Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by troischiens
troischiens  ·  242 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to Kill / NOT Kill Yourself Snowshoeing

Thanks ButterflyEffect for posting this snowshoe thing.

i am midwest, from Chicago. I can drive to Wisconsin's Black River State Forest in under about five hours under optimal conditions. (very close to interstate both ends).

For year round camping I have three types of tent. One is an ancient canvas center pop up umbrella pole tent. it is roomy but no smoke hole at the top. and it weighs a ton when dry and two tons when damp. its waterproofing is degraded thru wear and tear, also many rips and holes. The windiest place I used it was on a point of land into a little lake in National Forest in north west central (Taylor County) Wisconsin. That was in early spring the ground was yet too frozen to anchor the tent nicely; i used logs and misc the weights to hold it down but that wind had other ideas. Because of the wind I kept my fire very small which was tedious due to frequent tending. It was Spring per the calendar but still winter per conditions. I relied mostly upon clothing and bedding to maintain my body temperature. This was in a small but official campground that even featured an outhouse (sheltered pit latrine). It was so cold I wrapped a wool scarf around the toilet seat. also so cold a local farmer drove his pickup truck far onto the little lake with impunity to retrieve and bring home his ice fishing house. Sharing the campground there was a Jewish family ( I could tell by the attire and hair styling of the men) They saw me sawing and splitting firewood a few times. When they broke camp they come over and dropped a couple big armloads of nice split firewood by my tent. The Ice Age Trail it passes very close to that little campground.

The last time I used that heavy canvas tent was at Pigeon Creek Campground in Black River State Forest. It was Very Cold at that time and place. Like minus 28 degrees F at times, I hated that because I could not even take a short hike without my coffee freezing up. For heating the tent I had a home made stove. To prevent carbon monoxide buildup I used a small pipe to bring outside air into the bottom of the stove. I kept the stove just inside the tent door. I had a flexible aluminum clothes dryer vent from the top of the stove to the outside. One thing my homemade stove lacked was a damper, so I had in effect created a blast furnace which disintegrated a four inch thick log within seconds, and also got the exhaust vent so hot it started the tent on fire even tho it was not actually touching the canvas. Lucky for me the tent remained usable but I have retired it due to its great weight since I have switched from close to the car camping to walk far from the car camping. Another funny thing happened with that home made stove - I did not know that Coleman fuel was volatile like naphtha or gasoline, no, I thought it was on the order of kerosene, so I poured a little into the stove and dropped in a match - BOOM - a ball of fire blew off the stove lid (which hit me in the face) then the fire jumped out of the stove singeing my eye lashes and eye brows. That and the tent fire convinced to give up on home made stoves for a while.

Okay that was the now-retired canvas wall tent.

By the way I always want my tent to be big enough to comfortably stand erect and walk around at least in a nine or ten square foot circle just in case the weather or whatever keeps me in for a long time.

The other two types of tent I use for year round camping consist of plastic tarps.

For winter I have fashioned A-shaped tarp end and door flaps attached to a large tarp that has a ceiling smoke hole and closable side windows. The large tarp is suspended by a rope or long stick attached as a ridge pole between trees. Sometimes it seems there is a need to support the long sides too in a similar manner. This set up manages the cold wind issue well. But always be aware that NO shelter should be airtight when there is a fire inside. It has been reported that in the Far North more have died from carbon monoxide then from freezing within their shelter. So do not attempt to seal up every little opening That wind may save you from carbon monoxide.

For more moderate temperatures I simply string up a big tarp into an open ended A-frame, with the ends closed only during waking hours.

I want the ends open while I am sleeping so that bears or other wild ones can clearly see hear and smell from a distance Hey there is a human in there.

At these times I keep my food and anything else that might smell interesting in a cache at least over about 50 yards from where I will sleep. So far I have never strung my stuff up in the air, just only cached it in or on the ground in somewhat odor retentive packaging. It has never been stolen or even disturbed by animals large or small.

Of course in this Midwest Country we have only the black bears not brown or grisly like Out West. and so far I have seen no wolf coyote raccoon possum skunk etc tracks around my food caches. There are no wolverines as far south I as go.

So that is how I do four season camping in the Upper Midwest of North America. I hope I have not been way too wordy.

What kind of wintercamping setups do you use, ButterflyEffect, WanderingEng?




ButterflyEffect  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A quick Hubski tip: To "tag" somebody in a post, surround their name with the "@" sign on both ends! Now WanderingEng should see your comments, too!

Whoa. Somehow I missed this, troischiens. Those sound like some very harsh conditions, especially for a tent which has been put through the ringer! I know there are spray-on and other waterproofing compounds which are effective on clothing and tent materials. I've never personally used any, but will be soon as my down jacket is starting to lose it's water resistance (a big problem in the PNW).

Note to self: Coleman fuel is volatile...I typically just buy the MSR stuff, I wonder how volatile that is...

I currently have one three-season tent with a tarp, rainfly, and stakes. The latter are a life saver in windy conditions, I'm yet to have much trouble but also haven't been in extremely windy conditions yet. My biggest problem with it is weight, the thing say 5lbs but in reality it's closer to 6lbs, much too heavy for backpacking, so, I'm in the market for a lighter tent. Likely a single-person, or a bivy! I haven't done much winter camping yet, but am hoping to do this I guess this upcoming winter considering the current one is nearly over. Stove set-up hasn't been much of an issue as my tent has a vestibule area which can be great for setting up a stove, especially if you have some sort of windshield. Aluminum works, but really anything with a bit of height you can find nearby will work, too.

WanderingEng  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My single person three season tent is the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1. It is very much not a "stand up in" tent (troischiens), but it's very lightweight. I've never used it in severe weather, either heavy rain or winds, but I've been happy with it so far. I plan to use it in the winter, too, but never have. My winter camping plans would be cancelled if high winds or heavy snow were forecast. I packed it in eight miles each way last fall for a two night trip that went really well.

I recently bought an MSR liquid fuel stove. I think it's the Whisperlite? It's supposed to be good for cold temperatures. The big purchase I need is a winter sleeping bag. I've sort of settled on the Big Agnes Blackburn UL but am waiting for a sale or coupon.

I also might need a bigger backpack. My 65 L pack gets pretty full even in the summer, though skipping a bear canister would gain some space. More and bigger gear probably means I need an 85 L bag. I'm looking at this Osprey one.

troischiens  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks ButterflyEffect. I have yet to try a long distance backpack trip, mostly I just only hike less than two miles from car to remote camping site. To reduce number of trips for setting up and taking down camp and to handle hefty weights I use a sled. I'll try to post a photo of it. It's fashioned from a plastic automotive oil change thing from Menard or either Home depot. Note if you ever try a sled use something rigid to pull the sled not just rope otherwise when you stop it might continue and bump your legs. https://imgur.com/4L8vV81 keifermiller if that's not the direct URL to the photo I don't know what else. WanderingEng

troischiens  ·  242 days ago  ·  link  ·  

ButterflyEffect and WanderingEng and mk, I think maybe I've learned how to post images.

https://imgur.com/21HUSP9

https://imgur.com/aEnK5cl

https://imgur.com/4L8vV81

https://imgur.com/AbsH2KT

Nope, they are not getting embedded, just only showing the links.

troischiens  ·  242 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'll try one image at a time. https://imgur.com/21HUSP9

keifermiller  ·  242 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think issue is that the emedding thingy needs to be fed the direct image link.

i.e.

  

edit

mk, the first image is prefixed with two spaces and follows a blank line. Shouldn't it be reproduced verbatim instead of embedding? I was trying to show how I was using the i.imgur.com link.

Anywhoozle, you should be able to embed your links by swapping imgur.com for i.imgur.com and then throwing a .jpeg on the end.

troischiens  ·  242 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks keifermiller I will try to follow those instructions