We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Hot answers tagged

58

The calories to melt even frozen water are pretty small, and the water gained is certainly greater than that used to aid the use of those calories. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie So 1 calorie = 1 degree celcius (roughly with minor variation). Okay easy. Except it takes 80 times that to melt it initially. Screw snow, let's figure on ice cubes. 1 ...


47

All the advice I've seen emphasises melting snow before consuming to avoid lowering your core body temperature (rather than, specifically, risking dehydration). If possible, melt the snow using a stove, or alternatively, pack the snow into a waterproof container and keep it in a pocket or your sleeping bag until it melts. News stories such as this one, ...


41

If you have a clean black garbage bag with you (and if you don't, you really should :)), put the snow into the garbage bag, arrange it in a thin layer inside the bag, and lay the bag in the sun on a flat rock (if available), thin layer parallel to the flat rock. Weigh it down with a few rocks to help make contact between the black surface and the snow. ...


28

Doing it correctly can ensure the temperature of the snow cave maintains around 32°F (0°C) or higher. Its not just about digging the extra hole but how the entire cave is constructed that can make the difference between life and death. Here's the general idea. Of course doing this won't guarantee your safety, but it sure helps. To answer your question ...


28

First off, I want to make clear that this applies to skiing and snowshoeing as a means of long-distance travel. It doesn't directly apply to skiing in specifically for the descents. Skis are better for: Lake traveling: The snow on frozen lakes tends to be firmer and this enables the ski's inherent advantage, glide. Even when pulling a sled, skis will be ...


21

The concept of wind chill does not apply in this situation. Wind chill talks about perceived temperature due to additional heat loss due to convection. Meaning without wind, the "heated" air will stay around you much longer, thus "insulating" you a bit, while in high wind any heated air will get swept away immediately. In a properly built snow cave you have ...


21

A dark coloured water bottle strapped on top of your pack would absorb quite a lot of solar heat on a sunny day. Getting the snow in would be easier with a wide neck, like a bike bottle or Nalgene. Around freezing point this can be quite effective. If you have flexible clear plastic with you in any form (a large ziplock bag for example) this can be loosely ...


20

This is really interesting, and I think it might be similar to why we don't generally have snow tires / chains etc as a common item here in stores. Certainly the South rarely gets snow, with Wales, The North and Scotland being more likely to get snow days. From the MET Office: The UK gets on average 33 days of snow fall or sleet a year (1971 - 2000). ...


19

The easiest way that I know of requires you to have some kind of rope or long straps and to be near evergreen trees. Depending on the strength of the needles and width of the trees limbs take anywhere from 1 to 4 ends of an evergreen tree limb. Be sure to use green wood so they can bend without breaking. Make each section about three times as long as your ...


19

If it is clean, fresh snow, it is safe to drink. This is basically drinking rain water. It hasn't had time to pick up pollutants when it is newly fallen. I live in New England, and kids do this all the time. You get taught early to only do this with white snow. Make sure that the snow is actually clean: the longer it sits, and the more urbanized an area is, ...


18

As with any relatively unscientific field, there is a lot of lore out there that may have originally had a good scientific foundation, but the restrictions or specific conditions have long been forgotten and the answer takes on a life of its own out of context. The myth about eating snow seems to me to be one of these things. The main point is that it ...


18

The best way to melt snow is to put it in a bottle inside your jacket under your mid layers while you're on the move and let your body heat melt it. Do not place it against the skin, leave a layer or two between you and the bottle. It's advisable to always leave your bottle in your jacket in subzero temperatures, it can freeze if left in your bag. Melting ...


17

Three thoughts: If the snow is thigh-high, then you should be either using touring skis or snowshoes to "float" over the snow. You'll expend way less energy. Seriously, I can cover probably 10x-50x the distance (or more) with alpine touring gear or snowshoes in the same amount of time as someone without, and that's regardless of the angle of slope. ...


17

I have never been in the area, but from what I can see in the Internet, there indeed are a lot of winter hiking routes in Lenzerheide. And all those routes are signposted. In fact, you can see a map and get all the hike descriptions right here: https://lenzerheide.com/en/winter/winter-activities/winter-hiking/winter-walking-tours I would recommend starting ...


15

Well there are many ways to prevent this, the easiest way would be to trim the hair between the paws. You can also buy dog-sock to put on the dog, the best way if you have seen dogs running with dogsleds. And if you really don't want to do either of those options, you can buy paw-grease or paw-vox like "ice on ice". Hope this will help.


14

Trekking poles can telescope down and pack away. If you happen to have a shelter that uses trekking poles to hold it up, sometimes you need to be able to set your poles to a different height. Some people also like to lengthen/shorten their poles depending on whether they are going down or up hill. If your shelter doesn't require them, I think the answer ...


14

For maximum efficiency (i.e. melted water per used fuel) make sure the following things are always true: Always have some water in the pot. Never have only water in the pot. Having water increases the thermal conductivity between the pot and the snow/water. With just snow you have a smaller contact area. As long as there is both snow and water in the pot, ...


14

Aside from what is mentioned in the answers to this question (How to light a fire with wet firewood?) the things you need to be concerned about in winter are the cold, frozen wood, and your fire being extinguished by snow. On winter camps one story that always went around was one of a man who died because after he built his fire and was just barely getting ...


14

It's actually kind of the other way around, it's not that being too cold prevents snow from falling, it's that an absence of moisture in the air allows the atmosphere to cool. Low pressure systems bring with them (relatively) warm moist air which precipitates as snow. The clouds overhead act as a blanket, and keep the surface air warmer. When the low ...


14

Summary from a winter spend in Winnipeg long ago compared to Central European conditions: there are probably good reasons why native North American people went with snowshoes while native Europeans invented skis. terrain Snowshoes have advantages over skis in bushy terrain off trail (where long skis become super cumbersome) or rugged terrain. Canadian ...


13

An unhurdled slip-and-drop would be fatal without a doubt. If this is the case, then maybe you need a belay. However, if the snow is sufficiently deep and soft that you're sinking up to your knees, why is it the case that slipping and being unable to self-arrest is so dangerous? In these conditions, typically you can't even intentionally get going fast ...


13

You want to leave enough room at the entrance for airflow. If the entrance is totally blocked you could possibly suffocate on the CO2 you breathe out. In addition to the entrance, keep an eye on the air exit at the top so it doesn't get blocked. You can heat the inside significantly with just a candle.


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 ...


13

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 ...


13

Pee on it. To keep the water drinkable, you'd want to have the liquids separated but still have good thermal transfer between them. A well equipped traveller will pick his/her thermos bottle and a condom, pee in the condom (ladies would probably do it the other way around), tie the condom and put in the bottle, fill the rest with snow, cap, wait and drink. ...


12

Lots of mushers will 'candle their dogs'. Use a candle and pass it quickly over the bottom of the paw. The flame singes the hairs between the toes and is harmless to the dog. Practice on your arm hairs to get the speed right. Much faster than trimming. Most dogs hate socks and will chew them off as soon as they can.


12

I'm somewhat of a claustrophobic sleeper when it comes to quinzhees, so I'm very particular about my ventilation. How much ventilation you need is proportionate to the size of your quinzhee, and how many people are sleeping in it. Larger quinzhees need less ventilation than smaller ones, and more people obviously require more ventilation than fewer people. ...


12

They weight of the extra pole is counteracted by the energy saved using it. Poles do more than offer stability, they also save you legs precious energy on the climb, and on the descent. At 16,000ft you'll sing praises to your hiking poles, and I guarantee you'll find yourself resting on them a lot more than you would have expected. Get two poles, you won't ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible