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Winter List: wet cold condtions
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Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Winter List: wet cold conditions on 12/14/2011 00:41:45 MST Print View

Location: Dolly Sods Wilderness or Roaring Plains Wilderness, West Virginia
Dates: anytime December-March
Conditions: winter, cold-wet, snow depth > 24" likely, daytime temps above 20F (-6.7C)
Average high temp: 34F (1C)
Average low temp: 14F (-10C)
Winds: > 50 mph possible
Terrain: rounded mountains (US Appalachians), open plateaus
Elevation: 2600-4100 ft (805-1130 meters)
Vegetation: varies from temperate hardwood forest to conifer forest to subarctic tundra
Sometimes solo, sometimes with a group
Special hazards: live bombs

List (it's in my profile)

Criticisms, suggestions, comments, and even mildly helpful or amusing snide remarks welcome.

Edited by AndyF on 12/14/2011 00:49:14 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Winter List: wet cold conditions on 12/14/2011 02:03:25 MST Print View

If you are going into wet/cold conditions with a wood stove, you should be skilled enough to get a fire going with just a ferro rod by splitting kindling and making feathersticks/shavings. Learn how to take down a small tree, cross baton to make a weak spot, and break in between to trees to get manageable pieces to split. Also, look into any good natural tinders that would be in the area. The mora is a good choice. I would convex the edge a little just in case you have to use it hard.
Don't limit yourself to just the stove either, a little open fire is great for drying out gear.
If you find blowdown conifers, try and take off the bows. Either break them off my hand or baton them off with your knife. Make a thick mattress of bows and put your tent on top of that. You will be much warmer.

Ken Strayer
(TheRambler) - F
Re: "Winter List: wet cold condtions" on 12/14/2011 04:30:39 MST Print View

Ok, here's my take.

Map-2oz? that seems like alot of map. Can you not take just the sections you need?
Backup compass- ditch
Soft shell pants- Have you hiked in these? seems a softshell pant would be wayyyy too hot IMO.
Button lights- ditch these, you already have a headlamp
Backup sunglasses-ditch
Repair kit-not sure whats in yours, but also saw your carrying cut up floss. IMO a roll of floss and a sewing needle is the best repair kit ever, and cleans your teeth and drains blisters.

Are you definitely melting snow for water? if so you will want the 2 liter pot, if not bring the heiny. You could even ditch the steripen if your melting snow.

I would recommend bringing your 0F bag in winter regardless.

Wood Stoves- Have you used this is wet/winter weather? I have, and it can be challenging at times especially if your trying to melt snow for water. Just be ready to gather tinder early and keep it in your pockets while hiking to dry it out if needed. Splitting/batoning finger width pieces with your knife will help alot. I use the bushcooker lt 1 year round except for the heart of winter, then I bring my XGK

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
thanks on 12/14/2011 09:06:00 MST Print View

@Justin: great tips. You know your bushcraft well.

@Ken: good ideas, thanks.
-The 2 oz map weight might be a little high, but it accounts for the detailed maps and sometimes route descriptions I might print for the areas with sketchy trails or for bushwhacking.

-The small lights, backup compass and backup sunglasses total around 0.5 oz and don't add any perceived clutter, so they're worth the weight to me.

-Good idea on the floss. Repair kit contains needle, thread, unwaxed floss, duct tape, tyvek tape, cable ties, downmat patches, superglue, few other things

-I don't really need to melt snow, as there are plenty of flowing creeks and streams. It's one of those fun, enjoyable elements of winter camping which I enjoy doing at least once on a winter trip, especially the first of the season. If I ditched the Steripen, I'd carry more water.

-I've used the stove on one trip which was mildly damp, but I've also done many fires in wet and snowy conditions. I might just ditch the stove and use an open fire, as prepping the wood for the stove is sometimes more work than building a small cooking fire because it has to be cut to relatively precise lengths. I like the idea of not carrying a stove at all.

More thoughts:
I'm starting to think about using just a bivy bag more. Waking up to cold rain in my face while sleeping in my duct-taped trash bag bivy is a very pleasant memory from my teens...

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Soft shell pants on 12/14/2011 09:44:28 MST Print View

Forgot to comment about the soft shell pants...

These are Marmot's lightest soft shell pants. They're so comfortable that I wish I could use them in warmer weather. I dayhiked 7 miles in them in steep hills with a moderate wind at 57F with a 15 lb pack. I was slightly warm, but not uncomfortable. If it weren't for the wind, I would have been too hot. I'll put the midweight base layer on under them for around camp or colder/windier hiking.

Edited by AndyF on 12/14/2011 09:46:42 MST.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Spare hand wear? on 12/14/2011 10:13:52 MST Print View

I also hike in wet/cold and windy conditions.
Spare gloves/mitts are always with me, as it is too easy to get one pair soaked.
My usual winter hand system is Rab Baltoro gloves, and Extremities Tuff Bags in case the precipitation changes from snow to rain. I carry a pair of Buffalo Mitts as a spare. For 'really' cold conditions. i'll carry BPL (RBH) Vapour Mitts.
An industrial accident meant i had the end of a thumb sewn back on. The nerves were damaged, and if i allow it to become cold, it's agony.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Spare hand wear? on 12/20/2011 11:09:57 MST Print View

Thanks Mike. On the list, I have a pair of light fleece gloves carried/worn, and a pair of insulated (40g) Manzella WPB gloves. I'll probably end up wearing these mostly around camp, but a rain or wet snow and wind would have me wearing them while hiking. (And they'll probably be wet inside from perspiration.) If the temps around camp at night are likely to be below 10F (-12C), I'll likely bring warm mittens too.

Last year, I did a 2 day trip with a low of 15F (-9C), but the temps around camp were generally around 20F. I never wore more than some light wool liner gloves. I wish my toes were as easy and as quick to warm up as my hands!