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coldest temperature you've experienced?
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Amy Bithiah
(plantedbystreams) - F
coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/05/2012 18:39:17 MST Print View

What is the coldest temperature you've experienced in your travels? Where were you?

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: coldest temperature you've experienced on 02/05/2012 18:45:55 MST Print View

24F below zero x-c skiing in Minneapolis in 1983. Somewhere between 15F and 20F below camping on the Northville-Lake Placid trail in the Adirondacks in 1974 or 1975.

Alex Joseph
(alxjalxj) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains grew up Lk Superior
Re: RE: coldest temperature you've experienced on 02/05/2012 19:03:00 MST Print View

-35F on my porch on Lake Superior while testing out my -18C sleeping bag, +10C overbag, gore-tex bivy bag and thermarest combination...and as long as I stripped down seemed to work quite well.

robert mckay
(rahstin) - F

Locale: The Great Land
BRRRRRRRRR on 02/05/2012 22:04:02 MST Print View

-25F with 30mph winds. Chugach Mountains. Overnight Backcountry ski trip last valentines day.
-35F. Minnesota. Growing up.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/05/2012 22:35:09 MST Print View

Welcome to BPL, Amy.

-22 F in urban cincinnati climbing trees at night as a lad

I never did again see that cold, even while mountaineering, but with windchill factoring in, it has felt colder at 17k in the middle east while around 0 and very windy.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/05/2012 23:16:47 MST Print View

3F above zero in New Mexico's Gila NF near the visitors center on a winter (short-range) backpack.

Add that it was an unexpected cold snap and my optimistically 25F sleeping bag didn't quite cut it even with all my clothes on, though I got a little sleep. (ed: add)

Edited by hknewman on 02/06/2012 07:26:49 MST.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Coldest on 02/06/2012 07:02:26 MST Print View

I was living out of my pack in the North Carolina mountains thru the 1980's and saw many cold subzero nights in my old North Face Tuolumne tent and NF Ibex down bag. These items saved my butt on many occasions. But the worst of all was the Arctic Outbreak of January 1985 when the temps at my locale dipped to -30F. That's cold, boys. It got to -24F in Knoxville. See link---

Edited by TipiWalter on 02/06/2012 07:02:58 MST.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/06/2012 07:16:50 MST Print View

Car camping at the base of the Sangre de Cristo range, CO, in December of 1974. It was -20*F, and I was fine, slept like a baby. The next night I solo-skied a couple of miles down from Molas Pass, had a fire outside the tent door, bulked up on calories and hit the sack. A few hours into the sleep, I woke up with stage 1 hypothermia, shivering uncontrollably. I managed to pound down a bunch more food, I quit shivering, and decided to try sleeping again, rather than ski back up to the pass at 3 AM. My thermometer indicated it had dropped to -36*F. I felt lucky to have stayed alive. That's when my friends first realized that I was pretty crazy.

The coldest ever was a full week at Christmas of 1968 in Montana, where the temps didn't get above -48*F. No camping or hiking during that spell, but everyone kept doing what they usually did around town. Lots of dead car batteries though, and sparrows died overnight while perched on the power lines.

(spelling edit)

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 02/06/2012 07:21:11 MST.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Coldest temperature on 02/06/2012 07:27:02 MST Print View

Absolute temperature, -40 F (which is also -40 C) skiing at Grand Targhee, Wyoming. It was so cold that any fog on my goggles froze immediately.

Camping, about -25 F in Yellowstone Park.

Felt the coldest, -20 F in Manhattan (New York City). My office was at the very southern tip of the island, exposed on three sides, and the walk from the subway stop to the office building, with winds whipping off the Hudson, was the coldest, most miserable five minutes I've ever spent.

Edited by richardglyon on 02/06/2012 07:33:58 MST.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Coldest Temperature on 02/06/2012 07:38:21 MST Print View

A very cold shoulder from Adrianna when the Northeast Snark I grew up with raised its ugly head. Some comment was invariably made more suited for the guys back home than for the more subtle charms of a woman raised in Central Europe.


Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Canada's NWT on 02/06/2012 07:51:50 MST Print View

-49C (I think that's around -55F) in Canada's Northwest Territories back in the 1980s. Definitely cold!

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/06/2012 08:26:56 MST Print View

You guys are animals. I think I'd shrivel up and die at -40.

I remember that crazy January 1985 that Walter mentioned. I never knew the exact temp, but I do remember it being brutally cold and a guy from Switzerland saying it was as cold as he'd ever felt (which made things seem even worse). I was in VA, 16 yrs old, and still have a scar on my shin from a sledding accident. Nothing major, but I couldn't get to a hospital for stitches since the roads were covered in ice. I've felt colder in much warmer temps, though. In particular, a spring day fishing in a t-shirt and shorts (I got caught in a cold rain and was wet from wading all day). It was the worst shiver-fest I've ever endured. I had a bad day hiking last winter too and it was probably high 30's F. I've been out in that weather so often that I didn't really think about it, but I got in pretty bad shape rather quickly. Not to discount anyone else's experiences, but I think that with the right gear, cold but dry temps might be easier to deal with than wet-cold. But I've never done -40.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/06/2012 08:43:18 MST Print View

-49C, Calgary, AB, January 2012.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Coldest on 02/06/2012 09:08:27 MST Print View

This question should be refined---what's the coldest you experienced on a backpacking/camping trip? And not just the coldest anywhere. Heck, I unloaded airplanes in Bagotville, Canada when in the USAF and it was -50F but I sure wasn't backpacking.

Edited by TipiWalter on 02/06/2012 09:10:07 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/06/2012 09:12:39 MST Print View

Amy what was the coldest temp. you experienced and where were you?what is your favorite camp/hiking spot and what tent or tarp do you use?

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
coldest temperature on 02/06/2012 09:16:33 MST Print View

-30F in the Catskills (NY) a couple times in 1960s and 1970s.
-20F frequently in the Catskills, 1960s and 1970s.
My parents lived there 1964 to 1978. In those days -30F happened once a winter, -20F several times a winter. It rarely gets that cold there anymore.
These didn't feel that bad because there was no wind.

What felt coldest:
Trying to get an Alfa Romeo started at -25F.
Keeping car windows open at below 0F because Alfa Romeo defrosters didn't work at those temperatures.
-15F to -5F for about 36 hours with winds consistently 40 to 50mph (Connecticut in late 1950s).
-12F with winds over 40 to 50 mph (north central Mass., couple of years ago).

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Coldest on 02/06/2012 09:52:22 MST Print View

-27f inside the tent during a ski touring trip in the Boundry Waters Canoe Area. This was at Sawbill Lake Jan 1975. Great trip but my brother and I thought we were going to die and be eaten by wolves.

That week long trip the temps never rose above 0f and the wind howled. We used the tent fly as a sail to cross frozen lakes and had a great time although it doesn't sound as appealing now.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/06/2012 11:18:33 MST Print View

-45 F, North Shore of Minnesota, out on a three day backpacking trip in January 2011.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/06/2012 11:42:01 MST Print View

Last years GGG at Henry Coe at 22 degrees with snow flurries off & on. LOL!!!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Coldest temperature you've experienced? on 02/06/2012 12:06:34 MST Print View

I hate cold and try to avoid it whenever possible. The way I look at it, if one lives in frigid climates, they should move to the southwest :)

Coldest I have ever backpacked in was 5F above Flagstaff one October, and 17F in Joshua Tree. Normally if the temp is predicted to go under 20F, I just go somewhere warmer. You can do that where I live, just go into the desert instead of the mountains.

This doesn't count, but the coldest place I have ever been was -100F. That was while sitting in the back seat of a F106B Delta Dart at 50,000 feet. It was extremely hot in the cockpit though :)