Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 61 to 74 of 74

Thread: Beginners cold weather camping kit

  1. #61

    Default

    I guess it depends on what you call 'camping' & canoeing - those things weigh generally upwards of 25 lbs. - about the weight of my canoe! I ain't carrying that thing up & down rough carries...

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Dumbarton
    Posts
    2,517

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkwheel View Post
    A good sleeping mat is the most important bit. I've been rocking the same therm-a-rest for the last 17 years. So while it was expensive to buy, I haven't had to replace it in all that time.
    I'm not sure what that means but my thermarest is 24 years old and still going strong, the foam doesn't expand very quickly any more but it still works once it is inflated.

    Sk8r mentioned water, if you are cooking on gas also get into the habit of sleeping with at least one canister in your sleeping bag. Also look for a stove with a flexi pipe to the canister, means you can keep the canister warm/off the ground without upsetting the stove, and you can also invert the canister so the butane will come out under gravity once you have burned the propane off the top.

    How cold does it get in the UK? about 8 years ago we had a particularly harsh winter and I spent a night in a house without mains gas or water which reached -18C. The previous users had failed to drain the water system and there were a lot of burst pipes which we were repairing but then the external pipe from the stream to the UV filter froze (we found the intake and it was clear) so we spent one night close to the fire which was too small to heat the room (the house is used by a school and they had filled in most of the fireplace to ensure the kids could only have small fires). The night was fine but we decided not to try and stay more nights (my house is only an hour away), lucky we had the plumbing tools because we needed to warm the diesel in my brothers van up before it would start... and lucky I use propane for my blowtorch.
    I couldn't imagine camping in conditions that cold, when we were out checking the intake I could feel the moisture in my breath freezing in my mouth and nose. I have probably camped down to about -5C here.

    How hard can it be?

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Cumbria
    Posts
    1,475

    Default

    It got down to minus 8 this night (someone took a max/min thermometer). I stayed nice and warm. Therm-a-rest and two, 2-season sleeping bags one inside the other. Wearing a merino base layer and fleece hat.



    It did finally kill that tent. Pretty much every pole section split where the ferrule is pressed in. I presume the alloy of the pole contracted further than the alloy of the ferrules. They fractured along the line where the pole had been "stamped" onto the ferrule to stop it pulling out. It's not the first time I've had that happen with vango tent poles and it usually happens in extreme cold conditions. Worth bearing in mind if you're picking a tent for those kind of conditions. You really want extruded aluminium poles like those made by DAC.

    The fun bit was the 250 mile motorcycle ride the next morning...

    Of course, the other tent option is canvas. Good old vango force 10 A-frame tent. Heavy as hell but nice and warm. I strugged a bit to get out on this day because the zip was frozen shut. Had to defrost it with my lighter. I'm making a cup of tea on my own design of improvised beer-can meths stove there.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JimW View Post
    I'm not sure what that means but my thermarest is 24 years old and still going strong, the foam doesn't expand very quickly any more but it still works once it is inflated.
    how do you store your mat, rolled-up or expanded? i also have a therm-a-rest that must be about 20 years old, and store it open, i.e. "un-rolled" and foam expanded, with the valve open. it's still working fine.

    stinkwheel, your experience shows that in real cold (temps around -10 or lower) a lot of the regular camping gear fails. the simpler the better as you'd be wearing gloves or have stiff fingers. but the materials themselves need to be able to function at those temps, especially the plastics.
    your sleeping arrangement is similar to mine. i have a down bag that's good until just around freezing and when it gets real cold, i add a slightly larger synthetic bag around it. keeps things flexible and works well. as you mention wool as a base layer: ulfrotee a.k.a. woolpower make some really nice thick and super warm stuff.

    what's the bike in your picture? looks like an older beemer or jap?

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    20,168

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkwheel View Post
    It got down to minus 8 this night (someone took a max/min thermometer). I stayed nice and warm. Therm-a-rest and two, 2-season sleeping bags one inside the other. Wearing a merino base layer and fleece hat.

    It did finally kill that tent. Pretty much every pole section split where the ferrule is pressed in. I presume the alloy of the pole contracted further than the alloy of the ferrules. They fractured along the line where the pole had been "stamped" onto the ferrule to stop it pulling out. It's not the first time I've had that happen with vango tent poles and it usually happens in extreme cold conditions. Worth bearing in mind if you're picking a tent for those kind of conditions. You really want extruded aluminium poles like those made by DAC.

    The fun bit was the 250 mile motorcycle ride the next morning...

    Of course, the other tent option is canvas. Good old vango force 10 A-frame tent. Heavy as hell but nice and warm. I strugged a bit to get out on this day because the zip was frozen shut. Had to defrost it with my lighter. I'm making a cup of tea on my own design of improvised beer-can meths stove there.
    Those Vango poles are/were a regular issue, splits exactly as you describe. I hadn't connected it with cold though, but with metal fatigue from repeated bending when putting up the tent or in strong winds. Interesting.

    I was going to ask about the bike ride!

    I've never had my own tent zip freeze, but have lots of other zips frozen, including ones on the jacket I was wearing up some wild Scottish mountain or other. It briefly seems funny. The worst situation is when there's late rain or a heavy dew, then a sudden drop in temperature turning the moisture quickly to ice.


    Quote Originally Posted by lowlander View Post
    how do you store your mat, rolled-up or expanded? i also have a therm-a-rest that must be about 20 years old, and store it open, i.e. "un-rolled" and foam expanded, with the valve open. it's still working fine.

    stinkwheel, your experience shows that in real cold (temps around -10 or lower) a lot of the regular camping gear fails. the simpler the better as you'd be wearing gloves or have stiff fingers. but the materials themselves need to be able to function at those temps, especially the plastics.
    your sleeping arrangement is similar to mine. i have a down bag that's good until just around freezing and when it gets real cold, i add a slightly larger synthetic bag around it. keeps things flexible and works well. as you mention wool as a base layer: ulfrotee a.k.a. woolpower make some really nice thick and super warm stuff.

    what's the bike in your picture? looks like an older beemer or jap?
    Does the weight of the outer synthetic bag not compress the inner down bag a bit? I would have tended to do this the other way round. An ex-girlfriend of mine always used to pull all her clothing over the top of her (my!) down bag, I could never convince her that it was squashing flat the down even though it was visually obvious! She was normally using my Finnish 4 season down bag rated down to -15c, in plus 10c conditions and feeling cold...


    Quote Originally Posted by JimW View Post
    Sk8r mentioned water, if you are cooking on gas also get into the habit of sleeping with at least one canister in your sleeping bag. Also look for a stove with a flexi pipe to the canister, means you can keep the canister warm/off the ground without upsetting the stove, and you can also invert the canister so the butane will come out under gravity once you have burned the propane off the top.

    I couldn't imagine camping in conditions that cold, when we were out checking the intake I could feel the moisture in my breath freezing in my mouth and nose. I have probably camped down to about -5C here.
    The gas in your sleeping bag thing is a very good tip....that I have never actually used myself despite knowing it works. At the very least, though, bring the gas into the inner tent, don't leave it in the porch.



    Think my "record" lowest for camping is about -8c/-10c. It also snowed quite a bit, like in your picture, but the snow added an excellent layer of insulation to the top of my tent and it felt perfectly warm. The coldest I've slept "outdoors" was in an uninsulated bothy with a tin roof, at -15c, the only time I've worn everything I owned, including down jacket, inside my sleeping bag. Ironically the coldest I've ever felt at night was on the Cuillin in June, when we went "light" and thus suffered the night with no proper sleeping gear - the one and only time I've ever been happy to lie back against back with another bloke!

    THink I said it above, but to me the single two biggest factors, assuming a reasonable bag, are the ground insulation, and going to bed warm.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Does the weight of the outer synthetic bag not compress the inner down bag a bit? I would have tended to do this the other way round. An ex-girlfriend of mine always used to pull all her clothing over the top of her (my!) down bag, I could never convince her that it was squashing flat the down even though it was visually obvious! She was normally using my Finnish 4 season down bag rated down to -15c, in plus 10c conditions and feeling cold...
    it does not, because the outer bag is not actually a full sleeping bag. it's kind of a sleeve that has a zipper only at the upper end so you can get it on and off more easily, and was made to fit around the inner bag loose enough so that it doesn't compress the down.

    the down bag is my regular bag that i always use, i wouldn't want synthetic for that. maybe the outer sleeve could be filled with down instead of synthetic but i'm not sure if it would improve things to a significant enough degree? that would need to be tried out. i could ask the guy who made it to replace the filling but i doubt it's worth the money. that synthetic thing can now also be used as a dog blanket, ha ha!
    if more warmth is needed i'd rather add some more down filling to the inner bag.

  7. #67

    Default

    Re gas and low temperatures, petrol stoves, like a Coleman Feather 442 (or the 533 if you're not short of space) work very well when all others fail and don't cost loads to buy. Not as convenient as a canister stove; unless you're on a bike trip where of course you have an unlimited amount of fuel from your tank.

    Different brands of the screw canisters have different mixes of gas and some work well below 0

    Standing your gas canister in a pan of warm water and giving it a shake helps. A good tip I've seen is fill a thermos with hot water the night before and you'll just about get a coffee in the morning and a means to warm your gas to make tea.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Eton on the banks of the River Thames between Windsor and Slough
    Posts
    2,303

    Default

    Hot water bottle.

    Use a PVC one rather than rubber, and you can use the water to fill your kettle for your first cuppa in the morning.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



  9. #69
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Deepest darkest Wales
    Posts
    3,813

    Default

    Re gas stoves and low temperatures - The common lindal valved containers have a 30% propane / 70% Butane mix - and with vapour draw when the temperatures are below 5 degrees C - the propane will be burned preferentially because the butane will tend to be in the liquid phase....

    However - many of the better stoves have the fuel feed pipe run through the flame - so you can invert the canister and get a full power burn even at temperatures well below zero - without robbing out the propane so necessary for low temperature performance.

    Example:
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Cumbria
    Posts
    1,475

    Default

    Yeah. Petrol has a flash point of -45C so it's a good option. Might have to deliberately spill some to pre-heat the generator coil but it's always going to light. I've had trouble getting meths to light before.

    The bike is an Enfield bullet 350. Riding one in sub-zero conditions is like anything else. It's all down to clothing and layers. Lots of them!
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  11. #71

    Default

    That -18 C winter - we went camping in it in the Cambrian Mountains. Sub zero camping is fairly regular and the Dragon Rally (motocycles in Snowdonia) can be fun in the colder years - I haven't made it to the Elefant yet.

    If doing it cheap. Canvas ex army tent. Heavy but solid. I use an ex Polish mini tepee made from two cloaks, zeltbahn. Cheap and solid and warm. Get an ex-army arctic bag to save money and put a jungle bag inside as an extra layer. Toasty. Use a an ex army bivvy bag too with the mat tucked inside so you stay on it.

    Stoves can be problematic, thought the increasingly common propane/butane mix is way better than the older butane canisters. If really cold I just use a kelly kettle. Meths is unlikely to play.

    Motorcycle wise I'm usually on a two stroke MZ, sometimes on an MuZ Skorpion, but still have my 1978 BMW too.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    i know the enfields from india where i regularly go for work. didn't know they could do cold weather, ha ha!
    people here seem to have slightly eccentric motorcycle taste. i can sometimes be found on a 1976 CB550.

    stoves... just get a petrol stove with pump, it will work anytime anywhere. my good old whisperlite is still going strong after more than 20 years. not as clean or convenient as a gas stove but it never fails. the only thing i did was upgrading it with one of the newer type, self-cleaning jets.

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    If you really are 20 stone then I'd steer away from a hammock. If you want to stay warm and reasonably comfortable I'd stick with a tent - at least in winter. Weight shouldn't really be an issue with a canoe.
    I learned to swear away from the hammock the hard way one camping trip

  14. #74

    Default

    A bit of Karimat foam will insulate a gas bottle from the cold, cold ground.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •