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Winter Camping

Mr. Bashaw’s Mandatory Equipment List ...in addition to Klondike suggested list  

Sleeping system:

·         Two bag sleeping system: A 0 degree rated bag with a sleeping bag liner (fleece-big 5 or Walmart) or 2 sleeping bags (not constricting).  If you have a bag cover, bring this (or pick one up at arm surplus- the old cotton ones work here).  This can act as the ice forming layer (keeping the ice from forming in your bag insulation) to be removed in the a.m.

·         Ground cloth insulation.  A blanket to cover the tent floor  (wool and fleece work well).  Layer all blankets of those in the tent.

·         Sleeping pads bring two if you can. Air type mattresses are cold.  The basic closed foam pads work best to prevent conductive heat loss.

·         Hat and neck gaiter or balaclava headwear/socks wool not constricting / long underwear top and bottom.  This is part of your sleeping system and is to be changed into before turning in.  This clothing should be packed separate and dry and will not be worn outside of your sleeping bagThese items are in addition.

Clothing:

·         Mandatory extra set of boots.  These can be a size or three too big. Borrow from a sibling,  Mom or Dad. Shop  Goodwill.  If, when, your wet boots freeze from Sat you will have something to slip on Sun am.

Tips

·         Drink water throughout the day.

·         Control perspiration.  Layer up and down constantly throughout the day.  Sweat wet clothing is useless when the temperature drops that night and is useless the next day. Failure to adhere to this simple effort will leave you with no clothing. The next morning it will be frozen and not usable. 

·         Cold weather camping is challenging and can be some of the most rewarding and exhilarating camping you will participate in.  It is all about preparation and the discipline to adhere to your gear plan.

·         Good attitude is critical.  Attitude, as in life, plays a critical role in the outdoors.  This is the most important thing to bring and will make your camp experience successful.  Are you comfortable changing clothing when it is zero out? Why do tasks seem to take longer in the cold?

·          Rewards. How do we keep our drinking water from freezing overnight?  How do you anchor a tent rope to the ground in snow? Fun, Challenge, Team events.  Does food taste different when cooked at winter camp?  Polar Bear award if below 0.  What Dutch Oven desert will Mr. B make this year?

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Mark McDermond,
Feb 11, 2014, 6:25 PM
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