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ideas for cold weather camping
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Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
ideas for cold weather camping on 12/31/2010 00:11:18 MST Print View

I am going to be using my 20 degree kelty lightyear xp (synthetic) for a winter camping trip that i expect to be seeing 10-15 degree temps at night, possibly single digits.

to help keep me warm, im using my new western mountaineering hotsack, and i have several pads to use (old ridgerest reg, old z-lite reg, new ridgerest solar reg, newish neoair short).

I will be wearing midweight thermals, and i have a down jacket i could use (older rei antifreeze parka in good shape), but im afraid it will get wet if i use it within the hotsack, and i will need it during the day.

I also have a bivy sack and a tent i can use. i was originally wanting to build myself a quinzhee (what i normally do in the winter, which is why i've never needed a bag that warmer than 20 degrees), but this trip i won't have time to build them, so i will be sleeping out in the open. i've only slept one night in it that was in the open in single digits, and i was very cold that night, although bearable, and i would like to avoid that happening again. that night i had just the bag, in a tent, with only the neoair and my old z-light, and light thermals.

right now, im thinking i'll use the two ridgerests with the neoair on top, the hotsack, thermals w/hat, and use the bivy sack. Does this seem like a system that should keep me warm to single digits, or should i just rent a warmer bag or add something to the system? i wont be hiking in very far, so im not really worried about weight or bulk, just keeping myself comfy.

Im going the the ouray ice festival, so it'll be in sw colorado in the san juans

-Ted

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
jacket on 12/31/2010 01:53:44 MST Print View

ted ... you can put the down jacket on top of the sleeping bag or inside it between the vbl and the bag

as long as your bag is somewhat accurately rated ... i think youll be fine ... the question is, is it accurately rated? ... if it was my 19F en-rated cats meow i wouldnt have an issue

weight is no issue ... use it all

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/31/2010 01:56:05 MST.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
thanks on 12/31/2010 13:03:54 MST Print View

there isn't an en rating, but according to the website, my kelty has 31 oz of climasheild xp insulation, where your cats meow has 27 oz of climasheild prism insulation.

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
RE: ideas for cold weather camping on 12/31/2010 13:48:08 MST Print View

I have a down 25f Kelty Lightyear that I like a lot. But for me it's more realistically about a 35f degree bag. In my opinion, you may be OK down to the expected 15 degrees but worry you won't have anything left in reserve for the unexpected 0 or -5 degrees. That being an alpine valley with cold air flowing down from the adjacent high peaks. A 45f summer quilt would add another 20 degrees to your system. But the budget choice if weight/bulk is not a big problem would be to pickup or borrow an elcheapo synthetic rectangular 45f bag, stuff your pads and Lightyear in it, leave the bivy and hold the VBL in reserve.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
bags on 12/31/2010 16:19:00 MST Print View

ted ... id be fine down to 10F in a similar situation with my bag and clothes ... but as david said lower than expected temps could be an issue ... which belay jacket are you using?

assuming yr driving there you can always put an extra fleece clothes in the car .. ... or this could be time to buy a summer quilt/bag

for the true alpine experience spooning is always an option ;)

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Winter Pursuits on 12/31/2010 17:35:22 MST Print View

Yes and Eric brings forth an important point. By all means, a supplemental bag that would zip together with your existing bag or nest, if necessary, should cover all eventualities.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
summer bag on 12/31/2010 17:56:57 MST Print View

I have two summer bags, an old kelty down lightyear +45, and a newish golite down adrinaline +40, but they are both half zip mummy bags. i could probably see how the adrenaline fits within my 20 degree bag. I probably have a really old rectangular bag at my parents place from when i was a kid, and if i can find it, i could use that too.

my belay jacket is an older rei antifreeze parka

I don't think spooning will be an option this trip, although im hoping to bump into a couple single girls with a hotel room that like to party :P

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Aldrenaline on 12/31/2010 20:42:38 MST Print View

Ted .... Just bring yr aldrenaline and use the down bag inside yr synth one .... You dont need to zip up the inner bag if ita easier .... With your vbl and jacket ... I gurantee youll be fine

Well unless u get kidnapped by ski bunnies in which casr i demand a full trip report with pics =P

if you need to dry out the dampness out of yr jacket at night just put it between the down bag and synth bag

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/31/2010 20:45:36 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Sell the VBL bag on 01/06/2011 22:44:56 MST Print View

Sell your VBL bag and get a light nylon rainsuit with sealed seams. Wear it over very light polypropelene long johns. Polypro sheds ice best. You can remove the long johns and let them freze and then beat out the frozen perspiration before packing it away in the morning.

A VBL suit is more versatile B/C it can let you add insulating clothing without getting it damp as it would inside a VBL bag. PLUS, in bitter cold a VBL suit keeps your insulating clothing MUCH warmer during the day.

And at the minimum VBL socks are virtually a must for footwear for overnight treks. I carry a clean pair of the thin white poly sock liners for each morning.

Keeping insulation dry is the Holy Grail of winter camping.

. ..
(dgowler)
Col weather camping on 02/17/2011 11:18:46 MST Print View

I agree with Eric. Your 40 degree summer bag over a 20 degree bag is quite effective. I took a MEC synthetic overbag rated at 60 degrees, slid my z lite and MHW lamina 20 inside of that and put it all on a regular neoair, groundsheet and about six inches of packed snow. I slept in light thermal top and bottom with a medium weight top and bottom over that and a belaclava. This kept me very warm and I was suprised to find the temp dropped to -18F. I also cheated a bit by packing a set of foot warmer pads and by filling my nalgene canteen with boiling water and slipping that into my bag about 30 mins before bed.

The biggest mistake I made was filling my 500 ml flask right full of whiskey and living by the creed "it's easier to drink it than carry it" it helped me fall asleep but getting up to pee 4 or 5 times let's a lot of heat out.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
thanks on 02/21/2011 22:42:39 MST Print View

I think i've found a pretty nice set up for winter camping. slipping my summer bag inside of my 20 degree bag, with my silk liner on the inside mostly to keep the bag clean, but its suppose to add warmth too. using my thermarest solar reg on bottom and my small neoair on top, i've been very comfortable. also, my feet have been toasty using my double boot liners. I also have been very happy with my new integral design vapor liner socks, using rei expedition socks on the outside of the vapor liners, and injinji wool quarter socks on the inside of the vapor liners.

Although if i can save up some money by next winter, i think i'll just get myself a cheap truck and with a shell on the bed. thats the ultimate winter camping setup. I'm also thinking that i might see if i can find a deal on an ICEBOX :D