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Question Snow Camping Sage: Words of wisdom?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by uncle buck, Aug 28, 2020.

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  1. uncle buck

    uncle buck Hard Yards

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    Just back from two nights camping in a blizzard. It occurs to me that I learn something new every trip. I won't lie, part of me wants others to suffer as they learn, just like I did (20 year old K-Mart sleeping bag, tent pitched in a wind tunnel etc...), but a fractionally larger part of me wants to pass on some knowledge.

    So, aside from "don't", what's one thing you've learned camping in the snow?

    I'll start.
    1. Take a piss bottle. And the best piss bottle in the world is the Nalgene 48oz wide mouth (ahem...) cantene https://nalgene.com/product/48oz-nalgene-cantene/

    You don't want to have to get out of your tent at night to piss. This Nalgene weighs next to nothing and has amble room for 2 x 'camp draft horse strength' gypsy's kisses, python siphons/blue vein drains/hit and misses or cat's hisses.
     
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  2. Belly

    Belly A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Make them suffer as they learn :)
     
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  3. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I would have never thought to take that...
    Sounds like a good idea.
    Note to self to label bottle really well...
     
  4. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ive pissed in by water bottles and drunk shellite. Bottles do need haptic labels for the dark.... :) I havent drunk piss, yet.
     
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  5. uncle buck

    uncle buck Hard Yards

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    Skull and cross bones or typical 12 year old boy's graffiti will be adequate.
     
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  6. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    skull and cross bones didnt work for the shellite!
     
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  7. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Take fuel not gas stove if it’s going to be very cold, or at least take an Alpine gas mix, insulate the gas canister from the snow and keep it warm - I remember one particular uncooked cold dinner near Nelse was awful.

    Then the next time round the fuel pipe on the Whisperlite (wrong name that!) clogged - cooking on the fireplace in Edmondsons I burnt holes in a pair of insulation gloves... cleaning lines out in the snow is a real pain.

    Now I rely on my old-style Bomber Optimus liquid fuel stove - small, lightweight, reliable.

    But you got to prime it carefully otherwise you burn your tent down...
     
  8. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    One story I've heard is, one person pissed just outside the tent door, a few hours later, the other person collected some snow for water just outside the door, and started melting yellow snow before they realised!

    Personally I just prefer gas. I keep the cylinder in my sleeping bag overnight, and use a standalone stove with a hose (Primus Spider) so it can be kept off the snow more easily while cooking. I may look at making a little neoprene cosy for cylinders one day.

    Liquid fuel stoves are just finicky. At least, the infamous old filthy Whisperlite we used to use. Bring a shellite bottle, bring the pressure bottle, pour in the fuel, attempt not to spill shellite all over everything, pump it up (tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh), prime it, attempt not to set the tent on fire with the giant yellow fireball, etc etc. A leaking shellite bottle in your pack is just horrible.
     
  9. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why not piss in the vestibule?
     
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  10. Skiain

    Skiain Addicted

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    better to piss in someone else's tent vestibule
     
  11. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    the beauty of the hilleberg soulo is you can do just that while still in your sleeping bag
     
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  12. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    well, obviously not all of you
     
  13. uncle buck

    uncle buck Hard Yards

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    Optimus stoves are the duck's nuts. I have one too.
     
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  14. uncle buck

    uncle buck Hard Yards

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    I pooed in the vestibule----straight into a plastic bag with drying crystals in it. Made sure other tents were down wind. My companions, it seemed, were not comfortable playing an 'away game'. or maybe my crop dusting just put them off. Either way, The Cooma Hotel copped a carpet bombing raid from them on Monday night.
     
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  15. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just been looking at what they go for nowadays- still popular, prices ranging between $160 through $270.

    Compact, light, reliable, safe, easy to use - just awesome!
     
  16. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    Fuel overrated. Just looks hard core, I give it that. At our altitudes, gas is fine if canister is kept in pocket for awhile.
    Don't eat yellow snow

    No1:
    Head out when bellbird is forecast for the weekend! Bellbird and calm wind solves 100s of problems.

    If Sat is more ordinary with bellbird to come on Sunday, great. Wake to clearing skies.

    No2:
    Take a foam mat as well as a blowup. Use puffer to sleep if need be
     
  17. hpsauce

    hpsauce A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agree. As long as I sleep with it.....or when arrive back at camp put it inside my clothes to warm it a little.....it is good to go. And stays that way even on snow as long as it has a pre-heat tube.
     
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  18. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep have done a fair bit of poo tube action in the Vestibule, a critical backcountry skill. I trust this is in the curriculum @ecowain
     
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  19. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Take enough mattress then add a little extra.
    Only took me 30 years to learn that one and my first ThermaRest was a revelation
     
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  20. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Gas is just a complete waste of time. No even a good paper weight. Yes I've tried it, tested it, decided it was not worth the work compared to a Whisperlite.
     
  21. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love my new Jetboil, you can hold it while it boils if you like.

    I have had a few bad experiences with gas, but only with an old crap stove, or butane.

    My tip

    Be overly prepared to suffer. That way if you don't suffer horribly, it seems like it was all really fun.
     
  22. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Be like @sara777 and I get all the gear. do a summer test hike... never go again! LOL
     
  23. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like eating my jet boiled dinner while my mates are still attending to their singed eyebrows.

    It doesn’t simmer well, it seems to have 1 skill and that is burning water, so you kinda need to meal plan around that.
     
  24. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its been that long for me that i feel a bit like that.
     
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  25. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    and the stove wars are go!
     
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  26. hpsauce

    hpsauce A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    yeah.....when it comes to brewing....I just look at the person with the Jetboil.
     
  27. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ditto!
     
  28. hpsauce

    hpsauce A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    i've used MSR windpro down to around -10.
    with Isobutane/propane mix gas.
    Goes great. Every time.
    Couple of tricks of course..... Warming gas canister at least a little. Then placing gas canister close enough to flame to get some warmth from it.
    Even without doing that it is designed to work in freezing with its pre-heat tube. But haven't tested if that can warm quick enough to stop the gas just flowing out as liquid - that is without a canister at least slightly warmed up over freezing.
     
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  29. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    I barely boil the water - when it's just about to boil that works
     
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  30. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I gave up on getting fancy ages ago. I laugh at simmering!

    There was that one time at a hut, the smell of Continental hung heavy in the air as a large group prepared dinner. We had steak, with a whiskey cream sauce, steamed and roasted veggies, and a nice red after the beers while cooking.

    But I couldn't carry that pack today.
     
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  31. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    MSR Reactor, super fast in all temps and wind.
    Sit the whole setup in a 100ml of water in a tiny stainless bowl to stop the burny stuff from separating and burning sht.
     
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  32. sara777

    sara777 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL Life got in the way.. Hey, a sleeping bag never goes astray, the mattress - I don't even know where it is :oops: Was there a tent involved? :nerd:
     
  33. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You gotta get out more gurl.
     
  34. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes! The tent from @PiniPowPow is still here in Jindy!
     
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  35. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I agree!

    Or more that she needs to leave that east coast bubble!!
     
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  36. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    I got a tip. Take 2 showercaps. Revolutionised our trips. Can anyone guess the use?
     
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  37. DJM

    DJM One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sexy late night antics while on the gear?

    I’m with skifree. Piss in the vestibule and Jetboil for the win.
     
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  38. skull

    skull One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    How do you piss in a jet boil
     
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  39. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Carefully?
     
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  40. DJM

    DJM One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have the Sumo. ;)
     
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  41. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  42. sara777

    sara777 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I might just plan a trip down you way my friend, when the madness here (work related, long hours & added responsibilities) is over!
     
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  43. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Make sure your lighter and matches are replaced before each season, and also take a flint. Don’t learn the cold food and drink hard way
     
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  44. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The old, fill up the Backcountry Cuisine meal, then put it in your armpit for an hour trick?
     
  45. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    nah, just piss in them
     
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  46. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    When I was quite young, we never took a stove walking, or snow below treelike, always had a fire. Carried a grill, meat in a marinade...yummo
     
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  47. skull

    skull One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve done it before but I don’t think it would be a pleasant option snow camping.
     
  48. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Bear Grils Cuisine

    Hmmm, tastes like chicken, fk, why, I fkn hate chicken so much!!!!!!
     
  49. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'll hold you to that!!!
     
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  50. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    And to be contrary Ive not even thought of a fire while bush for 20 years.