Winter Camping; The Morning After…

Everyone worries about sleeping warm during their winter camp out.  What about after your night’s snooze?  Consider these suggestions.

When you awake prolong your time in the sleeping bag as long as possible. Try to prepare a hot drink, eat your breakfast, get dressed and pack up to the extent possible while staying warm in your sleeping bag.

Roll the moisture out of your bag each morning when you get up as your fluffy sleeping bag is full of warm very moist air exuded from your body all night long. Without rolling out your sleeping bag that moisture will begin to condense on the insulation inside the bag and reduce its effectiveness for the next night.  Immediately squish all that warm moist air out of the bag as soon as you exit; compress it, let it expand, and compress it again. If weather permits set it out to dry.

Pack your inflatable sleeping pad by folding the mattress several times and sitting on it to get most of the air out, then start at the end and roll toward the valve, using your knee as pressure to keep it rolling tightly. Or alternatively fold mattress in half lengthwise, then fold again. Now sit on mattress and open the valve. When all the air is out, close the valve and roll up your mattress.

Packing nylon tents and stuff sacks can really cause your hands to get cold. Wear your gloves and mittens as much as possible to prevent frostbit.

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It’s The Journey, Not The Destination…

Enjoy your time in the back country.

  • Robert Louis Stevenson said ‘It is better to travel hopefully than arrive’.
  • Stevenson was expressing the same idea as a Taoist saying – “The journey is the reward” indicating how hope can be pleasant in itself.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous quip from Travels With a Donkey — “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go” embodies this spirit.
  • I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. – Anonymous

The credo; ‘It’s the journey, not the destination‘; was expressed to our winter camping group during a trip to Peaked Mountain in New York State’s Adirondack Park. The Peaked Mountain trail is an easy 2.5 miles and leads through a pretty mixed hardware and coniferous forest. The summit of Peaked Mountain is at 2,919 feet and the last third of a mile is rough climbing to ascend the last 600 feet. This last part of the ascent can be slippery depending upon snow and ice conditions.  The spectacular views from the summit include Peaked Mountain Pond and Big and Little Thirteenth Lakes.  There are also views of the Adirondack High Peaks to the north.  During one of our trips to Peaked Mountain we got a late start and did not reach the ascent, but enjoyed an excellent overnight camping trip none the less.  It was at this point that we started to focus on the winter camping experience and less on recording the accomplishment.

Some of the most enjoyable trips involved falling short of the intended destination.

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Useful Tips Using a Magnesium Firestarter

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How to Make a Great Campfire

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Len and the one night bivvy

A few years ago, on a trip to John Pond, Len decided to skip sleeping in the crowded lean-to with Matt, Mark, Rob, Ian and Sparky as he had a new bivy try out.

Below Len gets some help from Ian in setting it up.

Len set up his bivy on the fringe of the snoring sphere of influence which would emit from the lean-to at night.

During the night Len found the bivvy to be too confining.  There was no easy way to change clothes and moisture management was a problem.  We never saw Len’s bivy again.

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Winter Camping Tenting Options

What kind of tent do you have and use for winter camping?

Tents Collage

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