The cold season - depending on the climate this can be simply mild to posing life threatening conditions, and especially in the latter case preparation is essential.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

27
votes
9answers
6k views

Is it dangerous to sleep in a tent alone in a forest in -20?

Can I spend the night alone in a tent in a forest outside Stockholm in -20 degrees Celsius without risking my life? The backstory From the end of January, I'm starting my studies in a suburb of ...
25
votes
9answers
79k views

How to warm up your cold toes and fingers?

In winter your hand and feet (especially toes and fingers) may get painfully cold or you may even stop feeling them. How can you warm them up? This usually happens, when it's below 0°С or when it's ...
25
votes
5answers
1k views

Do bear-safe rules still apply in the winter?

I understand, and practice, bear-safe rules like hanging (or canister-ing) during summer months, but what about in the winter when bears are (theoretically) hibernating, and the shorter / colder days ...
18
votes
9answers
680 views

What can I do to keep my hands warm while using touchscreens in the winter?

Now that it is starting to get cold it is more difficult to use touchscreens while outdoors. I use both an iPhone and a Garmin GPS to geocache and both have touchscreens that require me to take my ...
17
votes
8answers
9k views

How to keep my legs warm in winter?

Winter is coming! Very quickly in Belgium actually, much faster than I'm used to. It's also the first year where I spend a lot of time outside. Soon, that could be a lot of time outside... freezing. ...
17
votes
13answers
8k views

What's the best way to avoid slipping on ice?

Where I live, winter is still a good bit away, but last year I slipped on ice and ended up with a black eye and a broken wrist. This year I sincerely want to reduce the chances of that recurring. I ...
17
votes
2answers
317 views

Why did the wolf-pack withdraw from attacking me?

While this has happened about 22 years ago, I never really stopped thinking about it and still regard it as unsolved mystery. While I asked plenty outdoormen, nobody had this experience. Having ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

What do I do to prevent and treat frostbite?

I'm going to be winter camping, and I'm concerned about getting frostbite. What can I do to protect myself?
15
votes
2answers
4k views

If you are buried in an avalanche will you survive?

Obviously, my best chance of survival is in not being buried, but if I am unfortunate enough to become buried in an avalanche what are my chances of surviving it?
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Should I get trekking poles for snowshoeing, or stick with ski poles?

Being an avid skier I have ski poles lying around, so I've always used those. Do proper trekking poles offer any advantages for snowshoeing?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the loop on the finger of my winter gloves for?

I have a pair of winter /climbing gloves. Each glove has a small loop on the ring finger, top of the glove. Why? What's it for?
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Measuring a dangerous snow slope

I'm reading up on winter technique. The book im reading states: Most (slab) avalanches happen on slopes between 30 and 45 degrees I think I've seen this before but ; how do I recognise (easily) ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Winter Camping: How to warm up your boots in the morning?

Is there a good technique to warm up your boots in the morning? Should you just put them on and warm them up with your feet or is there a better alternative?
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is department store merino wool less effective than branded (i.e. SmartWool) merino wool in staying warm and wicking moisture?

At my local Costco, I see a Kirkland brand 100% merino wool quarter-zip sweater being sold for $25. On EMS, I see a SmartWool 100% merino wool half-zip sweater costing $140. Would I be potentially ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a technique to snow-shoeing besides “walk on the snow”?

I've spent a lot more time XC skiing than I have snowshoeing, but have some snowshoeing opportunities available to me in the near future. In the few times I have gone snowshoeing, I've basically just ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for the winter?

Which natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for hiking winter weather? I know cotton will generally trap moisture and invite hypothermia, while wool is warm but heavy. What other natural fabrics ...
11
votes
2answers
68 views

Avalanche forecast in North America?

In Switzerland, there is a avalanche forecast twice a day, at least during the winter months. This forecast reports about potential risky part regions, especially avalanche-prone expositions, and ...
11
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the correct ice axe grip when descending?

It is a common advice to handle your ice axe with the pick facing to the rear. Furthermore, having a single technique of self-arrest aids in training and being prepared for an emergency situation. ...
11
votes
1answer
648 views

Is there a practical “Measurement of warmth”?

I'm after a new pair of gloves for the winter. I've found plenty of gloves online but I'm wary of buying them as I want some really warm winter gloves (for use in -10C or less). In a shop I can try ...
10
votes
6answers
272 views

How to avoid the layer of ice inside a water bottle during winter activities?

Is there a special way to avoid the layer of ice that forms inside a water bottle during winter activities?
10
votes
3answers
9k views

How much heat can a candle lantern provide while winter camping?

In answering this question I tossed out that a candle lantern can add as much as 10 degrees (F) of heat while winter camping. I've heard this tossed about before, but is it true? I assume there are ...
10
votes
2answers
151 views

Winter food : Should I change my habits for winter?

Should I change my food habits for my winter activities? Is simply increasing the quantities or choosing food with higher calories enough?
9
votes
4answers
988 views

Running shoes for asphalt + winter conditions?

What is the good choice for the running shoes for winter conditions in city (mostly running on asphalt)? When the snow is shoveld, normal running shoes would be no problem, but when the snow falling, ...
9
votes
3answers
142 views

What to look for in a winter skills course?

I'm researching winter skills courses for the new year. Most cover all the basics: Self arrest Using crampons and ice axes Avalanche awareness Route planning Is there anything else I should be ...
9
votes
2answers
588 views

Reliability of snow bollards

I just discovered there is a way to rapell (e.g. for crevasse rescue) without any equipment building a snow bollard: How is this done in the best possible manner? What do I have to look for in ...
9
votes
1answer
178 views

Winter route grades

I was recently reading a article: Scottish Winter: Ten Must-do Routes at II and III. When it occurred to me that I had no idea how winter grades work? I understand British trad grades, etc. But what ...
9
votes
2answers
102 views

Snowshoes for hilly terrain

What are the snowshoes criteria that I should look for if I want to snowshoe on a hilly terrain ?
9
votes
2answers
307 views

First crampon grade to buy

I'm looking at getting my first set of crampons, for winter Wales/Scotland trekking, with a view of working my way up into the Alps (during summer) eventually. I've been reading that a 10 point C2/B2 ...
8
votes
3answers
624 views

Why should I carry a snow anchor?

I regularly see online that on expeditions snow anchors are strapped to the side of the backpacks. This is typically an item like the upper on following pic: I never saw this in the Alps by myself. ...
8
votes
2answers
566 views

Is it safe to put snow in water filtration?

I was wondering if it is safe to put snow in water filtration and then just wait until it melts down if the temperature is right. Of course, carefully picked, clean looking snow.
8
votes
4answers
283 views

What is the safest and most effective additive to keep drinking water from freezing?

I know that the antifreeze used in fresh water RV tanks is non-toxic and can protect to -50F. Thinking Sugar might be a good choice I posted the question How to calculate how much sugar to use as ...
8
votes
5answers
301 views

River crossing in winter?

So we were out looking for some new ice to climb today and discovered this short pitch of ice: There's only one problem: The ice is on the wrong side of a rather wide creek. The nearest ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to be safe on lake and river ice and what should I do when I fall through?

It's late October and in cold, northern hemisphere climates, winter has arrived, and moderate northern hemisphere climates will follow soon. In my area, small lakes are already frozen and people have ...
8
votes
2answers
262 views

Do “R” Values Add proportionally

For winter camping it is recommended to use a sleeping pad with an R value greater than 5. Can you alternatively use two closed cell 2.5R pads one on top of each other? If using an inflatable pad ...
8
votes
2answers
450 views

Winter food: which types of food are less inclined to freeze?

I already asked if I had to change the food for winter. Since freezing is a major concern in winter, which types of food are more suitable because they are less inclined to freeze ?
8
votes
2answers
165 views

How to attach snowboard to backpack during skitour?

I'm a snowboarder. In preparation for a skitour trip, I was on the lookout for splitboards. But it turns out that even renting them can be a bit of a hassle and/or is quite expensive. As availability ...
8
votes
2answers
128 views

Inexpensive ways to learn cross-country skiing

I am temporarily relocating from a region with mild climate to Montréal. I run almost every day, in summer and winter, as the temperatures rarely go much below freezing point. Now, I guess I will have ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

What are the advantages of a vapour barrier?

I was recently reading an article on UKClimbing by Andy Kirkpatrick about clothing in winter. It talks about vapour barriers: I’ve played around with vapour barrier socks over many years, and ...
8
votes
1answer
67 views

What is the process of winterizing a boat?

What is the process for boats becoming "winterized"? Do all boats need to become winterized and is this a one-time process?
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Planned winter bivi

There is emergency equipment to survive nights, like emergency blankets and bivouac packs. As opposed to this, if you plan to stay overnight on winter trips (e.g. in the Alps) you don't just want to ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I be more careful about postholing during winter hikes?

This weekend I am going to do one of my favorite things: winter hiking in the Sierras. When I say "hiking", I mean that though we might be trodding up a mountain in the snow, it is not real ...
7
votes
5answers
182 views

Suggestions for a winter lifestyle

This is my first winter in a really cold place. By cold I mean temperatures varying from -10 to -30 Celcius (yes, all temperatures I mention in this post are in metric). I come from a place which ...
7
votes
3answers
239 views

Emergency measures: sleeping bag not suitable for the current weather

Related Questions: Keeping warm in an emergency, Light-weight emergency overnight-gear It has happened to me a couple of times that I have shelter and plenty of insulation underneath, but my ...
7
votes
4answers
722 views

What kind of underwear inside union suit in winter?

I have a Kokatat fleece union suit, which we kayakers also refer to as a "bunny suit", which I wear under my dry suit when kayaking in cold conditions. I also wear it when snowboarding or XC skiing ...
7
votes
3answers
731 views

Finding a suitable slope to practice self arrest?

I want to practice my self arrest technique. So I need to find a snowy slope to slide down and practice digging my ice axe in, turning, etc. What kind of slope should I be looking for? What kind of ...
7
votes
2answers
157 views

How do you treat frozen lungs?

You know that bleeding lung feeling you get after going out for a long run on a freezing cold night? The one where you can taste blood in the back of your jaw, and begin to wheeze and cough as fluids ...
7
votes
2answers
443 views

Winter bivvying in the Alps: what is a good temperature rating for a sleeping bag

I am searching for a sleeping bag that would allow me to comfortably sleep in the snow eventually at a significant altitude (2800 meters - 9000+ feet), but also (and likely most often) at lower ...
7
votes
2answers
213 views

Thru-hiking the Long Trail (Vermont) in late January

I'm preparing for a (solo if I can't find anyone to go with me) hike on the Long Trail in Vermont. I thru hiked the AT starting in February, but Georgia is warmmmmmm compared to Vermont. The average ...
7
votes
1answer
142 views

Dozens of dead little spiders in the snow

The winter suddenly set in here and it was pretty warm before. We walked through the snow in a central European forest and I realized a lot of "black dots" (dozens of them) as a contrast to the white. ...
7
votes
1answer
287 views

What collapsible or compact skis should I get for communiting?

I want to be able to commute part way to school via skiing, but can't carry around full length ski's all day. Has anyone heard of or used a good pair of compact cross country skis?