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Thread: Winter camping?

  1. #1
    Trapper
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    Winter camping?

    Anyone go out at this time of year? What are some of your essential tips for keeping warm and insulated? (sans making fire) I would love to spend a night in Cannock Chase right now but I worry about how cold it would get, even in summer the nights can get pretty cold even wearing all thermals.

  2. #2
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    I do, and I am in Norway :-)

    The key to keeping warm is to stay dry. Thats what it all boils down to. The other factor you mention is insulation. So how to achieve both?
    You could put on a lot of thick warm clothes. That would solve the insulation problem. But it is likely that it will make you too warm. You will then start to sweat
    which makes you wet, and that will make you cold.

    So my advice would be to dress in thin layers. That way if you srat to get to warm you can remove a layer. And the layers of clothing will also help with insulation by trapping warm air between the layers.
    The clothes near you body should be good at wicking away moisture from sweat. I would recomend long merino wool underwear. It does not itch, and wool retains much of its insulation capabillity even when moist.
    Avoid cotton underwear like that plague.

    On top of that I wear A thin, high necked fleece with a short zipper, so i can open that to adjust the temperature if it gets to warm. And on top a wind prrof jacket and trousers, often that will be my gore-tex as Arctic Norway may be quite wet.

    On my head a good wool beanie hat is often enough, combined with the hood of the jacket or anorak.
    On my hands, gloves if it is not to cold, else wool mittens with a gore-tex outer glove.



    On my feet, leather hiking boots. and a thin wool sock over a thick wool sock.

    And thats all that I wear while hiking down to minus 20 celcisus or so.
    But on top of my backpack, where it is easlily reached, I keep a thick fleece or wool sweater to wear when I stop.
    As thats when I tend to get cold. So if i reach my intended camp site, or I stop for more than I few minutes, I dove into my pack and get that on under my
    jacket. If it is really cold I also have a thick pair of quilted trousers with zippers all the way down the legs so that I can just drop my pants to my ancles, and zipper these
    on without removing my boots.

    For extra warmth on my feet I use over boots from the Norwegian army. They are fantastic, and will warm up even cold feet while stiil in you boots.

    Anyway, the key is really not to dress so warm that you start to sweat while you hike or make some work.


    In my back pack I carry my dry kit. That is my camp clothes. I only wear that when I have finished setting up camp and all the work is done.
    These are kept dry at all cost. It is simply an extra set of long underwear, a and a sweater etc. That way I can change out of my wet clothes
    and get them dried while keeping nice and warm myself. The next day I wear my "wet" kit again, while the "dry kit" is stowed away.


    Hope this was of any help.
    Last edited by FishyFolk; 03-01-2018 at 10:19 AM.
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
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  3. #3
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    Here is a trick for keeping warm in you sleeping bag.

    1. Get off the bare ground. Use an insulation mat, and preferably gather some spruce brancjes and build some insulation form the ground...or simply use a hammock and under quilt.

    2. In the evening boil a litre of water and pour the boiling water into a nalgene or other sturdy bottle anbd put it into your Wool socks that you wore that day(on sock over the other if you do not have two bottles.) to insulate it.
    Put this in your sleeping bag and it will warm it up for when you are ready for bed. When you go to sleep, put one bottle at your feet, and the other between your thighs. And you will be warm as toast the whole night. As an added bonus, your socks will be bone dry and warm. And the water in the bottle will have cooled down to where it is just right for a face wash, but skip that if it is really cold.

    3. To keep your boots warm while I sleep i use a pair of zippo hand warmers. They will keep warm for around 12 hours, and I simply but one in the toe of each boot. Then you havve warm boots that will probably also be dry in the morning. Nothing beats that.

    4. Eat before you go to bed, and do not go hungry.

    5. Stay hydrated. Drink!





    As added bonus
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
    (Roald Amundsen)

    Bumbling Bushcraft on Youtube
    Nordisk Bushcraft - The Nordic bushcraft blog and forum

  4. #4
    Samuel Hearne Bernie's Avatar
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    Exmouth, Devon, England, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishyFolk View Post
    Here is a trick for keeping warm in you sleeping bag.

    1. Get off the bare ground. Use an insulation mat, and preferably gather some spruce brancjes and build some insulation form the ground...or simply use a hammock and under quilt.

    2. In the evening boil a litre of water and pour the boiling water into a nalgene or other sturdy bottle anbd put it into your Wool socks that you wore that day(on sock over the other if you do not have two bottles.) to insulate it.
    Put this in your sleeping bag and it will warm it up for when you are ready for bed. When you go to sleep, put one bottle at your feet, and the other between your thighs. And you will be warm as toast the whole night. As an added bonus, your socks will be bone dry and warm. And the water in the bottle will have cooled down to where it is just right for a face wash, but skip that if it is really cold.

    3. To keep your boots warm while I sleep i use a pair of zippo hand warmers. They will keep warm for around 12 hours, and I simply but one in the toe of each boot. Then you havve warm boots that will probably also be dry in the morning. Nothing beats that.

    4. Eat before you go to bed, and do not go hungry.

    5. Stay hydrated. Drink!

    As added bonus
    Even without the added bonus, that's a GREAT summary!
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. - Chinese Proverb

  5. #5
    Ranger Ehecatl's Avatar
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    I was out recently (https://www.naturalbushcraft.co.uk/f...l=1#post138081) and it was a bit nippy.

    Rune's (FishyFolk) points are spot on. I'll add a very obvious one. Get out of the wind. One of the chaps I was away with had a tent and some gear but reported it wasn't very warm. We had a canvass tarp as a roof near the fire which kept the snow off. I put my 3x3 DD tarp up as a wall to block the wind and it made a significant difference. So much so he decided he would sleep there. We added a space blanket too as a fire reflector and he was quite cozy.

    I'll finish with a point that is so obvious, it isn't. "Be bothered". What I mean is, don't just sit there thinking about how cold you are. Be bothered to collect sufficient firewood (plus adequate kindling in case it goes out overnight). Be bothered to make and have that hot drink (and food). Be bothered to change out of that wet gear into dry. Be bothered to adjust the tarp to stop that draught. I'm sure you get the idea by now.

    Happy camping,

    M@
    "If you were to ask me what I consider to be my finest achievement, I could answer the question without hesitation: teaching." ~ Raymond Blanc.

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