Let’s got out for a one week winter camp this (COVID 19) year
Oct 9, 2020 at 9:56 pm #3679055
I’m going into my mountains for a week-long stay this year “because pandemic”. I’m not risking skiing at my local alpine resort so backcountry skiing is “it” for me this year. And I have all the gear for that or even (UGH!) snowshoeing.
I may even take my SCARP 2 tent just for the extended stay extra room. It will only hurt on the uphill climb going in.
My SPOT 3 will be my constant companion. (Rescuers will need to know where to dig after the avalanche.;o)
Breakfasts of pancakes or pre-fried French toast and sausage are on the menu. Many meals of soup and some of FD omelette and pre-cooked turkey bacon bits. I’m open to other foodie suggestions. I have refillable squeeze tubes for jams and honey (which will reside in the foot of my sleeping bag the night before I use it). I’ll have plenty of time to use my avy shovel to build a “snow kitchen” complete with sit bench, stove and food “table” and storage nooks. I already have a thin plywood disc W/leg securing tabs for under my Whisperlite Universal stove for insulation.
Generally in winter I take a big hunk of (good) fruitcake for lunches. There is a lady at church that will make me one and hers are very moist and good – unlike some of the dried crap from stores. Lots of good cheeses, lunch meats, bread rounds, candy, Meyerses Rum, Knob Creek rye, Grand Marnier orange liqueur, etc. You by now realize that, like the French, I live to eat, unlike the Russians who “eat to live”. ;o)
And for those long winter nights I’ll have a paperback novel. Since I’m only going one mile into the mountains to my hidey-hole all the “extras” won’t burden me for too long. But at 9,500 ft. I’ll be making many rest stops. C’mon. I’m a geezer.Oct 10, 2020 at 4:30 am #3679068Larry SwearingenBPL Member
@larry_swearingenLocale: NE Indiana
Well Eric it sounds like you need a Pulk, or maybe a snow mobile with trailer to
carry all those goodies. Do you have a hot tent too ? With woodstove ?
Larry SOct 10, 2020 at 8:23 am #3679082Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Regarding that menu: I want to know what your pack weighs going in and what you weight going out. :-)Oct 10, 2020 at 8:25 am #3679083David GardnerBPL Member
@gearmakerLocale: Northern California
I love winter camping. The wilderness effectively expands to within a mile or so of any road as long as you stay away from snowmobile areas, there are very few people, it’s quiet, it’s clean, you don’t have to worry about finding water. You carry some extra weight for cold-weather gear but you don’t have to go very far to get away from everything and find your own space.
And if you go in with telemark or AT gear you can ski freshies all day. I greatly prefer skis with climbing skins over snowshoes except in the bushiest areas. Much faster, doesn’t hurt my hips from hiking with my feet spread, the skis make great snow stakes, and after you get up something you can strip off the skins and blast down. Whee!Oct 11, 2020 at 2:59 pm #3679254
Todd & Larry,
I think my pack will weigh about 35 pounds, maybe 37 if I carry the SCARP 2 tent. It’s a Deuter Air Contact Lite 60 +10 at 4 lbs. 6 oz. big but not real heavy.
The fruitcake and raw sausage will be the heaviest, other than 1 liter of water going in. No bears in our mountains, just mountain lions. The food should be fairly safe hung in a steel mesh bag.
My plastic Scarps T3 boots and Atomic TM 22 skis W/ climbing skins will be the really heavy items. I’ll be slow but steady. Done it before.Nov 20, 2020 at 4:32 pm #3685008
What’s your daily activity look like? Exploring on skiis? Hows the bag gonna dry out? Most I’ve been out was three nights one Easter with a group.
DuaneNov 22, 2020 at 1:16 pm #3685220
DAILY ACTIVITY: Yep, exploring on skis in the drain I’m camped in. Using my monocular to observe wildlife and generally puttering about the woods with my camera looking for photos.
DRYING MY DOWN BAG: It likely won’t be cold enough use a VBL so I’ll use drape my opened -20 F. winter bag on a low limb or blowdown. The desert high mountains are fairly dry when it’s not snowing. Alternatively I may take my 20 F. WM down bag with a synthetic Thermarest topper to both increase the R value of my bag and absorb condensed body vapor. The weight of either system will be about the same. I’m using an REI FLASH All Season R 5.3 insulated air mattress. Good to -15 F. in my tent WITH my -20 F. bag in my experience.Nov 22, 2020 at 2:24 pm #3685231
Sounds good. Going solo, I have a hard time doing anything, lately I just leave home late, enough time to hike an hour or so to a spot, setup, walk around a little, them fix dinner. Last bp I did with friends was almost two years ago west of Lake Tahoe for a couple nights snow camping.
DuaneNov 22, 2020 at 8:54 pm #3685266Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
When snow camping, I like a meal of appetizer, soup, entree (or two), followed by tea and dessert. Some of my fellow snow campers like to bring out the brandy and wine but I think I need to abstain to insure I can actually sleep the 9 plus hours in the dark.
Ideas for entrees include anything from MaryJanes backpacker line augmented with bacon, hydrated jerky, or precooked sausage (ex Bruce Aidells). With some real bacon and some added Nestle Nido and potato flakes, Mary Janes potatoe soap can become a feast for a king. https://shop.maryjanesfarm.org/Backpacking-Meals
I have also adapted many of Mike Clelland’s recipes which were originally published on BPL (I think), which, while involving some prep at home were very good in the snow kitchn. His angel hair pasta with basil garlic pesto comes to mind.Nov 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm #3685368
Bruce, Thanks for the tips. I DO like the Mary Jane Farms potato soup and most of her other stuff because it is low in sodium – unlike the Mountain House salt bombs.
My highest sodium backpacking food is COSTCO beef jerky B/C it too is “relatively”low in sodium.
BTW, If you drink tea after diner you’d be getting up at 3:30 or so for a “tea pee”, no?Nov 23, 2020 at 8:45 pm #3685439Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
This is one of my favorite things to do. Settle into a nice winter camp and explore day skis from there.
I’m hoping to do this high up in Rocky Mountain National Park, and I’d *really* like to ski, ice climb, and even ice fish!
Yep, gonna need a pulk…Dec 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm #3687871dirtbagBPL Member
Did you go???? Would love to hear about it..Dec 16, 2020 at 7:50 pm #3689443
Still waiting for ANY snow in our Spring Mountains northwest of the’Vegas valley.
Hoping, nay, praying for January snow.Dec 16, 2020 at 8:57 pm #3689451
A neighbor who works for the County Road Department said up the Laporte Road where they turn around had 10″ of snow. FS roads here are icy. Went bping last night and had to walk the road side of the FS roads where traction was best. Icier this AM with the fog. Temp this morning was a mild 27- 28F.
DuaneDec 17, 2020 at 11:52 am #3689524rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
Siblings who still live in upstate NY say they’ve had around 2.5 ft. of snow since yesterday, and it’s still snowing.Dec 17, 2020 at 12:11 pm #3689526Tipi WalterBPL Member
Hey Eric—I just got back from an 18 day winter trip (returned Dec 5) in TN/NC mountains and actually got hit by a freakish 12F cold snap with 4 to 16 inches of snow (16 being drifts on ridgetop)—see report here—
Cold morning on Slickrock Creek in NC. Always hang out your sleeping bag in the morning, boys.
I went in with one food load and only used two hot-meal food items—Old fashioned oatmeal and vegan mac and cheese. I carried 6 or 7 lbs of Oatmeal and it became my primary cooked meal—dinner and breakfast. I augmented it with dried fruit like cherries, blueberries and pineapple and olive oil and honey and ample peanut butter/almond butter and Bob’s Red Mill vanilla protein powder. I never get tired of oats.Dec 17, 2020 at 12:13 pm #3689527Tipi WalterBPL Member
@tipiwalterDec 30, 2020 at 4:02 pm #3691425Jan 1, 2021 at 2:46 pm #3691712
UPDATE: No trip yet B/C no snow at 9,000 ft.! Our drought here in southern Nevada continues. :o(
Walter, that trip ended up being a true winter trip. You really got “lucky” with that storm. But your tent was well suited to the conditions, as was your other gear and especially your years of experience. All that makes it a fun trip instead of a “retreat from Moscow” type hike out.
Congrats Manfred on those great conditions and on the endurance to be able to use snowshoes instead of skis. I detest using my MSR Lightning Ascent ‘shoes even thoughI know they are among the best available. Skis will win out with me every time.Jan 3, 2021 at 9:31 pm #3692006ManfredBPL Member
I’m afraid I would be a klutz on skis and spend more time laying in the snow than moving forward. Snowshoes on the other hand …
We just spent the first three days of the year in your neck of the woods, Nevada – snowshoeing along the Tahoe Rim Trail.
As you can see the snow was deep enough …
… and the views of Lake Tahoe were fantasticFeb 18, 2021 at 12:57 pm #3700249Timothy D BBPL Member
Nice to read about and see some cool pics of a winter adventure! I’m chomping at the bit to get out and get some winter backpacking done. I made all kinds of plans and even bought a new winter bag a few months ago but then I and my family all got COVID. It’s been almost two months since I caught it and I am just now getting back outside a few times a week for short hikes in the snow. Not a fun way to spend winter!
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