DC UL Backpacking Message Board UL Backpacking Basics and Beyond › Winter Backpacking, Part 1

Winter Backpacking, Part 1

A former member
Post #: 24
Yeah, I just used trail runners with thicker socks (Smartwool Hiking Socks), with Rocky Goretex socks, then I put my MLD Light Snow Gaiters over the top of all that. Kept me warm when moving with no problems (remember I have had some frostbite previously and am thus more susceptible). I know Evan and a few other people picked up these New Balance boots for winter use. They are apparently quite light and also have 200g of Primaloft synthetic insulation.

I've used my 40 below insulator with hot water down to the teens, certainly... I think I brought it along on the -10F day trip up in NH, but it was mostly stashed inside my pack... Given the temps we really didn't stop enough to eat/drink very often. I don't recall it being frozen or anything at the end of the day. But packs themselves insulate water quite well.
MikeVW
user 4876378
Washington, DC
Post #: 5
Fun note for those looking for insulated bottles; I got a Hydroflask 40 oz as a Christmas gift, and put it to the test for a couple of hours in my freezer at home. Amazingly, in one hour, the insulated bottle only gave up 3 degrees, whereas a comparable amount of water in a Nalgene lost 25. A second hour in, the Hydroflask only lost an additional three, so I'm optimistic about its ability to sustain that over the long haul. The downside, of course, is that the bottle weighs a pound, but I'm thinking the 18oz might be a nice luxury to have on a cold day!
Michael M.
mrmartin
Group Organizer
Alexandria, VA
Post #: 54
Cool!

Yes, I have a few winter items I'm going to order after 1/1.

Chief among them is a few hunnersdorf bottles, and a -40 bootie. Perhaps I should get myself a hydroflask. Could you link the one you're using?

MM
MikeVW
user 4876378
Washington, DC
Post #: 6
The Hunnersdorf bottles look compelling too; just picked up some mittens, and life is definitely clunkier with them. I'm thinking of going with this hydroflask eventually, although I might opt for the narrow enclosure to shave a few grams off and just keep it for hot liquids.

http://www.hydroflask...­
Michael M.
mrmartin
Group Organizer
Alexandria, VA
Post #: 58
Yes, I just did a little online post-Christmas shopping for some winter items where I had gaps.

From Oware, I ordered a bivy and a few compression and stuff sacks. (I want to see if I can sleep in a tarp and bivy in quite cold conditions. My 0 degree bag is just too big not to compress, as I usually do with my 3-season bag.)

From 40 Below, I ordered a Hunersdorf bottle and the insulating boot.

From Feather Friends, I ordered a pair of their booties. I'm giving the whole bootie concept another try. I end up carrying heavy sleep socks anyway, and the detachable shell is a winning idea.

Hopefully, these things will get here soon!

MM
A former member
Post #: 25
Yeah, like I mentioned in that initial post in this thread, I've brought my Hydroflask out in below freezing daytime highs. I was pretty happy with it. I got the 24oz bottle--fill it up with near boiling water (too hot and you can't drink it for quite awhile) in the morning, and it would last all winter's day... It would be tepid by the end, but certainly much better than frozen. There was some freezing up near the lid just from drinking on it and subsequent drips. I've had that Hydroflask out in single digit daytime highs, and would leave it in a pack side pocket. Other bottles I'd keep inside my pack and then refill the Hydroflask as needed.
Jen
jadach
Washington, DC
Post #: 2
One takeaway from the AFT trip was that I should pay attention to my sleeping pad. It is the Thermarest Pro-Lite, and I believe the r value is 2.2. With a 10 degree bag and a liner, I was fine at night -- although I could have been warmer. With a few more winter trips on my horizon, I've started to check out sleeping pad options (for example, the NeoAir which has a four-season version).

That being said, I also noted that I was fine at night with the bag and the liner. I tend to sleep cold, so I veer toward warmer items. But it may be that I can get away with a simple fix (adding a foam pad). Let me know if you have any recommendations, ideas, or general deep thoughts on sleeping pads.


A former member
Post #: 39
I'd try adding a foam pad first. The Thermarest RidgeRest is a popular lightweight option, and is supposed to boost warmth more than a cheap blue closed cell foam pad.
Evan K. M.
user 74728082
Washington, DC
Post #: 1
Ideally, you want to have an R value around 5 when sleeping on snow or below freezing ground. Why not just grab an Xtherm and not worry about the extreme bulk of extra pads? http://cascadedesigns...­
Brian
bh23
Silver Spring, MD
Post #: 2
Xtherms or other insulated air pads are expensive. Adding a closed cell foam pad to an already owned Thermarest is less costly and works just as well for lots of people. I've done so for over a decade. Yes you add some bulk, but not so much if the pad is used as part of the pack frame, and if you're strapping it to the outside of the pack who cares about the bulk. Plus you also get the advantage of having some insulation that is guaranteed not to fail. If the Xtherm springs a leak it's going to be a miserable night.

If you don't want or need to go with a full length closed cell mat, a $21 Gossamer Gear Nightlight torso pad with the Thermarest would bring the total torso R-Value to 4.5 and only add about 4.5 oz.

The necessary R-value for comfort is pretty individual. A rule of thumb I've read somewhere online was an R-value of 1 around 50*-60* (depending on if you sleep warm or cold), and then add +1 R-value for every 10* drop in temp.

All that being said, I've become beguiled by the air mattress hoopla and just picked up the Exped Downmat UL 7 and Synmat UL 7, both at a pretty good sale price. I like the lengthwise baffles much better than the crosswise baffles of the Neoairs. Probably a little excessive for me, but my new pack doesn't quite allow for convenient strapping of a pad outside the pack so a it gave me an excuse for new gear. Between the pack's ccf back-pad and a sit-pad, I still have some fail-proof insulation if needed.
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