Cold weather back packing

Jphunter

New Member
Mar 18, 2014
36
0
Minnesota
What are the coldest backpack trips you have taken and what are the tricks to staying warm with packable gear?
I am planning a trip this fall lows at night will be in the teens and highs in the 30-40s. Any tips?
 

tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
2,253
828
north idaho
water bladder hoses freeze up real easy. you might want to have a canteen. chemical heater packs can be nice to have.
 

Ikeepitcold

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 22, 2011
9,606
844
Reno Nv
I agree the water will be your biggest issue and fruit or anything with high moisture content for food. The heater packs are a great cheap and light weight way to have heat with you when you need it. Water filters will crack if they freeze so be sure to dry it out completely if your using one. Stay safe. Good luck
 

Work2hunt

Veteran member
Mar 2, 2013
1,366
11
St. Louis, MO
I routinely hunt whitetail when it is below 20 and I've hunted below 0 a few times when I was growing up in MN. Dress real light whenever you are walking. I've often been seen in my base layers and a pair of pants for a walk with the rest of my clothes in my backpack. I'll change socks when I am stopping and put the rest of my layers on. For water I've often switched to one of the camelback packs that holds 3l of water and only water and I'll wear it inside my jacket and tuck the hose in under my jacket. My body heat keeps the hose from freezing.
 

Wapiti_Hunter

Member
Aug 8, 2014
108
0
Westminster CO
You can buy an insulator tube for your camelback, which I highly recommend. Another idea, which I use when hiking 14,000 foot peaks in the winter, is to blow the water back into the blader so their is nothing in the exposed tube while you are not drinking anything. In cold weather, I do not skimp on the type of gear I buy, I can deal with getting wet and sleeping outside in the fall. But in the winter, in the rocky mountains, it's a different ball game, make sure you are prepared correctly, don't turn into an ultralight hiker in the winter, if you are not careful that attitude can kill.
 

ivorytip

Veteran member
Mar 24, 2012
3,760
30
41
SE Idaho
layers will save your life and make sure you have a back up plan to your back up plan for making a fire. nothing at all wrong with a tough lighter. avoid getting wet and avoid sweating to much, even with the best moisture wicking gear out there, that sweat will literally freeze your balls off if given the chance.
 

Jphunter

New Member
Mar 18, 2014
36
0
Minnesota
Thanks for the tips guys. I was thinking of getting some down pants and top for the wieght vs warm factor. Do you think down is worth the price or are there cheaper options put there?
 

okielite

Banned
Jul 30, 2014
401
0
NW Nebraska
I routinely hunt whitetail when it is below 20 and I've hunted below 0 a few times when I was growing up in MN. Dress real light whenever you are walking. I've often been seen in my base layers and a pair of pants for a walk with the rest of my clothes in my backpack. I'll change socks when I am stopping and put the rest of my layers on. For water I've often switched to one of the camelback packs that holds 3l of water and only water and I'll wear it inside my jacket and tuck the hose in under my jacket. My body heat keeps the hose from freezing.

Good advice on not wearing a lot of clothes while walking. The last thing you want is to sweat. I've had to completely strip down and remove my soaking wet base layer before and it was not a good experience.
 
Good advice on not wearing a lot of clothes while walking. The last thing you want is to sweat. I've had to completely strip down and remove my soaking wet base layer before and it was not a good experience.
Absolutely right on not sweating. I've found a few tricks to keep sweating to a minimum - 1. Leave early – walk slowly. Maybe stop every 50 paces or so 2. Avoid caffeine and spicy foods 3. Apply antiperspirant the night before you hunt. It takes a long time for antiperspirant to clog your pores. You can also try spraying other areas of your body. (make sure it's unscented)
 

NVBird'n'Big

Veteran member
May 27, 2011
1,138
0
Reno, NV
If you wear contact lenses and take them out at night make sure to keep the case in your sleeping bag with you. They'll freeze and you will be SOL.
 

predator_master223

New Member
Sep 8, 2014
11
0
Kansas
As a rule, wool is heavy but will keep you warm when it get wet where as down will not. Cotton kills. It holds moisture and has no insulating value. If you get wet from sweat, stop and change in to a extra dry layer. If it's real cold and you get wet, stop and make a fire to warm up/dry out. None of it's worth dying over or forcing a rescue!
 

JMSZ

Active Member
Sep 5, 2012
378
0
Have a windproof, waterproof layer, I like FroggToggs because they're not quite as noisy, bulky and heavy as gore-tex. You can go with a little less insulation when it's dry and calm and then throw it on if conditions change or if you need to warm up a bit, but don't want to throw on another layer of insulation. It reduces the circulation of air underneath, which increases the effectiveness of your insulating layers.

Ditto on the wool, the merino wool is great and a lot lighter than the wool when I was kid. I'm actually thinking about getting ahold of an old Army wool blanket and taking that and just my medium weight bag.
 

clacklin009

Active Member
Apr 1, 2012
189
0
SLC, UTAH
If you will be taking a backpacking stove that uses isobutane it will have difficulty in cold weather. make sure the stove you are using will work in cold weather. If using isobutane you will need to have the fuel warm for it to work.
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
7,226
2,152
www.eastmans.com
Check out the new treated down puffys from KUIU, Sitka, or Kryptek.


Eastmans' Staff Digital Media Coordinator
 

RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
1,769
1,380
Two Harbors, Minnesota
When winter camping here in Minnesota and Canada, I use Nalgene bottles for water. Forget the filter, and if you use a chemical treatment, make sure it is rated for cold water. Most water sources are frozen over, so when necessary will melt ice or snow and then bring it to a boil. Bring a pot that you can hang over a fire. A bottle of hot water goes inside your bag a half hour before retiring, and eat a snack after you crawl in. We have slept in the open at -20 with nothing but a tarp laid over the sleeping bag and were toasty. Just hope that you don't have to get up to pee. Put your clothes between the bag and pad, and if you have boot liners, tuck them in your armpits, they will be warm and dry in the morning. If no liners, then tuck the boot tops on each side of your bag. They won't freeze, and will also keep you from rolling off the cliff in your sleep. Your Nalgene will be body temp. in the AM and ready to drink. We've never had a bottle leak, but if it does it's time to head home.
 

BrentSte

New Member
Sep 24, 2014
24
0
Buford, GA
.... Just hope that you don't have to get up to pee...
When winter camping, you dont have to get up to pee; it lets all that accumulated heat out of the loft of the bag.

I keep a 32 oz square nalgene bottle in the foot of my bag for nature's call. Its square so that it doesn't ever get confused with my water bottle. Even in a mummy bag, you can roll over to a semi-knee'd crouch to take care of business. That plastic bottle can offer some heat for a little while afterwards as an added bonus

http://www.campmor.com/nalgene-rectangular-32-oz-bottle-bpa-free.shtml?source=CI&ci_sku=80892&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=
 
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BigSurArcher

Very Active Member
Mar 3, 2011
513
0
N. CA
When winter camping, you dont have to get up to pee; it lets all that accumulated heat out of the loft of the bag.

I keep a 32 oz square nalgene bottle in the foot of my bag for nature's call. Its square so that it doesn't ever get confused with my water bottle. Even in a mummy bag, you can roll over to a semi-knee'd crouch to take care of business. That plastic bottle can offer some heat for a little while afterwards as an added bonus

http://www.campmor.com/nalgene-rectangular-32-oz-bottle-bpa-free.shtml?source=CI&ci_sku=80892&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=
You pack in that heavy duty plastic jug for the sole purpose of being able to pee in your sleeping bag?
 

BrentSte

New Member
Sep 24, 2014
24
0
Buford, GA
Its only a couple ounces and saves a ton of heat loss. Learned it back in '92 while in college and winter backpacking and have had it in my sleeping bag every night since unless I was car camping.
 

hoshour

Veteran member
I wear a Patagonia Houdini wind jacket and pants under my outer layer to block the wind. They are very breathable and together they weigh all of 8 oz. This year's line has them down to 1.5 oz each. You won't find a lighter layer and blocking the wind goes a long ways toward keeping you comfortable. I bought mine on eBay for a total of $70.