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A Beginner’s Guide To Winter Camping And Bushcraft

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing, Boating, HIking, Trapping' started by searcher, Dec 30, 2013.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Friday, December 20, 2013

    A Beginner’s Guide to Winter Camping and Bushcraft


    Winter has come! For many, it signals the end of camping and bushcraft until spring. For may others, even experienced outdoorsmen, it signals a change in camping and bushraft. Backpacks get replaced by cars, snowmobiles and toboggans, loaded with a ballooned gear list, of large tents, wood stoves, and copious amounts of clothing. To a person who is thinking of venturing into the woods during winter for the first time, the task seems daunting, requiring that one either gives up on the idea, or else acquires large amounts of new and different gear, as well as adopt new methods of camping.


    Well, I decided to write this post to tell you that winter camping is not some extreme pursuit, nor does it require a change in the way you camp. In this post I hope to go over some of the considerations regarding techniques and gear for moderate winter camping. By moderate winter camping, I mean wilderness pursuits that do not require specialized skills, i.e. no ice climbing our mountaineering, no glacier travel, etc.



    [​IMG]



    A while back I did a post called Beginners Guide to Affordable Bushcraft and Camping Gear. In there I provided a list of links to other articles that I have done on beginners three season camping and bushcraft. In this current article, I will be building on those foundations.

    Before you continue reading, please remember that what you see here is my style of winter camping. It is certainly not the only one, and it is not for everyone. For me winter backpacking, camping, and bushcraft are not different than in any other season. My focus is on mobility and portability of gear, in order to facilitate travel over difficult and diverse terrain. My winter camping mirrors my three season camping. I backpack into the woods, sometimes for a considerable distance, until I reach the chosen location on the map. I then set up camp and spend the night there. In the morning I pack up and get moving again. You can see my trip reports for more details. So, when you read this post, keep that in mind. My way is certainly not for everyone. If you are looking for information on traveling with a sled, and staying in large canvas tents, heated with wood stoves, you will not find my approach very useful. You can find numerous good sources of information on that style of camping. In this post however, I want to tell you that you are not restricted to that style of camping, and that there is another way. If like me, you are interested in being able to comfortably carry your winter gear in a backpack, and travel over diverse terrain where a sled will not go, or to places where there is no fuel for the wood stoves, or simply want to get into winter camping without a huge investment in gear, then hopefully this will be of some help.


    The last thing I will say before starting the gear discussion is that you should make every effort not to use the fact that it is winter to forget everything you have learnt about gear selection and woodsmanship. Winter is no excuse to pile up every imaginable piece of gear “just in case”. Your gear selection process should be no different than when doing it during any other time of the year. After all, if you were out camping in 35F (2C) in the fall, how many changes are required to do it at 20F (-7C) in winter? What about at –10F (-23C)? The difference is one of degree (excuse the pun) not of kind.


    The easiest way to start winter camping is to just do it. That is how I started. Little by little, you will figure out your own little methods and tricks to make the stay more comfortable, but the basics are not that different. When starting out, don’t go too far into the woods, and don’t go out in temperatures much lower than what you are comfortable in. Gradually you will be able to push your own boundaries, and most importantly, overcome your fear and need to bring out excessive amounts of gear just because “it is winter”.



    Clothing:


    Perhaps the most important consideration in winter camping is your clothing. In my opinion, the most important thing to realize about your winter clothing is that it is not that different from your three season clothing. Now, that is contrary to most of the conventional wisdom that you will see in many books and websites. If you have been reading on the subject, by now you have become familiar with people dressed like spacemen, with numerous layers, anoraks, heavy coats, etc. This type of clothing might be excellent for car camping, snowmobile travel, pulling a toboggan or sled along a frozen river bed, or for sitting by the wood stove inside a spacious tent, but it is horribly inadequate for the type of winter woodsmanship I am discussing here. A woodsman who is mobile, and travels through the woods on foot, carrying all of his gear on his back, requires a different clothing system, and it closely resembles that of a backpacker during the rest of the year.


    Your winter clothing system is not complicated, and it does not require you to purchase a whole new set of clothing. Since your winter trips will resemble your three season trips, the clothing is surprisingly similar. Your winter clothing is comprised of your three season clothing, with the addition of one, or possibly two pieces.


    I find that people almost always underestimate just how much heat their body produces when working and traveling through the woods, even if the travel does not involve any special or extreme exertion. To account for this heat production, and prevent getting drenched in sweat, the approach I use focuses on creating what some call an “action suit”, which will allow you to remain thermally neutral during periods of high activity. Just like with your three season layering system, you have a wicking base layer, an insulating layer, and possibly a shell layer to protect you from snow and wind. The insulation in the action suit is supposed to be the minimum required to keep you thermally regulated when moving. In most conditions that requires very little because even in extremely cold conditions the body produces very large amounts of heat. It is not uncommon to see people skiing to the South Pole in just a base layer. If you wear all of the three season clothing that I listed in the post to which I linked earlier on Beginners Guide to Affordable Bushcraft and Camping Gear, you will most likely end up being too warm. It will serve you as an action suit in even very cold conditions, and in most cases you will have to end up using it without the secondary fleece layer. A possible additional piece of clothing you may want to use in this action suit, aside from your three season clothing is a pair of thermal long johns. I find them unnecessary in all but the coldest conditions, but you may feel better with a thin pair like the Patagonia Capeline 1 thermal underwear.



    [​IMG]



    Now the question of course comes, “what happens when you stop moving”? That is where the additional clothing comes into play. When you stop being active, let’s say when you are done setting up camp, and sit down to cook dinner, your body heat production drastically decreases. To compensate for that, you need a thick outer jacket that you can put on on top of all your other clothing.


    However you want to think of your clothing system, whether it be in the way I have described, or simply as wearing a lot of layers to keep warm, the reality is that during most of your trip, your heavy insulation will not be worn, but rather stored in your backpack. As I mentioned earlier, when you are active, your body will produce a lot of heat, which means that ultimately, you will be wearing very little clothing. As a result, bulky and heavy parkas of decades past simply will not do for the style of winter camping I am describing here. The moment you start moving, you have to remove that jacket and place it in your pack. If you can not do that because of the size of the jacket, then it is not much good. The ability to pull out the stationary/heavy insulation and put it on the moment you stop moving, and subsequently take it off and quickly pack it away once you are ready to move on, and do it in an efficient and fluid manner is of extreme importance. This outer coat has to be not only warm (a task easily achieved), but also very compressible and light weight. That is not a concern for someone who is car camping, or traveling on a snowmobile or with the use of a sled, but for the woodsman carrying his gear on his back, it is of paramount importance.


    I have written all of the above, just to say that all you need when it comes to your winter clothing is your three season clothing (wicking base layer, insulating thin fleece layer, thicker fleece or puffy layer, rain shell) and a big puffy jacket which is light and easily compressible, so that it can be stored in your pack while moving, and put on while you are stationary. The jacket I use the most is the Patagonia DAS Parka. I find it offers good insulation for most weather conditions while compressing well and having reasonable weight. There are many other good options currently on the market, which utilize all types of fill, some synthetic, some down. Ultimately, the exact materials are not crucial. They have all been used successfully by experienced woodsmen. You just have to make sure the jacket you get is warm, and that it can compress easily to fit in your pack once you start moving.



    [​IMG]



    The only other thing to touch on, aside from the obvious – bring a hat and gloves, is winter boots. Again, there is a lot of talk about mukluks, pac boots, and all sorts of designs, but in my opinion, they are either inadequate or complete overkill. For most winter conditions, your regular backpacking boots with a good pair of wool socks will serve you just fine. Unless you are going out in some extremely cold conditions, or climbing ice, nothing more specialized is needed. Remember, there is no need for your winter trips to drastically differ from your three season ones, and as a result, very similar footwear will be needed. Do not be tempted to buy heavily insulated soft boots (mukluks) which are designed for travel on level ground, or specialized mountaineering boots, designed for ice climbing. Both tend to be inadequate or overkill for travel over diverse terrain.


    Lastly, related to the boots, is a pair of good gaiters. Gaiters attach to the boots, and go up your leg (I would suggest knee length ones). They keep snow out of your boots, and keep snow off your pants. I use a pair of REI Havenpass eVent gaiters.



    For a more in dept look at what I use, you can have a look at the following posts:







    Ultimately, my advise is - don’t over think it. You have been out during winter before; you have been in the woods during cold weather. Dress warmly, be smart, and you will do just fine. If you find your clothing to be inadequate, turn around and go home. Don’t get caught up in gimmicks about the perfect material or the perfect clothing, whether it be the most modern miracle fiber or some alleged sacred knowledge of someone’s ancestors. Most options available on the market have been thoroughly tested and work fine. The things I mention above are just tips designed to make your trip easier, and to ensure that you remain mobile while in the woods.



    Gear:


    Just like with your winter clothing, your winter gear does not have to drastically differ from your three season gear. If you are reading about winter camping, I assume that you have at least some experience with three season camping and have the appropriate gear. If you are unsure about your three season gear, have a look at what I use:








    Your winter gear will simply reflect some modifications to your already existing three season gear. As I said earlier, do not be tempted to use “winter” as an excuse to pile on gear. Any changes will be in degree, not in kind.



    Shelter:


    The first modification which will be needed is to your shelter. I strongly believe that your shelter system should be capable of keeping you comfortable during winter without the help of external heat sources. Having a fire for extra warmth is a nice thing, but with the technology we have at our disposal today, there is no excuse for being reliant on such external heat sources. If your shelter system is not capable of keeping you comfortable, let alone alive on its own, then I would recommend you take a long, hard look at your gear choices. From my experience, not much is required to meet these criteria.


    Your shelter is comprised of three elements: the tent/tarp, the sleeping bag, and the sleeping mat (or if using a hammock, an underquilt).



    [​IMG]



    When it comes to a tent/tarp, winter camping can be accomplished with just about any variant. As you know, my preference is for an open floor tent. That way I do not have to clean snow from the floor, while at the same time, I get good wind protection. That being said, most tents, or a low pitched tarp will get the job done. People often go over the top and immediately get a “four season” tent. The reality is that unless you are climbing Denali, or crossing a glacier, such a tent is not needed. Tents like that are designed to withstand extreme winds and snow fall, conditions you are unlikely to encounter on a regular winter trip. Most three season tents, or a well pitched tarp will handle the conditions without a problem. The shelter you use for your three season camping will be sufficient for most winter use. If you are an area where the winters are so extreme that a regular shelter can not survive, then you don’t need my advice on the subject.


    The sleeping bag is a different matter. You need one with a proper rating. As you know from your three season trips, sleeping bag ratings are subjective, but try to be within the range of temperatures you are likely to encounter. This may very well necessitate that you buy an additional sleeping bag. However, be honest with what you need and what you already have. Have a quick look at the winter temperatures in your area, and then have a look at the temperature rating of your three season bag. There is a good chance that you already bought a three season bag with a 15F (-10C) rating, just in case. If winter temperatures in your area rarely drop below 20F (-7C), then is there a need for a new bag? Do not be tempted to go out and buy the heaviest arctic bag you can find. Remember, everything you bring has to be carried in your backpack, not to mention that it costs money. There is a good chance you may be able to manage just fine in winter with your three season bag, or by simply adding a cheap fleece liner which you can buy in most outdoor gear stores. If you do in fact need a dedicated winter bag, there are many good choices on the market. Just like with jackets, they are made in all sorts of materials, with all sorts of fill, from synthetic to down. All of them will work fine for our purposes (here I am assuming a standard design mummy sleeping bag). The general rule of thumb is that the less a bag costs, the heavier and less compressible it is. You will have to find your own balance on the budget v. weight scale.


    Your sleeping mat is also very important. Insulation from the ground will make a big difference, especially in winter. Sleeping mats come with an R rating. On the US scale, a R rating of 4 and above is considered appropriate for winter camping. Not too long ago, the only available pads were closed cell foam ones. Back then, in winter we used to simply bring two closed cell foam pads, which had a R rating of about 2 each. The same approach works just as well today. Whatever pad you use for your three season camping, can be converted for winter use with the addition of a closed cell foam pad underneath. If you have the cash to spend, there are pads on the market today with high R ratings. I use a Therm-a-Rest Neo Air XTherm, which has an R rating of over 5. I use it for my three season camping as well because it is light and packs down very small.


    That’s all there is to it. The only other tip I can give is to use a pee bottle. Having a dedicated bottle in which you can pee during the night without having to get out of your sleeping bag makes a huge difference. Every time you get out of your sleeping bag, you lose all of the accumulated heat, which you then have to spend time re-establishing. A pee bottle will keep you much warmer. I use a collapsible Nalgene bottle for the purpose.


    There are other additional tips, such as carrying snow stakes for easily securing your shelter in snow, or bringing a small piece of closed cell foam to use as a seat, but those are all things you will work out along the way.



    Water Storage and Purification:


    Another part of your gear which will require modification is your water storage and purification equipment.


    The first aspect that might need to be modified, is the water containers which you use. It is preferable to use wide mouth bottles and containers, which will reduce the likelihood of the water freezing the bottle closed. Your standard Nalgene bottles work well, as well as the wide mouth collapsible bottles made by Nalgene. I stay away from hydration bladders altogether because the water freezes in the tubes way too easily. Some people have managed to make hydration systems work by insulation the system, but I prefer to stick to regular bottles. One 1L Nalgene bottle and one 2L collapsible Nalgene bottle serve me well on virtually all trips. At night, if you expect low temperatures, keeping the water bottles in your sleeping bag is a good idea. In the alternative, burry them in the snow. The water will be cold in the morning, but will not be frozen.


    The second, and more significant change is the water purification method. Unfortunately, most filtration and purification devices fail in winter, or seriously underperform. Filters are at the greatest risk. Once they get used, the water trapped inside the fibers or ceramic element is at great risk of freezing. Once that happens, the filter element will be damaged, making the filter of little use. Chemical treatments like Aqua Mira still work, but in cold weather they are significantly slowed down. Make sure to follow the instructions for cold weather use. Additionally, I prefer water purifiers in solid form rather than liquid, due to tendency of liquid water purifiers to freeze. UV devices like Steri Pen work just as well in the cold, but their batteries die much faster. Make sure to account for that.


    All of this however is not as large of an issue as it might first appear because in winter, liquid water is hard to come by. Most often, you will end up melting snow or ice for water. As such, it is easily purified by boiling. Of course, that will require you to bring adequate amounts of fuel. This is what I do. I also bring a few chemical treatment tablets, in case I want to save fuel.



    Stove:


    The first change to the stove you use, is what I mentioned above – you will simply need more fuel. Melting water requires fuel (unless you have a fire), and cooking in cold weather uses up more fuel. Make sure you plan accordingly, but don’t go overboard. After your first or second trip you will know how much fuel you use per day, and you can make more accurate calculations.


    The second change is to the stove itself. While most stoves can be pressed to give some type of service during winter, an efficient stove has to have certain features. The main issue with most stoves commonly used during three season camping is the fuel they utilize, and how they utilize it.


    Alcohol stove, which work great for three season camping, struggle in winter. Since alcohol requires vaporization in order to burn, it has to be heated before it combusts. While that is not difficult to do, the heat generated, is often very inadequate. You can easily have a stove working at full blast, while the water never coming to a boil. Even if it does, you will use large amounts of fuel.


    Stoves which use pressurized fuels in a canister equally suffer in winter. Those small stoves like the MSR Pocket Rocket, which mount on top of a fuel canister require pressurized gas in order to operate. The problem is that in cold weather, most of those gases remain liquid, failing to gasify and generate any pressure. Even the best fuel mixes, like those used by MSR, which are 30% propane and 70% isobutene have a hard time working. Propane will work in cold weather, but will get used up quickly. The remaining gas mixture, will not readily gasify. The solution is to use a remote canister stove, which has a vaporization tube, allowing for inverted canister use. In effect, by inverting the canister, you begin to use the fuel in its liquid form. The liquid fuel passes through the vaporization tube, turns into gas, and is then used by the burner. I use the Kove Spider stove all year round, which is of this design. The MSR Wind Pro is another good option.



    [​IMG]



    Lastly, you can get a white gas stove. Basically, these stoves run on a liquid petroleum based fuel. It is pressurized by a hand pump. Then, much like with the remote canister stove discussed above, the fuel passes through a vaporization tube, before being used by the burner. Both MSR and Primus make good stoves of this design. Such stoves can operate in any weather, even in extreme condition. They produce a lot of heat, but in turn tend to be heavy.



    [​IMG]



    All that being said, just like with most other gear, you can probably make due with less than ideal equipment. Regular canister and alcohol stoves get taken out during winter all the time. Clearly with some care they can be made to work. Simply keep in mind what I have told you here, so you are not surprised when the performance is less than expected or more care than usual is required.



    Other Specialized Winter Gear:


    The above changes to your gear, I consider essential to winter camping and bushcraft. There are other items which I consider non-essential for beginner winter camping. They are nice to have and will expand your range and capabilities, and after you have spent some time in the bush, you will decide which ones you need, but there is no need to get any of them when first starting out. Such items include snow shoes, crampons, ice axes, regular axes, saws, etc. I can dedicate a whole post on each piece of gear, as there is much to cover, but that is beyond the scope of this post, or your need as someone who may just be starting to camp in winter.


    Snowshoes make travel in deep snow much easier, and recent developments in snowshoe technology have made them efficient, and easy to use tools. However, they are not essential. If the snow is deep, you simply will not be able to go as far into the woods as you originally planned. For the beginner, that might not be a bad thing.


    Crampons, properly fitted to the shoes you use, are also great tool, and so is the corresponding use on an ace axe. However, unless you are climbing some serious inclines, you can get by fine without them. Be careful in icy conditions, take your time, and cover less distance. If you want a bit more traction, a simple device like the Kahtoola Microspikes which slide onto your boots, will work very well for a normal trip.


    Axes and saws are similarly thought of as essential to winter camping and I keep seeing larger and larger variants being carried, but I do not believe them to be necessary. As I mentioned when it came to the shelter system, I strongly believe that your gear should be sufficient to get you into the woods, let you stay there in relative comfort, and get you safely out, without the need for external heat sources like a fire, or any other type of shelter or tool building. These tool remain in our consciousness from a time when technology was in such a state that a fire during the night was what kept you alive. That is no longer the case. If your gear does not allow you to complete your trip without necessitating the construction of any devices or reliance on a fire, then I would recommend that you take another look at it. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a fire. It makes things more comfortable; but I do not need it. I have means to cook my food, melt snow for water, and keep myself warm at night without the need for processing large volume of firewood. I also understand if an experienced woodsman wishes to impose such a reliance on himself for purposes of adventure, but if you are just starting out, your focus should be on efficient use of your other gear, not on building large fires. If your other gear is properly selected, your choice of axe or saw will not matter much, and you will have plenty of time to experiment with different ones and see what suits you best.



    For a more detailed look at what choices I have made when it comes to this other gear, you can see this post:







    Everything else, you will learn along the way, and figure out what you need and don’t need. You will gradually learn not to get in your sleeping bag with wet clothing, to keep your compass close to your body so that the liquid does not form bubbles, to select food you can eat without taking off your gloves, and to keep your batteries in your sleeping bag so that they do not die. That however takes time. The things I have listed above, I believe are sufficient to start you out winter camping. Use your common sense, be careful, and do things gradually. Most importantly, do not let fear force you into drastic alterations to the way you camp. You should still be able to travel the same way you did during the rest of the year, carrying your gear on your back, and reaching the places you want to see.

    Posted by Ross Gilmore at 7:31 AM

    http://woodtrekker.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-beginners-guide-to-winter-camping-and.html
     
  2. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Nice article searcher!


    Never done the winter camping thing, so my comment may be invalid, but it seems that being dependent of technology for fuel/heat/cooking as opposed to a traditional fire is ripe for failure. Not sure if it is the best advice, but again I have zero winter campng experience.
     
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  3. Usury

    Usury Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    It really depends on the temperature/humidity. If the temp will be above ~20 degrees F, then all you really need is the right tent/sleeping bag and clothing and you will be toasty warm all the time--without an additional heat source besides your body heat. We've gone on many boy scout campouts in this weather and it's quite comfortable if you have the right rated gear (and equally miserable if you do not). I really can't speak about weather colder than this as it's out of my realm of experience, but the colder weather campouts we did go on were in many ways more enjoyable than the 100 degree, mosquito infested summer campouts.
     
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  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    How Not To Suck At Winter Camping
    (nutnfancy)



    https://youtu.be/TNIQ8vPDoeo

    Published on Mar 3, 2015
    It is romantic in thought but winter camping holds some cold realities for the unprepared. Put on a backpack. hike in, and enjoy a warm night by the campfire right? Probably not if you’re unprepared. Most likely the participant will get cold, wet, hungry and quickly lose the motivation to be in this harsh environment. The reason you have solitude up there and no one’s around is because it IS difficult and UN-fun for most people. Winter backpacking is a specialized skill set and this video aims to give you a headstart in the process. Much of this advice has been shown through extensive winter adventures here in TNP but is distilled down to the basics here. Drawing upon decades of snow backpacking and camping Allie and I discuss shelter choices [bring a damn tent!], survival craft, winter snow tools, avalanche danger and preparation, snowshoeing decisions, trekking poles, backpacks, sleeping bags, Thermorest and other sleeping pads, winter gloves, knives/axes, taking your dog and preparing them for the cold and rugged conditions, firecraft in the snow, calorie intake and food choices, daylight management, keeping up your morale and staying busy, survival signaling (Spot Messenger, Sat phones, mirrors, strobes), traveling smart and a lot more. This advice focuses on the more difficult and SAWC limited man portable systems but plays in all types of snow and winter camping. Another touchstone wilderness gear system video from TNP
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
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  5. WhyKnow

    WhyKnow Thnk Tank Gold Chaser

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    Remember far less daylight during most winter camping. It makes tent entertainment a real necessity. Or go on a full moon, clear night (which means even colder.)
     
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  6. Hystckndle

    Hystckndle Daguerreotype Fanatic Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Interesting article.
    For additional winter survival skills I recommend
    Anyone look up a thread here by member
    Ihskabibble
    None better at having lived AND written about their cold weather experience.
    Ragards to all,
     
  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Canadian-guerilla and Hystckndle like this.
  8. earplugs

    earplugs Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    Dont forget shared body warmth to stay warm, preferably with a smoking hot snowbunny or two...or three or four
     
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  9. blueice

    blueice Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    I want to do this before I wind up in a rest home.

    Go out and search for Searcher..Bookmark and a must read; thank you, Sir.
     
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  10. Sampson

    Sampson Digging for nuggets of knowledge Silver Miner

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    I've done a fair bit of winter camping up here in the north and if you know what you are doing it can be fun and comfortable. However, on the flip side, it can very quickly and easily become life threatening if you make mistakes or are unprepared. Relying solely on gear and not having a backup plan can leave you frozen and very dead if conditions change or things don't go as you plan. I have spent a few trips that were over a week long where my biggest problem was that it was so cold that my whiskey kept freezing and I had to thaw it out at night so I could have a drink. I have also been on a day trip where I fell through some thin ice under the snow that was about 4 feet deep in a small ditch and I almost froze to death before I got out. Having the right gear is important but more important is having the right skills and knowledge as well as having a couple backup plans if things get tricky.
     
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  11. Krag

    Krag Planet earth Platinum Bling

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    I did a fair amount of winter camping in boy scouts where we went to ski resorts in winter and camped at the base or a mountain top site; I've hiked through the White mountain in winter; fortunately they have huts where you can stay. Basically you have to have winter ready tent, sleeping bag, mattress and cooking gear and winter clothing. There are situations that are hard to prepare for; sudden storms, freezing rain, and gear failure.
     
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  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Winter Camping: "Sub-Arctic Winter Bivouacking" 1955 US Army Training Film
    (Jeff Quitney)



    https://youtu.be/Pyv2gsCo7Vo

    Published on Sep 9, 2012
    more at http://outdoor-gear.quickfound.net/

    "PLANNING; SECURITY AND DEFENSE MEASURES; CONSISTS OF SHELTER, WATER AND COOKING FACILITIES; PROTECTION AGAINST COLD AND PROPER USE OF SLEEPING EQUIPMENT."

    United States Army Training film TF31-2138

    Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
    The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camping

    ..."Winter camping" refers to the experience of camping outside during the winter -- often when there is snow on the ground. Campers and outdoorspeople have adapted their forms of camping and survival to suit extremely cold nights and limited mobility or evacuation. Methods of survival when winter camping includes: building snow shelters such as quinzhees, igloos, or snow caves, dressing in "layers", staying dry, using low-temperature sleeping bags, and fueling the body with appropriate food...

    The equipment used in camping varies with the particular type of camping. For instance, in survival camping the equipment consists of small items which have the purpose of helping the camper in providing food, heat and safety. The equipment used in this type of camping must be lightweight and it is restricted to the mandatory items. Other types of camping such as winter camping involve having specially designed equipment in terms of tents or clothing which is strong enough to protect the camper's body from the wind and cold.

    Survival camping involves certain items that campers are recommended to have with them in case something goes wrong and they need to be rescued. A survival kit includes mandatory items which are small and must fit in one's pocket or which otherwise could be carried on one's person. This kit is useless in these circumstances if it is kept in the backpack. Such a kit should include a small metal container which can be used to heat water over a campfire, a small length of duct tape which can prove useful in many situations, and an emergency space blanket. These blankets are specially designed to occupy minimal space and are perfect for making emergency shelters, keeping the camper warm. Also because of the aluminum-like color this blanket is reflective which means it can be easily seen from an aircraft. Candle stubs are good in starting a fire as well as in warming an enclosed space. One or two band-aids are mandatory in this type of camping. Any camper, and not only the survival ones, need waterproof matches and a large safety pin or fish hook which can be used in fishing. Rubber gloves, antiseptic wipes, tinfoil, jackknife, or halazone tablets (which purify the water) are also to be included into a survival kit. Although these seem too many items to be carried on one person, they are in fact small, lightweight and definitely useful.

    Winter camping can be dangerous without respecting the basic rules when it comes to this particular activity. Firstly, the cold is protected against with clothing of three types of layers as follows: a liner layer against the camper's skin (longjohns), an insulation layer (fleece), and a water- and wind-proof outer shell. Although cotton is one of the best quality fabrics there is, it is not recommended to be worn on winter camping because if it gets wet it dries out very slowly and the wearer could freeze. Rather than cotton, winter campers should wear wool or synthetic materials. The boots must be waterproof and the head must be protected against the cold. Although it seems a good choice, campers are advised not to wear too many pairs of socks as they might restrict blood flow to the feet, resulting in cold feet. Gaiters should also be worn to avoid snow and rain wetting the boots. Secondly, one should include carbohydrates into their diet to keep their body warm as well as to provide energy. Hydration is very important so winter campers should drink plenty of water to keep themselves well hydrated, noting that water stores must be kept from freezing. Thirdly, the tent must be carefully chosen to shelter it from the wind...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    "Frozen Oasis" Solo Backpacking Adventure - Part 1 of 2
    (Joe Zermatterhorn)



    https://youtu.be/3bDbUIWO_ww

    Published on Feb 9, 2013
    A two night backpacking adventure in the snow! I head out solo into the National Forest on a cold winter weekend. Heavy backpack and Ribz pack full o'stuff. We'll put some gear through its paces - MSR, Mountain Hardware, Arc'teryx, Jetboil, Esee Junglas, Delorme InReach, and more. We'll also do some hiking and exploring, process crazy amounts of firewood, make some killer fires and cook up some outstanding food.

    This is my first video -- so take it easy. Thanks to Nutnfancy for the inspiration to take my cameras out there!

    Update:
    Main camera is a Panasonic HDC-TM900. It's a little big, but has a great big Leica Dicomar lens, good battery life, great stabilization, and incredible image quality. I also had a Samsung HMX-R10 (Small, light, good 1080p image). Head camera was a Contour Roam.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    "Frozen Oasis" Solo Backpacking Adventure - Part 2 of 2
    (Joe Zermatterhorn)



    https://youtu.be/45oMoWNjoKE

    Published on Feb 10, 2013
    A two night backpacking adventure in the snow! I head out solo into the National Forest on a cold winter weekend. Heavy backpack and Ribz pack full o'stuff. We'll put some gear through its paces - MSR, Mountain Hardware, Arc'teryx, Jetboil, Esee Junglas, Delorme InReach, and more. We'll also do some hiking and exploring, process crazy amounts of firewood, make some killer fires and cook up some outstanding food.

    This is my first video -- so take it easy. Thanks to Nutnfancy for the inspiration to take my cameras out there!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    When Sub-Zero Camping Goes Wrong - Winter Backpacking in the White Mountains
    (sintax77)



    https://youtu.be/fSl2ogVIhAc

    Published on Mar 13, 2015
    Join us for some frigid winter camping and backpacking along King Ravine in the White Mountains. http://www.sintax77.com

    For this overnight backpacking trip we'll be heading up towards Mt Adams, along the Presidential Range in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest in early February. This trip was done almost a year to the day after our High Winds Hiking trip during the previous season. Only instead of temperatures in the 20's to 30's, we had a dramatically different temperature range the low teens at it's warmest, down to roughly 20° below zero at night. Ouch. Luckily, we didn't have the extreme winds that we encountered on that last February trip. One or the other is one thing. Both together, now that's what you don't want.

    Link to Full Blog Post: http://www.sintax77.com/when-sub-zero...

    As you'll see in the video though, things still didn't go - how should I say - well, as planned. Thankfully, we were able to make the best of it and play things by ear. While I certainly would have like things to have gone a bit closer to our anticipated itinerary, I think it still ended up be a quite memorable trip. When things go as planned, that's a vacation. When things go awry and you have to react and adapt, that's an adventure. And that, after all, is what we're truly after. As long as know one get hurt, or suffers too much mental trauma, I'll chalk it up as a win.

    Below is a list of trails used, in order, as well parking info and other logistical items. Unfortunately, due to the sub-zero temps, there was no full gps track recorded for this trip. After ripping through two sets of Ultimate Lithiums in my Garmin Oregon 650 GPS on day one, I made the call to reserve my remaining rechargeable batteries for emergency route fining only. On my last winter trip to the Dolly Sods, with temps in the low 20's, I was able to go the entire 3 day trip on one set of lithium with juice to spare. My performance was quite different at 15 or so below zero, though. Once it warms up a bit, we'll get back to recording full track data as usual.


    Parking Location:
    Appalachia Trailhead
    44.371470, -71.289391
    (Not too far from the intersection of US Rt 2 and Dolly Copp Rd, in Gorham NH)

    Trails Used:
    Airline Trail to
    intersection with Upper Bruin Trail, just above treeline in the Alpine Zone
    Planned Campsite: Valley Way Tentsite or nearby vicinity, via Valley Way Trail
    Actual Campsite: Back below treeline, along the Airline Trail.

    Our plan was to summit Mt Adams the following day and return cheerfully to our previous night's campsite, base camp style. As seen in the video, things got a bit more complicated, due to extreme snow drifting along King Ravine's Alpine Zone, heading towards Madison Hut and the intersection with the Appalachian Trail towards Mt. Adams. The plan was to save Adams for day two and to use Upper Bruin Trail to head back below treeline to establish a base camp, after getting some brief views in the ravine above treeline. Despite having been to this area twice before in milder weather, the high snow drifts and unbroken trail made navigation, umm, complicated, to say the least. Add Mike's little ordeal to the mix, and you've got yourself a very interesting little winter camping trip. But I'll let you find out how all that goes in the actual video...

    A quick overview of some of the gear used:
    Big Agnes 6p tent (yes, is a car camping tent.) Split three ways.
    EMS Longtrail 70 Backpack
    MSR Denali Ascent Snowshoes
    Kahtoolah MICROspikes (the plan was to feel things out while ascending Mt Adams, and turn back if it felt like crampons were more acceptable)
    CAMP Snow Shovel
    MSR Rapidfire Stove (Inverted canister stove, no longer produced)
    *Mike carried an MSR Whisperlight Universal, rigged for white gas, which we ended up using at night due to the colder temps.
    Big Agnes Q-Core SL Sleeping Pad
    Hammock Gear Burrow 0 Top Quilt
    GSI Halulite Tea Kettle, 32 oz, for snow melting
    Vargo 450ml titanium cup
    Sea to Summit Alpha Light cutlery set (knife, fork, spoon)

    Camera Gear Used:
    Sony Handycam HDR-cx380, primary cam
    GoPro Hero 3, Black edition, secondary cam.
    RavPower 10,000 mAH usb battery pack recharger
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  16. Canadian-guerilla

    Canadian-guerilla hunter-gatherer Gold Chaser

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    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    a few days/nights every winter
    I go out with minimal clothing / food / equip just to see what I can tolerate

    TEST YOURSELF NOW

    ( physically and mentally )

    WHILE LIFE IS EASY
     
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  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
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  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Winter Bugout Shakedown Intro, (Motivational)
    (GUERRILLACOMM)



    https://youtu.be/xvSRu01QaYQ

    Published on Dec 6, 2015
    Fun, full of myself, mock winter bugout I attempted in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Though the conditions humbled me & shortened my trip. I still left learning a bit and validated my system to a new personal benchmark. This video series is not meant to instruct or "how to" others, its just my own personal documentation of my system, physical capabilities, and experimenting with various strategies. Many videos will be spawned from this trek covering many aspects of going from point A to B with my kit. Enjoy, and learn or critique.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Winter Bugout Ramblings. Some Lessons Learned
    GUERRILLACOMM



    Published on Dec 26, 2015
    Some winter Bugout walkabout ramblings about the realities of bugging out. Lots of armchair theory on YT, not enough boots on the ground to test your theories.
     
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  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Winter Survival - 1979 Educational Documentary - WDTVLIVE42
    wdtvlive42 - Archive Footage



    Published on Dec 30, 2015
    The stories of people who made proper choices as well as those who made poor choices when preparing for cross-country skiing or snowmobiling in the wilderness. The drama of a successful winter rescue is also shown.

    "Winter survival" won the Gold Plaque - Best Public Health Film at the Chicago International Film Festival and a Silver Screen Award - Safety and Health at the U.S. Industrial Film Festival.

    This film made available courtesy the Vancouver Film Archives, Reference code: AM1553-2-S3-: MI-270
     
  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    WINTER BUG OUT Clothing Loadout
    Kullcraven Bushcraft



    Published on Dec 30, 2015
    I felt if you have a bug out bag, then you should have clothing ready to change into for extreme out door conditions.Having to run around gathering clothes from here and there, is time, where as having it all collected by your bug out bag, may be a good option. Here is my ideas and thoughts on a winter loadout.
     
  22. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    WINTER BUG OUT BAG ,Load Out for MY Canadian winter
    Kullcraven Bushcraft



    Published on Jan 2, 2016
    I wanted to show my load out for a winter bug out if need be. Know your gear and what it can do, as well as knowing your own skill set is very important. Hope you enjoy the vid. For the water bottle pouch survival kit click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv4UR...
     
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  23. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  24. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Winter Cold Weather Supplemental Bug Out Bag
    TR Tech Tactical & Survival



    Published on Jan 5, 2016
    A look inside my winter emergency bug out bag. This is a supplemental bag which goes together with my main bug out bag in winter.

    The main bug out bag is a three season bag. I have the primary bag with survival gear and shelter. My emergency food bag with enough food for a week. And also my winter emergency bug out bag for cold weather survival.

    If you have to bug out or leave your home in a hurry during cold weather, this can save you valuable time. Instead of searching for your hat, gloves, scarf, spare cold weather socks, hand warmers and other cold weather gear, you just grab the bag and go.

    A winter survival bug out bag will go along with the three season bug out bag. In this way I grab my primary bug out bag, food bag and winter bag and leave.

    On the trail or when I have time I can sort through the winter bag and wear what I need now. The rest goes into my primary survival bag.

    This leaves my main bug out bag lighter for summer hiking, training or bugging out in emergency. There is no need to carry all my winter gear in summer.

    I got this bag for re-joining NRA for another year. It is a nice camouflage duffel bag with carry straps or a shoulder strap. It has a large main compartment for my coat, two side compartments and a front compartment.

    The main compartment has my coat, hat, gloves, scarf and extra cold weather gear.

    One of the side compartments has fire starting supplies. This is especially important for cold weather and keeping warm in a survival situation.

    The other side compartment has some extra winter socks.

    The front compartment has instant hand warmers. These can save your fingers or toes in a winter survival situation.

    I hope this helps someone out there. It can save a life if you are properly prepared for any situation.

    Thanks for watching. Please Subscribe, Like and Share.

    Troy
    TR Tech Tactical & Survival
     
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  25. mtnclimberjim

    mtnclimberjim Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Gender:
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    Occupation:
    Guide///District maint manager
    Location:
    Idaho
    Done tons of winter camping. Snow shoes, cross country skis, used sleds, snow mobiles, quads.
    I love the snow shelters if you got the time , a little help and conditions are right. Some of the best trips I've ever had were the ones where the blizzard comes in and makes it real. That dude that just uses a tarp or a floorless tent is crazy. 4 season tent all the way.

    I will generally build my snow shelter on a day out with friends. You can come back all winter and use it which is really cool. Here in Idaho we have some fantastic back country hot springs that make some way cool trips.
    Back in my drinking days we would always bring the booze. That came to a screeching halt when I frost bit my toes.

    The Pee bottle is sweet but you still loose all your heat, ya just don't have to go out in the snow. A good sleeping beeny is key and never sleep with your head under the cover, you can expel a quart of water during the night and if your a down feather fan your trip is most likely done. Water wrecks winter camping.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
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  26. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    -32° EXTREME COLD Overnight Bug Out Challenge!
    Canadian Prepper



    Published on Jan 20, 2016
    -43 windchill with a minimalist shelter was a rough night! The goal was to see what it would be like if I had to bug out for a night in these extremely cold temperatures. I am NOT a survival expert! I didnt use my sleeping bag much I was testing out the Fortress Gear Aeris clothing system that claims to be the warmest clothing money can buy, more on that in a future video!
     
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  27. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Cold Weather Wildcamping Advise For Beginners
    Zed Outdoors



    Published on Jan 22, 2016
    [This video is viewable in 'Full HD']
    [Please click on the 'Show More' tab for more information and important links]

    As mentioned in the video please check out Paul Kirtley's video covering exactly the same topic and please be sure to subscribe to his channel as he is a powerhouse of knowledge

    To view Paul's video click the link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WksAr...

    After receiving a message from a subscriber telling me he was going to be going on his first wildcamp and at this time of year where it's freezing conditions (was -2 celsius last night here in London) was cool, but what got me worried was when he said he's going to be wildcamping in a traditional style of Bushcraft i.e. wool blanket, etc it was then I got concerned

    In this video I cover some tips and information on wildcamping safely in cold environments and is more catered towards beginners / newbies

    Hope you enjoy it and as always many thanks for watching

    Peace

    Zed Outdoors
     
  28. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Winter Camping: "Sub-Arctic Winter Bivouacking" 1955 US Army Training Film TF31-2138
    Jeff Quitney



    Published on Dec 1, 2016
    Outdoor Recreation, Camping, Survival... playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

    US Army Training Film playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

    more at http://outdoor-gear.quickfound.net/

    "PLANNING; SECURITY AND DEFENSE MEASURES; CONSISTS OF SHELTER, WATER AND COOKING FACILITIES; PROTECTION AGAINST COLD AND PROPER USE OF SLEEPING EQUIPMENT."

    United States Army Training film TF31-2138

    Reupload of a previously uploaded film with improved video & sound.

    Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
    The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camping

    ..."Winter camping" refers to the experience of camping outside during the winter -- often when there is snow on the ground. Campers and outdoorspeople have adapted their forms of camping and survival to suit extremely cold nights and limited mobility or evacuation. Methods of survival when winter camping includes: building snow shelters such as quinzhees, igloos, or snow caves, dressing in "layers", staying dry, using low-temperature sleeping bags, and fueling the body with appropriate food...

    The equipment used in camping varies with the particular type of camping. For instance, in survival camping the equipment consists of small items which have the purpose of helping the camper in providing food, heat and safety. The equipment used in this type of camping must be lightweight and it is restricted to the mandatory items. Other types of camping such as winter camping involve having specially designed equipment in terms of tents or clothing which is strong enough to protect the camper's body from the wind and cold.

    Survival camping involves certain items that campers are recommended to have with them in case something goes wrong and they need to be rescued. A survival kit includes mandatory items which are small and must fit in one's pocket or which otherwise could be carried on one's person. This kit is useless in these circumstances if it is kept in the backpack. Such a kit should include a small metal container which can be used to heat water over a campfire, a small length of duct tape which can prove useful in many situations, and an emergency space blanket. These blankets are specially designed to occupy minimal space and are perfect for making emergency shelters, keeping the camper warm. Also because of the aluminum-like color this blanket is reflective which means it can be easily seen from an aircraft. Candle stubs are good in starting a fire as well as in warming an enclosed space. One or two band-aids are mandatory in this type of camping. Any camper, and not only the survival ones, need waterproof matches and a large safety pin or fish hook which can be used in fishing. Rubber gloves, antiseptic wipes, tinfoil, jackknife, or halazone tablets (which purify the water) are also to be included into a survival kit. Although these seem too many items to be carried on one person, they are in fact small, lightweight and definitely useful.

    Winter camping can be dangerous without respecting the basic rules when it comes to this particular activity. Firstly, the cold is protected against with clothing of three types of layers as follows: a liner layer against the camper's skin (longjohns), an insulation layer (fleece), and a water- and wind-proof outer shell. Although cotton is one of the best quality fabrics there is, it is not recommended to be worn on winter camping because if it gets wet it dries out very slowly and the wearer could freeze. Rather than cotton, winter campers should wear wool or synthetic materials. The boots must be waterproof and the head must be protected against the cold. Although it seems a good choice, campers are advised not to wear too many pairs of socks as they might restrict blood flow to the feet, resulting in cold feet. Gaiters should also be worn to avoid snow and rain wetting the boots. Secondly, one should include carbohydrates into their diet to keep their body warm as well as to provide energy. Hydration is very important so winter campers should drink plenty of water to keep themselves well hydrated, noting that water stores must be kept from freezing. Thirdly, the tent must be carefully chosen to shelter it from the wind...
     
  29. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Ski Safety: "First Aid and Emergency Repair of Equipment" 1942 US Army Training Film; XC Skiing
    Jeff Quitney



    Published on Dec 21, 2016
    Outdoor Recreation, Camping, Survival playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

    US Army Training Film playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

    more at http://outdoor-gear.quickfound.net/

    "DIAGNOSIS AND FIRST AID FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF SKI ACCIDENTS--EMERGENCY REPAIR OF EQUIPMENT."

    US Army training film TF7-681

    Reupload of a previously uploaded film, in one piece instead of multiple parts, and with improved video & sound.

    Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
    The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilderne...

    ...First aid

    Wilderness first aid is the specific discipline of First aid which relates to care in remote areas, where emergency medical services will be difficult to obtain or will take a long time to arrive.

    Locating the victim precedes assessment and intervention and in the case of wilderness response is often a difficult matter.[citation needed] Specialists in white water rescue, mountain rescue, mine disaster response and other specialties are often employed. In some cases, emergency extrication procedures at incidents such as automobile accidents are required before assessment is possible. Once the location of the victim has been determined, a trained responder has been dispatched and successfully reached the victim can the ordinary first aid process begin. Assessment is then enabled and it follows carefully specified protocols which have been refined through a long process of evaluation.

    Specific conditions

    - Exposure, sometimes called hypothermia, is a normal hazard of temperate wilderness. It occurs when a person's core body temperature falls below 33.7C (92.6F). If a person is wet, in a mild wind, it can occur in less than an hour at temperatures as high as 15°C (59°F).

    - Heat syncope: heat exhaustion or sunstroke Both maladies tend to occur during heavy exercise in high humidity, or with inadequate water. Some chronically ill persons enter this state normally.

    - Cramps There are two basic causes of cramping. One is inadequate oxygenation of muscle, and the other is lack of water or salt. Cramps from poor oxygenation can be improved by rapid deep breathing, and stretching the muscle. Cramps from lack of salt and water can be treated by stretching the muscle, drinking water and eating salt. Cramps occur when lactic acid builds up because of normal anaerobic muscle metabolism. When the muscle burns sugar without enough oxygen, it makes lactic acid. The lactic acid finally becomes concentrated enough to trigger the contraction of the muscle. When the muscle lacks salt, the nerves firing the muscle are unable to recharge properly, causing a similar effect.

    - Insect and animal bites

    -Anaphylactic shock. Insect bites as well as exposure to allergens can trigger anaphylaxis in some people. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency because of rapid constriction of the airway, often within minutes of onset.

    -Altitude sickness can begin in susceptible people as low as 8,000 ft. The early symptoms are drowsiness, feeling unwell, and weakness, especially during exercise. Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

    - Wounds

    The care of significant wounds in the wilderness presents a great challenge. Lack of access to sterile supplies and hospital care renders useless many aspects of routine wound care. The care of wounds can be broken down into acute care (immediate) and chronic (long term -- day to day care)...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ski_patrol

    A Ski Patrol is an organization that provides Emergency Medical and rescue services to skiers and participants of other snow sports, either at a ski area or in a back country setting. Patrollers are trained in Basic or Advanced Life Support to stabilize and transport patients to definitive care, often with the same capabilities as in an ambulance...


     

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