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«SCOUTS-L COLD WEATHER CAMPING & KLONDIKE DERBYS Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 21:14:00 MST From: Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona ...»

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-0500 Received: from TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU (NJE origin LISTSERV@TCUBVM) by TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU (LMail V1.2a/1.8a) with BSMTP id 8081; Sat, 9 Nov 1996 20:40:45 -0600 Received: from TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU by TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU (LISTSERV release 1.8b) with NJE id 3443 for SCOUTS-L@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU; Sat, 9 Nov 1996 20:40:01 -0600 Received: from TCUBVM (NJE origin SMTP@TCUBVM) by TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU (LMail V1.2a/1.8a) with BSMTP id 3442; Fri, 8 Nov 1996 14:18:06 -0600 Received: from reg.seresc.k12.nh.us by tcubvm.is.tcu.edu (IBM VM SMTP V2R2) with TCP; Fri, 08 Nov 96 14:18:03 CST Received: from godbout.tiac.net (p15.ts4.lowel.MA.tiac.com []) by reg.seresc.k12.nh.us (8.7.5/8.6.11) with SMTP id PAA21204 for SCOUTS-L@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU; Fri, 8 Nov 1996 15:20:56 -0500 X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0 (Win95; I) MIME-Version: 1.0 References: Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Message-ID: 3283950D.11BF@reg.seresc.k12.nh.us Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 15:16:13 -0500 Reply-To: mgodbout@reg.seresc.k12.nh.us Sender: SCOUTS-L - Youth Groups Discussion List SCOUTS-L@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU From: Marc Godbout mgodbout@reg.seresc.k12.nh.us Subject: Re: Cold Weather Camping To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L SCOUTS-L@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU Status: RO


Ron Boyd wrote:

Hello Scouters!

Last year several members of this list posted some excellent ways to pa= ck, clothe, and camp in cold weather. Maybe some of them will chime in again this y= ear.

It is that time of year again. We had our first frost of the year down = here in Alabama this weekend.

YiS, Ron Boyd, ASM Decatur, AL Recently there was a post on the list looking for cold-weather camping ideas. The following is pretty long and will not apply to everybody, but maybe there will be a few pieces someone can use. At worse, I’m sorry for cluttering up your mail box. Also, I had to break it up into 3 sections so that the listserver could take it.

Up here in NH, 3 - 4 months of the year are spent in a winter environment. As I like to camp it was either learn a few tricks to make it easier or just read about camping during those months. I’m also a Scoutmaster and what follows is pretty much what I try to teach the boys.

FWIW - The coldest I’ve camped in is -5F and I’ve done outside activities as low as -15F.

Winter camping is a lot of fun, but it presents some subtle dangers. I consider it a high adventure activity, but it’s different from rock climbing, where you experience a relatively short-term thrill. Winter camping, if not prepared, is dangerous even when sleeping. But for many boys it’s a fun challenge, and a =93cool=94 (pardon the pun) thing= to do. My son has actually said that he couldn’t wait for summer to be over so that he could go on Winter Trek, Daniel Webster Council’s high adventure program.

Winter Camping Part 1 =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3 D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D



Starting with the top, a wool or polypropylene hat. A good hat is very important. Not only because much of the body’s heat is lost through th= e head, but also because the body will start shutting down blood flow, and therefore heat, to the extremities in order to keep the core warm. A common saying is, =93Cold feet - put a hat on=94. This hat will also be= valuable at night, in the sleeping bag.

Some sort of face shield is needed. A wool or acrylic scarf, or even a spare wool sock for those boys who forget the scarf, keeps frostbite away.

The nose is an extremity and is real sensitive to cold breezes.


I think just about everybody knows about layering. We’ve had that drilled into us since kindergarten. I personally don’t bring a =93winte= r=94 coat with me at all when winter camping. My =93system=94 consists of a medium-weight polypropylene long-sleeve undershirt, a wool sweater, an insulated flannel shirt (K-Mart deal which luckily is made of all manmade fibers - no cotton!!!), all topped with a wind-breaking, water resistant, shell. Total cost is about $50.

Most important here is another saying - =93Cotton kills=94. Cotton has t= his annoying habit of holding onto moisture, keeping it close to the skin, and thereby losing all insulation value. Worse yet, by holding it in, perspiration which would normally drip off the body is now kept close by, further cooling the body. This could easily mean the difference between comfort and hypothermia. Those waffle-weave, =93thermal=94 undershirts found at dept. stores are almost always 100% or 50% cotton.

Go to the sports dept. and look for the poly. Most man-made fibers and wool will wick moisture away from the skin. Even when wet, they will still keep a pretty good amount of insulation.

A good replacement for the wool sweater might be a Polarguard or similar fleece top. I don’t own any of this, mainly because I’ve got the sweater already, but those who do swear by it. It has the added advantage of being lighter weight, something to consider when backpacking.


I try and make sure the boys get mittens with long cuffs. These keep hands much warmer than gloves. You can tell them that the fingers help keep each other warm or the Mr. Wizard explanation that there is much less surface area to radiate heat. Either way, mittens are the way to go.

The cuffs should extend past the wrist. Snowmobile mittens work very well.

I’ve got a pair of =93glomitts=94 which I find fantastic. These are a = pair of finger-less wool gloves with the finger part of a mitten attached to the back of the knuckles. Normally the mitten is over my fingers, but when it comes time to fiddle with the stove, or even light a match, the mitten part flips up and Velcro’s to the back of the glove. When I need my fingers to manipulate something, I like to keep as much hand covered as possible.

Under these (yes, I layer here as well), I wear some thin acrylic knit gloves. You can either buy glove liners at some outdoor store or do as I do; go to the women’s section of some discount dept. store like Walmart.

They have these one-size fits all mini-gloves for around a buck. I’ve got long fingers and these work fine for a fraction of the cost of an =93official=94 glove liner. On top of this I’ll wear a pair of waterproof overmitts.


The layering and no cotton rule works here as well. I start with my poly long johns, put on some wool pants over that and then thin, windbreaking, snow-pants over that. Please keep the kids from bringing sweatpants. These almost always cotton and are only warm when inside that nice, cozy cabin. Wool pants are hard to find cheaply in kid’s sizes, mine are army surplus, so I let the boys substitute poly’s topped with the heavier snowpants. Just make sure they’re not cotton-filled. I do allow the boys to wear cotton briefs or boxers. This is too personal a choice.

wear them and it doesn’t seem to be a problem.


Do I really of to repeat =93no cotton=94 here? I didn’t think so. For comfort, I wear poly sock liners. Over that would be a vapor barrier. I’ve use= d zip-lock bags (a bit constricting in the toes), bread bags, and plastic shopping bags. I might also try those bags that my newspapers come in.

They’re thin and just the right size. I don’t know if they’ll hold= up, though. The reason for the bag is to keep sweat from being absorbed by the boot’s insulation. Overnight, moisture in the boot will freeze if the boot is not kept warm (more on that later). I had one boy just last year who woke up to find his boots frozen solid. He could not get his feet into them. We had to thaw them by the fire (this was a Scout camp) before he could leave his tent. On top of the bag, I put some thick wool socks.

As for boots, your basic dept. store snow boot should do fine, as long as they are bought at least one size too big, in order to fit the socks and bag.

Fit is very important. Anything too tight will cut off circulation to the toes and be a potential frostbite problem I like having removable wool felt liners, but any decent, thick insulation should work.

I’ve used gaiters on top of my boots and like them very much. Gaiters are basically a cordura or maybe leather sleeve which bridges the gap between boots and pants. They do a great job keeping snow out of the boots.

Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 15:59:30 -0600 From: "Marc W. Solomon" m_solomon@ALLI.COM Subject: Re: What does COLD stand for?

X-To: Jim McMaster mcmaster@SWENG.STORTEK.COM To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L SCOUTS-L@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU Status: RO



Or to put it properly:

–  –  –

At 02:25 PM 2/3/97 -0700, Jim McMaster wrote:

Hi...sorry to ask the list, but I am preparing a presentation for my scouts tonight about how to dress warm for winter camping. There is an acronym "COLD" I want to include.

It goes (I think):

C - clean O - ??????

L - layers?

D - dry?

I lent my fieldbook to a scout, and cannot find it in the handbook. Could someone help me out, please? Private email is fine.


Marc Solomon Unit Commissioner m_solomon@alli.com Sycamore District mailto:marcsol@aol.com Blackhawk Area Council (IL)

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