Winter Expedition Race Gear List
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Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/14/2006 09:47:42 MST Print View

>I have a Coleman Xtreme and was going to use that as my stove but many, many people told me it would not perform at really cold temps. I emailed Coleman and they said it would not be reliable at -20f.


Bummer. That's what I bought my Coleman Xtreme for! I can't figure out why it would have a problem, though, because the liquid point of propane and freezing point of butane are well below -20F. The liquid fuel should still come out of the jet and burn...

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: RE lighter on 11/14/2006 09:50:42 MST Print View

"Your sled and harness counts toward the poundage?"

Good question. I don't believe the web site specified that. I would be surprised if my load (minus the sled) will be 15 lbs or less though. But that's where all of your expertise comes in! I already have some good ideas to look into.

I wonder what my sled/harness contraption weighs? I'll weigh it tonight.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Don't forget the.. on 11/14/2006 10:16:13 MST Print View

GU! having a buddy that dated the receptionist, we got a few freebies and I can tell you it works. Skip the GORP.

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Don't forget the.. on 11/14/2006 10:20:28 MST Print View

My secret weapon for calories... salami. That stuff fuels my fire like nothing else!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: RE lighter on 11/14/2006 13:54:40 MST Print View

Paul, does the BD winter bivy have enough interior volume to house a -20F sleeping bag? I have heard it is volume limited esp if sleeping pads are inside.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/14/2006 14:09:08 MST Print View

>I have a Coleman Xtreme and was going to use that as my stove but many, many people told me it would not perform at really cold temps. I emailed Coleman and they said it would not be reliable at -20f.

There's a lot of confusion over canister stoves. The Xtreme is driven by the propane in the canister, and this boils at -40 F. So as long as you keep the canister sufficiently above this, it will work. But you may need to warm the canister while cooking - just a little radiation will do that.
Explosion hazard? Forget it! Just make sure you can touch the canister without your hand getting too hot. Your hand freezing onto the canister is a more likely hazard!

Check out the Feature article on selecting a winter stove at http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/selecting_stoves_for_cold_weather_part_1.html for more understanding.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: RE lighter on 11/14/2006 14:15:42 MST Print View

Ryan Jordan has some recent comments, in his new review, both on this bivy and on your question in particular in the "Reader Reviews" section.

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Re: RE lighter on 11/14/2006 15:26:02 MST Print View

"a minimum of 15 lbs. of gear (not including the sled, bike, skis, nor water)" OK, so the Arrowhead rules do state that the sled cannot be included in the total weight.

s e
(smilingbear) - F

Locale: Northern New York
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/15/2006 08:08:53 MST Print View

You must remember how propane works. The pressure in your tank/cylinder is directly related to the temperature of the propane. At 60F, the pressure is about 102psi, at 20F about 47psi and at -20F it is about 13.5psi. Propane at atmospheric pressure instantly goes to -44F and stops boiling hence no more vapor to build pressure. If you consume pressure faster than the propane boils, you will eventually fall below the regulator output pressure required to run the unit (about 10-14"wc or 1/2psi). This is why you see condensation or even frost on a propane tank/cylinder under a large useage load. Propane would be used for refrigeration if it was not so unstable and flamable.

What do you do when you need it to work? First thing is make sure the tank/cylinder is open to air and not in snow or insulated in anyway. The propane needs to be a higher temp than -44F to produce vapor pressure. DO NOT TRY TO HEAT A TANK/CYLINDER! PRESSURE BUILDS FAST (@100F, it is at 220psi) AND OPEN FLAME AROUND IT IS A BAD IDEA! THINK SAFELY PLEASE! My grandfather always told me that those that did not respect electricity were self eliminating problems. There are many many energy sources we can say the same thing about and propane is no different.

Try to decrease your consumption rate and if the unit stops functioning properly, the propane must find some safe warmth like the sun or just a break to warm up to the outdoor temp. Even if it is -20F, once the propane gets back up to -20F, it will have some pressure back in it.

Edited by smilingbear on 11/15/2006 08:16:54 MST.

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Winter Expedition Race Gear List on 11/15/2006 09:59:03 MST Print View

Weighed my pulk sled last night. Sled + poles + harness + cordage + connectors = 5lbs 3oz

I took pics too. Just need to develop them.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Re: Re: RE lighter on 11/15/2006 12:06:33 MST Print View

Yah, -20 bag could be too much. Having a smaller body and bag, and in warm Tahoe, sounds like I never hit those problems.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/19/2006 13:43:23 MST Print View

Ryan,
I completely agree with your list with the exception of 2 items.

1. If you already have an Event Overbag than why not have a down sleeping bag? It will save you a pound and a lot of room in the backpack. (Whoops doesn't have an Event Overbag).

2. I would rather use a full length Thinlite pad with a 3/8" toroso on top. Agian lighter and more compressible.

Besides, with a -20* bag and clothing, he will not be cold during a cat nap. Even if it is raining, I wouldn't think that the bag would not collect that much water from the rain or clothing to justify bringing a synthetic bag.

You could always throw in a 6 ounce single medical bivy to put inside the bag to keep too much moister from entering in the bag.

Alec-
Getting your weight down to 15 from 30# wouldn't be very difficult and would be a HUGE advantage to the speed you will be traveling. With greater speed, you will also need less food.

Edited by awsorensen on 11/20/2006 15:07:38 MST.

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/20/2006 09:23:51 MST Print View

Did some gear testing this weekend. Went for an overnight in the Snowy Range - got down to about 9 degrees (f) and snowed for about two hours; humidity overnight was fairly high, frosting everything.

Saturday I pulled my pulk in 2-8" of untracked snow on an old railroad bed (wearing snowshoes). Covered about 8.5 miles in 2:30. The sled was loaded with everything but my bag, bivy and food. Sunday I pulled the pulk with more weight (+bag) on a snowmobile trail that had not been groomed (loose, uneven) for 9.5 miles in 2:40.

Good:
*Pulk and harness system stayed together, no signs of breakage; pulled smoothly.
*XGK stove was a star at melting snow.
*Trillium base for the stove was very stable in the snow.
*NEOS Explorer overboots were nice to slip over my running shoes when I was in camp (warmed up quickly)
*Redfeather racing snowshoes were wonderful as always.

Bad:
*I need a lot more training!
*Gear was too heavy. Particularly the sleeping bag.
*Gear was too bulky for the pulk. Again, particularly the sleeping bag. It took up almost half of my space!
*NEOS Explorer overboots were bulky as well.
*Montrail Hardrocks got soaked and cold, Gore-tex socks collected lots of water within = cold feet
*Used 10oz of fuel (white gas) on a single overnighter (but I was melting snow for two people)

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/20/2006 11:28:54 MST Print View

1. I think you'd get by with a 0 degree F rated bag
2. OR Brooks ranger low overboots are half the weight for slipping in while stopped.
3. What about gortex montrails with gaiter

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/20/2006 12:06:22 MST Print View

"1. I think you'd get by with a 0 degree F rated bag"

Not an option. They require a -20 bag and check the tag during race checkin. I'd love to upgrade to a light -20 down bag (3.5 lbs max weight) but $500+ dollars probably will not happen this year. I feel like I'm stuck with what I have in the bag department - :(

"2. OR Brooks ranger low overboots are half the weight for slipping in while stopped."

This may be an option. I think I need something to keep my feet warmer while moving as well - maybe a pair of Crescent Moon neoprene overbooties. But will need other overboot while stopped as I'm guessing these neoprene booties will not be sufficiently warm when stopped with sweaty feet.

"3. What about gortex montrails with gaiter"

I was thinking about this over the weekend. The Montrail Susitna's ... I think ... may be the ticket.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/20/2006 12:32:29 MST Print View

A thermarest prolite 4 might reduce bulk considerably at the expense of about 6 ounces over the 15mm foam pad. Both 72" length.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/20/2006 12:43:52 MST Print View

I find the mandatory gear thing rididulous. It's like treating these racers as children -- I thought we had rendered the "10 Essentials" out of date by showing that backcountry skills are far more important than gear. This is an old mindset. 15 lbs is so arbitrary.

Regarding shoes, you'll really want to contact the good guys at 40 Below. For my C2C hike, and for a hike I'm planning in MN this January, I used/am using a 3mm-thick pair of overboots that are specifically designed to be used with snowshoes -- they have an integrated gaiter and a thin rubber sole, with the though being that your snowshoe provides the traction anyway. With the overboots you can use a standard running shoe.

I have not seen any discussion about vapor barrier liners, which I think are hugely critical in a situation where you will be sweating a lot. If in no other areas, I would at least have VBL gloves and socks.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter Adventure Racing on 11/20/2006 13:54:03 MST Print View

I agree that mandatory gear, especially weight is rediculous. However if that's the rule then you play the game and carry the most beneficial gear possible to 15lbs.

What about The North Face Tundra -20 deg sleeping bag? It's ~$250 and 3lbs 15oz in a regular. Do I think it's really as warm as a FF bag? Nope. Is it a lot lighter and probably warm enough? Yep. Especially with your other gear. Plus it has the all important "temp rating" that you need.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Winter Expedition Race Gear List on 11/20/2006 14:00:40 MST Print View

Andrew,

"Regarding shoes, you'll really want to contact the good guys at 40 Below. For my C2C hike, and for a hike I'm planning in MN this January, I used/am using a 3mm-thick pair of overboots that are specifically designed to be used with snowshoes -- they have an integrated gaiter and a thin rubber sole, with the though being that your snowshoe provides the traction anyway. With the overboots you can use a standard running shoe."

It sounds like you are talking about the new
"Flight System" from Kahtoola. If not you might want to take a look at them. I have a set on a short want list.




I agree about the VB items. Most folks don't know how to use VB items and give them a bad name.

RBH Designs have an ever growing list of VB items. Some are still being tested and are not on their web site yet.

Edited by bfornshell on 11/20/2006 14:02:51 MST.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Re: Winter Expedition Race Gear List on 11/20/2006 14:16:58 MST Print View

That Kahtoola system might work out fine for this trip. The snowshoes don't have much float so they would not be good for breaking trail or for when you need to carry a pack, but for the Arrowhead race they might be actually really good since that race takes place on a snowmobile track.