Questions tagged [winter]

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.

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9
votes
1answer
4k views

How to calculate how much sugar to use as antifreeze in drinking water?

Sea water does not freeze until about −2 °C (28 °F) if you add more salt you can lower the freeze point to -21°C. We know from How much sea water can I safely drink? that drinking salt water is not ...
31
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9answers
138k 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 ...
21
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15answers
43k 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 ...
20
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5answers
5k 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?
14
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5answers
10k 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 ...
14
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2answers
5k 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 ...
11
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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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3answers
236 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 ...
16
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3answers
21k views

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

In answering this question I tossed out that a candle lantern can provide as much as 10 degrees (F) of temperature difference while winter camping. I've heard this tossed about before, but is it true? ...
10
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5answers
2k 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 crossings ...
8
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1answer
191 views

Differences for bivi packs

I would like to do a winter bivouac but have no gear for it yet. Especially the choice of a bivi pack is really tough for me because I'd prefer to be able to use it also in summer as a rescue item and ...
96
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14answers
40k views

My car broke down in Siberia. What do I do now?

Some time ago, while driving on a snowy road, someone told me a kind of horror story. It involved a guy who was driving alone with an old car on an overland road in Siberia during winter, so the ...
30
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12answers
5k views

What gear should I carry along for winter emergencies?

This question is prompted by a real accident, in which a young, healthy and experienced hiker I knew was found dead from hypothermia ridiculously close to civilization. The assumptions behind it: a ...
32
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9answers
13k views

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

Can I spend the night alone in a tent in a forest outside Stockholm in -20°C without risking my life? The backstory From the end of January, I'm starting my studies in a suburb of Stockholm. I've ...
37
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10answers
10k views

Mountaineering with a 6-year-old kid in winter

I'm planning to go to the Austrian Alps with my 6-year-old daughter in one week. We would like to go on Großer Priel, 2515 m. The plan is to go for three days (sleeping two nights in a tent on a ...
26
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4answers
4k views

Skis versus snow shoes - when to choose which for travelling the backcountry?

When travelling the backcountry in high snow, do snow shoes or skis perform better? By "perform better" I mean how tiring and fast travel is. Is there a general answer, or does it depend on the ...
24
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3answers
2k 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 ...
17
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2answers
14k 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?
15
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6answers
2k 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
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6answers
703 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 ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Ice skating on a frozen lake — how thick should the ice be?

When ice skating on a frozen lake or river, how thick should the ice be in order to have fairly high confidence you aren't going to fall through? A small drill (for ice fishing) is available to ...
18
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2answers
2k views

What are the different stages of frostbite?

My brother and I were out backcountry sled-skiing yesterday, and my brother froze his feet in his new ski-boots. We were sitting at just above 2000m, my brother had his boots off and was trying to ...
14
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4answers
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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?
14
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4answers
2k 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) a ...
12
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2answers
2k 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 terms ...
12
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2answers
1k 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 ...
29
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6answers
5k 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
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5answers
8k 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?
12
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1answer
7k views

Why did people rub snow on frozen feet?

If you read old books from cold areas, it's not infrequent to run across the idea of rubbing snow on one's feet when they got frozen or frostbitten. However, subjectively, it seems to me that this ...
10
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1answer
202 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 ...
10
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2answers
831 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 Appalachian Trail (AT) starting in February, but Georgia is very warm compared to ...
10
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3answers
3k views

What is a good R value for a four-season sleeping pad?

I've been a Boy Scout for seven years now, and as I'm moving from high school to college I'd like to get into solo backpacking. I live in the lower peninsula of the state of Michigan. I don't foresee ...
9
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5answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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.
9
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4answers
2k 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 ...
9
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1answer
163 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
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1answer
349 views

Does my layering system need adjusting?

I'll be "backpacking" -- to imply traveling from country to country, but also hiking and camping in the backcountry -- various parts of Europe in winter for 3 months. I've camped and hiked before, ...
6
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1answer
414 views

Are there 1-person 4-season tents?

I'll be camping in Scandinavia during the winter, but I can't find any 1-person 4-season tents on REI or similar sites. Do these things exist? Could it be that I can't find them because it's highly ...
5
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1answer
279 views

Gear for slush-over-ice

I hike in all seasons and weathers. I love the old adage there is no bad weather only bad gear. My Kahtoola microspikes are excellent when there is hard ice on the trail. Turns a sheet of ice into a ...
5
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1answer
348 views

Using Camphor (Icy Hot) in the winter for warmth

Some products like 'Icy Hot' contain a substance called 'Camphor' that can make your skin feel warm when applied. It is cold out today (1°F or -17°C). I have been making short trips out to ...