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Winter camping

Old 12-18-15, 04:56 PM
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Winter camping

Hey guys just curious if any of you by chance have a winter 3 day tour/camping gear list? Just trying to bump it against mine since this will be my first time doing something like this. Temps are going to be 28F on the lows and 55F as the high. Thanks
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Old 12-18-15, 05:07 PM
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I bought a Stevenson Warmlight triple bag with a down filled air mattress(1) and it has 2 zip off upper quilts =3

which when Both used made a pretty comfy warm nights sleep They are custom Hand made in New Hampshire , so not Cheap .

(will sell Mine)

and all that Down does not magically disappear in the Morning, so rather Bulky when Packed .. Not the size of a Loaf of white Bread.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-18-15 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 12-18-15, 05:23 PM
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2 man tent. 3-season down bag, thermarest pro, regular cycling shoes, socks, long winter tights w/pad, long sleeve polypro top, lightweight long-sleeved turtle-neck fleece, full finger gloves, neck gaiter, probably gortex rain gear (parka shell and pants) doubling as wind protection, a beanie. i figure i may be be wearing everything, including gortex at night and maybe for the first hour of riding in the morning.

even with the rain gear, i'll be making it a point to run from any rain.
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Old 12-18-15, 05:28 PM
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I've done winter mountaineering with camping, and I've done extensive winter biking, but I've never combined the two. IMO, there's too much logistics and setup/breakdown combined with the short days to make it pleasurable. Plus the sustained time in the cold can be hard on your body.

But that's just me, and I can't see why you can't give it a go if you think you might enjoy it. Just be reasonable in your time expectations so you're not riding or trying to make camp in the dark.
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Old 12-18-15, 05:39 PM
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I recently did a trip of similar length / temperature. Here is my gear list.

-Ridley Fenix road bike
-Cygolite metro 750 lumen headlight
-Axiom Pulse 60 lumen tail light
-Go Pro session
-Outdoor Tech buckshot bluetooth speaker
-1x water bottle.
-Water bottle shaped storage pod in my second cage, containing a spare tube, tire levers and food.
-Ibera frame bag with riding accessories like gloves, hat, headband, safety glasses, sunglasses etc., plus a 2,000 mAh USB battery and charging cables.
-Louis Garneau aero top tube bag with a smart phone, vaporizer, house keys and snacks.

-Revelate Viscacha with a Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock, Marmot nanowave 45 sleeping bag, spare clothes (compression tights in case it got very cold, rain gear, change of socks, spare jersey etc.)

I wore cycling shorts with leg warmers and a jersey with a long sleeve base layer underneath. In the morning I wore Pearl Izumi Cyclone gloves, then as it warmed up switched to Louis Garneau fingerless gloves. Generic sunglasses. Tenn waterproof jacket in the morning and at night. Halo headband and a Novara skull cap when it was cool, eventually ditching them as it warmed up. Merrell running shoes (I did some jogging around two state parks on the trip, plus hiked a bunch) with two pairs of wool socks on, shedding a pair when it was warm in the middle of the day. Had a few Kind bars in my jersey pockets, along with some chapstick.

I think that's it. Below is a picture of my bike loaded up for the trip (About 30lbs including the bike, food, water, bags and gear) and a video of the first day. Still editing the videos for the rest of the trip. Kind of long and boring for others I'd imagine, but I made the video for me and that's the length I wanted.




Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I've done winter mountaineering with camping, and I've done extensive winter biking, but I've never combined the two. IMO, there's too much logistics and setup/breakdown combined with the short days to make it pleasurable. Plus the sustained time in the cold can be hard on your body.

But that's just me, and I can't see why you can't give it a go if you think you might enjoy it. Just be reasonable in your time expectations so you're not riding or trying to make camp in the dark.

Those temps aren't bad at all, especially if there's no snow on the ground. In the video above I covered over 80 miles and a few thousand feet of elevation and made it to my destination before dark. Didn't leave until 8 or 9am, and spent some time by a lake and hiked up part of a mountain half-way. I have no idea what you're talking about with logistics either. Setting up camp took less than 5 minutes and provided me with some amazing sleep under the stars next to a stream. Not a soul in the entire campgrounds, had it all to myself.

Not sure what's wrong with setting up camp or riding in the dark either. I do both regularly on touring, because I don't get sleepy until around 11pm at the earliest. More fun to keep riding and explore than sit around camp waiting for sleep. Even when I bring my tent it takes all of 3 or 4 minutes to pop up, then another minute or two setting up my pad and sleeping bag.

If it were -20F, I'd probably stay home with my girl instead, but hovering around or above freezing isn't difficult at all for an adult male in good health.


Last edited by Buffalo Buff; 12-18-15 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 12-18-15, 05:47 PM
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Those temperatures sound more like normal Summer temps in many mountain areas of the western US and Canada.

A 20F to 30F bag or quilt, a 3 season tent or tarp and bivy, a good pad to insulate from colder ground and a puffy jacket to supplement the bag or quilt along with your regular touring clothes. Rain gear, windshirt, gloves, hat and warm socks. Stove, fuel, lighter and pan as needed. Food to cook or rehydrate and means to carry water and purify it if necessary. Bring a light and book or digital device for the long nights now. Tool and spares self-sufficiency.

Only you know what margin or buffer to carry for any unexpected drastic temperature changes from storms or mechanical problems prolonging the trip. Do you sleep warm or cold? Then extra food or clothing or batteries (for the light)? Plan for the worst and expect the best and you are never disappointed or stranded.
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Old 12-18-15, 06:15 PM
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Thanks guys for the input I have a solo 3 season tent, a thermarest pro lite sleeping pad, and a 40f degree sleeping bag. I planned to wear my really warm layers to compensate for my sleeping bag.
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Old 12-18-15, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ALLSTOTT View Post
Thanks guys for the input I have a solo 3 season tent, a thermarest pro lite sleeping pad, and a 40f degree sleeping bag. I planned to wear my really warm layers to compensate for my sleeping bag.
Sounds like you'll be fine. My 45F sleeping bag keeps me comfortable down to around 25 degrees as long as I keep a long sleeve base layer top and some pants on. That's in a super thin hammock too. Tents are even warmer.
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Old 12-18-15, 07:39 PM
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You might get a little cold with a 40 rated bag. The tent will help. I think you have the right idea wearing warm layers in the bag. Some light long underwear and a fleece layer should do it. Definitely bring a warm hat. You shouldn't be in danger of hypothermia, but you won't be able to sleep if you're cold. I once suffered through a below freezing night with a 40 degree bag and wouldn't want to do it again.

If you don't have a warmer bag, you might look into getting a sleeping bag liner.

One trick I've never tried is to heat water on you stove and pour it in a nagalene water bottle. Put the water bottle in your bag. I hear it can make a cold night toasty.

Be sure and share some pics of your trip when you get back. I'd think winter camping in Arizona would be a kick!
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Old 12-19-15, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
You might get a little cold with a 40 rated bag. The tent will help. I think you have the right idea wearing warm layers in the bag. Some light long underwear and a fleece layer should do it. Definitely bring a warm hat. You shouldn't be in danger of hypothermia, but you won't be able to sleep if you're cold. I once suffered through a below freezing night with a 40 degree bag and wouldn't want to do it again.

If you don't have a warmer bag, you might look into getting a sleeping bag liner.

One trick I've never tried is to heat water on you stove and pour it in a nagalene water bottle. Put the water bottle in your bag. I hear it can make a cold night toasty.

Be sure and share some pics of your trip when you get back. I'd think winter camping in Arizona would be a kick!
Oh for sure i'll be brining my DSLR with me so i'll be taking some pictures.
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Old 12-19-15, 11:04 AM
  #11  
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Two key secrets to pulling something like this off...test...test.test beforehand. The only way you know whether you're equipment will work for you is to test it ahead of time. There is no one standard for any of the camping gear. Every company has there own way of determining what the rating is on a sleeping bag. They aren't you. Your body may respond differently then theirs. The only way to know how well you can handle the conditions is to test ahead of time. I did that quite a few years back in my backyard before heading out for several separate nights on the Appalachian Trail. I had spent quite a few nights out below zero, as far down as -8F in my 0F sleeping bag. I knew what I needed for gear to take to make sure I could be comfortable pretty much no matter what and I ended up spending 3 separate nights out and was just fine with what I took with me.

The second secret as a couple of posters has suggested is to forget that its winter and don't let the lack of daylight force you into heading for the campsite early. Even during the summer months I don't get to the campsite until 11:15PM at the earliest. I always set up camp in the dark. I never set up camp in the daylight. This time of the year setting up in the dark is even more important. Learn how to set up the campsite in the dark and then you don't mind getting to the campsite in the dark.

One big plus to winter camping versus summer camping...no mosquitoes. The lack of mosquitoes means that if the forecast is calling for dry conditions, there is no way in !!eh that I would ever set up a tent. Just throw down a ground cloth, sleeping pad and toss the sleeping bag and myself on top of it. I would pull out the rain fly on the tent and use it for extra insulation by just laying it directly on top of the sleeping bag. If you were to run into a frost it would get covered with the frost instead of the sleeping bag. If the forecast was calling for precip I would just look for someplace that would provide the artificial cover over the top of me and still not set up the tent. I did that countless times this summer while on my trip.
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Old 12-19-15, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ALLSTOTT View Post
...Temps are going to be 28F on the lows and 55F as the high....
My normal trip packing is pretty much like that. Freezing or slightly below means I avoid wearing shorts first thing in the morning.

Now if you were talking real winter camping, ... ...

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Old 12-19-15, 01:09 PM
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check out the cycling Dutch girl doing the Arctic Circle. She's doing some serious winter stuff. Her gear list would be interesting to look at.
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Old 12-19-15, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
One trick I've never tried is to heat water on you stove and pour it in a nagalene water bottle. Put the water bottle in your bag. I hear it can make a cold night toasty.
Another approach is to place the warm water bottle between one's legs in the groin area. The hot water warms blood as it flows throw arteries in that area and circulates throughout the body for added warmth.
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Old 12-19-15, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
Sounds like you'll be fine. My 45F sleeping bag keeps me comfortable down to around 25 degrees as long as I keep a long sleeve base layer top and some pants on. That's in a super thin hammock too. Tents are even warmer.

Really? You must be super human. I've camped a lot with a lot of people and I've met a few who could get by with a summer bag in sub freezing temps, it certainly wasn't exposed on a hammock. Not by choice. Sure it's survivable but it sounds awful. Been in similar situations several times in my life due to poor planning and all I can say is it's always coldest around first light, so at least you can get up and get moving.
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Old 12-19-15, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
Two key secrets to pulling something like this off...test...test.test beforehand. The only way you know whether you're equipment will work for you is to test it ahead of time. There is no one standard for any of the camping gear. Every company has there own way of determining what the rating is on a sleeping bag. They aren't you. Your body may respond differently then theirs. The only way to know how well you can handle the conditions is to test ahead of time. I did that quite a few years back in my backyard before heading out for several separate nights on the Appalachian Trail. I had spent quite a few nights out below zero, as far down as -8F in my 0F sleeping bag. I knew what I needed for gear to take to make sure I could be comfortable pretty much no matter what and I ended up spending 3 separate nights out and was just fine with what I took with me.

The second secret as a couple of posters has suggested is to forget that its winter and don't let the lack of daylight force you into heading for the campsite early. Even during the summer months I don't get to the campsite until 11:15PM at the earliest. I always set up camp in the dark. I never set up camp in the daylight. This time of the year setting up in the dark is even more important. Learn how to set up the campsite in the dark and then you don't mind getting to the campsite in the dark.

One big plus to winter camping versus summer camping...no mosquitoes. The lack of mosquitoes means that if the forecast is calling for dry conditions, there is no way in !!eh that I would ever set up a tent. Just throw down a ground cloth, sleeping pad and toss the sleeping bag and myself on top of it. I would pull out the rain fly on the tent and use it for extra insulation by just laying it directly on top of the sleeping bag. If you were to run into a frost it would get covered with the frost instead of the sleeping bag. If the forecast was calling for precip I would just look for someplace that would provide the artificial cover over the top of me and still not set up the tent. I did that countless times this summer while on my trip.
Very good advice. I like using my hammock with no bug net or tarp in cool, dry conditions for similar reasons. Saves a ton of weight over a tent or bug net / tarp / hammock like I use in the warmer months.

Originally Posted by psy View Post
Really? You must be super human. I've camped a lot with a lot of people and I've met a few who could get by with a summer bag in sub freezing temps, it certainly wasn't exposed on a hammock. Not by choice. Sure it's survivable but it sounds awful. Been in similar situations several times in my life due to poor planning and all I can say is it's always coldest around first light, so at least you can get up and get moving.
I do sleep unusually warm, except my feet. My sleeping bag is also a mummy style that I can close off except for a hole to breathe out of, which really helps stretch how cold of weather I can use that bag in.
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Old 12-19-15, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Those temperatures sound more like normal Summer temps in many mountain areas of the western US and Canada.

A 20F to 30F bag or quilt, a 3 season tent or tarp and bivy, a good pad to insulate from colder ground and a puffy jacket to supplement the bag or quilt along with your regular touring clothes. Rain gear, windshirt, gloves, hat and warm socks. Stove, fuel, lighter and pan as needed. Food to cook or rehydrate and means to carry water and purify it if necessary. Bring a light and book or digital device for the long nights now. Tool and spares self-sufficiency.

Only you know what margin or buffer to carry for any unexpected drastic temperature changes from storms or mechanical problems prolonging the trip. Do you sleep warm or cold? Then extra food or clothing or batteries (for the light)? Plan for the worst and expect the best and you are never disappointed or stranded.
Arctos's post is much the way we approach winter camping.

We have done just below freezing on the bikes, and have a lot of experience in the cold from mountaineering and ski touring. Most people will not be comfortable in a 45 degree bag at freezing temps. You will survive but it may not be fun. Your Thermarest Prolite will work well. I use a Prolite 4, and it does a good job. If we expect to encounter freezing or below on a bike tour, we usually use sleeping bags rated at 25 degrees. We also back the bags up with a puff jacket.

Lassen National Park--Close to 7,000 feet elevation and below freezing.


This is how I prefer to winter camp. This is the same tent, kitchen, and sleeping pads we use for bike tours. However, the sleeping bags are rated 0 degrees.

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Old 12-22-15, 01:06 AM
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I do a lot of winter riding in temperatures below 32F. Something I learned in the army holds true on winter tours of a few days or more or even one day if you don't cary extra clothing. That something we were taught was, "SWEAT CAN KILL!" you want to avoid sweating.

Also, at night you want to keep your mouth and nose OUT OF YOUR SLEEPING BAG. You exhale about one pint of moisture each night and that's enough to really dampen your sleeping bag which in turn lowers its insulating qualities.

Wearing your clothing inside the sleeping bag is okay if they aren't damp. I sleep nude in winter so that my clothes can breathe and moisture can leave them overnight. They're chilly when put back on 1st thing in the morning but quickly warm up and lose that clammy feeling.

Another thing to check is the stitching on your sleeping bag. For colder temperatures or for those who feel the cold more than others, you want to avoid sleeping bags where the stitching goes right through the bag as that creates areas of low fill and that creates cold spots. I like to use two lightweight sleeping bags in colder temperatures if i'm not using my Arctic sleeping bag. I put one bag inside the other with the zippers on opposite sides to each other. The inner bag will have the zipper on the left side and the outer bag will have the zipper on the right side.

i use a dense foam pad (military issue) similar to ensolite as it insulates far better than an air matress does.

Extra socks are great because you need to keep your toes warm. An extra large pair of wool socks can be put on over your shoes for extra warmth if you find your feet getting cold whilst riding. make sure your shoes are not too tight.

BTW, mittens are warmer than gloves because with mittens all the fingers are in the same "pocket' as opposed to being in individual fingers in gloves.

A balaclava can be a fantastic thing to as it can keep your face warm when riding and can be worn whilst sleeping to give extra warmth if you need it.

Cheers
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Old 12-22-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ALLSTOTT View Post
Hey guys just curious if any of you by chance have a winter 3 day tour/camping gear list? Just trying to bump it against mine since this will be my first time doing something like this. Temps are going to be 28F on the lows and 55F as the high. Thanks
Come to Southern California and Arizona USA in the Winter
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Old 12-23-15, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I do a lot of winter riding in temperatures below 32F. Something I learned in the army holds true on winter tours of a few days or more or even one day if you don't cary extra clothing. That something we were taught was, "SWEAT CAN KILL!" you want to avoid sweating.
Gee, someone else is finally waking up and realizing sweat kills. Congrats. I've said this for a long time, stay dry in the first place. As I say this I have to admit while out riding today, 36 in the AM 44 by mid afternoon, cloudy, foggy under .5 mile visibility at 11AM in spots, I was sweating worse than a pig. I don't ever remember being that wet even when riding in the middle of a rain storm I stay drier than that. I was still warm but I'm getting so sick of this humid crap. I don't ever remember having this much trouble staying dry as I have been this fall/winter.

Also a tip I read head on the message board several years ago that I tried and still used, and will keep on using. Ragg Wool Pop Top Mittens. Not only do you want mittens but you also want the flexibility of have the fingers available when crap happens and you need access to the fingers on a cold day. Using regular mittens your only option is to take your hand out of the mitten to do the work necessary to get the bike back and running...leaving your entire hand to get cold. With pop top mittens you can still do the work and keep the hands in the mittens by pop the top off the fingers. Like I said I've been using them for several years now and won't use anything else. Everything else is not worth the money spent on it.
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