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#164104 - 01/21/09 05:45 AM Re: Winter Wonderland Trek [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Heat loss from radiation is bigger than most people think. Sleeping under the stars might be romantic but the twinkling little beggars will suck the heat right out of you.
(space is a very cold place)
If you can shelter under a spruce you can save a lot of heat from being radiated into the night sky, so a tent, a tarp or even one of those emergency blankets to rig as a tarp might help.

Thermarest and the other pads are not enough by themselves but it helps a lot if you put down a layer of brush and/or grass first.

Metal bodies like cars and planes suck a lot of heat and radiate a lot of heat into the night sky too.

It is surprising how much of a difference being able to camp under something makes, even just a tarp set up as a lean to will give you cover from the sky and a windbreak.

If you are forced down:

Staying near the plane is good.
Try to keep it clear of snow and keep a good fire going if you can.

Keeping snow off the wings makes the plane much easier to see.
If it is shiny outlining it with brush on the ground might help.

Even a small fire can be seen from a long way away at night, but wood smoke is a disappointing signal during the day.

Smoke looks too much like mist or fog and usually the fire is too small to punch the smoke above the thermal inversion layer and into a nice tall column.
Having material like motor oil or rubber from the plane to burn that gives black smoke might make a difference.
Just be careful not to blow yourself up trying to burn it.

Having one good fire instead of three small ones is fine.
If they are looking for you they will investigate a single fire just as quickly as three in a group.

If you can torch an isolated spruce tree you might get yourself found by the fire watch instead of the Search and Rescue teams.

Try to make sure any electronic signaling devices are working.
You might be lucky and have a working radio, or location beacon, but sometimes they get their power leads or antennas ripped loose.

The plane itself is a source of emergency gear too.
It will be loaded with fuel, metal, wire and cushions useful for insulation.
Plus there is whatever the plane had in it, both the emergency supplies and the cargo if you must.
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#164153 - 01/21/09 01:27 PM Re: Winter Wonderland Trek [Re: scafool]
Mike_H Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
I forget, but are you packing a tarp or emergency shelter? Doesn't take up much space. Esp. since you aren't carrying a tent, may be a good idea. Something you can practice setting up quickly.

Bivvy bag?

The pack looks decent. I'm interested in hearing how it works out for you!

Edited by Mike_H (01/21/09 01:28 PM)
Edit Reason: additional thoughts
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

#164235 - 01/21/09 07:37 PM Re: Winter Wonderland Trek [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Here is a quick photo of the majority of the Winter Gear I prefer to take with me;

Exped Downmat 9 Sleeping mat - apparently good to -40C but I've never been in such cold conditions.
Alpkit Phantom Jacket in the Alpkit Compression bag - Hooded Down Jacket with showerproof outer
Lightwave zr0 cylq Tent - 4 Season tent single man which weighs in @1.3Kg
Vango Venom 300 Down bag.
Lifventure Silk Sleeping Bag Liner - adds another 2-3C to the Venom bags rating and helps keep the Venon Bag cleaner.
Primus EtaPower Pot 1 Litre - very fuel efficient pot.
MSR isobutane cartrige, folding Optimus gas stove, Ti Spork, Brunton Lighter, fuel tool which all fits inside the Primus Etapower pot.
Sigg Water bottle with Neoprene cosy - Secondary use as a hot water bottle.
UCO Candles and Latern - Nothing beats the warm comforting light of a real candle flame smile
Jansport Manbag containing 24hr British Army Operational Ration Pack.
Lifesystems Trekker FAK.
Thermarest Orange Lite Seat - Can also be used a pillow.
Fenix P3D and Alpkit Head lamp.
Double Walled Snowpeak Ti Cup - keeps brew ups nice and warm.
Jetstream Jacket - Sometimes even a windproof fleece can be too warm at high activity levels in the cold.
Bacho Laplander and Helle Odel Fixed blade knife - No metal handles.

There are many additional items not shown of course such as a map and compass, GPS etc, but this provides the basis for my winter kit.

I have actually posted a kit list before here at


#165957 - 02/01/09 05:28 PM Re: Winter Wonderland Trek [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Just came back from another trial run. First, the new backpack is great!

Second, holy cow, 35 degrees feels warm. I did the hike in a wicking base layer and a soft shell, and it was warm enough that I didn't need a hat, and I'd folded back the fingers on my mitts. Didn't break a sweat after 45 minutes, so I'd say that's a good thing.

Still debating tent vs tarp. If I go the tarp route, I'd take a bivy with me too, so I wonder if I'm actually saving any weight (or space). Anyway, it's a mental debate still.

Most of my items are tacked down mentally. My camera is here with me, but I left the cable with my parents over the holidays. It'll be mailed, and I'll put up some pics on a new thread soon!

Thanks to everyone so far for suggestions.

#166027 - 02/02/09 11:06 AM Re: Winter Wonderland Trek [Re: MDinana]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Light weight tent would be my choice. More than once, I have been glad for that thin tent wall to block the wind that came up / changed direction after I thought I had everything all taken care of. That usually occurs after I have zipped the sleeping bag for the night.
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#166037 - 02/02/09 01:02 PM Re: Winter Wonderland Trek [Re: Desperado]
Mike_H Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
Ditto... If you can afford to pack it, take it with you. Or at least some ready made shelter.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

#166090 - 02/02/09 05:26 PM Re: Winter Wonderland Trek [Re: Desperado]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Originally Posted By: Desperado
Light weight tent would be my choice. More than once, I have been glad for that thin tent wall to block the wind that came up / changed direction after I thought I had everything all taken care of. That usually occurs after I have zipped the sleeping bag for the night.

A tent is usually warmer than a tarp shelter and keeps the blowing snow off you..
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

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