Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Winter Camping and Activities
      Cold!!!! Yikes!!!     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

01/01/2014 01:30PM
Many of you know who "Hoop" is. He operates the Wintertrekker web site. He described just returning from a winter hot tenting trip near his home in Thunder Bay, where the temperature was down to almost -40 degrees below zero. At that temperature, Fahrenheit and Centigrade are about the same.

Even he commented that this was just about his limit of endurance. The sleds pulled like sand paper and the snow sounded like you were walking on Styrofoam. He had to take frequent breaks to keep from having a heart attack.

Yikes, that is cold!!

I've never winter camped in those types of temperatures, although I've been in those types of temperatures. I'd like to hear your stories about dealing with that type of cold.
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
tonyyarusso
distinguished member(1377)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/01/2014 03:21PM
Hey, at least Hoop was hot tenting. Shug and Strung Out (HammockForums users) were cold hammocking by Ely.
Cedarboy
distinguished member(3395)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/01/2014 04:44PM
Friend of mine was with a group this past week in the BW, gets back tomorrow. Ely temps have hit -30 and lower. Look forward to his report.
He too was hot tenting.
CB
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
01/01/2014 05:42PM
I'm telling you, there is a step function somewhere around -40, maybe it's -37 or -38...everything changes.

Everything becomes serious. For me, anyway.
Dennisal
distinguished member(1145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/01/2014 06:13PM
Getting cold just reading this thread.
01/01/2014 06:41PM
quote Moss Tent: "I'm telling you, there is a step function somewhere around -40, maybe it's -37 or -38...everything changes.


Everything becomes serious. For me, anyway."


I've never been in -40 conditions except one time many years ago. I was staying with my older brother in his cabin in northern Wisconsin. The thermometer at his place read -42F. I only ventured out of the cozy cabin once and noticed the smoke rising from the chimney and rolling down the roof. That is my most vivid memory of that visit. My car wouldn't start until the temperature rose to around 0 a couple of days later.

The weather forecast here in N. Illinois/S. Wisconsin is calling for -20F below on Tuesday night. It's gonna be mighty chilly in the BWCA. Be careful if you're camping out this week. Dress accordingly.

It is turning out to be one of the coldest winters we have had in awhile here in the Midwest. We've already had several -10F temps around here and it's just starting to slide into the cold part of winter.
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1602)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/01/2014 07:14PM

I have camped in -35. It was in a hot tent last February. During the day it got up to -12. I am still getting used to winter camping, but one thing I have learned is that your sleep system is critical. I think any of the cold campers will say the same thing. If you can find a system that keeps you warm the whole night, while letting the fire in the stove die out, then you are golden. If you can sleep through the night without a fire, then that means less wood gathering work the next day.

Only take tools that can handle the temperature. Plastics at that temperature become so brittle. I have taken my sled into the tent overnight just to make sure it doesn't crack.

Exposed skin can freeze mightily quick. I usually wear two pairs of gloves. The outer pair is the bulkier, warmer glove, usually a mitten. Inside of that I will wear a tighter glove with fingers. Reason being that if I have to do any delicate work, like tying a knot, I can slip off my mitten and tie it while keeping my fingered gloved on but not exposing my skin at all.

When it is cold like that, you dehydrate even quicker then during the summer. I always have a water bottle on me when working outside. It is inside of my coat so it doesn't freeze.

The best advice I ever received about camping in temperatures to that degree is: Don't think something you bring or do will work, KNOW that it will work. If you are unsure, the cold and remote woods are a bad place to find out.

Last, the most amazing, clear, diamond like stars I have ever seen has been at that temperature. It was so clear out that I could see the landscape by starlight. And the satisfaction knowing I could do this at that temperature was very affirming.
01/01/2014 07:54PM
quote Minnesotian: "

When it is cold like that, you dehydrate even quicker then during the summer. I always have a water bottle on me when working outside. It is inside of my coat so it doesn't freeze.


Last, the most amazing, clear, diamond like stars I have ever seen has been at that temperature. It was so clear out that I could see the landscape by starlight. And the satisfaction knowing I could do this at that temperature was very affirming. "


1. I've heard this often. Dehydration can apparently be a big problem in the cold, mostly because it can so easily sneak up on you, you just don't expect it.

2. I have noticed this in cold weather (not that cold of course). I'm an amateur star gazer and have been out many nights at or just below zero and have many times been able to see by reflected star light. I've seen shadows on the ground from the reflected light of the planet Venus. It is indeed awe inspiring.
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5041)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/02/2014 12:25AM
Been 10+ years since I hardcore wintercamped in the BW-- but all EXCELLENT points above. The dehydration deal is real. I have not and will never bring booze for that reason alone in the winter. One thing not mentioned is that EVERYTHING takes longer to do. From just getting ready for bed to cooking (cold tent) to just basic things such as changing footwear or getting dressed. Everything slows down.
01/02/2014 03:25AM
Three years ago we went in at snowbank. Upon our arrival it was 10am and -17. We decided to wait a bit to see if it would warm up. By 11:30 it was going the wrong direction: -20.

That week we know it got below -30 to -35 or better. My wife watched the reports and freaked. It was only one of a couple years we did not do our annual bath on the last day.

Shug doing the cold hang is nuts. He has obviously never tried hot tenting, cause it's really hard to go back. We were going to go in UL and cold this year, but we changed our minds :( I will still sleep outside though, always do :)

SevenofNine
distinguished member(2189)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2014 08:10AM
What I've noticed is that issues with your gear start to crop up. I have a balaclava that didn't cover my left temple. I started noticing the coldness on my skin on a -29 night. I'm sure this wasn't a problem at lower temperatures but every little piece of exposed skin is just a killer at colder temps.
2old4U
distinguished member(1655)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2014 11:54AM
Camped once at -42 on an ice-fishing trip and that cured me of winter camping! These days I'd rather live vicariously through this forum...that picture of the guy in the water is almost like being there. I can almost feel it! LOL!
Jess
member (26)member
 
01/02/2014 01:06PM
Just got back from a New Years trip. Played it safe and didn't go far. Just camped at Trails End on the Gunflint. First time hot tenting! It was brutal even with the stove. Down to about -40 with windchill. Loved the snowtrekker tent though.
2old4U
distinguished member(1655)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2014 01:33PM
Were you able to pound stakes or doesn't a snowtrekker require stakes?
01/02/2014 03:21PM
quote George: "Three years ago we went in at snowbank. Upon our arrival it was 10am and -17. We decided to wait a bit to see if it would warm up. By 11:30 it was going the wrong direction: -20.


That week we know it got below -30 to -35 or better. My wife watched the reports and freaked. It was only one of a couple years we did not do our annual bath on the last day.


Shug doing the cold hang is nuts. He has obviously never tried hot tenting, cause it's really hard to go back. We were going to go in UL and cold this year, but we changed our minds :( I will still sleep outside though, always do :)


"


Just looking at that photo made certain parts of my anatomy run and hide!!!LOL
01/02/2014 03:23PM
quote 2old4U: "Were you able to pound stakes or doesn't a snowtrekker require stakes? "

Snowtekkers have a "snow skirt" around the base. Leave it outside the tent, shovel a bit of snow on top, tap it down and you're good to go. The snowtrekker has an aluminum A shaped internal frame that slips into pockets sewn into the bottom corners of the tent.

Guy lines- use a snow stake, or tie the ropes around a log, toss into the snow, tamp it down a bit and you've got a "deadman". Holds just fine.
Jess
member (26)member
 
01/02/2014 03:33PM
We used ice anchors with the snowtrekker.
Soledad
distinguished member(1731)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2014 04:00PM
I use pole barn nails on ice and in the frozen ground.
McVacek
distinguished member (281)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2014 08:35PM
We just got back from a winter trip in Woodland Caribou. It definitely was cold, but in our hot tent, it was nice and warm. Had it up to 100+ degrees at one point (a little too hot), but otherwise we were comfortable and had the appropriate gear to be outside. Even managed to ice fish and catch some walleyes.
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next