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  1. #51
    Member iohan.gue's Avatar
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    great tips, thank you all.
    I will try the plastic bag over the sock liners, wouldn't that result in wet feet though? Or does the moisture escape?

    doing a 135k one way ride tomorrow with camping outside to see how things go.

    Also for your tips on the camera and batteries: You put them on everytime you shoot? Mine has 4AA batteries and that seems like a big hassle. Is having the whole camera in my inner pocket a good idea? (its not that big)
    www.bikewanderer.com

  2. #52
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Actually you put the vapor barrier layer on first, next to the skin.

    Its the perspiration that would cool you , and so the idea is to not perspire [by not letting it escape]

    and the vapor if not stopped, wets your insulation layers and so they lose effectiveness.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-14-13 at 12:32 PM.

  3. #53
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    Interesting. I hadn't heard of not being able to melt snow. I do agree it doesn't give much liquid on the end, unless you are in an environment, eastern midwest US that generally has a lot of heavy, wet snow. There you would get quite a bit more water out of snow.

    I agree with you totally on not planning on taking water with you. Whenever I head out to do a winter century ride or even shorter rides I take an empty water bottle with me and it always leaves anywhere empty. I drink while I'm there and make sure to empty the bottle out before I leave. Not only does it save weight on the ride but it prevents the frozen water effect as well. The only trouble with doing that can be unplanned on dehydration effects. I finally come to realize last winter, thanks to a posting here on the forum what one of my problems had been. I knew it only happened on long ride and only during the winter months. Someone asked a question about giddiness he was experiencing. Someone made mention of dehydration, even though he was only riding 5-10 miles to work. I thought about what was being said and the light bulb went off. You may think you can't get dehydrated during the winter months but it's probably even easier to get dehydrated during the winter months than it is during the summer months...simply because you think it can't happen and as a result you don't drink enough to keep yourself hydrated.
    The snow won't melt if the temperature is below freezing ... unless you heat it. But heating it involves stopping in temps below freezing and getting your stove going, and filling the pot with snow, melting it, filling the pot with snow, melting it, filling the pot with snow, melting it ... and repeat until you've got a bottle worth of water to drink.

    Meanwhile, you're cold from sitting there waiting for your snow to melt.

    The only way your snow is going to melt in the bottle is if the temperature rises above freezing, and perhaps if you put the bottle in a black sock to take advantage of any sun there might be.

    And yes, dehydration can be a big issue in the winter too. Our bodies need water no matter what the temperature, and we still sweat in winter. It can be quite challenging getting the layers right in winter especially when you're out there all day.

    I'd be tempted to go with soup and a tall glass of water in a café at lunch if I were touring in winter to ensure that I was hydrated ... and if the soup has salt, it would also keep my electrolytes up.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by iohan.gue View Post
    Also for your tips on the camera and batteries: You put them on everytime you shoot? Mine has 4AA batteries and that seems like a big hassle. Is having the whole camera in my inner pocket a good idea? (its not that big)
    Admittedly you are talking camera batteries but one thing I have had happened to me several times when heading home after dark is for a snap discharge. I have the battery inside, in the warm environment, and then I take it outside and turn on the front or taillight. The taillight isn't as bad as the nickel metal hydride light is. I had one night back in January I left the library with a full charge on the battery for the headlight. I rode 5 minutes and the battery was dead. I knew something was screwy. I come to finally figure out by taking the battery from a warm environment into a cold environment and then turning it on to use it right away causes a fast discharge of the battery. I have much longer AAA battery life if I leave the light on the bike versus in the pack that I bring into the library with me. Anymore I always make sure to let the battery be out in the elements for a nice lengthy period of time before I try to use and I have no fast discharge occur anymore. The more you can leave the battery exposed to the cold the longer the battery life. At least that's what I have seen over the past couple of years.

    Sweat, perspiration, whatever you call is also known as 'evaporative cooling'. It's not meant to keep you warm it's designed to cool the body down. Your best bet is to avoid sweat, perspiring, whatever you want to call it, in the first place. I can only imagine what you are going to think when you go to take the plastic bags off your feet at night and the cold air hits your wet feet. Sorry I'll take chilly feet while on the bike and instead I'll try my darnedest to keep the dry.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by iohan.gue View Post
    Also for your tips on the camera and batteries: You put them on everytime you shoot? Mine has 4AA batteries and that seems like a big hassle. Is having the whole camera in my inner pocket a good idea? (its not that big)
    Assuming it is colder outside than in your inner pocket, and assuming your inner pocket has air that has high relative humidity, you could get condensation on the camera by taking it from cold outside to semi-warm semi-moist inner pocket. Do it a few times and the worst that would likely happen is a foggy lens, but more often could result in some excess moisture getting into the innards. It might be a hassle, but putting the camera in a plastic bag and then putting that in your inner pocket could keep the condensation outside of the plastic, protecting the camera. It would not have to be air tight or water tight, just enough to reduce air flow. Assuming it is a small point and shoot, even a sandwich sized bag should suffice.

    I quite frankly do not know what the best cold weather batteries are. Perhaps Lithium (the disposable, not rechargeable) batteries? You might want to do some internet searches.

    I have seen some cameras stop working on disposable batteries but my GPS battery level indicator said that the batteries still had 80 percent life left in them. I think the rapid drain to charge the flash capacitor was the issue.
    So, you might want to manually disable the flash if your camera has such a setting. I always leave the flash disabled on my cameras when I travel unless I specifically want it on for evening shots.

  6. #56
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    Admittedly you are talking camera batteries but one thing I have had happened to me several times when heading home after dark is for a snap discharge. I have the battery inside, in the warm environment, and then I take it outside and turn on the front or taillight. The taillight isn't as bad as the nickel metal hydride light is. I had one night back in January I left the library with a full charge on the battery for the headlight. I rode 5 minutes and the battery was dead. I knew something was screwy. I come to finally figure out by taking the battery from a warm environment into a cold environment and then turning it on to use it right away causes a fast discharge of the battery. I have much longer AAA battery life if I leave the light on the bike versus in the pack that I bring into the library with me. Anymore I always make sure to let the battery be out in the elements for a nice lengthy period of time before I try to use and I have no fast discharge occur anymore. The more you can leave the battery exposed to the cold the longer the battery life. At least that's what I have seen over the past couple of years.

    Sweat, perspiration, whatever you call is also known as 'evaporative cooling'. It's not meant to keep you warm it's designed to cool the body down. Your best bet is to avoid sweat, perspiring, whatever you want to call it, in the first place. I can only imagine what you are going to think when you go to take the plastic bags off your feet at night and the cold air hits your wet feet. Sorry I'll take chilly feet while on the bike and instead I'll try my darnedest to keep the dry.
    I bike commute every day, and have never experienced what you call fast discharge. I go from 72 degrees to below freezing all the time with no noticeable effect, compared to warmer days. Maybe your batteries are at the end of their life, and don't hold a charge.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    I bike commute every day, and have never experienced what you call fast discharge. I go from 72 degrees to below freezing all the time with no noticeable effect, compared to warmer days. Maybe your batteries are at the end of their life, and don't hold a charge.
    I don't notice it as much with AAA batteries in the taillight but I do notice they don't have the same battery life. When it comes to the NiMH batteries I really notice it. I'm not sure if lithium batteries hold up better or not. I had it happen to m twice last winter with the NiMH battery. I had originally used it, with the shock to it, ad got around 2 hours of run time off the battery. After I charged it up and took it immediately into the cold environment it lasted 5 minutes and was dead. I recharged it and had the same thing happen again. Since then I've had no trouble. Then again, since then I make sure to always take it into the temperature I'm going to be using it 10-15 minutes before I ever go to use it. I let it get acclimated before I use it and it still runs 1.5-2 hours easily on a recharge. Like I said the AAA don't drop dead fast but the shock does shorten the battery life. Even in something as simple as a flashing taillight. Two years ago I would go through taillight batteries once a month or quicker. Now I go through them, maybe once a winter. I keep the light mounted on the bike versus keeping it in the pack that I take inside with me. The bike always stays outside. YMMV, but I thought I would mention it as a precautionary measure.

  8. #58
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Maybe lithium batteries handle the temperature differences better.

  9. #59
    djb
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    Nimh rechargeables can get flakey sometimes, due to diff factors, their age, how they are charged, the charger, if they have been charged after fully discharge or not etc, or simply cuz they are getting to the end of their cycle life. Years using these for photo use has shown me this, and I have experienced sudden drops like you say, but not due to temps, just because they are getting flakey. Cold temp changes do not "make" batteries do weird stuff, cold temps make batteries perform less, a good battery will lose power over time as it cools, but a bad battery can and will do weird sudden drops like yoiu describe, the cold in your case is just a factor in bringing the battery down in charge.
    Ive seen laptop batteries do this as well-again, not cold related, but they can show a full charge and then go down out of the blue.
    Pro camera batteries do this also, so when batteries start doing this, they should be marked as suspect and get new rechargeables. New ones that are properly charged will not do be affected like you describe, in fact a good battery is just going to hold a charge longer in the cold than a suspect one, just as a new alkaline battery will hold a charge inthe cold longer than a weak alkaline.

    re chargers, to make your nimh batteries last longer, the use of a charger that takes longer to charge and put less heat into the battery as it charges (1 hr ones are the worst in this regard) will result in your batteries lasting longer, and performing better over their life.
    Youcould also have one or more of the nimh's in your group in your light that are flakey , this can cause weird behaviour too when 1 or 2 of 4 go down quickly.

    your theory of leaving a battery in the cold doesnt make sense, a battery always has more charge at warmer temps, so you are always better off with it being warmer to begin with, it means it will hold whatever charge it can for longer. If it starts out at -5c all day before use, its already at a disadvantage compared to a room temp battery that will gradually cool down with exposure to cold temps.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    Nimh rechargeables can get flakey sometimes, due to diff factors, their age, how they are charged, the charger, if they have been charged after fully discharge or not etc, or simply cuz they are getting to the end of their cycle life. Years using these for photo use has shown me this, and I have experienced sudden drops like you say, but not due to temps, just because they are getting flakey. Cold temp changes do not "make" batteries do weird stuff, cold temps make batteries perform less, a good battery will lose power over time as it cools, but a bad battery can and will do weird sudden drops like yoiu describe, the cold in your case is just a factor in bringing the battery down in charge.
    Ive seen laptop batteries do this as well-again, not cold related, but they can show a full charge and then go down out of the blue.
    Pro camera batteries do this also, so when batteries start doing this, they should be marked as suspect and get new rechargeables. New ones that are properly charged will not do be affected like you describe, in fact a good battery is just going to hold a charge longer in the cold than a suspect one, just as a new alkaline battery will hold a charge inthe cold longer than a weak alkaline.

    re chargers, to make your nimh batteries last longer, the use of a charger that takes longer to charge and put less heat into the battery as it charges (1 hr ones are the worst in this regard) will result in your batteries lasting longer, and performing better over their life.
    Youcould also have one or more of the nimh's in your group in your light that are flakey , this can cause weird behaviour too when 1 or 2 of 4 go down quickly.

    your theory of leaving a battery in the cold doesnt make sense, a battery always has more charge at warmer temps, so you are always better off with it being warmer to begin with, it means it will hold whatever charge it can for longer. If it starts out at -5c all day before use, its already at a disadvantage compared to a room temp battery that will gradually cool down with exposure to cold temps.
    Can't comment about the cold, but for most tasks I use the regular NiMH rechargeables. But for cameras I use Eneloops. They work much better in my DSLR than the regular ones. At my niece's wedding I could not remember how much I had used my batteries, so I switched to fresh Eneloops 10 minutes before the ceremony to make sure I did not have an untimely low battery. Maybe an hour later the professional photographer told me that the restaurant had inadvertantly taken her spare batteries, she could no longer power her flash. I loaned her the Eneloops that I had used before the ceremony and they just kept going and going and going and going.

    My NiMH charger is an Accupower IQ-328. Very happy with this charger. Default setting charges at 200ma. Each cell is a separate charging circuit, unlike some chargers that need a pair of batteries for one circuit.

  11. #61
    djb
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    Thanks for that recommendation. Did some quick searches and found some good reviews of it. Especially like that each battery can be checked and charged at diff rates individually.
    Cheers

  12. #62
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    there is so much poor to bad advice in this thread it boggles the mind. I don't want to get into flame wars so I'm not going to drone on correcting the huge variety of mistaken advice I've read, instead I'll sum up my thoughts with the idea that anyone planning on any form of winter camping is wise to ask for advice, but their entry into winter camping should never be an actual multi-day trip. By the time you are planning on going out for several days on your own you should no longer need advice. You should know your bag works at any possible temperature range you're going to encounter. You should already have experienced any storm conditions you're likely -or unlikely- to encounter. You should already know your batteries and backups are sufficient and your clothing works 100%. You should already have repaired a flat tire in the coldest temps you'll be riding in and done it while it's snowing and blowing at 30mph. You should have done all this and more, preferably with an experienced companion or in a series of baby steps on your own. If you don't do all that...if you just take off on your own with the intention of doing a week of winter camping based on forum advice I don't expect you'll die, but the odds of having a fun, relaxing experience are on some asymptotic curve approaching zero. I do wish you the best of luck regardless of whether you head out with adequate personal experience or not because you may be exception to the rule. Best of luck and hope you have a blast regardless of my concerns. Congrats on the attempt !
    Alaskans for global warming.

  13. #63
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digibud View Post
    there is so much poor to bad advice in this thread it boggles the mind. I don't want to get into flame wars so I'm not going to drone on correcting the huge variety of mistaken advice I've read, instead I'll sum up my thoughts with the idea that anyone planning on any form of winter camping is wise to ask for advice, but their entry into winter camping should never be an actual multi-day trip.

    By the time you are planning on going out for several days on your own you should no longer need advice.

    You should know your bag works at any possible temperature range you're going to encounter. You should already have experienced any storm conditions you're likely -or unlikely- to encounter. You should already know your batteries and backups are sufficient and your clothing works 100%. You should already have repaired a flat tire in the coldest temps you'll be riding in and done it while it's snowing and blowing at 30mph. You should have done all this and more, preferably with an experienced companion or in a series of baby steps on your own. If you don't do all that...if you just take off on your own with the intention of doing a week of winter camping based on forum advice I don't expect you'll die, but the odds of having a fun, relaxing experience are on some asymptotic curve approaching zero.

    I do wish you the best of luck regardless of whether you head out with adequate personal experience or not because you may be exception to the rule. Best of luck and hope you have a blast regardless of my concerns. Congrats on the attempt !
    +1

    This is the sort of thing I've been saying.

    It's one thing to go out for a week in the middle of summer without much experience ... but it is a whole different story to go out in the middle of winter.

    In the middle of winter, when there can be ice, snow, blizzards, even just a strong wind and drifting snow, 30-40 km can seem like a very, very long distance, and it can be very difficult to cover that sort of distance.

    I've done winter rides where I was off my bicycle and pushing it through drifts every 100 metres or so. Over 30-40 km that can get old very quickly.

    I've done a ride at the end of winter where the prediction was for a relatively nice sunny day but instead a weather system moved in and the temperature dropped, the wind picked up, and my bottles froze solid, and I suddenly found myself in a situation where, if anything went wrong with the bicycle, I'd be in trouble. I did that once. Never again. And when I got into that situation I was "only" about 30 km from where I'd parked the car ... but it took a long time to get back there, and I was quite miserable by the time I did. Thank goodness there was no precipitation (snow, freezing rain) ...

    I've done a lot of winter cycling, but I'd want to do a whole lot more experimentation with the touring side of things (carrying panniers, camping, etc.) from the comfort of being quite close to home in case anything went wrong.

    And batteries for a camera would be the least of my worries.

  14. #64
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iohan.gue View Post
    doing a 135k one way ride tomorrow with camping outside to see how things go.
    Did you do this? How did it go, and what were the conditions?

  15. #65
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    As digibud said,
    I'll sum up my thoughts with the idea that anyone planning on any form of winter camping is wise to ask for advice, but their entry into winter camping should never be an actual multi-day trip.
    When we introduced our kids (4 & 6 years old) to winter camping, we started out for one night on a nice early spring day, and set up camp about the distance of a 10 minute ski from the snopark parking lot. The good weather made it possible to have an enjoyable time, and look forward to future trips. Being close to the parking lot made it easy to bail if things went sour. My wife was the backpacking and winter camping adviser for the area Boy Scouts. If possible, she would set up a similar scenario for the scouts for their weekend winter camping trips. I think she and our daughter may have gone on more Boy Scout winter camp trips than some of the scouts. Having a few good experiences under your belt really helps when encountering the "not so good" experiences.

    Often things don't go as planned when you are out there for "real". August on Mt. Hood, OR
    Last edited by Doug64; 12-20-13 at 11:51 PM.

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    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    So how was the trip? Hope you made it back before the storm last night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    So how was the trip? Hope you made it back before the storm last night.
    He said he was supposed to be back a week ago tomorrow.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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    I heard from him on Christmas Eve. He said he was considering bailing due to having bad stomach pains. He sent a picture with his first night campsite in it. I was shocked at the lack of snow on the ground in the pic. I've sent him a couple of emails and still haven't heard anything back yet. Makes me wander. He had good weather for it.

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    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    I heard from him on Christmas Eve. He said he was considering bailing due to having bad stomach pains. He sent a picture with his first night campsite in it. I was shocked at the lack of snow on the ground in the pic. I've sent him a couple of emails and still haven't heard anything back yet. Makes me wander. He had good weather for it.
    Maybe his fingers are still too frozen to type. Anyway, it's always nice to hear how things went.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    I heard from him on Christmas Eve. He said he was considering bailing due to having bad stomach pains. He sent a picture with his first night campsite in it. I was shocked at the lack of snow on the ground in the pic. I've sent him a couple of emails and still haven't heard anything back yet. Makes me wander. He had good weather for it.
    I live in the general area. I grilled whole bronzini outside on X-Mas eve. He's has previously used a photo to misrepresent his riding, so you have every right to wonder.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I live in the general area. I grilled whole bronzini outside on X-Mas eve. He's has previously used a photo to misrepresent his riding, so you have every right to wonder.
    Who are you referring to ... chefisaac or iohan.gue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Who are you referring to ... chefisaac or iohan.gue?
    The former. I don't think I know who the latter is.

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    Indy - let's let Chef get back to us.

    My hat is off to him for even attempting a winter tour. Missing this past season i finally got the itch to tour during the fall. I tried several long day rides and said, nope to doing more. I'm just not geared up for over nighting in sub freezing temps. And yes, I know there are other options. But even getting the sweat vs freeze factor right is a huge hassle. Not a problem when you've got a warm house to come back to. Limited daylight, limited lanes, salt soaked roads, etc, i'll stick with hiking through the winter with a drive to Florida and four or five day tour there in March.

    As for Chef, Though the weather was generally good in our area around Christmas, it was far from the perfect touring weather. I hope all went well for him.
    Last edited by tom cotter; 01-04-14 at 08:10 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I live in the general area. I grilled whole bronzini outside on X-Mas eve. He's has previously used a photo to misrepresent his riding, so you have every right to wonder.
    Given where he had set up his campsite at...it was an original photo. Pretty much I knew where he was generally looking to set up his campsite at each night and took a look at Google Earth and made suggestions based on where I would normally camp at...dugouts. He was in a dugout like a smart boy, pretty much ready for anything that Mother Nature could throw at him. You gotta love those 3 sided shelters that are set up in most towns waiting for bikers to camp out in them for the night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    Given where he had set up his campsite at...it was an original photo. Pretty much I knew where he was generally looking to set up his campsite at each night and took a look at Google Earth and made suggestions based on where I would normally camp at...dugouts. He was in a dugout like a smart boy, pretty much ready for anything that Mother Nature could throw at him. You gotta love those 3 sided shelters that are set up in most towns waiting for bikers to camp out in them for the night.
    Do you mean dugouts at baseball fields?
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

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