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Casey Burnett
(cburnett) - F

Locale: mountains
Learning winter UL on 12/09/2008 14:40:34 MST Print View

Hello,
How can I learn to transition to winter hiking and camping? I'm in central new york and looking to spend some time in Adirondacks as soon as possible.

any suggestions welcome.

experience. AT 04, ~1000 of pct 08.

initial uncertainties: water sources in winter, mileage in winter, sleeping in winter weather

casey

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: Learning winter UL on 12/09/2008 15:34:58 MST Print View

How can I learn to transition to winter hiking and camping? ...

initial uncertainties: water sources in winter, mileage in winter, sleeping in winter weather


water sources will require local knowledge. Here in MN it means packing a winter stove and fuel for melting snow.

mileage in winter varies with mode of travel and especially with the person. What kind of travel ... post holing? snowshoeing? skiing? other ??? I develop estimates for myself traveling in local open areas.

sleeping in winter ... I experiment with gear via backyard camping. Dealing with long hours of darkness (15-16 hours at latitude 45 right now) means being able to deal with the night time temps for several dark hours before going to bed. It's much easier in late Jan/Feb (longer daylight)

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Learning winter UL on 12/10/2008 17:13:20 MST Print View

"How can I learn to transition to winter hiking and camping? ..."

Buy a good sleeping bag. :)

Along with Jims advice, you could read some books, definitely look at gear lists from locals, or take a course.

An example of how I started...I probably spent a few months trolling for information and accumulating gear. Then one day, I just went to my local park and hiked in about 1 hour. Set up camp, ate some dinner, and went to bed. It droppped to -15*C that night and I survived.
It was that first trip that I found out upright canister stoves don't work very well in cold temps, and you need more pad then a ridgerest to stay warm. I also tried to melt snow in a giant black plastic bag (which didn't work) and had my boots frozen solid in the morning. I had a blast!

Afterwards, I looked up everything that went wrong and started dialing in my gear, piece by piece. Best piece of advice I was given...camp close to the car so you can bail at any time easily...whether it's your backyard or a car camp ground. Make sure you can get to heat if things don't work out.

Winter camping is more fun for me then summer. It's more challenging and their usually isn't anyone on the trails. It's also a slower time for me so I get to go more often. Once you try it, you'll love it.

Good luck!

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Learning winter UL on 12/10/2008 17:22:53 MST Print View

>>How can I learn to transition to winter hiking and camping? I'm in central new york and looking to spend some time in Adirondacks as soon as possible.

Try the ADK Winter Mountaineering School. Not ultralight, but you will learn techniques, with the Adirondacks as a classroom.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Winter NOT-So UL on 12/10/2008 18:16:45 MST Print View

Winter and the term ULTRA-LIGHT are hard to reconsile. Winter is beautiful and fun, but it's hard to truly go light.

And - Not to shamelessly self promote - But...book

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: Learning winter UL on 12/10/2008 18:25:49 MST Print View

had my boots frozen solid in the morning.

Picture me giggling (and my camping partner rolling in the snow laughing) ... I once thawed a frozen pair of Sorrel boots over a pot of bubbling oatmeal. Not a mistake I've repeated!

Jacques mara
(mindexpansion) - F
Re: Learning winter UL on 01/09/2009 00:10:28 MST Print View

I have been in alaska since 97 and would recomend layers with special attention to where your clothes interface each other. Gloves are a must but consider how your sleeve seals over or under them. Hats are good but hoods help interface head to torso better. Neck gater for face/neck. Tuck in and cinch up at the waste to reduce up drafts. How do pants interface to boots (don't want snow in there). Wool is your friend. More gear and worse conditions = less miles. Sweat is your enemy. Slow and steady. Sleep while you hike, hike while u sleep. Stopping means heat source or more insulation better just to keep going if you want light. Extra calories too. Careful with alcohol. You think you warm up but no.