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Wyatt Holm
02-23-2009, 2:30 PM
Well you must think I am crazy. Last week we went hiking, we wanted to hike and camp in the snow. There wasn't much left but when we got on the mountain there was several feet. We started out hiking about 9:00 P.M. in the dark. We were nearly to the top at 1130, and we had our camp set up a little after 1:00. We packed good tents and sleeping bags, so we slept quite warm.

Rod Sheridan
02-23-2009, 2:42 PM
Hi Wyatt, I've always enjoyed winter camping, having the correct gear is the difference between enjoyment and misery.


Regards, Rod.

glenn bradley
02-23-2009, 3:18 PM
I also enjoy snow hiking/camping. Others think we're a bit off, eh? Fortunately around here you can go visit the snow and leave when you're done ;-)

Heather Thompson
02-23-2009, 4:01 PM
Two thumbs up!

No biting bugs, few neighbors (if any), good clean air and pleanty of serenity. I wish all camping was like this, I hate the 250,000.00+ motorhome crowd, spent New Years in the Okefenokee Swamp. I have never seen it take three park rangers to assist a "camper" in positioning the rig, they fired up the generator at 7:30AM, guess they needed to watch the satellite dish. Thank goodness they left about a half hour later, only took the wife to guide hubby out of the site, took two passes as I cooked breakfast on the campfire (I must be barbaric in the apprroach to camping). I like the Neander approach to camping, I have pictures of my parents digging a hole in the ground to keep the food cold, yes we fought animals to keep our food, bears too (a pan and spoon can do alot). My baths took place in a bucket, great pictures, and no you will not see! I also fished in the minnow bucket when my dad wanted to do serious fishing, he always caught hell when he came in from the boat (he built it). Some of my best memories, tried to give my son some of the same, we camped at Lake Ellery (11,000+ feet), tossed ice at him from the water bucket in the AM :D. My ex did not allow me to take him to higher levels, would have liked to have him learn to climb in Yosemite Park's great wallls, there is nothing better!

I Digress,




Heather

David G Baker
02-23-2009, 4:28 PM
I have read that some of the best camping can be done in snow country when snow is on the ground if you know how to do it. I have never done it as a civilian but did a lot of it when I was stationed in Germany while in the Army. Proper gear is a priority.

Rich Engelhardt
02-24-2009, 6:48 AM
Hello,
Yep - add me to the list!
Layered clothes, good knit hat and temps in the mid 20's w/several inches of snow on the ground = a good time.
No bugs and/or other creepy crawlies that fall into the stew pot :p.

Joe Chritz
02-24-2009, 8:01 AM
I've been known to get up after sleeping in the back of a truck and rinsing my waders in the river to thaw them out so it doesn't seem to weird to me.

I always figured if I can't carry it on my back or on a trail horse it really isn't camping per se.

It does open up a lot of new areas that the camper crowd can't get to.

A friend of mine is an avid hiker and has a sign on his wall. "If you have the time, isn't everywhere walking distance?"

I don't have winter gear for all four so we are waiting or spring to do a tandem horseback ride/overnight camp again.

Joe

Glen Dion
02-24-2009, 8:16 AM
A winter hiker\camper also.
Wife and I usualy try to hike something and camp a night or two at or around the tree line. Up in the Northeast I particularly like the "Bonds" for winter camping. Once you've hauled everything up - set up camp and bag a summit or two the next day.
Be vigilant about drinking - winter hiking in snow country can be deceivingly dry.

Great way to get high- literally speaking.
Glen

Mike Henderson
02-24-2009, 10:57 AM
Yeah, used to snow camp in the Sierra's when I was younger. Proper equipment is a real requirement, as well as knowledge.

There's a few little things that can "get you", even when you think you know what you're doing. For example, hike up, set up camp for the night, sleep. Wake up next morning and go hiking, cross small stream. Come back in the afternoon but can't get back because small stream has turned into a torrent. Sun on the mountains has melted snow. Have to wait till next morning to get back across the stream.

Mike

Wyatt Holm
02-25-2009, 3:44 PM
Well its good that I am not the only one who likes it. I noticed no bugs, that is the thing I like the best about it. And I don't have the problem of getting to hot like I do in the summer. Last July we went camping, and one night was so hot it was almost unbearable.

Lee Schierer
02-25-2009, 4:10 PM
I went snow camping in the Black Hills when I was a teenager with the Boy Scout troop from the Air Force base where my Dad was stationed. We left Friday afternoon after school and set up camp. As we got there it started to snow. In the morning we had 6" on the ground by mid afternoon it was a foot, by Saturday night we were pulling snow off the tents to keep them from collapsing. Sunday morning we woke to nearly 24" of snow on the ground and it was still snowing hard. During breakfast we heard a loud roaring noise coming our way up the road. The base commander was in the bus behind the Air Force snow blower that had opened the road. He suggested that we leave right away, so we packed up and left since the forecast was for another 12" of snow by nightfall.

Jon Grider
02-26-2009, 5:50 PM
Cool, lots of kindred spirits here that enjoy winter camping/hiking as well as woodworking. I love snow shoeing/ winter camping....no crowds, no bugs,lots of areas accessible in winter that are too wet in warm months. Anyone else here a member on Backpacker.com too? Hope I didn't break a rule by mentioning that,but it's a great site for info and commaraderie,as long as you steer clear of the political forums.

John Schreiber
02-26-2009, 6:45 PM
Better a little snow than mud and mosquitoes.

There's not much camping around here and it's full of motor homes and noise when it's warm. I can't hike anymore due to knees, but I should get out there some how. One thing I always liked about going solo in the winter was that you knew that you had to be careful. You couldn't afford to hurt yourself or make bad decisions.

Even if it's only car camping, I should get out and watch the stars move.

Eric DeSilva
02-26-2009, 6:58 PM
Y'all are nuts. I spent a lot of time sleeping out in the cold in my ice climbing days, but can't really say I enjoyed it. -10F is no fun, even in a winter mountaineering bag rated at -45F on a nice fat pad. I think those ratings represent the temperature below which you will die, not the temperature at which you will be comfortable...

I'll be the one in the hotel with the 12 year old Macallan in my hand...

Wyatt Holm
02-27-2009, 7:03 PM
Y'all are nuts. I spent a lot of time sleeping out in the cold in my ice climbing days, but can't really say I enjoyed it. -10F is no fun, even in a winter mountaineering bag rated at -45F on a nice fat pad. I think those ratings represent the temperature below which you will die, not the temperature at which you will be comfortable...

I'll be the one in the hotel with the 12 year old Macallan in my hand...

Get over it. This is supposed to be a positive discussion about snow camping.

Eric DeSilva
02-28-2009, 12:58 AM
Get over it. This is supposed to be a positive discussion about snow camping.

And here I thought the opening quote of the thread--"[w]ell, you must think I'm crazy"--was a nice lead in to my "you must be nuts."

You should really switch to Sanka or something.

Wyatt Holm
03-02-2009, 5:08 PM
Hey,I was trying to be sarcastic there. Its okay. If you have done ice climbing then you must be quite adventurous. Good to hear from you anyway.

Eric DeSilva
03-03-2009, 12:10 PM
Hey,I was trying to be sarcastic there. Its okay. If you have done ice climbing then you must be quite adventurous. Good to hear from you anyway.

Its worse than that, I'm afraid--I actually started mountaineering when I was 12 years old in the Alps. They make it very easy there to get into winter sports, and the views are pretty stunning. The only downside is getting up at 4AM to summit before the snowpack becomes unstable.

In the vein of positive comments... I do actually agree with you that sleeping in the cold does something to your metabolism that feels like a more restful night of sleep. I think it actually is supposed to extend your life, but that is probably hearsay.

If you aren't an experienced winter camper with good gear though, keep an eye on the weather predictions. Sleeping in the 20Fs and 30Fs is fairly comfy. Below that, you should really know the winter temperature rating of your sleeping bag, you will need a good insulating pad, and you should learn about vapor and moisture transport. Uncomfortable can turn into hypothermia real fast...

Wyatt Holm
03-05-2009, 1:28 AM
I have a sleeping bag rated for 20 degrees. I also used a Cabelas version of a Therma-rest pad. The only thing that was at all cold was my feet. On the way up, my shoes had Gore-tex so my feet did not get cold hiking.

Aaron Berk
03-05-2009, 1:40 AM
Its the city slickers whom I think are a bit nuts.
I've spent many a night sleeping in the snow in military shelter halves with my brother just for the fun of it.
Now that I'm married with kids we're just waiting for the right opportunity to jump off the grid and out into the wild blue yonder.
I grew up in Ione WA (98 mi NE of Spokane) which is a stones toss from Canada and we had some serious winters there. Loved every minute of it.

Ken Fitzgerald
03-05-2009, 1:44 AM
Elk hunting here.....we did a lot of winter hiking and camping. We drove into camp.....hunted on foot...used horses and mules to pack the elk out. Out camp consisted of wall tents with woods stoves. We used cots and 3 inch foam pads. We even heated water and took showers daily outside....tarp wrapped around a tree for privacy.

Several times we got snowed out early. Here we had a 30 day season ending in November. We camped at an elevation of 7,000'. A couple of years when we already had 20" of snow on the ground...we took turns driving to the main road hourly during the night to keep the road from drifting shut and the next morning we broke camp and got out. Two days later friends couldn't get within 6 miles of our camp.

I had hypothermia twice while elk hunting. After that I learned to wear polypropolene long underwear that wicked the sweat away from my body....layers of wool....topped with gortex.......and when I left camp...if I wasn't shivering a bit...I had too much on. The main trick was not to get overheated in the cold while climbing those steep mountains. Your own sweat can be a major cause of hypothermia.

Glenn Clabo
03-05-2009, 8:52 AM
I solo'd the entire Virginia section, 550 miles, of the Appalachian Trail in the mid 80's in the fall/winter. It was the perfect time of year...few day hikers...no bugs...snakes and bears were napping.

Joel Earl
03-05-2009, 5:07 PM
Do it several times every year and love it. Nothing like the sound of a howling wolf when it's -30 and the very thought of having to go to the "outdoor snow white biffy" striking in the dead of the night when the windchills are more like -40 and better ...... aaah, that be kinda refreshing. Just do it fast. :D

Was up in the Boundary Waters 3 years back and a heavy snow storm coupled with 5 days of nasty winds made it impossible to pack out. The snowdrifts had the tent looking igloo like - admit that one was scary as we had no food nor heat source left at the end. Longest 14 hour hike I ever made - some stuff we had to leave behind since we had no strength to haul it out. 2 weeks later we did go back in search of it but we didn't find it. Wind took it???

It's a blast tho - you and Mother doing some battle of wits. :)

Bob Genovesi
03-07-2009, 8:14 AM
I don't think you're crazy at all. When I was in my 20's and 30's I used to winter camp all the time....

Be Prepared....

Scott Schwake
03-12-2009, 11:08 AM
Another fan here, try to get out at least once a year, generally to the Boundary Waters. We build quinzees when there's enough snow, quite a bit warmer than a tent.