133 votes
Accepted

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

When travelling on extremely remote roads, you need to prepare for the worst. This is even more true if you are travelling in a climate where the weather might kill you within days, such as in ...
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  • 26.2k
66 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

Use a pencil. They do not freeze and can be easily sharpened. You might also use a grease pencil; they can write on metal, plastic, wet, oily, or waxy surfaces as well. These don't always afford ...
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  • 2,313
54 votes

Why don't climbers use electrically heated suits?

Edit: It turns out battery-powered heating in clothing actually is used on Mt. Everest: Hotronic makes battery-powered heated insoles that are used by Everest climbers, for example. Battery powered ...
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  • 599
53 votes

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

First, if you go somewhere in a car, take along the clothes necessary to be outside for an extended period. 406 MHz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) All the tragedies have one thing in common: they ...
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49 votes

Is it warmer to sleep in a car or in a tent?

I suggest using both the car and the tent together. A car will lose heat fastest through the windows, so use the tent to cover them (and the top). The windows are a thin single layer of glass, while ...
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  • 23.5k
47 votes

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

Well, I'm from Russia, and I heard that in the most desperate situation like this you can burn your car's tires. The tires are made of oil, so they burn well. Using fire from tires you can use other ...
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45 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

I have previously used a tape recorder and nowadays, a smartphone or tiny handheld microphone. Then I simply speak my observations and findings in a way I know I will be able to easily tabulate when I ...
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  • 553
45 votes
Accepted

Is sleeping on the ground in cold weather better than on an air mattress?

Effectively, it isn't much better to sleep on an air mattress that isn't specifically made to insulate from the ground than on the ground itself although it does make a slight difference. The main ...
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  • 4,986
43 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

To address the issues you're having with audio-based solutions, keep the phone inside your clothing and use a "hands-free" headset (wired). This will stop the phone dying due to a cold ...
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  • 23.5k
40 votes

Why don't climbers use electrically heated suits?

Firstly there's the weight issue - as Paparazzi commented, batteries are heavy! Then there's temperature - battery performance drops considerably in the cold And finally reliability - if your ...
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  • 24.4k
28 votes

Under what conditions does heating a tent artificially make objective sense?

The general rule I use is if your tent needs to be heated to be comfortable, then you're "doing it wrong" and should have gotten a better tent. There isn't really any weather (especially backpacking, ...
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  • 2,820
28 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

When I was hunting, I found that the best way to keep my fingers warm, while still allowing me to free them for delicate manipulation (loading a magazine, etc) was to wear "convertible gloves" - that ...
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26 votes
Accepted

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

Gloves or Mittens? All things being equal (fabrics, thickness, and insulation), mittens are warmer than gloves. Mitts trap body heat by keeping your fingers together and reducing evaporative heat ...
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  • 53.1k
25 votes

Have you slept outdoors in only warm sleepwear (no bag or quilt) at or near freezing?

I'm sceptical that it would be good, or efficient on packing. I have slept under cover (bus shelters, on wooden benches) in cycling gear suitable for the conditions, even for sitting outside to eat ...
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  • 23.5k
24 votes
Accepted

Using a thermometer for hypothermia diagnosis in backcountry?

Diagnosing hypothermia requires a special thermometer, as most over-the-counter thermometers are not accurate below 34.4 °C (93.9 °F). Additionally, local body temperature variations means you need to ...
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  • 10.7k
24 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

Prepare a form for the information you collect. Make the blanks big. Fill in the form by grasping your "pencil" in your gloved fist. Use an over-sized writing utensil (so your fist doesn't cramp)....
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22 votes

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

I have always learned that when you go to remote areas you should have at least a basic knowledge of car repair and depending on the make of car and the area you go to your knowledge should be good to ...
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  • 2,557
22 votes

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

This is not constrained to Siberia. A snowstorm/blizzard can occur at many locations and throw down so much snow that roads are blocked and people outside the main routes (or even on main routes) get ...
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21 votes

Is it warmer to sleep in a car or in a tent?

The car, mostly because you can use the heater. You will want to make sure that the exhaust is clear to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and only run it for a short periods at a time. This also helps ...
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20 votes

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

This is simply a question of the increased surface area of gloves which will therefore increase temperature (heat flux) exchange. Same reason why foxes have smaller ears as further away they are ...
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  • 12.1k
20 votes

How to prevent fingers from freezing?

Some general rules: layer system also for the hands is a good idea but those gardening gloves won't work pretty well better use inner liner gloves (wool or even a softshell glove) and a warm mitten ...
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  • 12.1k
20 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

When I worked at a salebarn in the winter we had this problem and the solution was multiple pens inside your shirt pocket under your coat. Pens will work for a while then get too cold at which point ...
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19 votes

Under what conditions does heating a tent artificially make objective sense?

I would say there really aren't any. Even a hypothermia patient would get wrapped in a hypo wrap and the stove would be used to boil water to go into Nalgene bottles. The problems with running a ...
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19 votes

Have you slept outdoors in only warm sleepwear (no bag or quilt) at or near freezing?

No, we have not slept outside in near freezing temperatures in no sleeping bag and in only warm pjs plus a tent. But YES, we have done something similar. We have frequently slept outside without a ...
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  • 22.5k
17 votes
Accepted

How do I get my fingers and toes warm before rock climbing at cold temperatures?

Before the climb As @ShemSeger suggests, most of the work is to be done before the climb itself. You need to stay warm belaying your partner and waiting to climb yourself - if your hands and feet ...
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  • 890
17 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

One time, during a winter research project, it was only after after a full-day ski to the study site that we realized that none of us had a pen or pencil. So we wrote the numbers in the snow with a ...
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17 votes

How do you take field notes at below 0 °C, without freezing fingers?

Think of the basic triangle - you need warmth, dryness, and wind-free. OP's question does not mention being wet but does reference the cold AND the windchill. So limit the wind with some kind of ...
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  • 1,070
16 votes

Are mittens warmer than gloves?

As other people have mentioned mittens are warmer in almost all circumstances, a large part of this is that your entire hand is keeping the inside warm rather than each finger trying to warm itself ...
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  • 625
16 votes
Accepted

Can cold weather be sufficient to act as a refrigerator?

35° is 35°, whether in your car, in your pack, or in your refrigerator back home. However, handling raw meat otherwise is very different outdoors than at home. Personally, I think bringing ...
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  • 21.3k
16 votes
Accepted

In cold conditions, will you freeze faster wearing wet clothes than not wearing any?

This depends on the actual type of clothing and mostly on the wind speed. The wind evaporates moisture from the body. Since evaporation is a cooling process and absorbs latent heat away from the ...
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