Camping up for 2018 season

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by skull, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. skull

    skull One of Us

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    Yiew, winter is almost here. I can smell it.

    Anyway this year to save costs (wife, kids, and the season ski school) we have decided to camp. I have done plenty of reading here to see other experiences. We, with some friends advice, purchased a new tent for use during winter. We got a blackwolf turbo plus.

    The plan is Friday night head to thredbo diggins or ngairgo and set up and sleep. Should arrive around 8/9pm. Mornings will be up and breakfast before heading to thredbo for the day. Lunch most likely on mountain (kids are covered by ski school). Then in the afternoon, spa sauna and showers at the thredbo leisure centre (thredbo 365 pass), and dinner in the village. After that back to the tent and sleep.

    We will be leaving the tent up during the day on saturday and sunday, then pull it down sunday evening when leaving. Only leaving our sleeping gear and maybe eski and chairs inside.

    Main concerns are:
    • Leaving the tent up, but reading of some posts that shouldn't be a problem.
    • Drying gear, well hopefully the drive back down will sort that out. Our contingency for that is buying a second set of gear.
    • Room at the campsites. Since it seems more people are starting to take on the camping experience I am concerned that when we arrive Friday night they are full. I did read about leatherbarrel camping area but am concerned about driving down alpine way in the dark and snow/frost conditions (Vehicle is a volvo xc70 - have thought about fitting snow tyres for season but every friday and sunday will be driving from/to canberra. Minimal driving in canberra)

    Anyway I am excited, hence the post.

    Any tips or guidance you wish to share, please do
     
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  2. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them
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    Some miscellaneous points:
    • Always have a plan B, eg if it's blowing 160km/hr on the mainrange bail back to Canberra
    • If they're snow-clearing you might not be able to get out onto the road from the campsite
    • Make sure you get enough insulation between you and the ground
    • Hot water bottles rock
    • I find it colder camping on the grass than on the snow
    We might bump into each other :)
     
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  3. Kletterer

    Kletterer Still looking for doughnuts
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    Leaving a tent with annexe up can be a problem on windy days/nights.
     
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  4. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    Leaving the tent up is fine.

    3000w inverter in the car will power a 240v blow heater in the tent as an emergency drying room. Even after torrential rain days, this works a treat and dries everything in like 30mins.

    There is always room somewhere.

    Snow tyres are good but not good enough to get you out of campsites without chains in a 2wd. 4wd will be fine.

    Firewood can be an issue, so if you have space, collect some good stuff on the way. This will save trudging around in the mud and getting your pants soaked just to find crappy damp dead wood.
     
  5. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    Yeh, tents hang in til about 80. Then all bets are off.

    Many mornings I have woken to 90% destroyed tents and everyone in their cars with shocked looks like they had been hit by a tornado.

    30cm 10mm tent pegs as a minimum. Use your vehicle as a wind break for your tent on windy nights. Small tarp over the tent to keep the water off it really helps with comfort too.
     
  6. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them
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    I do like my Aldi tent peg set :)
     
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  7. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    One thing I notice in Jindy caravan park during a blow.
    lakeside gets smashed . Though its a very pretty place to camp

    Go back 100 metres behind some shelterbelts and the tents survive fine.
     
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  8. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    If I had to peg down a Zeppelin. Thats what I'd be using.
     
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  9. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture
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    Here's some pointers, having been a regular camper at Ngarigo:
    • Year-on-year it's getting busier, get there early to beat the CBR/SYD 9-5ers (main arrivals from 8pm on Friday to Saturday AM)
    • Being in the valley you'd be forgiven for thinking it'd be sheltered from the wind but the wind can be WILD (almost like a localized Foen Wind scenario) and yep as windy as Lakeside Jindy.
    • Leave your tent up but be smart how you secure it, you can halve the snow-load if it's dumping by arranging a lean-to tarp partially over your tent
    • Have fun, it's one of the best campsites in Aus, if you ask me. Leave only your footprints and you'll have a ripper of a time.
    Also, good on you for doing some good homework before asking the same old questions - you've got some sensible concerns so it's good it's no YART.
     
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  10. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    Take your own bog rolls.
     
  11. skull

    skull One of Us

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    That is worrying. So shovels and recovery gear might be needs?
    The car is allwheel drive but well, yeah that isn't much.

    it is a pretend 4wd (allwheel drive) No low gear etc...

    Good tip on the firewood.

    The tent is pretty heavy duty, canvas, weighs 30kg, 25mm aluminum frame. Won't leave awning up when not in it. We have a mallet for hitting pegs in but will look at some heavy duty pegs.

    Doing a test camp this weekend with it so will suss out the pegs it comes with.
     
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  12. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    For drying and warm - put a fire in tent.
     
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  13. weerab

    weerab One of Us
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    I like that idea. Does Falls Creek have a similar leisure centre, I wonder?
     
  14. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
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    Remember hot water bottles go between your legs, not on your feet. Between your legs you'll heat your femoral artery directly and be much warmer than you will trying to warm an extremity with limited blood flow.
     
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  15. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    To Jindy.
    This Easter.
    They'll run out again
     
  16. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Warm Willy syndrome
     
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  17. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    Snow chains and a couple of shovels will guarantee you can get out of the campsites on big snow falls.
     
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  18. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    No guarantee you'll get out of bed
     
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  19. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    Better get some tomorrow :eek:
     
  20. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Further to this.
    I don't know how you campers do those Neg six mornings.
    It's bad enough in a van
     
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  21. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Buy in bulk and sell in nuggets on Sunday
     
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  22. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    Layering, BC sleeping bags and fleece blankets seems good down to -10.

    Wicking base layers so you always feel dry and don't wear cotton. Synthetics ftw.
     
  23. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    Just buy a half decent sleeping bag ( no, not Aldi!)
     
  24. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    I have a Mont.
    It's toasty.

    It's moreso getting up and getting going (kids) in Neg six.
    Everything freezes solid. No sun to warm.
    *this is july
     
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  25. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    PS: and a comfy sleeping mat with a high R value.
     
  26. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    Thermos in sleepingbag, hot coffee to wake up to. Down jacket, down pants, down booties.
    Porridge, go.
     
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  27. coolair

    coolair One of Us
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    You can not have too many guy ropes at any site in the Snowy Mountains, when it hits the fan you will be
    glad for every one of them. I even strap down my Avan if things look suss. IMG_5283.JPG
    If you want the Mrs to go again watch the forecasts especially if the front is due at the same time at the trip- just saying.
    I always take a supply of pre cut pallets for fire wood, one milk crate of timber can do 1.5 nights, but I have plenty of room.
    enjoy...
     

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  28. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Jindy caravan park has a pizza oven.
    I'll wake at 1am for a pee and it's a campers warming oven.
     
  29. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 One of Us

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    Skull. You have done some good reading and look well set. I always try to advise campers nearby to be aware of the extreme bullets coming down the valley. I often get the "Yeah Mate, we know what we're doing" attitude. Sometimes it reamins calm overnight and people think you are a dickenhead but there are many mornings where "I told you so" rings true, so set up like you ARE going to get blasted. Orientation of your tent, position (might be tricky arriving when you do) and plans for when all hell breaks lose. Never leave tarps or , awnings up overnight unless incredibly (anal rententive level) secured and unlikely to flap. Don't leave containers, chairs and other missiles exposed up and if you think it's going to blow a bit, pack them away. Predict mud, snow or slush at your tent entrance, so outdoor rubber mats or such to mitigate. In extreme cold, car is colder so avoid, but a cheap tent within the expensive tent provides a layer to trap heat. Alternatively, a tight string above beds with a blanket strung over (which can be drawn up or down depending on temp) provides another layer which is incredibly effective. Otherwise, have a heap of fun. Life is an adventure, even when it's extreme! I might add, most nights are calm and peaceful!
     
  30. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us
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    Metal hot water bottles in each boot to defrost in morning before attempting to put on, frozen boots suck.
     
  31. Arsas

    Arsas One of Us

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    While I have not camped at Diggings (I camp at Sawpit creek - we ski at Perisher) I have been camping with the family for the last 3 years and usually camp 3-4 times a season. First started when the kids were 4, 6 and 7. Biggest thing to worry about is keeping the kids warm and happy.
    These may not all apply to you but these are some my findings and things I've changed over the last few years.
    First tent we used had a half mesh inner and it was freezing. It is amazing how just a little bit of fabric or lack of fabric can make a huge difference to the cold air rolling in. We looked for a long time and found a 3 room tent that has a full fabric inner and full fly, most large tents in Australia have mesh inners. If it is going to be super cold I put some of those rubber mats between the fly and inner to stop the cold air rolling in, makes a huge difference.
    Does the BW Turbo tent have a full fly down to the ground? I think this is an option?
    We also put a tarp over the tent, and found it makes a difference.
    We put down rubber mats and then sleeping mats on top. We then use rubber/plastic backed picnic blankets on the floor in the standing area to get dressed etc.
    Have something to sit on in the tent to get boots on and off especially with kids, and rubber mats to put muddy boots on.
    Best sleeping option we found is fleece sleeping bag liners (some sell them as fleece sleeping bags). Our kids didn't really like the feel of the sleeping bag inner, but love the fleece liners and it adds a few more degrees to the bag.
    Get up 20mins before the kids and get your car warm before you put the kids in. Have the kids sleep in their skiing thermals so they just get up and throw on ski gear. First thing to put on the kids is Gloves, if kids hands get cold they get whiny and upset. Don't mess around with ski/snow board boots in the tent do it in the nice warm car.
    It takes a few goes at it before you work out how best to do it for your family. It is an awesome experience to camp with kids at the snow but it takes the 6 P's (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance). Think a few steps ahead so you have everything where you need it when you need it. Hope you enjoy it.
     
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  32. PMG

    PMG One of Us
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    And a car.
     
  33. W0nkey D0nkey

    W0nkey D0nkey One of Us
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    12V boot dryers:)
     
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  34. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    In the "van". Hop out of bed, start engine, put heater on. Go back to bed for 15 minutes. Get up to hot van with defrosted windows. Migrate to Thredbo Carpark. Get breakfast. Ski.
     
  35. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    In fire tent. Put some wood in the stove. At wake up. Wait 5 minutes. Get up and open the tent up so you don't cook. Put nice dry gear on. Go skiing.
     
  36. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Trick with kids is. Never take them to proper accommodation. Then they realise if they want to go skiing they have to get a bit cold every now and then. Mine loves skiing and will put up with long travel and the odd cold morning to go skiing. She knows that's the deal. She actually enjoys the camping as much as the skiing.
     
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  37. GS

    GS A Local
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    Haven't been for a couple of years but the centre at Windy corner had showers...always had one before driving home.
     
  38. Belly

    Belly A Local
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    But off topic, but do you go solo with your daughter or do you have your lovely other half there to help out?
     
  39. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us
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    Another alternative is the swag + awning combo. Get a couple of dome swags, the kids can share it and keep each other warm, as can you and the missus ;)

    Do you have a roof basket you could mount an awning to? Ditch the Volvo and buy a 4wd if you have to. You can buy a few awning extensions and boom your awning suddenly becomes a tent. I would recommend you spend extra on a supawing (australian made); as the poles have 'feet attached to them; which allows them to be pegged out and it'll never go anywhere in high winds.

    Can always buy a generator and run heaters etc. Oh and always have dedicated ski clothes and campsite clothes. Trestle table. Bring a shitload of wood. (Or move to Victoria where we can actually use chainsaws!)
     
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  40. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    **** that is a great idea.
    I can’t beleive I haven’t thought of it!!
     
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  41. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    Haven't done a solo trip with daughter yet. Always have mrs present.

    In that scenario the car trip would be tricky. Whilst awake blowette does not stop talking. Every sentence is typically started with Mum? pause or Dad? pause, which we need to acknowledge before the question or statement is made. Try doing that for 6.5 hours and stay on the road. So mrs is the kid answerer lots of the time so i can concentrate on the drive. Usually we get 4 hours of that between Dubbo and Canberra. At that stage (about midnight) she goes to sleep, so i usually drive all the way to Thredbo in the peace and quiet so we don't deal with traffic in the morning.
     
  42. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    They already have the tent. I'd agree swags would have been a good option - but this option works best if you have the means to get a nice fire going at night to keep warm between arriving at camp and going to bed. The buy the car option is great, but if the idea is to save money by camping, you just burnt 10 years worth of paid accommodation on the car.

    You can't buy a generator and run heaters unless you want to own a generator with water in the fuel tank! ;)

    I've probably spent a considerable amount of coin on camping gear and a van and i often question if i've ever been ahead financially. But to me, its not about the cost saving of camping, it the convenience of being able to ski when the conditions are good, no planning required, total flexibility and no stuffing around at 2am trying to get into accommodation and no trying to clean the accommodation on Sunday morning instead of doing what you came to do - go skiing. Make a decision to go at 5pm one day and be first in line just 14 hours later.
     
  43. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Good tent but really needs heavy duty tie downs; as already noted; so big pegs and extra guy ropes. TICK
    Try and get up off the ground if you can, a cot makes a good nites sleep a tad easier but getting up in the AM very much better.
    Again; do not skimp on the mattresses or sleeping bags TICK
    Do take a firepit if you want a fire, I use either an old charcoal BBQ thingie or an old 16inch Ford rim stacked on 3 bricks, ditto on BYO dry firewood. Big LED hanging lights and hanging an RFL blanket from the roof makes everything much brighter inside, I use a scrap of aluminium sarking taped to fit neatly.
    The tent can be improved for cold winters by adding a small tarp on each side; over the windows but under the fly and you stop it flapping with an "X" guy inside and out, top RH corner to bottom LH and viceversa
    I have mates with this tent, they back their small trailer just inside the awning and use a telescopic pole as the centre pole; using the trailers drop down tailgate for a cooking table.
     
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  44. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    There’s still a shower at windy corner public shelter (at least last year)
     
  45. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture
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    I tend to agree. To me, I don't necessarily go camping to save money as I value good gear and that's often where you pay through the nose both in the range and quality of gear.
    Good gear ensures there's ALWAYS a difference between having a good time and having an epic time.

    As @Arsas pointed out before the 6 P's go along way when camping (and I assume more-so with kids) and having good reliable gear goes hand-in-hand with 6 P's.
     
  46. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Walking on a dream
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    That's why most people who are trying to do the snow on the real cheap, just sleep in the car or "van"
     
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  47. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture
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    Did that in my first season. You tend to only tolerate it for so long - it's not as fun without the right gear.
    With kids (as per OP)... You just wouldn't do it.
     
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  48. Belly

    Belly A Local
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    Yep, it's an investment, and it provides option value. And you know the downstream costs are minimal rather than dropping $200, $300 ++ a night on shelter. Although a nice hotel every now and then is nice too ;)
     
  49. skull

    skull One of Us

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    I have that covered. I have an extreme cold weather bag, have used it doing army stuff and it was -9.

    Wifes is a good mont one but we will need to find the kids something good.
     
  50. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    A king or queen size fleece blanket folded in half with the bag inside it makes a great extra layer of comfort.

    Some big pillows.