Reply To: Cold weather camping questions. Input much appreciated.

Home Forums Trail Conditions Cold weather camping questions. Input much appreciated. Reply To: Cold weather camping questions. Input much appreciated.

Ranger Steve

I believe the key thing to sleeping warm have is a good sleeping pad. The higher the R value the better. The Therm-a-rest xtherm is a good benchmark to beat. The R value is 5.7, it’s not cheap, but it is good. Additionally, I use a relatively cheap closed foam pad under my sleeping pad to boost the insulating properties. Also a down jacket is invaluable, not only can it keep you warm during the day, but you can wear it in your bag if you have to, or move it around in your bag to compensate for cold spots (feet) etc. They pack up small and are lightweight. If you are hiking in forget blankets, they are much too heavy, look into down blankets, throws and booties.

Always change clothes when you get into your bag as the ones you will have been wearing are possibly sweaty (wet) and dirty. You will stay warmer and your bag will last longer.

You should be OK in a three season tent with the temperatures you posted. One think to always think about when doing anything in winter is that condensation, whether from sweat, etc. is a killer. The key is to hike in the least layers of clothing so that you are comfortable, and don’t break a sweat. Keep your puffy jacket at the top of your pack and put it on as soon as you stop. For most all winter hikes (without falling snow) I pretty much hike in a poly base layer and a poly fleece (never cotton). The sweat evaporates and I’m not clammy. As soon as I stop, I insulate with a down jacket (and sometimes a rain shell). I stay dry and warm.

Have fun and I hope I have been of help, let us know how it goes.


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