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Tenting for long period. What tricks when setting up help with keeping warm??

Moondog55

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While I consider myself fairly good at this I can always learn more.
I need to get some serious skiing done this winter or I will lose my ski-legs permanently.
I can afford to ski or I can afford to pay for a couple of weeks accommodation but not both.
I am thinking of setting up ( in line with Parks Victoria guidelines ) a set of semi permanent camps above the snowline this winter.
I will be using my base-camp tent the old Paddymade Era with the sewed in floor and some sort of strong tarp, fly to deal with possible heavy dumps of snow.

So apart from making sure I have a decent CCF pad and decent insulation under me the only thing I could think of was to modify my tent with a ridge line tape on the inside and hang a space-blanket from the roof.
 

Greatbloke

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* You might like to knock up a mini wood heater from an olive oil can or some such thing.... if there's decent wood there.
* Build up snow walls... maybe just walk around the tent as it snows to help do so.
 

Aussie123

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I’ve slept in the snow before (1 to 3 nights at a time) and the things which made it difficult for me were wet gear and long, cold nights.

Adding an extra, waterproof ground sheet, in addition to a mattress/s helps prevent moisture rising. A friend actually bought some thin (approx 3mm x 1200 ?) neoprene sheeting from Clarks (by the meter). She used it to cover the floor of the tent so it acted as both a ground sheet and an insulating layer. Not a bad idea I thought.

As for those long nights, a fire is the best thing. You may need to stockpile some wood before winter ? Having a chair, and sitting by the fire is a boon because you can dry gear, cook, stay warm and pass time.
Of course reading a book and writing articles for BCOz can also help, but a cold night is a long night !

Beware of condensation on the inside of the tent, things get wet quickly. This is a benefit of a bigger tent, less chance of brushing the sides. On the flip side, its more volume to heat.

Watch out for falling tree limbs, the added weight of snow can cause branches to come down, even green ones.

If possible, keep your boots inside. It stops the moisture freezing

Layering clothes will enable you to discard inner (damp / sweaty) clothes and switch to clean, warm ones.

The obvious thing is the weight of snow crushing your camp, so a good roof is essential, looks like you’re dealing with that.

You can also build some snow walls to keep out the wind and worst of the weather. Get a good snow shovel if you don't have one, they are a joy to use compared to a general purpose shovel
(I noticed Anaconda have some on sale for a $25 at the moment – they are calling it a 4x4 shovel ! I can’t comment on the quality, but it’s a good price – no affiliation by the way)

If you have phone coverage, I’m sure your loved ones will appreciate regular updates and a clear intentions form !
 

Templar

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The space blanket will work well, consider too the use of a folding candle lantern to hang from the ridge line tape to help raise the inside temp a couple of degrees too, thats what we used to do when making snow caves in the high country and it works quite well to take the edge off the inside temps. I also used to have one on me to make squat shelters with a space blanket on the trail during breaks, wrap the blanket around your shoulders and light the lantern between your knees/feet to warm up the inside quickly...
 

Moondog55

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Also what is the OPTIMUM size for a flysheet in winter??
Tent is 2100 long and the sides are 1300 so a tarp 2100 * 2600 will just cover it ( JUST ) and given that this needs to be a stealth camp what camouflage will work the best, white with speckles and stripes or the usual Ozcam over-painted with white??
 

Moondog55

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* You might like to knock up a mini wood heater from an olive oil can or some such thing.... if there's decent wood there.
* Build up snow walls... maybe just walk around the tent as it snows to help do so.

Been thinking about that, I have the small LPG bottle to play with, just working out the design details and thinking about the best flue size and such
 

gelandangan

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The last time I camped in snow (15+ years ago) I was much better physically than I am now.

Back then we line the floor with cardboard from large cardboard boxes, and on top of that we use yoga mat foam pads.
The cardboards are great because they give some extra insulation against cold ground around the yoga mat,
and with thick enough boards it also ensure that any uneven ground or small rocks would not be felt much.
We also have very dry tent bottom because our tent never touch the snow.

Nowdays, if I would go tenting in the snow, I might use cardboard box and then
line the bottom of the tent with foil bubbles or foam layer used for floating floor insulation.
They are about 1mm thick lined with reflective mylar, it would definitely keep the warmth in methinks.
 

Templar

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Camouflage wise it depends on where you want to set it up... plain white won't work in wooded areas, it stands out, white with splashes of light green and off white and very light grey works, auscam with white blotches will work and a white and light grey with pieces of green, brown, ghillie might be better... the only way to tell is to test it out an see before you commit, cam is difficult in snow, you tracks will ruin even the best camed up location...
 

Moondog55

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Last time I camped in the snow was last week LOL, and is the reason I know I need to ski this year.
Cold does not worry me, because I have learned how to deal with it and I know my gear is up to the task. money is the biggest issue for this.
Even though I really do dislike them I think I will have to use a plastic tarp
 

Templar

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have you considered using a snow grave? A hootchie over a trench in the snow... I have spent quite a few nights in these while x-country skiing and doing alpine warfare courses up in the hills there... they work quite well too and leave little trace of your passing...
 

Templar

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Well how many "overnights" are you planning on? They are the best option for stealth aside from a snow cave...
 

Aussie123

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Stealth ? Go for zebra stripes !

Can I check, are we talking an xc “resort”, back country or downhill slopes ?

If you are near any kind of civilization, then you have a lot of options to utilize resources, like warm buildings and day shelters (during public open hours).
Some resorts have lockers, which may be a handy and secure way to stash gear.

If you’re out on a trail, I believe most places permit camping once outside the designated “resort” area.
Although you cannot generally camp in huts, you can set up nearby and have use of the hut for cooking etc
 

Moondog55

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Falls Creek
A mixture of Alpine downhill, Alpine Telemarking and Cross country touring and about 12 to 16 weeks depending on snow cover and my health And my ability to sock away 3 months food from the housekeeping budget of course
 

Wentworth

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I assume it'll be below freezing every night since you're camping in the snow. Have you considered using a vapour barrier inside your sleeping bag? I'm sure you're familiar with the technique, but the idea is to stop evaporative heat loss, which accounts for a large percentage of overall heatloss. Minimal clothing inside of course, since it will get damp, like a set of thermals maybe. Since the vapour barrier itself is basically a big plastic bag, doesn't get much much cheaper than that, which was your other requirement.
There's a bit of an art to it from all accounts, ensuring you don't actually overheat to the point of sweating etc to maintain a comfortable environment in the bag so it doesn't feel wet.
 

Moondog55

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It's a partial pipe dream but I reckon I could handle a month under canvas if i plan things right. Vapour barrier is on option as is using my old canvas swag as a cover on a synthetic bag.
 

Blake

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Plenty of great suggestions here. Ill throw a couple of ideas in the mix. Ive only camped in the snow a few times so im probably little help but the one time I did go was a few years ago with friend of a friend of a friend situation but the bloke knew his stuff so this is what I remembered that helped alot. You no doubt know all these things anyway mate, but ill throw them up anyway for the record for others.

1. Carefully select your camp. Somewhere protected, preferably a stand of trees. Free from wind but not in danger of falling snow from the branches
2. Wear a beanie to bed
3. Keep some food with you at night. If you get cold you can eat some food to increase body temp
4. Hot chocolate
5. use two mats. One base mat then another on top for sleeping
6. Tent within a tent. If you have a spare very large tent you can pitch your sleeping tent within the larger tent. This gives a buffer of insulated air between your sleeping tent and the outside. Ensure you have reasonable ventilation in the outer tent however and the larger tent isn't too tight.
7. Pitch your tent so the door faces downhill so cold air doesn't roll into the tent

Now my personal favorite for the cold....canvas. I have a Southern cross swag that I use for 4WDing and its so warm. The 12oz canvas is just the greatest in the cold. Im always warm. Last winter in oberon it got down well into the minus's and I was totaly coasy in a 0c sleeping bag. Never slept in this in the snow however but my mate spent a week in the snowys last year in his burke and wills swag and he did it fine (allegedly) :linguino:.

Sounds like a dream trip though mate! Very envious!
 
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Moondog55

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Cotton for the inner tents does work better in my experience, the main reason we don't use it now is the weight, as i will be a pulk to haul my gear around I can use the cotton Paddymade buy I doubt if I can sew up a full outer tent in time although that would indeed be part of the perfect solution.
I will need a pair 60 degree unions for the tent frame, 60:60:90; I think I have some high strength 40mm tubing for the legs and a ridge should be easy to get together.
The steep roof slope of the old tents is one reason they worked so well in the rain I think.
 
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