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30

Yes, it is definitely doable. -20°C is only -4°F. The real question is whether it is doable by you at the level of discomfort and hassle you are willing to put up with. Only you can answer that. At best we can point out what the hassles and discomforts will be. First, your fear of dying of cold in your sleep is silly. You'd have to do something ...


23

I'm answering my own question to share some knowledge. First, cold toes/fingers is serious. You start feeling discomfort, then a little pain, then you stop feeling them and forget about them, then you get them amputated. So you should constantly check if you can still feel toes and fingers, and if not, start to warm them up. Second, I find most effective ...


17

Bears don’t really hibernate, although they lower their activity during winter. Here’s one sample study of Black Bear winter behaviour in Sierra Nevada, California: Thirty-nine (62 %) bears were winter-dormant for at least 2 weeks; the remaining 24 (38 %) remained active all winter. Here in Czech Republic we don’t have many bears, most of them cross ...


17

I cannot answer directly if you are risking your life or not, however, it is quite possible to tent in -20C weather, given appropriate preparations and gear. Condensation, possible wind and snow-load are a few of the environmental factors to consider in your preparations and gear selection. The condensation one is critical, as damp gear (in general) loses ...


17

The loop allows the gloves to be hung, on a carabiner for example, such that the fingers point up preventing the gloves filling with rain or snow. For example, see the manufacturer's description of these gloves.


16

It is much better to avoid frostbite than to treat it. You can easily lose fingers and toes to frostbite. When you are camping in the winter, you cannot go into the lodge and warm up like you do snow skiing. You should really pay attention to frostbite. If it is much below freezing and you have numb fingers or toes, you should take some kind of action. If ...


15

I think capacitive gloves are your best bet. Basically, they are gloves with something that allows the screen to close a circuit with your body (your hands) and that makes the screen work. I've provided some links to reviews, but the bottom line is this: at the temperature you're describing (around 0 degrees Celsius) they will probably do the job reasonably ...


13

Adding to Steeds self-answer. Other ways to warm up fingers and toes: Wiggle your fingers and toes vigorously (while walking, while sitting) - circulation is aided by muscle movement. Sprint (if you have the extra energy) When not using them, ball your hands up inside your gloves (remove your fingers from the glove fingers and make a fist inside the ...


12

This is what I found from the net: Flip the bottle up side down preventing the ice from forming near the top Obvious one: put the bottle inside a bag or a jacket use a heated hydration system instead adding electrolytes (suggested by Russell Steen)


12

Get a Lavvu with a stove! Photo from Wikimedia Commons The Sami population of Lapland have lived for centuries in Lavvus in a climate with temperatures down to -40°C. They did decide about a hundred years ago or so to live in houses, because it is a tad more comfortable. As the Sami still exist, this proves that it's not immediately lethal to live at ...


11

Bear canister rules are often relaxed in the winter. However, this will depend on where you are camping. On the east coast, in the Adirondacks, the rule is: NYSDEC Regulation Requires The Use of Bear Resistant Canisters by Overnight Users in The Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Between April 1 And November 30. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear ...


11

Cold fingers - put them around your neck. The neck exhibits excellent blood flow and thus, heating power The neck is easily accessible area of the body, unlike armpits, thighs, stomach (with all the layers of clothing) At least for me, it is not very stressful to press very cold fingers against the neck, compared to against e.g. stomach. As for cold ...


11

In the US ice grades fall into three categories; Water Ice, which is seasonal and often shifting in difficulty; Alpine Ice, which is permenent ice found on glaciers or high altitudes; and Mixed Ice, which is a mix of ice and rock. Water Ice and Alpine Ice are on the same scale -- though alpine ice tends to be a little easier at the grade. (ratings taken via ...


9

This is really up to you, but I think if postholing is enough of a issue it would be good to wear snowshoes. If nothing else, it just makes things easier. One problem of postholing can be sometimes difficulty in getting out. You're not likely to actually get hurt, because "falling" onto the snow isn't a problem when it's deep and soft enough for your foot ...


9

Yes, the R-value will add of your different layers. If you wear layer A with R=5 and layer B with R=2.5, the overall insulation value will be R=7.5. To explain this a bit, we think of two layers or flat walls which interact only due to thermal conduction. This is just a model and in reality other effects will come in play. The Fourier Law for thermal ...


8

Some reasons for leeway: Regulations allow for it. Each park and wilderness area have their own rules and regulations. Some may allow for relaxed practices during known hibernation periods of their local bear population, though some may not. This is simply something that will require personal research into the area in question. Inclement weather The ...


8

I have found sleeping with my boots inside the bag is the ONLY way to go when it is really cold out. Moderately cold, sure you can tough out the re-thaw in the morning - but real cold... forget it. It is tough to get over the psychological barrier of putting boots in your bag - but it will make a difference. A few points to consider: During the day, sweat ...


8

For winter walking a traditional straight-shafted mountaineering axe seems most appropriate. This would include products like the very common BD Raven or Raven Pro, and also those with a slight bend such as the Petzl Summit, Grivel Air Tech Evo, and BD Venom. As there are existing questions regarding length (How do I know what size ice axe I should get?), ...


7

Caloric intake is certainly the largest factor. Calories are energy. If you are on a low fat diet normally and a very fit individual, you'll likely need to increase your fat intake. However the primary concern is that you are getting fats, so if you are already, you should be fine. Drink more water! It's very counter intuitive, but you dehydrate faster ...


7

For snowier conditions, it is common in the ultra community to take an old pair of shoes and screw in a number of metal hex screws into the sole from the bottom leaving enough of the screw proud to stick into the snow. I've never had to try it myself but I'm reliably informed it works a treat.


7

Two suggestions. You can get fingerless gloves that also are mittens. Here's a child version so you can see how they work: Second, you can try to get a touchscreen that works with gloves. For example the Nokia Lumia made quite a big deal out of this at their launch. It makes sense that people in Finland would consider cold weather use for their ...


7

The big guideline for you will be water content. Dried food, with little or no water, won't freeze. Fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, peanut butter and so on probably will. In most cases, freezing will hurt the quality (consider a raw egg, raw apple, or raw carrot) and certainly repeated freeze-thaw cycles will do so. Your dried meat, fruit and veg should be ...


7

There's not yet a good answer that asks for the reason the fingers, toes (and nose and ears) are cold, so let me add a few points: (I'm assuming around 0°C according to the question - of course, -40 °C is different). Here are a couple of reasons why your fingers and toes get cold in the first place: Of course, you may not yet be used to the cold ...


6

I would consider two items: Trekking poles with large baskets. And if you are looking for a pair of modern snowshoes Consider models which have bars at the rear to elevate your feet during ascent. It is common to use the trekking pole to flip the bar up when required.


6

There are many excellent natural fabrics for winter hiking: Merino wool is often used as a baselayer but I have also found silk and bamboo to be very good. I have a knitted raw silk midlayer but also like cashmere, which is warm, light, doesn't smell and releases moisture pretty well. In colder conditions I wear sweaters made of untreated wool (Black ...


6

As stated above, the best way to treat frostbite is to avoid it all together. As for proper treatment, you should slowly warm the affected area, typically done through a warm water submersion. Frostbitten feet should not be thawed until you are ready to no longer walk, as you will more than likely lose the use of your feet. Additionally, in a situation ...


6

At my local army shop they sell neoprene gloves with detachable finger ends for the index and middle finger ends. Something like the picture below, but without the thumb, and the ends are not cut out but foldable. I have ones without this feature. They are not too warm (good maybe down to -5C), but are very comfortable - I cant type and call on the phone ...


6

I know it might sound crazy, but (if you don't have those capacitive gloves) you can always touch screen with your nose ;) worked for me just fine this winter.


6

Post-holing has very real risks due to the simple fact you have no idea what lies beneath the surface of the snow until you punch through and bang, scrape or wedge your leg under, against, between or in a hidden tree, log, rock, hole, creek, etc. Some of the risks: Barked Shins: Often you'll post-hole the deepest beside buried logs where the snow might be ...



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