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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 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 ...


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 ...


22

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: Finger-mounted clip-in loop enables gloves to be attached to a carabiner with finger-tips facing up, eliminating snow-fill


18

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

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

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 ...


13

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 ...


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 ...


13

If you don't have a compass or other instruments, it is possible to measure the slope with your two (ski) poles solely. Just hold one pole vertically by using gravity and stick it into the snow. Hold the other one horizontally until it reaches the slope with one end and the first pole with the other end. Now you check the height in which the poles contact ...


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

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 ...


12

There have been quite a few studies on this. There are various factors that will affect this, these include: Position in the snow: people upside-down sometimes live longer because the brain has more blood flow Equipment you may be carrying (aqualung, etc.) Injuries or bleeding: if you bang your head you could be dead before the avalanche even stops, etc. ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

In general it really depends on the snow condition. Angle: If it's powder snow you need a quite steep angle (25 degrees and more). If it's icy/ hard/ wind slab snow then you can try it on a less steep (20 degrees) slope. Safety: I would search for a slope where you have a safe run off, if you can't manage do arrest yourself. And also that your runoff is ...


10

Only 1 out of 10 survive Avalanches If you are completely buried in an avalanche the odds of survival are slim, unless you wear a transceiver (beacon), and you have partners that escaped the avalanche who have the right gear (beacon receivers, probes, and shovels) as well as the experience from practicing with them to save you. Statistics show that the ...


10

Yes. There's nothing wrong with melting snow and then purifying it with a standard water filter. Most of the water in mountain streams was snow at some point anyways. That being said, this is generally going to be a very inefficient way to make water, and if the temperature is below (or really anywhere near) freezing, you're going to be thirsty. I would ...


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

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?), ...


8

To put it simply, carry a compass with you that has a clinometer to measure a slope's angle, set one of your poles down on the slope and place the compass on top of the pole to get a solid reading. If you spend enough time in one area you'll start to become familiar enough with the terrain to remember roughly what the angles are and which routes are the ...


8

Traditional military routines for crossing a river under such conditions are the following Bag your pack and items in a waterproof sack/black bag Tie it up and use as a buoyancy aid Wear your normal boots and thin socks Ensure Gore-Tex socks are in your pack. They cost approx $10-14 Cross the river and accept the cold - embrace it :-) Once across remove ...


8

I think it's quite similar to skiing because the reason for kick-and-glide is to save energy. Same for snowshoes; try not to elevate the whole weight of the shoe for every step. Of course in deep snow you have to lift the leg including the snowshoe quite high, but not as high as you'd have to not wearing snowshoes. Open the fixture at the back to make the ...


8

I have used them heaps for Rappelling, and am more comfortable using a Snow bollard than any other single anchor. I have seen snow stakes bend under the load of one person, ice screws pull the ice off the rock. I have seen deadmen fail when the knots came undone (might have been incorrectly clipped 'biner) (students on that course got a valuable knot tying ...


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 ...



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