«SCOUTS-L COLD WEATHER CAMPING & KLONDIKE DERBYS Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 21:14:00 MST From: Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona ...»
Also, much of the heat loss from your feet is through the sole of boots that are too light (nothing different than your sleeping bag situation).
Finally, be very careful not to make to boots too tight, you need all the circulation you can get down there when the mercury plunges.
BTW, I think a vapor barrier system also works very well for sleeping in extremely cold weather.
******************* Follow-up Message ***************** I've tested various clothing options when shoveling snow, walking the dog, sledding with the kids, or otherwise close to home in a cold setting. Day trips are also good time to try something new. This enables me to fine-tune the layering without risking myself on a backcountry trip with unfamiliar gear. Your proposed approach sounds okay to me [....as an experiment I might try a latex glove on one hand under my mittens and a plastic bag on one foot under my sox and see if I notice a difference...].
I've not used latex gloves myself, so can't really tell you from direct experience. The use of thin liner socks helps to avoid the feeling that your feet are swimming in sweat.
I think my vapor barrier socks came from Campmor or maybe REI. They're very thin neoprene rubber with a fairly comfortable fleece lining. They fit snugly so I don't have to worry about blisters. Again, I caution against trying to cram extra socks (even VB type) into boots that are too tight. My winter boots have a felt liner (I always carry spares so they can be changed out when wet). Ski boots, etc. are sized to fit over the appropriate socks. My cold weather clothing system consists of synthetic long underwear (weight varies w/ expected activity level, temps, etc.), fleece or pile mid layers (vest, jacket, and pants, all w/ vent zippers), and Gore-Tex top layer (wind/water protection). I've moved to the synthetics because of their performance to weight ratio. They also dry quicker (NOT NEAR THE FIRE!) and keep you warm even if wet. Rather than VB gloves, I usually wear thin thermax or polypro gloves, then either wool or fleece mittens, and some sort of outer shell mitten (Gore-Tex or similar).
This gives flexibility in the layering and dexterity as required (try working a camera or surveying instrument with big mitts on). I recognize that this type of outfit is pricey, but I think you can assemble a similar outfit without spending a fortune. It's really a matter of what your needs and budget are The sleeping bag liner is thin coated nylon. It's made by North Face and fits inside my mummy bag (700 fill goose down with a Gore-Tex outer layer).
The theory here is to protect the down insulation from vapor on both the inside and outside and to allow any moisture that does get in to evaporate through the Gore-Tex (driven by the temp. differential). Needless to say, this arrangement is not on the cheap, nor is it appropriate for everyone (probably overkill for most folks, but vital in a snow cave or high-altitude bivouac). It is really warm and about as lightweight as I could make it for the temps encountered. I wear thermax long undies and a good thermax hat to sleep in. If it's really cold I'll include the fleece pants and vest, but the danger is that they become too wet to wear the next day. I take the gloves in with me too, but most other clothing will go under the bag. I use both a ThermaRest and a thin closed cell pad beneath my bag if its really cold (also more comfortable on tired bones). We also keep smaller pieces of closed cell foam to sit on, put the stove on, etc.
To tell the truth, I also have a synthetic fill bag which gets a good bit of use, because the system described above is too warm for some trips (even in "winter"). I've tried a number of different systems and found the VB liner best in really cold weather (single digits and below), and a good synthetic fill bag better in moderately cold temps. I don't really have a good explanation for this, but I suspect it's because I end up feeling too "clammy" in the VB liner when it's warmer. No good idea why.
I tend to agree with much of what was posted about staying warm (especially NOT sending a kid back to bed without determining the situation and getting him stabilized first), taking a leak just before bed, and having water/snack readily available. I often store water bottles inside my bag (double ziplocked), because when you've got to melt snow and fuel is scarce, you don't want to waste any. I use white gas exclusively during backcountry trips, especially in cold weather, and only have a propane stove for "car camping." I think one of the biggest dangers with sending the kid back to bed is turning him off from winter trips all together. As a young scout I spent some very cold miserable nights feeling sorry for myself before getting it together with the help of a great ASM. He showed interest in me, and that made a big difference in my entire scouting experience.
BTW, I like Jim Sleezer's post about educating the parents (and boys) at a fall meeting so they can be better prepared for cold-weather trips. We used to do those kinds of pre-trip demos and give handouts for many kinds of trips (backpacking, caving, canoeing, ski touring, rock climbing, etc.), a practice that I took with me when president of my college Outing Club. I think it's all part of Being Prepared.
Let me know if I can share more...sorry about the length, but I hope it helps some.
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 13:17:28 CDT From: Todd Norman Tingblad firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: This Just In...
NEWS ADVISORY: For Immediate Release...
NEWS DESK: With extremely low temperatures expected throughout the weekend in the upper Midwest, this may be excellent information to include with weather reports, cold weather news stories, outdoors reports, or general news...
Contact: Rob Schultz, Snow Base Director, 612-224-1891, ext. 139. Evenings:
612-430-4979 January 18, 1996 Clothing and Dress Tips For Sub-Zero Temperatures Here are a few tips for parents on how to protect children from sub-zero temperatures. Remember, children often do not understand the dangers associated with windchills and extremely cold temperatures. Watch them closely to make sure that they are dressed properly when going outside.
First, there are many things to look for when choosing a jacket or parka for cold weather. It's important that cuffs do not contain elastic that closes tightly around the wrists or waist. Especially under heavy clothing, elastic may slow blood flow and cause a greater susceptability to frostbite or frozen fingers.
Metal zippers can actually transfer the cold into the inner liner of a jacket. In addition to the danger of metal zippers freezing to fingers, they sometimes freeze shut as body moisture escapes and ices up the jacket shell.
Jackets with hoods are especially important in sub-zero temperatures. Hoods not only help to retain heat from the head, but also protect the neck. Hoods with drawstrings that close around the face reduce wind that may enter the upper portion of the jacket.
Cotton clothing retains moisture from body perspiration and may feel cold on the skin. Clothing made of wool, polypropelene and other materials that wick moisture away from the body is recommended for maximum warmth. Good long underwear, made of fabrics such as polypropelene or capilene, is critical.
Don't leave home with out it. Cotton long underwear, which is the type most often to be found in department stores, will retain moisture and create serious problems after being worn for several hours.
Mittons keep hands and fingers much warmer in cold temperatures. Gloves seperate the fingers which often stunts natural warming. For extended periods of time in the cold, pop disposable hand warmers inside mittons for maximum warmth.
Earings, necklaces and other metal jewelry will quickly chill the skin.
Metal earings promote frostbite on the ears and can cause serious injury. If you must wear jewelry, take it off before you go outside and let it warm up before putting it back on.
In extreme temperatures, always wear boots. Most tennis shoes are lightweight and have no heating or warmth values. Within minutes of going outside in tennis shoes during sub-zero temperatures, feet will chill and may cause rapid cooling of the lower body. Boots also protect feet from wind, blowing snow and unexpected snow accumulation.
Although often considered "unstylish", stocking hats are the best head gear for cold temperatures. Caps, cowboy hats, head bands or ear muffs just don't cut it in cold temperatures. Stocking hats may mess up your hair, but they'll keep you warm and save the skin and ears from frostbite or freezing.
Wearing several layers of clothing will help you to keep warm and regulate your body heat more easily. If you are outside performing exercise or vigorous tasks (like skiing or snowshoeing) and you feel too hot, take off a layer before you begin to sweat. Remember, sweating cools the body and can quickly get you in trouble in the outdoors when it's cold.
If you are outside for extended periods of time, it's often better to wear suspendors rather than a belt. The body naturally acts as a chiminey and heat moves upward. Belts prevent heat from travel upward through loose clothing, and thus, may not be an ideal choice for holding loose fitting clothing in place.
And finally, when you do go indoors, take off excess clothing quickly so that you do not begin to sweat. You may also feel warmer because warm air often does not penetrate a cold jacket quickly.
Attention News Media: This information is provided to the community by the Indianhead Council, Boy Scouts of America, as a public service announcement in helping to protect children. The Indianhead Council operates Snow Base, the largest Boy Scout winter camp in the United States in which Scouts are taught survival skills for sub-zero winter camping environments. This winter, over 1,300 Scouts from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois will camp outdoors at Snow Base: living in snow shelters and sub-zero weather conditions. Excellent public interest stories can be generated, as well as interviews with our staff who are experts in winter camping and survival.
Please contact Snow Base Director Rob Schultz to schedule interview opportunities, obtain press release information, or to arrange a visit to the
camp. 612-224-1891, ext. 139 Evening telephone: 612-430-4979 E-Mail:
email@example.com ===================================================================== ========= Even with the very cold temps and windchills for this weekend, Snowbase will be in full operation.
Jan. 5, 6, 7 Temps from 10oF to -25oF Windchill -noneJan. 12, 13, 14 Temps from 45oF to 20oF Windchill 10oF to 0oF Jan. 19, 20, 21 Temps from 0oF to -25oF Windchill -45oF to -75oF YiS, Todd Tingblad -- firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 21:24:02 -0500 From: "George R. Davis" GRDRV@AOL.COM Subject: Re: KLONDIKE DERBY EVENTS We are trying something new this year (for us). We will have our "traditional" course for the Webelos and younger scouts, with individual stations for first aid, fire building, etc., and will use pre-built Klondike Derby Sleds. There is also a designated required equipment list.
We are also going to have a "Challenge Course" for the older scouts. The scouts are being told to come prepared for a 4 hour backcountry winter orienteering meet, during which they will have to solve one or more problems using scout skills. The only required equipment is a stamp pad (we are using alphabet rubber stamps for the orienteering checkpoints), lunch (their choice but it must be appropriate for the conditions), and a fuel or hobo stove if they intend to heat anything (there are fire restrictions in the county park where we are holding the event). The remainder of their equipment is up to them - but they have to carry it. The first stop will be inspection - make sure everyone is properly clothed and that they have suitable equipment in addition to the above minimums. This will be scored, and they will have to justify anything else they are bringing, or why they aren't bringing something the staff thinks is necessary. With assistance of the Park Ranger, we have gotten some orienteering maps of the park which were developed by the local orienteering club. The scouts will be given a course to follow.
At a designated point in the course, each patrol will be interrupted to join in a search activity - a scenario with a bus accident has been drawn up.
Each patrol will be given a second map with their designated search area shown - and they have to get to it, search and then provide first aid to the victim. This assumes that they know where they are, and how to get to the search area. The search "victim" will be a dummy (stuffed pants, shirt and bag head) provided by the patrols - 1 per patrol. After the searchers have found their dummy, a live victim will be substituted - (we are recruiting Webelos-age sisters of scouts) who will be marginally conscious and able to respond to diagnosing questions. Obviously, hypothermia will be involved, as well as sufficient other injuries that the scouts would not be moving the victim any great distance. This will require shelter building, getting heated liquids for all, and sending a party back to the Ranger station for help. The return trip for those sent to get help will find the original route blocked, so that they have to find an alternate return route. The idea is to make the scouts have to think, work together and put what they know to use. We are hoping to use this to get some of the older scouts more active in these district events.
After the completion of the above activity, there will be a Klondike Challenge Sled Race. Instead of using the typical sled, each patrol will have a basic platform - douled up 2x4's that are curved in front for runners, with a plywood deck and 4 dowels glued into the platform/2x4's on each side dowelsa extend 8" above the deck. They also have poles and rope. At the starting signal, the team lashes the poles together and to the sled base, load on their dummy, and proceed around the race course. Sleds may be pulled, pushed, carried or some combination of the above. There will be a few small obstacles on the course. Sleds may be "repaired" up to the midway point of the course. Score will be a combination of time and judging of the sleds at the finish line. It may pay to spend a little more time on the lashings to get the points at the judging. (We got this sled idea from a neighboring council). The patrol has to work together.