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Cold weather camping

Discussion in 'Colorado' started by Dupey, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. Oct 13, 2021 at 9:27 PM
    #1
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    So I didn't get much camping done this summer and I was thinking about doing some cold weather camping. I've never done cold weather camping and a little nervous. Anyone on here do any winter camping? Any advice?
     
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  2. Oct 13, 2021 at 9:31 PM
    #2
    ThcAk

    ThcAk New Member

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    Tent or camper?
     
  3. Oct 13, 2021 at 9:47 PM
    #3
    Johnsonman

    Johnsonman New Member

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    Aim for a sleep bag 1-2 levels below the lowest temps predicted. I like to keep boots/shoes in sleep bag so they're toasty when I need them. But really cold weather is the best, I've camped from 20-105, its rough on the extremes no matter what. Luck.
     
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  4. Oct 13, 2021 at 9:47 PM
    #4
    joonbug

    joonbug bacon

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    Find a nice big smooth flat rock and heat it up next to the campfire. Wrap it up in a towel and take it to bed with you.
     
  5. Oct 13, 2021 at 9:51 PM
    #5
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    I was going to get a roof tent for my Tundra and put it on a bed rack.
     
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  6. Oct 13, 2021 at 9:52 PM
    #6
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    That sounds awesome!!!
     
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  7. Oct 13, 2021 at 10:02 PM
    #7
    ThcAk

    ThcAk New Member

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    Ahhh, can't help there. If you were tent camping on the ground I was going to suggest checking out a tent called Arctic oven. They are awesome tents for winter camping. Can't go wrong with one of them.
     
  8. Oct 13, 2021 at 10:07 PM
    #8
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    I've thought about both to be honest.... I like tent on the ground so I can use my vehicle without breaking camp but I'm really hoping to do more small one night trips and the truck tent would be good for that.
     
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  9. Oct 13, 2021 at 10:19 PM
    #9
    joonbug

    joonbug bacon

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    It is. If you don’t have a heater or an electric blanket it’s the next best thing. It literally takes like 15 mins to stop shivering going into a cold sleeping bag when it’s freezing. The hot rock completely eliminates that. Just make sure it’s not too hot and you don’t burn yourself or burn through your air mattress.

    I also throw some clothes in the bag at night. In the morning I just get dressed in the sleeping bag. Nothing sucks more than getting up in the freezing morning and putting on freezing cold clothes.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2021 at 10:51 PM
    #10
    ThcAk

    ThcAk New Member

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    Yeah, the Arctic oven isn't really designed for one night stands.lol
    they take a little bit to set up and get stove and pipe ready to light a fire. But it's sure nice being in your tent at below zero temps in a tee shirt.
     
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  11. Oct 14, 2021 at 6:03 AM
    #11
    myt1

    myt1 New Member

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    I use the below space heater. I don't sleep with it on, but I use it in the evenings before going to bed and in the morning.

    I works well in the back of my camper shell and in my 8X8 tent.

    I prefer the tent since I can stand up inside and sit in a camp chair as well.

    The above advice about getting a sleeping bag a couple of ratings greater than you think you will need is a good one. I usually end up sleeping in my sweatpants and sweat shirt.


    IMG_1473.jpg
     
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  12. Oct 15, 2021 at 6:52 PM
    #12
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    Have you tried the heater buddies? I guess they don't put off any carbon monoxide
     
  13. Oct 15, 2021 at 8:05 PM
    #13
    Sunnier

    Sunnier “DO it!”

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    + 1 hot rock

    + 1 Heater Buddy as alternative to hot rock,

    My best cold-weather hack: The first time I attended T2S my son and I were SO COLD at night— just not at all prepared for the difference between daytime and nighttime temps; we suffered all week and slept little. I vowed to buy 0° rated bags before doing it again. Since I do truck camping not backpacking, I was ok with bigger, heavier bags, which saved me a bunch of money compared to any of the lightweight high-tech gear. I got 2 Teton Sports sleeping bags, one size XXL with the zipper on the left, the other size XL with the zipper on the right. For couples, they can zip together side by side… more comfortable than pairing one over the other because they have a tiny bit of pillow fabric (for if you want to close it up around your head). For singles, as when my son and I camp, I got one is smaller to accommodate the smaller person in cold weather. And finally, when I camp alone in cold weather, I fit the XL inside the XXL, and am warm! I can’t stand feeling closed in— I hate mummy bags— so these roomy bags are bomb!
     
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  14. Oct 15, 2021 at 8:30 PM
    #14
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    I guess I didn't even think about cheaper bags because you don't need mummy bags!! Great idea.
     
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  15. Oct 15, 2021 at 8:33 PM
    #15
    Cpl_Punishment

    Cpl_Punishment Mother-Loving Member

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    At the end of the day, change into dry clothes so you're not cold overnight due to damp clothes.

    Either wear those same clothes the next day or put your clothes in the bottom of your sleeping bag so they're a bit warmer and you can get dressed without getting out of the bag.

    That's about all I can remember from Scout camp when I was a kid. :rofl:
     
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  16. Oct 15, 2021 at 8:35 PM
    #16
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    Did you get the -35 degree bags? I was just looking on their website.
     
  17. Oct 15, 2021 at 9:13 PM
    #17
    Sunnier

    Sunnier “DO it!”

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    No, but I would! I often use both bags. One rated -35° would be awesome!
     
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  18. Oct 15, 2021 at 9:29 PM
    #18
    dittothat

    dittothat New Member

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    A lot of people are doing diesel heater setups now. Cheap, efficient, safe and if you’re a warm sleeper you’ll most likely end up in just your gitch (they get that warm). Since you’re getting a RTT I’d say this makes the most sense since you could mount the heater outside on the rack as well and just run the heat pipe in.

    I’ve also seen some people use those zippo hand warmers and fashion up a pouch near their feet. Not sure how I feel about that one

    Or do as others have said and get a really solid bag.

    Good luck!
     
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  19. Oct 15, 2021 at 9:44 PM
    #19
    Booney

    Booney New Member

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    If you are going to sleep in the snow on the ground then move your tent everyday. When I slept on the ground the snow molded to my body that first night making it real uncomfortable the next night. If you are sleeping in that tent like you are talking about then put cardboard or some double sided plastic foil covered insulation under your bag. I personally like cardboard. Make sure your bag is the right size. Nothing like a bag that is too small to make for a real uncomfortable and cold night. Get a bag that is rated to the climate that you are going to be camping in. Don't pull the bag over your head and breathe into it. It won't warm you up. The moisture will build up, condense and make the bag colder. Get a bag that has a built in hood or wear a warm hat while you sleep. I used to do both at times. Be real careful with using anything that has flames as most outdoor gear burns like napalm. It sticks to the skin while it is burning and it burns fast. Don't wear the clothes that you have worn all day in your bag. Either strip down or put on dry clean clothes. I used to wear long silk underwear. Comfortable, warm and wicked the moisture away from my skin. Don't wear cotton socks. They trap moisture against the skin. I wear acrylic, or wool and sometimes I wore silk sock liners.
     
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  20. Oct 15, 2021 at 10:07 PM
    #20
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog New Member

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    This! There are tons out there, and as others have pointed out, if you're truck camping getting the smallest lightest (and hence most expensive) may not be necessary. Marmot's Never Summer 0 degree bag is fairly inexpensive (especially if REI has it on sale) and can still be a backpacking bag if you want.

    In any case, get warmer than you plan to experience. As one sales person explained it to me, something along the lines of: "If you have a 20 degree bag and it's 20 degrees outside, yeah, you won't die, but you might wish you had". Despite the naming conventions, those ratings are not necessarily "comfort" temperatures.

    Something that people haven't mentioned much, and it's camping 101 so apologies if it's obvious, but have good insulation between your bag and whatever you're sleeping on. I used backpacking mattresses (Thermarest) for a while, and that was... ok, but then I got a fairly thin memory foam mattress (3 inches...next one will be 4 inches) and that has been amazing. Much warmer, and at 30in wide, more comfortable.

    So much so that the next iteration of my sleeping solution will use a blanket or cheaper sleeping bag instead of the aforementioned mummy-style bag. That mattress just makes moving to a more normal bed situation make more sense, more comfortable.

    Not sure what your truck bed / shell situation is, but what I've found: tents, no matter how small, still have a lot of cold air blowing around. Rooftop tents are way up in the air, with cold air now blowing also under them. I've spent several nights in my camper shell, with the winter storm winds shaking my truck like a rag doll, to wake up and run into really miserable RTT owners. Long story short, I love sleeping in the camper shell for warmth, fewer drafts, no canvas flapping around, etc.

    In any case, the RTT or camper shell arrangement is just so nice because you don't have to find a flat comfy area for a tent - and then pitch / strike the tent in the cold.

    YES. Dry (merino wool) clothes to sleep in makes a massive difference. Then let your sleep clothes AND the inside of the sleeping bag dry / air out in the morning.

    Now, lemme know if anyone has a solution for having to pee at 2am when it's freezing cold outside. Am thinking one of these, but wife threatens divorce if I order one.

    I'm also curious about the diesel heaters - are there any that are small and cheap?
     
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  21. Oct 15, 2021 at 10:29 PM
    #21
    Terndrerrr

    Terndrerrr it's good to get lost once in a while

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    The warmest (and most expensive) sleeping bag I’ve ever slept in is my Feathered Friends 20ºF Hummingbird. It’s incredible. A simple, dry base layer (like polyester long john underwear) is all I need. If I think that’s not enough, I’ll put on some socks or a wool cap.

    The trick is to be to be warm enough but not to fall asleep too warm. You don’t want to wake up later sweating because that will make you cold and miserable.

    I’ve also had some good luck with cheaper off-brand down bags on Amazon. There’s a Thermodown 15º quilt by Paria that sleeps like a furnace. It doesn’t pack down to the size of a large can of soup like the FF, but it was also 1/3 the price.
     
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  22. Oct 16, 2021 at 6:16 AM
    #22
    myt1

    myt1 New Member

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    I'm just talking from my own personal experience, but I've had all sorts of issues with Heater Buddies.

    Mine would never stay lit, or it was all but impossible to light in the first place.

    It may have been related to me doing a fair amount of camping at higher elevations in Colorado, above 9000 feet, and that somehow threw off the sensors in the Heater Buddy.

    I also used mine in the back of my truck and even though I had windows vented I think maybe that wasn't enough for the sensors.

    The heater I mentioned above doesn't have any sensors. I don't sleep with it on and I'm very careful to always use it near a vented window.

    The Heater Buddy just gave me fits and I froze numerous times because I couldn't get it to work.
     
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  23. Oct 16, 2021 at 6:25 AM
    #23
    Cpl_Punishment

    Cpl_Punishment Mother-Loving Member

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    When we did backpacking trips in Scouts, I would put a thermarest under one of those little self inflating air mattresses for extra insulation. Just roll them both up together and strap them to the bottom or side of your pack.
     
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  24. Oct 16, 2021 at 9:02 AM
    #24
    Sunnier

    Sunnier “DO it!”

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    Get a bucket with a removable toilet seat lid… available at WalMart, Amazon, BassPro, etc. Place bags and gel inside. Toss them when you stop to put gas in the truck. This is NOT ecologically responsible… but neither are cat holes in the woods now that 7.319 bajillion people camp every place.

    I think you’re right, it’s the elevation (less oxygen). I use mine camping above Sedona… around 6500 elevation… and it can be a bit finicky to start, but always stays lit.

    I never leave it on to sleep. Too skeered.
     
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  25. Oct 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM
    #25
    Dupey

    Dupey [OP] I love chips and salsa!

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    Well this is definitely something I'll have to think about because my plan was red feather area and that's 10,000 ft I believe.
     
  26. Oct 16, 2021 at 12:20 PM
    #26
    Terndrerrr

    Terndrerrr it's good to get lost once in a while

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    Thermarests are awesome. They're comfortable enough, especially if you just hiked 10+ miles. There are inflatables for backpacking that claim better comfort than a Thermarest, but those typically have a poor R-value. I still have a classic Thermarest I bought out of high school about 20 years ago. My wife has a newer one. They're still making great stuff.
    It would nice if people actually dug proper holes and didn't just crap on the ground everywhere. Why does it seem that so many overlander and off-roader types do this???

    I appreciate backpacking more and more these days. There's a lot fewer people doing it, and those who do seem to understand "leave no trace" a LOT better.
     
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