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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97
votes
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 ...
59
votes
15answers
14k views

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

I would like to try winter camping. What are some common mistakes first-timers make when trying to camp in the cold? I would be camping in temperatures between 0 and 32 Fahrenheit (-17 to 0 degrees ...
44
votes
6answers
15k views

Is it warmer to sleep with an empty bladder?

One of the recommendations for sleeping warm is to empty your bladder before bed, When your bladder is full, your body is expending energy keeping that liquid warm. If you empty it out, your body ...
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 ...
33
votes
9answers
14k 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 ...
31
votes
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 ...
31
votes
9answers
141k 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 ...
29
votes
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 ...
27
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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 ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

How to avoid getting wet when exiting a canoe onto shore?

At the end of November we are going an a 3 day canoeing trip with multiple obstacles where we have to get the canoe out of the water. As it is really cold at this time, we don't want to get wet boots/...
24
votes
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 ...
22
votes
15answers
44k 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 ...
21
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2answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
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?
19
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8answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
11k 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?
18
votes
5answers
9k 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?
18
votes
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
15k 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?
17
votes
8answers
39k 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
5answers
8k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

What’s the best thing to wear on your hands when sea kayaking in very cold weather?

What product or combination of products best protects your hands while kayaking in winter? I’m interested in a system which provides comfort for extended paddling but also the peripheral activities ...
16
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3answers
22k 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? ...
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 ...
15
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4answers
3k views

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

I've spent a lot more time cross-country 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
13k 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
votes
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
5k 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?
14
votes
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
230 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?
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I perfect my backyard ice rink?

I live in the northeast US and have a depression in my backyard: after weeks of freezing weather we had a warm, rainy weekend. Then it all froze =) So now I have a backyard rink, about 100' x 50' (...
13
votes
6answers
460 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?
13
votes
5answers
2k 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
660 views

What collapsible or compact skis should I get for commuting?

I want to be able to commute part way to school via skiing, but can't carry around full length skis all day. Has anyone heard of or used a good pair of compact cross country skis?
12
votes
6answers
718 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Do I need a hard shell to ski in sunny weather conditions?

I'm going skiing for the first time. From what I've read, most everyone uses hard shell jackets and pants for skiing. However, they usually mention something about skiing in bad weather, frigid cold ...
12
votes
6answers
650 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 1-season ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
12
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
12
votes
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
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
12
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2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
643 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
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How to clean soaked-in winter salt off boots?

Hiking in winter near urban areas, it’s difficult to avoid getting salty snow/slush on one’s boots. Of course, the first rule is to rinse it off immediately, and not to let it soak in. But sometimes ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
306 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?
11
votes
1answer
209 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 ...