Beginner's Backpacking Tutorial - Winter Edition

Want to start (or restart) camping and backpacking, but need a little help and guidance?  This is the meetup you want to attend!  In this rendition, we're focusing on how to stay warm and dry while camping and backpacking during the winter.  We will be covering both car camping and primitive backpacking scenarios.

First, why would you want to camp in winter anyways?  There's advantages, such as...
Deserted campgrounds!
No bugs!
No snakes!
No heatstroke!
Campfires!
No leaves on the trees to obstruct beautiful vistas!

In Texas, winter is (usually) a mild and enjoyable time to be outdoors.  Learn the dos and don'ts of backpacking and camping when the temperature drops.

The course will be broken up into 4 parts:

Winter First Aid
Your Camping Gear + Cold Weather
Clothing to Stay Warm & Dry
A Comfortable Night's Sleep

Here's a great primer for the course:  http://www.backpacking.net/wintertips.html 

We will be meeting near the pavilion at River Legacy Park, enter at the Green Oaks entrance.  This will be an outdoors event, so dress appropriately!

Bring an engineered butt-holder with you.  For some of you, that may refer to a folding chair, lawnchair, or a camping stool.

I'd love for some other experienced NTO-ers to come along and share their winter camping knowledge.  Any tips, tricks, and advice would be appreciated!

Dinner afterwards at Mama's Pizza:  1200 N Fielder Rd Arlington, TX 76012

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  • Scott

    Thank you Della, Win and Kib for all the input... Now lets go camping....

    1 · January 13, 2014

  • Win M.

    Group, at yesterday's meetup a comment was made about using honey while backpacking. See this link for differences between Raw and Processed honey characteristics:

    http://truththeory.com/2013/07/20/there-are-shocking-differences-between-raw-honey-and-the-processed-golden-honey-found-in-grocery-retailers/

    1 · January 13, 2014

  • Raymond

    great info i cant believe the changes in technology in 20years especially cooking.

    January 12, 2014

  • Elaine M.

    Great meetup! Learned some good tips-very informative. It helps to make better purchase decisions when other campers demonstrate their gear. Thanks Della and Kip for hosting this event.

    January 12, 2014

  • David

    Della and Scott were organized with many visual aids and demonstrations, nice work!

    January 12, 2014

  • Miranda

    Great meetup! Thanks Della and Scott. Learned a few more things today...!

    January 12, 2014

  • Bonnie H.

    Great! Lots of good information

    January 12, 2014

  • Jennifer B.

    My babysitter flaked out so no go for me. Just a thought, however, this is evidently a popular topic. Any thoughts to recording it?

    January 11, 2014

    • Kib R.

      And if you think you will be too late now, come anyways... There will still be a ton of information you could learn.

      January 12, 2014

    • Jennifer B.

      Thanks for the offer! But since the sitter canceled I offered to help out a friend with her 2 boys who is coming home from the hospital today with a foot infection.

      January 12, 2014

  • Della M.

    How to find us:
    Come in the river legacy park green oaks entrance. Continue straight and take the first left. (Follow the signs for the playgrounds)
    We are in the first parking area on the right (before the playground). [masked]

    1 · January 12, 2014

  • Purvee

    Is this today, Sunday? Seems some confusion so wanted to find out. If yes, we'd like to come out for this. Thanks.

    January 12, 2014

    • Ben K.

      Purvee yes it is. There was one also on Saturday. See you there.

      January 12, 2014

    • Purvee

      ahh.. great.. Thanks. See you in a bit in that case with my family. Thanks.

      January 12, 2014

  • Randall O.

    80+ interested in cold weather camping- my kind of people! I really hope I can make the Sunday event to meet you all.

    January 11, 2014

  • Lisa

    Dogs are sick

    January 11, 2014

  • Craig

    Is this a typo? Date changed from Saturday the 11th to Sunday the 12th? Please tell me this is a typo.

    January 5, 2014

    • Della M.

      Kib is now officially hosting a Saturday Beginner's Backpacking tutorial. http://www.meetup.com...­

      1 · January 9, 2014

    • Susan

      Kib did a great job! Very informative.

      2 · January 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope to make the next meetup. Would love to know more about winter camping. :)

    January 10, 2014

  • Aaron W.

    My email said saturday the 11th...this says sunday the 12th. which is it?

    January 5, 2014

    • Della M.

      Had to move it to the 12th. Sorry for the change in schedule.

      1 · January 8, 2014

    • Kib R.

      Aaron, there are now 2 of them, one on Saturday the 11th and one the following day the 12th. You can choose which one works best for your schedule.

      January 9, 2014

  • Roxanne

    Love the idea! Hope yall do it again closer in Dallas and others can go as well.

    January 9, 2014

  • Judy D.

    Going on Saturday instead.

    January 9, 2014

  • David

    Can Mama's Pizza handle a party of over 80? :) Looks like a nice crowd.

    January 6, 2014

    • Win M.

      Della, the shop will need a heads-up, or we will be sitting around an empty buffet!

      1 · January 9, 2014

    • Della M.

      Yep, I'm going to call them on Friday to make sure they have preparations for Sunday. They might have to thaw dough or get another order of produce, or call in the National Guard!

      1 · January 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I need this course, but can't make it on that day. Will there be another one coming up? Thanks.

    January 5, 2014

  • Susan

    Can't make Sunday, but will keep an eye out in case you resch back to Saturday

    January 6, 2014

  • Aaron W.

    I'm new to meet up and how messages send....are we still on for Sunday? Green oaks entrance?

    January 8, 2014

    • Win M.

      Aaron, Still on...probably rain or shine, if I know Della!

      January 8, 2014

    • Della M.

      Yes Sunday, the 12th. And it looks to be nice weather thankfully, so there's no need for the 'rain or shine' clause.

      January 9, 2014

  • Jason

    Just to be sure, you're talking the big covered picnic area out past the off road bike trails right? I didn't see a comment on this part and know some may not be familiar with it.

    January 8, 2014

    • Amber J.

      I'm picturing the big pavilion near the playground. Is that right? I'm shifting other plans and bribing my kids with pizza so we can make it on Sunday. Looking forward to it! Thanks, Della.

      January 8, 2014

    • Della M.

      Yeah, the pavilion near the playground.

      January 9, 2014

  • Kevin

    i am gonna try and make it to this event. Not 100% sure I can swing it so i'm not RSVP'ing yes just yet... I'll bring "stuff" if I make it...

    January 8, 2014

  • Craig

    I wold love to learn how some of you backpackers stay warm sleeping in a hammock during winter conditions. I had one while enlisted. Threw it our on my first deployment due to being a useless item and unnecessary weight. Thinking about another.

    1 · December 31, 2013

    • Jason

      I have a super warm blanket I put between the bag and hammock then lay on top of that. I'm working on making an under quilt.

      January 8, 2014

    • Craig

      I can't make the winter backpacking thing on Sunday. I'm sure I can gather enough on hand information from the hammock campers at the Mineral Wells trip. Would like to see an under quilt in person.

      January 8, 2014

  • Randall O.

    I've got a memorial service to attend. I'll be late but hopefully can find a seat.

    January 8, 2014

    • Win M.

      Randall, Bring your own seat!!!! ;>}}

      January 8, 2014

  • Ashley

    Oh no, I cant do Sunday either, helping my sis move. I'll see you guys next time though!

    January 8, 2014

  • Bonnie H.

    @Winn, How cool are those little survival kits. This past week end I was out with Girl Scouts learning new skills for backpacking. One of the things we did was learn survival in the backcountry for those unexpected nights in the woods. I will definatly pass these links on to them.

    January 6, 2014

  • Bonnie H.

    I will be there. Calendar changed to Sunday

    January 6, 2014

  • Win M.

    Group, check these two sites for an incredible set of emergency kits!!! http://www.instructables.com/id/Pill-Bottle-Survival-Kit/

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Altoids-Pocket-Survival-Kit/

    It is amazing what this guy has put together.

    2 · January 6, 2014

  • sandra

    So tired of staying indoors during the winter but I needed a little motivation to brave the outdoors on my own. Joining in with the group should be great! Hope this meeting isn't during the playoffs!!

    January 6, 2014

  • Kib R.

    I will bring my equipment/setup and help add much add I can.

    January 5, 2014

  • Dawn M.

    New to the group-looking forward to meeting you all!

    December 31, 2013

  • Wes

    Since joining this group, I've yet to attend any get-togethers, but this one sounds perfect for me.

    1 · December 30, 2013

  • Delfino T.

    looking forward to it

    December 31, 2013

  • Scott

    This meetup is turning out to be monster. I'm in so let me know if I can help in any way...

    1 · December 30, 2013

    • Della M.

      Electronic sentiment begging for assistance has been sent.

      1 · December 30, 2013

  • Della M.

    Bring an engineered butt-holder with you. For some of you, that may refer to a folding chair, lawnchair, or a camping stool. Sitting on the ground all afternoon is a lousy proposition.

    3 · December 30, 2013

  • Tennille J.

    Anything specific newbies should bring?

    December 29, 2013

    • Della M.

      If you have any camping gear already, bring it with you. Since there's no one right way to camp, lots of different examples are helpful. And bring a lawn chair.

      December 30, 2013

  • Erin W. T.

    :-)I'm new to Meetup and to this group, so a few questions - is this an event that requires payment? And do we have to RSVP 'yes' before we can ask qs?

    December 11, 2013

    • Della M.

      Yeah Win, I'd love to have more gear to do show and tell. There is no one right way to gear up for cold weather.

      1 · December 13, 2013

    • Ronda

      I feel a trip to Cabela's comin on! ;-)

      1 · December 20, 2013

  • Win M.

    Della, any word on a re-schedule of the White Elephant Party? I already had my gift wrapped when it got cancelled! :-{

    December 11, 2013

    • Della M.

      I had mine all wrapped up too. The person we need to bug is Mark. He wants to combine the White Elephant and a monthly social event. Since there's already one scheduled for January, it may not happen until February.

      December 11, 2013

  • Jason

    Well since its all women...
    I know knots. I was a merchant sailor for a couple years and it was required learning so I can contribute that.

    1 · December 9, 2013

    • Della M.

      Knots are awesome! Really comes in handy in the out-of-doors. I admire folks who have a knot for every situation.

      3 · December 9, 2013

    • Jason

      You'll have much more knowledge than I with that credential. Not sure I'd have much to offer you Bonnie. That was so long ago, I barely remember the names of the knots. I remember how to tie the most common ones.

      December 10, 2013

  • Craig

    Is this class put on by a NTO member, just getting together and sharing experience and knowledge, or by a "certified" paid instructor? And if attendance remains as it is now (only women) I don't know if my girlfriend will let me go. :(

    December 9, 2013

    • Della M.

      Women don't like to be cold, Craig! That's why this is hosted by a woman! But seriously, the class is hosted by myself, just a plain ol' NTO member. I'll lead and do a short little monologue on a topic, then ask the audience for tips, tricks, and experience, then move on to the next topic.

      Trying to coordinate a paid wilderness first aid class later in the year. It will probably run folks between $50 and $100 and have a max of 20 attendees.

      1 · December 9, 2013

    • Bonnie H.

      When you coordinate this class, you can count me in. Let me know the details when you get them.

      December 9, 2013

  • Susan

    Thanks for posting the winter camping site URL. Lot's of good information.

    December 9, 2013

  • Jason

    Ill have my little one with me too.

    1 · December 9, 2013

  • Win M.

    Craig, tell you girl friend that I'll go with you!

    3 · December 9, 2013

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