Backpacking in the snow??

Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
3
As long as i have been backpacking i have ALWAYS wanted to snowshoe in somewhere and camp in the snow for at least one night. What are some tips and suggestions for doing this? any thing will be helpful!

Andy
 

Nick

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.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,888
Hi Andy. Welcome to BackcountryPost!

I'm not much help when it comes to actually camping in the snow. I've done a lot of trips on my split board where I dug a pit, built a fire and had lunch, but the only time I ever really camped in deep snow was snow caving as a boy scout! :lol:

I would definitely recommend doubling up on high r-value sleeping pads though. That seems to be one of the easiest ways to lose heat in a snowy environment. It's also a good idea to bring a shovel and spend a good amount of time building your camp area so that you can still move around without snowshoes on. Dig out a nice wide area, gather a ton of wood and get everything in order. And if you stay beyond one night, be prepared for the fact that your sleeping area will gradually sink as your body heat melts it. I only know this because my friend Smokey has spent a ridiculous amount of time camping in the snow. He actually spent an entire winter camping off of the Mirror Lake Highway outside of Kamas!

Anyway, I'm sure plenty of others will have better insight, but once again, welcome to BCP! :cool:
 

DOSS

out
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
292
I disagree with the digging out of camp, My experience has been to tramp down a area double the size of the tent.. IE snowshoe across the area 2x's then if possible wait an hour or so then set up camp, this will take care of most of the settling that can happen at night. Doubling up on pad insulation is a necessity, I like the cheap blue foam pads as a base and then my normal thermarest on top of that with my legs on my backpack. A wind barrier can be nice to build as well around your camp, just pile some snow :) and build in the trees when possible (but not under them shedding snow sucks)

When you cook dinner before bed it is nice to heat up an extra amount of boiling water, put it in a nalgine bottle and toss that into your sleeping bag (mmm nice and warm). Dry clothes when you get into your bag is a big plus as well. Lots of carbs before bed help to keep you warm as well, don't forget to drink lots of water as well.

It is possible that I could be conned into going on a winter trip.. Hmm the Stansbury mountains have snow on them and are not frequently traveled in the summer, less so in the winter :)
 

Ndheiner

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
60
Doss Got it, I do like to set up under the curtain of a big ass pine tho with a tarp under the tent. For sleeping bag go overboard, worth the weight. And I just use an inflatable with a 4 season thermarest on top of it. Like ibenick it is sweet to bring a shovel and on a sunny day dig a pit out for maximus warmth before diving into the bag, and I build my fire-pit complete with shelves for chilling my brewskis. Important advice is weather, a sunny day vs windy is a big temp changer. A candle in the tent can also add ambience and a little warmth in the cold mornings or late nights. Instead of a metal thermos with hot water I zip open my bag and absorb my 70lb dog's 101 degree body temp. Winter camping is hardcore but worth it! Good luck and always tell a friend where you're going in case you get stuck in your car.
 

Tyler

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
464
I would imagine the conditions would need to be pretty good for me to do it (I'm a wuss). I love the mild winters we're having now so it seems like a good time. Like DOSS said, the Stansbury mountains are very close by. Now all I need is the time and some snow shoes!
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
3
I disagree with the digging out of camp, My experience has been to tramp down a area double the size of the tent.. IE snowshoe across the area 2x's then if possible wait an hour or so then set up camp, this will take care of most of the settling that can happen at night. Doubling up on pad insulation is a necessity, I like the cheap blue foam pads as a base and then my normal thermarest on top of that with my legs on my backpack. A wind barrier can be nice to build as well around your camp, just pile some snow :) and build in the trees when possible (but not under them shedding snow sucks)

When you cook dinner before bed it is nice to heat up an extra amount of boiling water, put it in a nalgine bottle and toss that into your sleeping bag (mmm nice and warm). Dry clothes when you get into your bag is a big plus as well. Lots of carbs before bed help to keep you warm as well, don't forget to drink lots of water as well.

It is possible that I could be conned into going on a winter trip.. Hmm the Stansbury mountains have snow on them and are not frequently traveled in the summer, less so in the winter :)
Any one is welcome! my friend and i are getting cabin fever and though we would try something new out this weekend. We are not quite sure where we are going yet, though~
 

HomerJ

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
1,199
A candle in the tent can also add ambience and a little warmth in the cold mornings or late nights.
As a kid in scouts we would camp out in the winter. We'd dig our shelters by just digging straight down in the snow and piling it up around the edges and then throw some straw in the bottom and a tarp overhead. I had a down mummy bag with an air mattress underneath me. I remember on one trip it turned off bitter cold and I was freezing so I lit a candle and was amazed at how much warmth that added!!
 
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