Question Snow Camping For The First Time - What Do I Need to Know ?

DidSurfNowSki

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I think I'm ready to tackle the next step in BC skiing this season, an overnight camping trip.

I'm pretty happy with my pack, the new tent is on it's way, my sleeping bag and mat do their job, and I've tested my cooker in the alpine quite a bit.

Any pointers on other things that make the experience more enjoyable ?
 
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teleroo

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Stove pad for stove to stop it melting into snow. Will send pic of mine this evening. Home made from light plywood.
Shellite stove if melting snow, need that heat baby! But you got that.
3/4 or hip to shoulder length foam mat for under sleeping mat. Negligible extra weight but good for warmth
Snow shovel - aluminium with D grip. For camp site furniture/windbreak. Dig hole in vestibule.
Can bury water bottles in snow to minimise overnight freezing.
Snow pegs for tent. A few 30cm big ones for corners.
 

uncle buck

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DidSurfNowSki

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Down booties. But kick some steps all around your campsite before you get out of your ski boots. Down booties don't grip much.
Pretty sure I won't lose these unless they get blown away :D

276960_a1ad166132b74118225c3e3e63f5994f.png
 
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uncle buck

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I would add a closed-cell foam mat to your sleeping setup. The mat you have there has a fairly low R-value (3.2). You'll need more insulation than that. the cheap blue ones work well. You'll wonder, 'How do I pack this?'. Strap it to the outside of your pack or circle it like a tube around the inside of your pack.

This winter I'm also going to add a groundsheet or blanket to my tent floor. I haven't worked out the lightest way to do this though. If you're just going for one night you don't need a floor covering. Some would argue you don't need one at all. But I'm old now and like (relative) comfort.
 

Bloke

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Get shoe repair place to glue Vibram soles on your down booties. Avoids lots of slippery shenanigans.
I bought a pair of neos overboots from bruce. A bit heavy but have been amazing around the campsite. I just wear them with my boot liners, but paired with down booties would be pretty great i reckon. Highly recommend.
Other tips for snow camping, take fresh meat - it keeps well in the snow.
Down pants are good. Closed cell matt also handy for sitting around camp. Build a snowcave. Fun and comfy. Camp near water if possible, lots of legal places around twynam can usually achieve this. Choose site carefully, out of wind and where snow banks can be readily crafted into seats, kitchen bench etc. Fill water bottle with boiling water before bed for cosy warmth.
 

hpsauce

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Probably goes without saying...but.....best Down jacket you can afford.
Buff.
Thin Merino glove liners....so you can pull hand out/in glove for dexterity but retain some warmth...and can sleep in them.
Hand warmer pads (e.g. hot hands)
 

DidSurfNowSki

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Probably goes without saying...but.....best Down jacket you can afford.
Buff.
Thin Merino glove liners....so you can pull hand out/in glove for dexterity but retain some warmth...and can sleep in them.
Hand warmer pads (e.g. hot hands)
This is what I took to Tassie.

292459_c7df5649d09830794725c0bdbc933585.jpeg


The blue down jacket is extraordinarily light and warm. An amazing piece of kit. :)
 

zapruda

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These Ansell heavy duty gloves are an absolute lifesaver when packing up in the morning or doing camp chores in the snow. They are tough, cheap and truly waterproof (unlike other gtx or "waterproof" gloves...). I think they weigh about 150g a pair.

Cold hands are the worst and most gloves are shit for actually handling snow. These take the sting out pulling down the tent. Pair with some cheap fleece liners for extra warmth.
 
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Moondog55

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A few things, most already mentioned.
Sew some loops to those down booties and take along a tiny clip lock; they WILL blow away.
You really do need much more insulation under you so add that CCF, while the cheap blue ones work a RidgeRest is better bang for gram and you should use a strong stuff sack to store it in on the outside of your pack or you will be leaving tiny bits of shredded CCF wherever you travel, I roll mine inside my pack sometimes but this means you have to pick a bigger pack.
Minimum R-Value for mats is 5.6 to get to the EN rating and more is better/warmer, much more is even betterer/ warmerer
You need an insulated base for under your stove or it will sink into the snow and spill your food/water etc. Such bases are easy a small bit of thin ply and an offcut of thin CCF such as floor underlay.
A sit pad for under your bum/knees will be appreciated if out for more than a single nite, again an offcut of cheap CCF.
Ditto for snow pegs and a shovel.
Don't bother with anything shorter than 300mm, mine are a combination of 300 store bought and 480mm home made.
Pitch the back of the tent into the wind and use your strongest anchors there. A few chux cloths to wipe down the fly in the AM or extra toilet paper to do so or both. Antiperspirant on your feet perhaps to help minimise sweating there. Don't wear too much clothing for the trek in [ yes I know beginners information but still important to remember] and make sure your static layer is warm enough and sized to go over everything else.
 

scottski

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I think I'm ready to tackle the next step in BC skiing this season, an overnight camping trip.

I'm pretty happy with my pack, the new tent is on it's way, my sleeping bag and mat do their job, and I've tested my cooker in the alpine quite a bit.

Any pointers on other things that make the experience more enjoyable ?
A skidoo and a room at the pub
 

Bloke

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Others want to drag me out for a week. I'll start with an overnighter ;)

I've done plenty of car camping, just need to make the transition to carrying everything in a pack.
In many ways snow camping easier than bush camping. Camp wherever you want (within reason), craft campsite however you like, water in abundance, cold storage, dig a lazy boy seat etc. You should listen to these others and go out for a week :D
 

DidSurfNowSki

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In many ways snow camping easier than bush camping. Camp wherever you want (within reason), craft campsite however you like, water in abundance, cold storage, dig a lazy boy seat etc. You should listen to these others and go out for a week :D
Next you'll be suggesting I hang out with bearded tele-skiers. o_O
 

Chaeron

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I'm struggling to find a wide light AT boot so I'm lugging around my heavy but comfy Atomic Hawx Magna 130.
Scarpas are frequently built wider... if you know the last width you need then it’s easier to look at other brand options too....

Paper on floor, foot in sock, pencil, allows you to determine and then measure the widest point.

Wider feet (for me with a high instep) frequently means I go up a size.

For my rollerblading boots this green season I’ve been playing with making some closed cell inserts at the toe of the boots which mean my feet make better contact at the front. It’s had a genuine impact on my sense of control when blading, and I’m going to do the same with my skiboots to optimise fit and control when skiing downhill in my tourers without compromising touring comfort.
 

Kletterer

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I think I'm ready to tackle the next step in BC skiing this season, an overnight camping trip.

I'm pretty happy with my pack, the new tent is on it's way, my sleeping bag and mat do their job, and I've tested my cooker in the alpine quite a bit.

Any pointers on other things that make the experience more enjoyable ?
What size sleeping bag did you choose ?
 

DJM

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Single malt, single grain, blended malt, blended grain or blended whisky ?

This snow camping is complicated. o_O
I’m not fussy to be honest.
.....and give me the generic brand....
When the pain is pushing 8/10 who cares....bring the numb....
:)
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Don't bother using a bog roll of paper for No. 2. Make snow balls and use those. They can be then tossed down the pit loo or buried .
I always take a cut square of foam matting to sit on anywhere in the snow esp. for lunch for a day tour on skis from the snow base camp.

In addition to the usual hiking and camping gear you would take on a multi night trek ,such as a warm synthetic fleece jacket , stove and fuel ,food etc.

For winter snow camping you need to have the right equipment or the chance of freezing to death is no joke. Your hiking boots/ski boots must be made waterproof. This means using “Dubbin” wax and the magic spray that you can buy from shoe repair shops. The spray can has German writing on it.

1. One 4 seasons tent that can withstand high winds, heavy snow showers and is made of a nylon fly outer and inner. No Mesh.NO fly wire.

e.g.

http://www.bogong.com.au/wilderness-equipment-space-2-winter.html




2.One winter duck down sleeping bag rated to negative 8 at least . It should be an 800 model which denotes the amount of down.

e.g.

http://www.bogong.com.au/sleeping/sleeping-bags/exped-comfort-800-s-bag-2.html


3.An insulated inflatable sleeping mat which is rated to negative 10 below zero at least.

None of your body or feet should touch the floor of the tent. So it must be full body length.


e.g.

http://www.bogong.com.au/sleeping/sleeping-mats/exped-synmat-9-lw.html


4. Merino Wool full body length Thermal underwear. ‘Icebreaker’ thermal base layers are the best brand. They do not fall apart after one winter of use. They have a discount outlet in Smith st. Collingwood, VIC..


e.g.

http://au.icebreaker.com/en/womens-baselayers

5.

A Goose down vest or jacket for the night time when you are not walking/skiing/moving. These pack down really well into a small size in your pack. I got one on sale at RAY’S outdoors!




6.

GORETEX type JACKET. Thigh length.

http://www.bogong.com.au/mont-tempest-rain-jacket.html


7.

Water Proof Overpants. The Long Zips on the sides are very handy. I have XTM braces on mine .

http://www.bogong.com.au/or-revel-pant-l-black-1.html

8.

Knee length GORE TEX Gaiters to keep ice out of your boots.

http://www.bogong.com.au/or-expedition-crocodiles-1.html

9. Waterproof ski gloves

http://www.bogong.com.au/catalogsearch/result/?q=ski+gloves

10. Merino wool ICEBREAKER under gloves. In extreme cold layers of gloves will work better than one thick pair.

http://au.icebreaker.com/en/mens-gloves/oasis-glove-liners/IBM207.html?dwvar_IBM207_color=001


11. Synthetic balaclava. Quick drying and very useful in extreme cold and high wind chill conditions in the snow and for sleeping in icy weather.

http://www.bogong.com.au/mont-balaclava-powerstretch-s-1.html


12.ski goggles.Wind and snow blindness/ UV protection, anti fog. Sunglasses don’t really do the job.

http://www.raysoutdoors.com.au/Product/XTM-Force-Print-Double-Lens-Goggles-Goggles-Unisex/40635001


13. A Space blanket is really handy for insulating the floor of your tent under your sleeping set up and if you become too cold you can wrap yourself up in it.

http://www.bogong.com.au/lifesystems-mountain-thermal-blanket.html


Taking extra stove fuel means you can melt snow and ice any time to drink or to cook. Always boil the snow. It takes a huge amount of snow to melt into what comes out as not much water at all ,so carrying double fuel is the way to go when packing for a snow camp.


14. Tents in the snow need snow pegs for everything to work when pitching your tent in the snow.. You will need enough snow pegs to fasten all the guy ropes too.

http://www.bogong.com.au/peg-snow-23cm.html















15.

Knowing how to stop yourself sliding down an icy slope can save your life.


Whether you use a self-arrest ski pole or an ice axe, you need to practice so it becomes automatic.




*****15.1 !

Taking a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves is a really handy idea for erecting and deconstructing your tent in the ice and they fit over your under gloves !.


15.2 A snow shovel. Black Diamond make great snow shovels that you can clip onto your pack with carabiners.
 

Moondog55

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Just an addendum to my earlier post.
Your winter pack will be heavy, much heavier than a summer pack, perhaps as heavy as 19 or 20 kilos if you are out for more than a week-end and like to eat and sleep well and drink a lot of hot drinks; expect this and deal with it by appropriate planning and realistic goals
 
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pegasusSki

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Mr T- I only use a 3/4 length blowup mattress, but full length foam mattress under that.

Lots of thin gloves (inc spares is good) better than 1 thick. A pair of liners is good on the move - you can sweat into gloves on sunny days and then the glove turns inside out when you remove...

A lot of snowcamping is also about discipline - brushing snow off before it melts, preventing snow getting into the tent (for the same reason).
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Uuuuoooo. No. This will leave poo on the surface in the environment & in runoff.
I use this technique for snow camping here in Vic. because we have a pit loo side by side with most High country huts. I have been using the Indonesian technique with a bottle of water, the left hand and liquid soap , full time at home and away for 25 years at least . The snow ball approach works fine for Vic. winters and the huts in NSW that have a pit loo too.
I don't remember snow camping without a hut nearby , ever.
 

Skichic2

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But I don't have shares in Bogong Equipment....
Snow gum sticks below the tree line for tent pegs.
Don't need no carabiners for snow shovel.
What @climberman said.
BUT the most important pieces of BC camping gear are Giraffes and Poodles!!
Do not leave civilisation without these essentials or you will be doomed!
Poodles? Intruder alerters? I imagine a preference for black poodles?
 

Telemark Phat

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But I don't have shares in Bogong Equipment....
Snow gum sticks below the tree line for tent pegs.
Don't need no carabiners for snow shovel.
What @climberman said.
BUT the most important pieces of BC camping gear are Giraffes and Poodles!!
Do not leave civilisation without these essentials or you will be doomed!
Stuff sacks stuffed with snow and buried for above the snow line.
 
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