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Winter Backpacking Tips

From: Phil
Sent on: Friday, December 8, 2017 10:46 AM

1. Put a hot water bottle into your sleeping bag
2. Use a metallic car windshield sun screen as an insulating pad under your sleeping bag
3. Use a homemade aluminum foil wind screen around your cooking stove
4. Keep your clothing dry, this is an imperative!
5. Keep your down dry at all costs! This includes your coat and sleeping bag
6. Keep your socks dry
7. Don't put dry socks into wet boots, use a plastic bag such as a shopping bag, a bread loaf bag, or doggy poop bag to put over your dry socks.
8. Use chemical hand warmers, especially in your sleeping bag (Bass Pro Shop)
9. Layer up, thermals, shirts, sweaters, down jacket, wind/rain jacket on top
10. Really thick thermal bottoms
11. Stocking cap which will cover your entire face while sleeping
12. Warm up fuel can under coat before using
13. Keep water from freezing by covering with coat, etc. At night
14. Turn water bottles upside down at night so freezing will be at the 'bottom' of the bottle not around the spout/opening
15. Water bladder sip tubes will freeze
16. Hot tea, hot wine, hot water....good for drinking and staying warm before going to bed
17. Rain gear is a good wind break over your coats/pants to reduce 'wind chill effect' warm air removal
18. Add +20 degrees to whatever your bag says is its winter rating for true comfort range. If the bag is supposed to be a "15F" bag, you'll probably only be comfortable down to about 25F-35F
19. If your clothes are dry, it's ok to wear in your bag at night.
20. If you start getting cold in your bag, start putting on everything you own/brought with you.
21. A trash bag used for backpack inner rain protection can be a very good - and warm- vapor barrier liner for inside your sleeping bag, can add about 10F warmth (downside it retains a bit of moisture and feel clammy)
22. A gortex bivy sack over sleeping bag will add warmth
23. Pumping up your heart rate (pushups, brisk walking, etc.) Just before getting into your bag will help to generate that initial heat to start warming the bag.
24. If you toes start to get cold at first, when in your bag, make sure your core (chest area) and head are well covered, once your brain decides they are 'good to go' blood will be turned back on to your extremities and will warm up.
25. Do not skimp on warm gloves and stocking hat.
26. Coldest times will be just before you go to bed and getting up to get dressed and cook breakfast (mornings are usually the coldest times or just as cold)
27. If your stove flame is 'contained' like a jet boil, heat up a hot drink under you vestibule when you get up to help stoke the internal furnace.
28. Try to purchase an air mattress rated for winters. If you use your summer mattress, use something like a yoga pad to insulate between your bag and the mattress, not between the mattress and ground. You don't want super cooled air in the mattress to transfer the heat from your bag. Remember, you are compressing the down underneath you, making it worthless as an insulator.
29. Warmth is created by trapping dead air around your skin. You do this by insulating the areas around your body (layers, down), while preventing wind from chilling your outer surface (rain/wind jackets/pants)
30. Put some water in your pot before going to sleep if it's going to really freeze. Then you'll have ice already in your pot, ready for the stove. This helps if your water bottles are frozen.
31. Expect your water purifier to freeze, including filters and tubes. Keep it covered like your water bottles. Consider water purification tablets in winter (30 min wait time) https://www.rei.com/product/695229/katadyn-micropur-purification-tablets-package-of-30
32. a 'cozy', 'insulation pouch' is a good idea for helping your meals cook after hot water is added.



Mike Taylor
Ok:
Winter backpacking ideas

1. Bring those little glove/hand warmers and toss the down into your sleeping bag.
2. Don’t wear too many socks. It will actually cut off circulation and cause your feet to be colder.
3. Bring more clothes than you think you’ll need. They really aren’t that heavy and you’ll wish you had them!
4. Being in the cold burns calories.. eat snacks more often and stay hydrated.
5. Be extremely careful crossing snow bridges over streams... it could be your last!!! :0
6. Warm/hot water in a water bottle down in your sleeping bag makes for some toasty toes!
7. Don’t be too embarrassed to tell someone you are cold.. they may have some extra gear!

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