 26, 2013 (EST)
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EtdBob said:

 

The hot water bottle trick is a good one to know. Handy when you wake chilled in the middle of the night, have a stove and can’t make a fire. Rather than toss and turn and shiver through those long, dark hours, get up, light the stove, have a hot drink, and heat a quart of water to take back to bed with you...

The problem with waking up cold in the middle of the night, then boiling more water to remain warm, is you really don’t want to be operating a stove in or adjacent to the tent.  Stove accidents have serious consequences, do happen, and are more apt to happen if you are groggy or chastened by cold.  If you get out of the tent to do this it seems to defeat the purpose.  I would not call this a good idea.

Ed

10:01 a.m. on February 26, 2013 (EST)
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If you get out of the tent to do this it seems to defeat the purpose.  I would not call this a good idea.

I can definitely see the value in getting up to heat some water in certain situations.  If you really are getting chilled, getting out of your bag, bundled up, and moving around for a bit can have a positive warming effect by itself. The psychological and physical warmth from sitting next to a flame, even that of a stove, can be notable as well. Once back in your bag with a warm stomach, warmed up hands, and a large piping hot bottle or two and sleep will likely be far more comfortable. 

Last February I played my idiot card and forgot my sleeping pad for a night in the snowy highlands of the Unicoi. I layered everything I could under my bad that night, and slept well at first. But after the temp neared single digits that night, woke quite chilled. Sure, getting out of my bag would getting out into the cold air, but doing so alowed me to bundle up, rework my layed stuff, put on another pair of socks, and get back to in wearing my down parka.  I was far warmer afterword, and was able to get some more sleep. Had it been even colder, heating some water bottles would have definitely been worth it. 

10:03 a.m. on February 26, 2013 (EST)
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Another tip for staying warm, I didn't believe it until i tried it, wear ear plugs! You know those squishy little yellow/orange ones you can get at the hardware store. Pros: cheap, keeps you warm. Cons: you may not hear the bear gnawing on your leg!

11:11 a.m. on February 26, 2013 (EST)
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If using a water bottle in your bag make sure to put it in a dry bag in case of leaks.

I normally carry 2 disposable heat pads per night and put one in my bag before going to bed and leave one then in reserve or stick in my boots in the morning to warm them up a bit.

2:10 p.m. on February 26, 2013 (EST)
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Bob, were the 2 "Winter Camping Tip # 3" listed for re-editing or emphasis?

On the foam pads - the Cascade Designs Ridgerest and Z-rest are both about the same R-value as the generic "blue foam" pads you can get at X-mart big box stores for the same thickness. And they are about the same as the generic "white" Ensolite pads we used to get years ago. These are all closed cell foam (bare open cell pads are just asking for trouble, since they are basically sponges, just waiting to soak up any water around). The variety that are aluminized on one side do provide a bit of reflective heat (your body heat reflected back toward you. However, how much insulation depends on how thick the pad is. The "standard" thickness is about right for thermal insulation in 3-season conditions, though most people find them lacking in cushioning comfort. If you are camping on snow or ice, they are marginal to completely inadequate, even if you are in a -40° bag. Using two stacked together is generally adequate inside a tent, even on a glacier in Antarctica. The common usage on expeditions at altitude and in polar regions is to use an inflatable with a closed cell pad as a backup (inflatables have been known to develop leaks - it is always surprising to see the numbers of inflatables on expeditions with crampon holes in them - take the crampons off before getting into the tent!). I find the Z-Rest to be a little bit lighter and more compact for carrying than a rolled-up Ridgerest or blue foam.

On the boiling water Nalgenes - aside from the fact that boiling water in the old Nalgenes (before the BPA was removed) will leach the BPA into your drinking water more rapidly, this is really just the old hot water bottle in the bed thing that has been used for literally centuries - good for pre-warming the bed, but not for maintaining warmth. And it has been known for years that heaters like the boiling water bottle, chemical warmers, and the Zippo warmers need a towel or bandana wrapped around them to prevent serious burns. Just read the label on the handwarmers and Zippo heaters! (yeah, I know, "I don' need no stinkin' directions"). One problem with the chemical warmers that use activated carbon or iron, as well as the Zippo heaters is that they require oxygen to work. They tend to work poorly if at all in boots and gloves at high altitude, due to the lower oxygen content in the air (the half-way point in the atmosphere at mid-latitudes is 18,000 ft, so the O2 density is less than half that at sea level).

It does not take much practice for men to use the pee bottle inside the sleeping bag (do NOT make the mistake of using a ziplock bag - they tend to come open at the exact wrong time). Practice at home in the bathtub before trying it during a snow camp. And contrary to the comments above, women can and do learn how to use a pee bottle in the tent. I have been on extended expeditions with a number of women who have mastered the skill. Almost all use one of the purpose-made funnels. And yes, don't lose the heat - your body heated that fluid, so don't set the bottle out to drop to the outside temperature or freeze, since you may need to continue filling the bottle later in the night (although one of my climbing partners could fill a 1-liter bottle in one shot - he believed in staying fully hydrated, so he had to get up to empty the bottle in a corner of the entrance boot-pit.... hmmm, I suspect that Ed is one of the few on here who knows about boot-pits).

7:53 p.m. on February 26, 2013 (EST)
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High Peak makes sleeping bags that can zip together. In a real pinch or in emergencies, two people can zip in together, no have to necessarily spoon, and use body heat from 2 people to heat up the bags. They still maintain their hood and mummy bag benefits by preventing the heat from leaking out!

I usually do put a nalgene with boiling water in the sleeping bag, but only as a comfort, not as a necessity to keep warm because my bag is inadequate. 

Ed - why spoon? Why not just go back to back? I assume there may be benefits to the core area of your body and that area being warmer, but I'm not sure.

Also - if you pack lots of clothes into the bag with you, extra jackets, base layers, fleeces, etc - it acts as packing that holds the heat better as well. This can be easily demonstrated at home in your bed. Sleep with a couple of pillows at your side under the blankets and you'll notice that the pillows will trap much more heat than the side without.

7:34 a.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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BillS. said:

I suspect that Ed is one of the few on here who knows about boot-pits

Boot pits – know ‘em but we referred to them by more guttural descriptions…  Fortunately most of my high climbs have been on less traveled venues, so I have less experience dealing with "well used" shelters.

IClimb said:

why spoon?

About spooning. 

Double bags are nice for co-ed trips, but I prefer my own bag among men.  I have never experienced spacious accommodations on any high altitude trip.  The tents tend to be overcrowded with gear and such.  Back to back sleeping takes more space; it is just more roomy, hence comfortable, to synchronize your side sleeping to that of your tent mate(s).  Besides, back to back just warms the lower half of your back, whereas the spoon position creates a larger interface.  In any case, eventually you have to turn, and back to back becomes face to face, then you have to breathe your partner’s stale exhaust, often made worse by whisky, jerky and chew breath.  I find sharing a tent with back or belly sleepers in these conditions to be annoying, and I imagine they find likewise of us side sleepers, too, based on some of the elbow jabs I received over the years.  Some prefer the head to toe spoon, claiming it allows face to face and back to back positions as well, but I find it only works with tall/short climber pairings.

Stuffing bag with clothes.
I have seen several strategies pertaining to stuffing one’s bag with clothing.  Most tend to just wear layers inside the bag.  I prefer to strip down to the skin layer, and lay my gear down inside the bag as additional padding underneath, finding it provides more warmth beneath than at my sides.  The bonus is your clothes are preheated the next morning.  I also stuff my boot liners in a zip lock and bring those in the bag too.  And there is the fact that I have always owned a low temp bag.  Usually when feeling cold interfered with sleep, it was when the outside chill was very severe, and I went to bed hungry.  (Eating before bed time is the most effective trick to keeping warm.) 

Not being able to escape the cold though is a very claustrophobic feeling.  You feel the weight of the entire universe bearing down upon you, acting as a heat sink; the mountain drawing the warmth from your very soul, stealing away you life one breath at a time.  I tried doing some winter mountaineering Alaska, where I don’t think I ever felt warm.  Alas some of the sport boils down to the capacity for suffering.  You can only wear so much and eat so much, and hope the ice bath sessions toughened your skin enough to escape injury.  Exhaustion eventually overwhelms discomfort, and you get a few winks in between shivers.  Spooning in these conditions is actually something you look forward to.

Ed

10:15 a.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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On my last AT hike, I had a 30 degree bag, and temps were near zero many nights. I wore all of my clothing, including my rain layers. put my feet in a stuff sack, propped my feet up on my backpack, and made sure my body was warm (situps and a liter of hot cocoa) before turning in.  I'd typically wake up freezing and needing to pee around 3 AM, so I just started turning in around 6 and starting my day early!

11:21 a.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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Ed said:

You feel the weight of the entire universe bearing down upon you, acting as a heat sink; the mountain drawing the warmth from your very soul, stealing away you life one breath at a time.

That is exactly how I have felt during some of my longer winter trips. Especially at the end of the day when I stop and fatigue sets in and I start getting chilled. On the sea ice, I feel totally exposed and vulnerable so I am always conscious of the cold, with ambient air temperature as low as -50C or so. Often times I spark up the stove and get some hot food into me even before I set up my tent. I find it is the only way to replenish my reserves. But, ultimately, it is my sleeping bag that offers the most respite from the cold. I always use a VBL, so must strip down to my baselayers. Nothing damp ever goes into my sleeping bag! My clothes I usually stuff into a bag and use as a pillow, along with my boots. Everything comes into the tent in case it blows away over night or gets taken by curious wildlife, this includes my sled. This makes for a cozy fit even though I am travelling solo.

I have used the nalgene/hot water bottle technique, not so much to keep my bag warm, but to keep the water thawed in order to ease my morning preparations; it is awfully dark up here in the winter.

2:18 p.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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makes me glad I'm not a winter hiker anymore. I gave it up when it wasn't fun anymore. something about being cold took all the fun out of it. not to mention the added weight of all that extra gear. I'm a fair weather hiker now.

5:28 p.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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North1, I'm curious what tent you use for such extreme conditions.

6:59 p.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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Patman,

Thanks for asking. I have used several types of tents over the past few decades. Some of the deciding factors were cost and availability, but I would always try to get the best tent I could afford.

They ranged from a Eureka!, North Face VE24, Wild Country, and now a North Face Mountain tent purchased in the early 1990's. I also use a Bibler Eldorado for fast and light travels with only a back pack. There is no perfect tent for winter camping, IMO, as I have found faults, in varying amounts, with all of them. But then life isn't perfect either.

I also have some heavier canvas tents, tarps and bivy sacs; all designed for a specific purpose.

8:21 a.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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Trailjester said:

makes me glad I'm not a winter hiker anymore. I gave it up when it wasn't fun anymore. something about being cold took all the fun out of it. not to mention the added weight of all that extra gear. I'm a fair weather hiker now.

Well now, I can't resist making another one of my very occasional plugs for our web site about Norwegian huts:

http://www.norwayhut2hut.com/Home.html

Somehow a day in the cold and snow is a whole lot more fun when you know you've a got a nice warm place to return to or move into -- and when you don't have to carry a tent, cooking gear, or even a sleeping bag or food if you don't want to.

11:15 a.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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Patman said:

North1, I'm curious what tent you use for such extreme conditions.

Just to elaborate a bit on the subject of winter tents, some of the problems with every tent I have ever owned is the poles freezing together after a night or two. This can create quite a problem in the morning. Usually, I have to warm the pole sections over my stove in order to thaw the ice which inevitably forms within the ferrules.

The shock cord in the poles always freezes and refuses to spring back meaning you have excess cord hanging out of one end. Even with tents that have the "shock cord guaranteed to -40" are not immune to this. On my TNF VE24, I had to trim and rety all the shock cords before I could successfuly set up the tent. This took about an hour in the cold.

On every tent I have owned the fabric shrinks alarmingly in the cold making set up very difficult.

I have yet to find a tent fabric or design that adequitely breathes in extreme cold. This includes both single and double wall designs. Even with the doors wide open I have found the walls encased in ice at times.

Generally speaking, the stronger the tent the more poles are required, meaning a more complicated and time consuming set-up. The VE24 was a great and sturdy tent once pitched, but setting it up on my solo trips was often the epitome of frustration, taking at times over an hour to complete.

I have never found an adequite and long term solution to these problems, but have learned to except and work around them, mostly by having a suitabley robust sleeping bag in which I can pupate in regardless of my shelter.

My current, and probably last, choice in tents are the NF Mountain Tent and Bibler Eldorado.    

4:29 p.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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North 1, The avatar picture is stunning...

Is the Bibler Eldorado a Bibler made tent, or the new Black Diamond?

 

I read there were a few changes. I had seen Biblers in my past, but never the new Black Diamond brand yet.

 

My winter camps would be solo so far as packing weights are concerned. That fact pretty much puts out most of TNF brand anything but for the smallest 2 person 4 season tents.

 

By maybe this time next year I might like a 4 seasons tent i can pack, and still carry 10 days food supplies too. 

 

My play ground is the White Mts National Forest in NH which counts the Presidential Range. It can be a bit chilly here once in a while.

 

You might try zinc oxide as sun screen on the alloy pole sections, but I have no idea what you could do with the cord itself.

 

In my experience elastic objects grow larger in the cold. This can mess up gaskets in camera doors (film type) and make anything else become a rather poor fit. There isn't a lot i could tell you, that you don't already know. Oh, well except, my Mts are steeper than sea ice. (jk)

 

(post 3 trying to fit in)

4:39 p.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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Ben Cerise said:

Want to turn your 20° sleeping bag in to a 0° bag? Boil a liter of water, put it in a wide mouth water bottle that seals well and throw it in your bag. This really works well and you'll have water to cook with in the morning!

 I think there is rather a lot missing on this idea, which is to say it all depends on where one is located.

I have done the same thing many times with wide mouth nalgene bottles.

 Back in the day 'we' made 'instant crank', a combination of Tang and Tea(s).

We used boiling water, and after checking the cap seal was TIGHT placed the bottle in a clean spare dry wool boot sock.

Never the less in my location, that drink was ice slush by morning.

We also learned to check cap seals for leaking any time a cap was replaced on the bottle, and to store the bottles upside down.

It is some seriously frustrating to find a bit of liquid water in a bottle you gotta hammer the cap off with a ice axe.

8:02 p.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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Lodge Pole, the Eldorado is actually made by Black Diamond. As far as I can tell, it is the same as the single door version made by Bibler. I have used it often on the sea ice and it has held up fine in the cold and wind. The older I get the more I use the Eldorado, which, at 4.5 pounds is lighter than my 8 pound NF Mountain. It also sets up much quicker.

My avatar is of myself in 1996/1997 while crossing the Chuckchi Sea from Kotzebue to Point Hope to Uelen, Russia...and back to Wales, Alaska.

Thanks for your interest.

8:44 p.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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Todd Bibler worked for Black Diamond, and the tents were  (and are) made by BD. My Eldorado label says "Bibler". A year or so ago, BD dropped the Bibler label, but the tents are still the same. There is an "ultralight" version of the Eldo and a couple other Bibler tents as well.

8:57 p.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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Bill S, Thank you for the info. I believe Gregory has merged with BD as well. I am hoping quality remains high, in these times.

9:13 p.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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North 1,  I do hope you have a book. That avatar is just powerful.

10:44 p.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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BigRed said:

Well now, I can't resist making another one of my very occasional plugs for our web site about Norwegian huts:

http://www.norwayhut2hut.com/Home.html

Somehow a day in the cold and snow is a whole lot more fun when you know you've a got a nice warm place to return to or move into -- and when you don't have to carry a tent, cooking gear, or even a sleeping bag or food if you don't want to.

 The pages are nice BigRed, but the translation of mountain rule number four is not good. The norwegian text is " selv på korte turer" and you have translated it into " except on short tours". The only short tours I would agree to not have the necessary equipment is the tour to the outdoor toilet.

 

4:38 a.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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Thanks Otto, I'll fix that.

10:30 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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Peeing in a water bottle is fine I'm sure. Wouldn't want to cook oatmeal & jo in the morning with it! That does bring another good cold weather camping tip: if you have to pee, then PEE. If not in a water bottle, outside. Takes the body a lot of energy to heat that urine. The quicker you get rid of it, the warmer and better off you'll be.

If your soul purpose for the bottle in the bag trick is having water in the morning, don't bother. Just bery it in a foot or so of snow. Water won't freeze if insulated properly.

Anyone on here ever used a three season tent in the dead of winter, and wished they had a four season? Not me, however NW Montana is kind of a banana belt!

10:30 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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Peeing in a water bottle is fine I'm sure. Wouldn't want to cook oatmeal & jo in the morning with it! That does bring another good cold weather camping tip: if you have to pee, then PEE. If not in a water bottle, outside. Takes the body a lot of energy to heat that urine. The quicker you get rid of it, the warmer and better off you'll be.

If your soul purpose for the bottle in the bag trick is having water in the morning, don't bother. Just bery it in a foot or so of snow. Water won't freeze if insulated properly.

Anyone on here ever used a three season tent in the dead of winter, and wished they had a four season? Not me, however NW Montana is kind of a banana belt!

1:36 a.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

I used to spoon with my dog....haha!

 Wow, Trailspace has really changed!  lol :)

2:15 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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Funny bheiser1,

Amazing how "off topic" can get!

4:12 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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Sorry, Ben...

11:03 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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I have a pair of old 30 degree campmor down bags that were designed to be zipped together. this setup requires one bag to be an extra large. On my first winter hike I stuffed the smaller bag inside the larger one. It did not crush the loft and actually worked pretty well. I have a nice marmot Helium now and so I save weight and space but the campmors let me "upgrade" without buying new gear. This arrangement may be too tight a fit for a bigger person but for me I had plenty of room.

11:11 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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By the way, my winter hikes rarely get below 10 to 20 degrees. Any colder and I think that I would be way out of my league.

11:11 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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Seth said:

On my last AT hike, I had a 30 degree bag, and temps were near zero many nights. I wore all of my clothing, including my rain layers. put my feet in a stuff sack, propped my feet up on my backpack, and made sure my body was warm (situps and a liter of hot cocoa) before turning in.  I'd typically wake up freezing and needing to pee around 3 AM, so I just started turning in around 6 and starting my day early!

 Changing your schedule to suit the conditions in that way makes a lot of sense.

 

11:28 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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bheiser1 said:

trouthunter said:

I used to spoon with my dog....haha!

 Wow, Trailspace has really changed!  lol :)

 I don't know if anything has changed....lol

but the normal body temp for a canine is between 100F - 102.5F, this is a constant (ongoing throughout the night of course). I find it better than hot water bottles, hot beverages, or running around the tent before turning in, although I've done those and they do provide some benefit.

My dog weighed 126 lbs. and I weighed around 150 lbs., so the dog provided a sizeable thermal mass (yes...technically incorrect) relative to me.

I kept my dog clean & fluffy and there were many times I let him sleep on a Ridgerest pad right beside me.

Then sometimes my little furry heater wanted to sleep outside, maybe I'm the one who needed a bath....who knows?

 

 

12:02 p.m. on March 3, 2013 (EST)
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NO NEED TO BE SORRY!

Keeps it interesting! And quite educational.

12:16 p.m. on March 3, 2013 (EST)
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North,

Thanks for the thoughtful posts, and humility.  I will read most anything that you write.

For winter cold I like a fur hat, hot meal and drink before bed, and at least one large furry dog.  Wind protection really helps, and ventilation.  Vapor barriers are under-rated by most people.

5:09 p.m. on March 3, 2013 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

bheiser1 said:

trouthunter said:

I used to spoon with my dog....haha!

 Wow, Trailspace has really changed!  lol :)

 I don't know if anything has changed....lol

but the normal body temp for a canine is between 100F - 102.5F, this is a constant (ongoing throughout the night of course). I find it better than hot water bottles, hot beverages, or running around the tent before turning in, although I've done those and they do provide some benefit.

My dog weighed 126 lbs. and I weighed around 150 lbs., so the dog provided a sizeable thermal mass (yes...technically incorrect) relative to me.

I kept my dog clean & fluffy and there were many times I let him sleep on a Ridgerest pad right beside me.

Then sometimes my little furry heater wanted to sleep outside, maybe I'm the one who needed a bath....who knows?

 

 

 I knew sooner or later this would be explained.... it is a more modern world than i even imagined, but your dog is a relative to you. ;-)

April 20, 2014
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