Snow Camping Lite

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Snow Camping Lite

Postby agdparker » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:13 pm

Our troop goes up for a snow campout once a year in January/February. They only go up for a single night and it's usually not too terribly cold. The snow camping equipment list that they send to the parents appears to be a definitive guide to snow camping. If I bought everything on there for my son, I could easily drop $1,000 or more.

What I'm really looking for is a simplified equipment list for a snow campout. Since it doesn't snow around here and people apparently don't tend to spend a lot of time in the snow, the local thrift stores have little or no snow clothes, so I have to buy things new. I've done some googling and found some lists, but I'm hoping possibly some folks here might have such a list.

Again, they only do 1 cold weather campout a year, so I really don't want to be buying too much if I don't have to. The list I have says absolutely no cotton and while I understand why, it's hard when most of his clothes have cotton of some form in them. The rest of the year we are camping in the warm California climate with little or no concern about weather, except for heat during the Summer.
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:18 pm

A very Good Sleeping Bag
Around Here the kids wear Insulated Carhart type coveralls( they do not melt from the camp fire) Good Ski Gloves or Mittens, Long Underwear WalMart has good ones. Good Insulated Boots, Smart wool socks.
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Check out SPortsmans Guide,Cabelas, Alps Mountaineering,

Mummy Bags are warmer than a regular sleeping bag.
-15 means that in reality you will stay comfortable to about 10 degrees .
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby agdparker » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 pm

wagionvigil wrote:A very Good Sleeping Bag
Around Here the kids wear Insulated Carhart type coveralls( they do not melt from the camp fire) Good Ski Gloves or Mittens, Long Underwear WalMart has good ones. Good Insulated Boots, Smart wool socks. For Starters
I'll have to check WalMart again as last time I looked they didn't have any. No one really wears them around here. If the temperature drops below freezing for more than overnight, it hits the news!

What are "smart wool socks"?
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:41 pm

Smart wool is a brand name. Ther are very warm socks made from Merino wool.Where are you located?

http://www.cabelas.com

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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby agdparker » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:44 pm

Central valley of California. Near Stockton and Modesto. There is an REI in Stockton. Bass Pro Shops had about nothing for kids and cold weather.
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:02 pm

REI should have alot of what you need but check out sportsmansguide.com they have reasonable prices
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby lambeausam » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:51 am

Do you have a Sports Chalet in the area? I shopped there for outdoors gear when I lived in SoCal.
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby FrankJ » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:21 am

The important thing to to be able to sleep warm & dry. So first concentrate on the scoutcraft kind of things. Make sure the tent is well set up & has a good ground cloth. Keep the inside as dry as possible. Have a pad underneath the sleeping bag. Put one bag inside of another. Sleep in dry clothes especially socks.

The issue with cotton is that it hold moisture so when it gets wet, it stay wet & cold. Not as big of an issue when you can have dry clothes to change into.

Socks are probably the best investment. What you do not want is cotton or a cotton blend. So you are looking at synthetic or smart wool which is a brand name, but it is a type of wool that does not itch when in close contact with the skin. Almost any quality hiking sock will be like this. And they can be used for hiking the rest of the year.

Clothes can be layered. The individual layers can be light enough so they can be use for other than a once a year trip. The outer layer should be wind & water repellent. You are looking for non cotton layers. Polypro, Fleece & micro fiber are some key words. Wool is nice too but tends by be expensive. It turns up in odd places some times. For example I have several pairs of microfleece pajama bottoms. They are amazingly warm. Bought them at walmart.

You can get chemical hand warmers & body warmers which are nice.

You can go to REI, spend lots of money, have a bunch of really neat stuff. But you do not have to go that route unless you want to.

Look upon it as a scavenger hunt. Army surplus stores is another place to try.

Did I say dry socks?
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:30 am

What I see most around here are Bad socks, Not proper footwear, Gloves that really do work and a GI Joe Sleeping Bag. I got fleece Long Johns at Walmart in sporting goods. I have bought several pairs of boots at walmart also for my son and for me over the years.
We have found that ski clothing melts around camp fires so we go with the Carhart type of coveralls etc. Walmart has this stuff around here but probably not in warm climates.
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby FrankJ » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:24 am

Carhart is the Cadillac of outdoor work clothing. It is generally priced that way as well. Walmart has similar stuff but not the name. You will find it in the work clothing section. The outer layer is generally cotton duck. A very durable snag resistant fabric. Forgiving near fire. Especially when wet (or even damp). In a lot of ways an ideal outdoor material. Just need to protect it against getting wet. Much to the chagrin of the cotton kills cultists. The waterproof synthetics or going to melt in fire regardless of who makes it.

Cold comes in three varieties, each with their own issues. Above 35 F: In some ways the most dangerous because people do not think of it as cold until it is too late. Moisture is a issue because it will not dry. 35-28 F A transitional region. But at least everybody will acknowledge that it is cold. Moisture is still a issue. It will be a mix of liquid & ice. Sucks the heat out of you. Below 28 F. Yes it really cold. But moisture is mostly solid. Glove & hats are not optional. At least when something get wets, you can just let freeze & then shake it out.
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Re: Snow Camping Lite

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:06 am

Here are my thoughts (which I know some people won't agree with). But, we are just back from our Winter Camporee here in WV (not the most extreme in the country). Took 5 Scouts - none had winter camped. Spent part of the meeting each week for over 2 months preparing. Camped near the road. On arrival, between 1 and 2 feet of snow on the ground. Low temperature Friday night we were told was around 12 degrees F. Unfortunately it got up into the high 30's during the day Saturday (yes, I really want it to stay below 25). Low Saturday night was around 22 or so.

So, what do I recommend? Use COLD (Clean, Overheat-Don't, Layers, DRY!). I didn't get cold - many of the Scouts did. The biggest reason - they didn't stay DRY. If you get wet, you will get cold.

Wool socks - absolutely. I used 3 pair.
Insulation from the ground - closed cell foam pad, extra blanket on top of that. Some of our Scouts used cardboard. Newspaper is also a good insulation. Cardboard and newspaper have be have a waterproof ground cloth so they stay dry.
Layers - so you can adjust and not sweat. Outer layer has to keep you dry. I had nylon ski type pants.
Separate sleeping clothes - I used polyester exercise pants and shirt
Warm sleeping bag. I added an extra fleece blanket under me.

Many people eliminate all cotton (it does hold moisture as someone mentioned, but so does wool - what it also does is looses most of its insulation qualities when wet, which wool does not do). I still used some cotton clothing. Just have to keep it dry.

Are you getting the main theme here - DRY.

We don't worry much about what melts around campfires - because we don't have them. Leave No Trace is hard in the snow for one thing. The other thing is that if you are properly dressed you are insulated from the heat of the fire anyway.

I bought nothing special for this Camporee - but I admit that we probably have more cold weather clothing already than you will.

We had a great time, Scouts got first place in the improvised shelter competition. They did get cold, but they will do better next time.

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