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Notes from the Field: The Wintry Fringe Season in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Notes from the Field: The Wintry Fringe Season in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness on 02/12/2013 19:26:05 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Notes from the Field: The Wintry Fringe Season in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Cool Notes on 02/13/2013 05:52:52 MST Print View

I liked it, more "Notes from the Field" would be cool in the futre.

I'd been thinking about doubling my down quilt and synthic quilt and wondering how it would work. Glad to hear you like it. For comparison what insulation did you us in the synthetic quilt? Or to put it another way, how would you compare it to the old UL60 quilt (the 11 oz model).

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Notes from the Field: The Wintry Fringe Season in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness on 02/13/2013 06:33:52 MST Print View

Really liked the debrief. It was simple but elegent and informitve. I would love to see more of these as well. One thing I always like to read on the forum is a post trip gear critique. I don't often do this for shorter trips (I should) but on longer trips out west I always add post trip notes to my gear list for that trip.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Great article! on 02/13/2013 09:31:22 MST Print View


-No (breathable)bivy bivy sack?
You have used one in the past,and it would seem that using a quilt, under a tarp, in cold, wet and windy weather would be the perfect conditions for one. Why not? (I'm sure you thought about it!)

-There is ".. a waterproof layer that is breathable enough to be a wind shirt in cold conditions", it's called PARAMO!
And not just for the jacket, it might work even better for pants or gaiters.

-No shell gloves/mittens?

-No sleep socks/down socks etc? I would expect pretty damp socks by evening, hiking in those conditions.

Edited by Tjaard on 02/13/2013 13:02:21 MST.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Cuben fibre custom knickers on 02/13/2013 09:37:55 MST Print View

Could you provide further comment on these custom knickers? I find 3/4 length pants very useful in the shoulder seasons and until I read this article I hadn't considered this material/fabric.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Great article on 02/13/2013 09:50:19 MST Print View

I really enjoyed this, especially the photos and the commentary on going light in the winter. This is the kind of thing that keeps me coming back to BPL. Trip reports of UL techniques in challenging conditions have more value for me than a review of the latest piece of gear.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Flying diamond, square tarp in the cold on 02/13/2013 10:58:05 MST Print View

I have done a bit if early and late winter trips in a 9x9 square tarp and like in this expriment, I usually flew the flying diamond.

I also switched from time to time with the GG SPinnshleter and recently the MLD Patrol.

On average I found the square tarp colder at night, especially on the face.
The more enclosed shelters seemed to reduce convection cooling campared to the open tarp.

So my theory is that athough a square tarp has the fexibilty and the nice bedroom view, it actually made me want to carry more clothing and/or bedding and so my gear actually weighed more with the square tarp.

Of course, a square tarp pitched with a modified a-frame would be warmer especially if the open end was pitched with the front partially blocked by some kind of windbreak, bush, rock, ...

Edited by brooklynkayak on 02/13/2013 11:00:24 MST.

Thomas Rayl
(trayl) - MLife

Locale: SE Tx
Gear question on 02/13/2013 11:17:33 MST Print View

Do I read this right? You wrote this at 1:am? Wow!, Such dedication! You/ve probably covered this elsewhere, but if you're using an open shelter (tarp), what do you do for bug protection when the "biters" are about? Thx

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Notes from the Field: The Wintry Fringe Season in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness on 02/13/2013 12:02:43 MST Print View

Great trip report Ryan! I like how you are sourcing many items "off the shelf". Being creative and finding inexpensive solutions is a fun part of the choosing a gear list.

BPL member Nick Bobroff and I have completed two similar trips, one in Jan and one last weekend using a very similar ethos (ultralight summer kit, extended into "wintry" conditions).

Our most recent two trips have been 2-3 dayers with nighttime lows around 18* and snowfall of 3-5 inches during the trip on top of existing snow. Some of our findings:

Down booties are a perfect addition to a 20-30* quilt for mid-teens with wind and snow. Nick had the outers as well and allowed him more comfort around camp. Gotta get me some! My tyvek outers were a fail.

In addition to it's use as a balaclava, the inexpensive military coolmax Buffs are great to use over your nose and mouth when sleeping. It also keeps breath moisture off of your quilt collar.

1/4" CCF under a UL Synmat or XTherm is just right for keeping the ground cold at bay. I score my CCF accordion style every 11" so that it folds up nice in my pack.

Nick found that wet snow, ice and mud don't stick to the Adventure Medical Kits groundsheet like it does to a Polycryo, so it's easier to pack up. Plus it works as a signaling device.

A silnylon rain jacket at 4oz worn from the front and tucked around back, works fine will hiking (even uphill). Never even brought out the windshirt. So this is not a bad option that allows you to leave the windshirt behind - if the temps are cold enough.

The non-waterproof trail runner with goretex socks (thanks Will Rietveld) inside has proven itself time and time again as a reliable light solution. You can also use the goretex socks as semi-vapor barrier liners when sleeping to keep foot perspiration out of your down. (If you allow them to dry out a bit after hiking that is).

Bring an Hefty Jumbo 2.5 gal ziplock bag to put your shoes in so that you can put them under your legs when sleeping, that way when you awake your shoes won't be frozen solid.

I really liked this article and look forward to more like it. Had a very welcoming tone.


Randy Cain
(bagboy) - MLife

Locale: Palmdale, CA
Great stuff! on 02/13/2013 12:43:41 MST Print View

I find this type of write-up REALLY valuable! More! More! :)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Paramo on 02/13/2013 13:41:32 MST Print View

Great article Ryan,


I have been using Paramo since christmas and love it.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Paramo on 02/13/2013 13:50:16 MST Print View

Stephen - where do you get it?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Paramo on 02/13/2013 13:54:54 MST Print View

Hi Kathleen,

I bought it in the Uk when I was back on Christmas leave.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Additional "safety" items... on 02/13/2013 13:58:28 MST Print View

Very interesting article. The true "Fringe" element here, IMO, is being on the fringe of adequate shelter should a bad snowstorm have developed.

> Personally I'd have wanted a TT Notch with the "solid" ripstop interior as my shelter. That would be both a safety and luxury item for me. And it's farily aerodynamic so it can handle wind load as well as snow load, properly guyed out.

> I'd have added light WPB mittens and, as mentioned by Tjaard, thick "sleep socks" (can be used as mittens or spare socks in emergency)

>> BUT, the main thing I'd add would be thin, seam sealed diver's socks as my footwear VBL. These socks provide 1.) a great VBL to keep WPB footwear dry inside,
and 2.) excellent insulation, far beyond what their thin appearance would seem to offer.

P.S. Truly, I feel seam sealed neoprene diver's socks (worn with polypro liner sox) are such a great item that they warrant a "VBL Foorwear Gear Comparison" article. I'm obviously too biased to write it but Will Reitveld or Roger Caffin or Ryan "hisself" could do it - or maybe all three.

Edited by Danepacker on 02/13/2013 14:07:02 MST.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Notes from the Field on 02/13/2013 14:54:26 MST Print View

Thanks for a terrific article on my old stomping grounds! This past summer I was at the lake you mentioned as "one of the Anaconda - Pintlar's jewels". I sat on that very log pictured in the foreground...thanks for not mentioning the name. The Anacondas remain one of America's undiscovered wilderness areas, and the crowd that does go there make it only as far as Johnson Lake, so I don't hike into that area.

For the past few years I've been doing considerable winter camping using an extended ultralight kit. My shelter remains the same regardless of the season: a Gatewood cape. And I do similarly as you did for the sleep system by adding a Mont-bell thermal sheet and BPL insulated 60 pants to my summer bag. I also am an adherent to using a NeoAir, but add a thin CCF as someone has already mentioned. Add a MB ultralight vest to the MB UL down inner jacket, a Smartwool hoody and a few other bits and I'm good to go for just a few more pounds, around 20lbs as I recall! Hoping to get out to the Bob in the next week or two.

Happy Trails!

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Re: Paramo on 02/13/2013 17:43:12 MST Print View


I have ordered from Cioch Direct several times now,and it went very well. The last time they also made sure not to charge the VAT included in the listed price.
Cioch makes stock and custom sized garments with the Nikwax Analogy fabric (from Paramo).

The new womens jackets from Paramo themselves also seem very nice, including a more active fit(check out the video on the site).

Edited by Tjaard on 02/13/2013 17:47:40 MST.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Notes from the Field: The Wintry Fringe Season in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness on 02/13/2013 18:01:06 MST Print View

Thank you Ryan!

Very well-written and enjoyable. I really enjoyed this.


Craig Gulley
(cgulley) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Patagonia Hoody? on 02/13/2013 18:38:44 MST Print View

what is the Patagonia R0.5 Hoody? I know of only the R1 hoody as their lightest.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Patagonia Hoody? on 02/13/2013 18:54:17 MST Print View

He's probably referring to the new Cap4 Exp Wgt Hoody as R0.5.

Craig Gulley
(cgulley) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Patagonia Hoody? on 02/13/2013 18:57:41 MST Print View

Thanks- I have been emailing Patagonia for years to make just such a product, but I don't see it listed on their website