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#192935 - 01/07/10 10:41 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: ChicagoCraig]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6693
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: ChicagoCraig
Carrying a very large pack when traveling at 40 to 50 mph is very challenging if the trails aren't smooth as glass. A good jolt from a bump and larger bag can bounce around potentially throw you from the machine.


I hear you. I hate to wear anything on my back when bicycling for basically the same reason. That is why I will put the weight almost anywhere else - panniers are great.

I would imagine some of these items could be carried on your body in pockets and the like. That way you can be sure you have them. If kept warm, Bics are great lighters - also light and cheap.
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#192938 - 01/07/10 11:28 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: ChicagoCraig]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: ChicagoCraig
Originally Posted By: Tyber
If you can and have the ability and you are truly concerned if issues pop up I would sugest pulling a slead and negating the space issue.

Not really practical to pull cargo sled from a trail machine. A touring machine maybe but I don't get much enjoyment from a touring machine. Plus, pulling a sled will kill the mileage range.


There is no problem what so ever dragging a sled with a trail machine. Agreed, it's boring because you can't play as much as when you don't pull anything, but you need only one sled and you can rotate on the job.

You need only one (small) sled to bring complete, comfortable camping gear for the whole group (tent, groundsheet, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, stove). Add two jerry cans of gas, that'll more than make up for the lost mileage. Two jerry cans is about 40 kilos. Camping equipment is perhaps 40 kilos if you're generous. 80 kilos (about 160 pounds) is virtually nothing when mounted on a sled. You can easily pull that kind of load with basically any kind of machine unless conditions are really marginal. My own experience with this is from Spitsbergen, not many gaz stations there... Most trips involved at least two jerry cans on a sled. (Although I freak out when I think of how we utterly failed to prepare on some of our trips... whish I then knew what I've learned from this site...)

Most likely, you've already made the decision for no sled. That's OK, it is your choice, a sled would make life a bit easier but it's not impossible. I just want to make sure that you don't make that choice on false assumptions.

Another safety factor that is really important: I assume each rides his own machine - that is a huge safety asset. When (not if, when!) a machine breaks down you can saddle up two on one machine and ride home. It's boring and a pain to ride two on one machine, but it sure beats freezing your butt off...

As for the details of the equipment - I really have nothing to add. I'd say there is really good advise in this thread - kudos to all that has contributed smile


Edited by MostlyHarmless (01/07/10 11:46 PM)

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#192939 - 01/07/10 11:48 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: hikermor]
epirider Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 232
Loc: Wyoming, USA
Just cause I love sledding - I will add my .02

As far as your equipment dont overload your sled. It will make you top heavy if you get on a hill or deep powder.

If you are on a 2 seater turn your pack into a back rest or a bigger back rest for your passenger. If no passenger, lay it flat so you can lean against it.

other then that the key to snowmobiling is NOT to get lost stuck or broke down. Most of the time (recommended all of the time) you will be with at least one other snowmobile. Have equip to:

stay warm
find where you are/where you need to be
eat / hydrate
be rescued.

I am not down playing any suggestion put forth, it has been my experience though that you pack enough to walk back to your camp / trailer. If you plan on making distance (100's of miles) have a cell phone / sat phone and an extra battery.

I am jealous, have fun and WEAR A HELMET!
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#192946 - 01/08/10 12:59 AM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: epirider]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
In order to not hijack this thread, I created a new thread on medications in below 40F temperatures. Most meds seem to like to be stored at "room temperature".

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#192963 - 01/08/10 04:11 AM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: epirider]
ChicagoCraig Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 113
Originally Posted By: epirider
I am jealous, have fun and WEAR A HELMET!

And one with an electric shield. I switch to electric about four years ago and now will never ride with one. Absolutely wonderful in cold snowy weather and I consider part of my PCK (Personal Comfort Kit).


Edited by ChicagoCraig (01/08/10 04:11 AM)

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#193002 - 01/08/10 04:39 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: Jeff_M]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
Could only reply to one of the replys on improvised snow dyes. Not intending to hi-jack but do you mix the jello/gatorade/kool aid powders first or just put the powders straight on the snow? I knew others on the forum would have some insight on this. Thanks to Jeff, nighthiker, and hikermor. Thanks in advance for any replies. Not trying to hi-jack so behave yourselves laugh .

P.S. Thinking about the lost hikers on Mt Hood and the impact weather had on that Search and Rescue. CC, mind the weather reports not only for your travel plans but also for any SAR attempts.
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#193008 - 01/08/10 05:43 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: Jeff_M]
Tyber Offline
Sheriff
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 292
Loc: ST. Paul MN
Originally Posted By: Jeff_M
Originally Posted By: Mark_Frantom
maybe even something to color the snow (I was thinking food coloring but surely there is something better).


Packets of Jell-O mix in bright colors, such as strawberry, are excellent for staining snow to make a signal. Hot Jell-O liquid makes a good warming drink, too.



After Years of research the US Military discovered that warmed instant Jell-O (NOT the sugar free kind) is the best way to help a person recover from hypothermia. I carry about 4 packets of them in my winter Bag. It was a required item to have when I took my Wilderness EMT class at SOLO in North Conway NH.

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#193011 - 01/08/10 06:01 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: MostlyHarmless]
Tyber Offline
Sheriff
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 292
Loc: ST. Paul MN
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
Originally Posted By: ChicagoCraig
Originally Posted By: Tyber
If you can and have the ability and you are truly concerned if issues pop up I would sugest pulling a slead and negating the space issue.

Not really practical to pull cargo sled from a trail machine. A touring machine maybe but I don't get much enjoyment from a touring machine. Plus, pulling a sled will kill the mileage range.


There is no problem what so ever dragging a sled with a trail machine. Agreed, it's boring because you can't play as much as when you don't pull anything, but you need only one sled and you can rotate on the job.

You need only one (small) sled to bring complete, comfortable camping gear for the whole group (tent, groundsheet, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, stove). Add two jerry cans of gas, that'll more than make up for the lost mileage. Two jerry cans is about 40 kilos. Camping equipment is perhaps 40 kilos if you're generous. 80 kilos (about 160 pounds) is virtually nothing when mounted on a sled. You can easily pull that kind of load with basically any kind of machine unless conditions are really marginal. My own experience with this is from Spitsbergen, not many gaz stations there... Most trips involved at least two jerry cans on a sled. (Although I freak out when I think of how we utterly failed to prepare on some of our trips... whish I then knew what I've learned from this site...)

Most likely, you've already made the decision for no sled. That's OK, it is your choice, a sled would make life a bit easier but it's not impossible. I just want to make sure that you don't make that choice on false assumptions.


I respect your decision not to pull a sled, infact the renter may forbid it. But I must adress the issue of preformance and pulling a sled.

During my time with the State of Maine's College Conservation Corps and donig SAR in Maine I often was on a sled that I pulled a modified dog sled with (***WOOOF***) The sled had a 1 inch thick plywood triangele and a Universal joint that connected the sled to the snowmobile. This allowed me to pull gear (as in Chain saws, chains, straps, grip-hoists, fuel, food, axes,, you get the point), or people, plus one of my coworkers would ride in the mushers position on the dog sled (no he never cracked a whip, but he did yell "MUSH you Skirvy dog" a lot).

During this time (about two winters) I would patrol trails that were groomed as well as break new trails and do rescue missions. I had that snowmobile and dog sled combo in up to 3 feet of fresh unbroken snow, launched it in jumps (my coworker never let me live it down when we launched about 10 feet in the air) and managed to find lost snow mobilers on the trail and bring them back using the dog sled as a trailer.

While I did have to be aware of overhead objects(almost took off my coworkers head once or twice), to be honest I never noticed the weight as slowing me down, nor preventing me from going somplace that was "intresting" There must have been a bit of a tax on the motor more than if it was just the snow mobile alone, but to be honest,, The benifit outweighed any loss of mobility.

ChicagoCraig, I do realize that where your going the snow will be deeper, and a finer powerder than I was donig in the East Coast, so the decision to not take a slead I can understand. I also have to not my personality type is to enjoy a snowmobile that would have a double long track, and is more methotical and powerful, than fast and fun. so for me slapping a sled on the back would be easy peasy.




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#193016 - 01/08/10 06:53 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: NightHiker]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
Based on your earlier post I thought maybe you had done this before (or knew someone that had done it). I just wasn't sure if the coloring would go very far or work as a powder; or lose it's impact as a liquid. If it was windy it would seem leaving it as a powder would be a bad idea also. Of course we do have plenty of snow right now so i could experiment some tonight. laugh
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#193017 - 01/08/10 06:58 PM Re: What am I missing in my cold weather PSK ? [Re: ChicagoCraig]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
I'm a big fan of small and lightweight. I also believe in eating my own dog food, that is to say, actually using the items in my kit under realistic conditions to see how they meet expectations. Last weekend it was down in the low teens with medium winds and gusts up to 40MPH, and there was still two inches of crusty snow left over from the pre-Christmas storm. On top of that I was still recovering from a cold. Obviously, this was the perfect time to test out my EDK.

I won't bore you with all the successes and failures (of which there were many of the latter). Instead I'll limit to things which should be of interest to you.

1. Scarf. Maybe this is obvious to you but it wasn't to me. I considered it a luxury item not worth of space in my kit. I quickly discovered my error as I tried to move around in gusty, 11*F winds with my parka partially open to avoid overheating.

2. Stove & Wind Screen. Spurred by my earlier garage success with my home-made SuperCat alcohol stove, I gave it a go outdoors in the wind. Short story: Failure. Over 20 minutes of burn time and 2 oz of grain alcohol with an improvised HD foil wind screen still could not turn snow into 14 oz of boiling water. I believe this can be overcome with a better stove/wind screen design.

Further comment: white coleman stove fuel might wind up being the best choice for winter cooking. The only problem might be the need to pre-heat the generator in order to light the stove. This can be accomplished with a small stripe of fire gel paste or even a tinder quick.

3. Mylar Emergency Blanket. While I (and most others) have one or more of these in our kits, I thought these would really only be good for some protection from wind and rain. I was quite surprised to find they do indeed do a great job of conserving body heat and make it noticeably warmer and more comfortable when no other shelter or warmth is available. The problem is that it's hard to wrap the slippery, crinkly material around you and it provides zero insulation from the cold ground. Nevertheless, I spend a very comfortable six hours dozing on-and-off sitting upright in a patio chair with nothing more than normal street clothes. some minor supplemental clothing from by EDK, and wrapped like a 6-foot baked potato in a generic Mylar blanket. I am also impressed by how durable these thin blankets are. I've used, folded and reused the same one a half dozen times now, even tied up the corners to make a wind break, and it shows no signs of wearing out.

I would recommend something like the AMK Emergency Bivvy for better protection, and in fact I have one in my kit but didn't want to sacrifice it on this research project. Of course a 4-seasons tent or Gortex winter bivvy plus a down mummy bag would be a more comfortable solution, but if you can't afford the weight and/or space, a Mylar blanket is better than nothing.
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