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127

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 extreme cold. I've had a car break down once at -35°C. That road in Northern Sweden wasn't as remote as the one in Siberia you describe, as it still had maybe two ...


74

Humans have a few intuitions about how temperature, heat, and liquids work. These intuitions lead us astray for the specific case of a bladder full of urine. "Keeping Warm" / "Cooling down" The first intuition is that things cool down on their own: If you leave a pie from the oven on your counter, it eventually cools down to room temperature. We believe ...


68

Other people have addressed several concerns that I would have bringing a young child into the mountains during the winter. One concern that I haven't seen addressed is; what if something happens to you because the average 6 year old is going to be entirely dependent on you. If you become compromised for any reason the child more than likely isn't going to ...


55

Common mistakes, some of which I've made: Unfamiliarity with equipment - this isn't specific to winter camping of course, but if you've used all the gear before in milder conditions, then there's obviously less that's new to you. So if you're using a different tent to summer, make sure you've spent a night in it before the winter, so that you know where ...


49

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 did not have one of these and/or did not activate it. This is the gold-standard, same as aircraft ELTs and ship EPIRBs and works worldwide on the COSPAS-SARSAT ...


44

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 car parts that burn well, like a seat. This will allow you to last at least for a day and if you're driving a big car, like a semi, you can last several days. ...


38

Some common mistakes, definitely nothing close to exhaustive, so feel free to edit (I'll make it a community wiki if appropriate). If the point is about what you should do, the mistake is not doing it ;) Underestimating the sleeping pad, You need a well insulated pad. There are various designs, but while R-Value isn't an absolute measure, it still is a good ...


36

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 ...


35

To add to the already-good other contributions: Wearing cotton clothing is a common mistake. When cotton gets wet (from sweat or external sources), it doesn't quickly get dry, and that cold moisture close to your body conducts heat away. To underscore another answer's point even more, layering is also important; use non-cotton layers wherever possible. ...


34

Getting out is not the hard part. It is getting in and going again without getting wet. To get out: If the beach is large enough come in sideways, lean away from shore to as you beach. when the canoe touches bottom on the shore. sit upright and you should be well grounded and close enough to step from canoe to shore while staying dry. If the landing is ...


31

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 ...


28

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


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 ...


27

Most important reason to pee before you go to bed: you'll be uncomfortable lying there all night feeling like you have to pee. Second most important reason: if you try to delay it, you'll just have to get up later, in the middle of the night. This means getting out of the bag and getting cold. The REI blog sounds scientifically illiterate to me and does ...


27

I do not have much alpine experience Climbing the Breithorn in the winter is a much different matter than in the spring or summer. Any 4,000 meter peak in the alps is subject to arctic weather conditions with high winds and temperatures far below freezing. There is also going to be very deep snow, so unless you know how to ski or snowshoe, you are going to ...


26

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 ...


26

You know that there is a lot of snow already in those heights in Austria? Even in 1500m people not used to it will get problems. Please have a look at webcams and detailed descriptions of the route you are trying to hike. And check out the conditions! I was never on that mountain but it seems there are exposed ridges and even wire-assured parts on the route ...


25

Found an answer by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources. For new, clear ice, 4 inches should be good for ice skating or any activity involving just a person's weight. They recommend double that thickness (8 inches) for white ice which has about half the strength.


25

Due to the small volume of the body - risk of rapid hypothermia in children is very high. Do not risk it in the winter.


24

So, first of all there is no alpha male! An alpha male only exists in captive wolf packs but never ever in the wild. Further reading about this topic here for example. The pack you've encountered was a family of three (more likely in January) or two generations. The average pack consists of a family of 5–11 animals (1–2 adults, 3–6 juveniles and 1–3 ...


23

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 ...


23

As usual, skills are the lightest and most effective thing one can carry. From how to bushcraft useful things from natural materials, to clever ways to satisfy needs like signaling or navigation, to keeping a healthy state of mind. Nonetheless, some useful items greatly increase chance of success / reduce chance of suffering. The less skills, the more ...


22

Second Edit: Thanks for all the upvotes. I just want to clarify one thing: I don't think I've done a good job in answering the OP's question. I think cr0's answer is much better for winter hiking. This little kit that I've put together is my 3-season emergency kit. Consider it the start of an emergency kit for the winter. [Also, since I have a fair ...


21

One thing you can look into are long-legged thermal underwear - this wouldn't effect how you look on the outside as they go under your clothes and create an insulating layer to help keep you warm. Women can get away with this in everyday life with a nice pair of tights. So for city life, as you stated, this should mean no difference in your every day ...


21

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 expert. So your first action should be looking whether you can repair it, with what you have and where you are. If that is not possible, you go to what the ...


20

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 ...


20

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 ...


20

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 ...


20

In short - No, do not take your 6 y.o. daughter on that mountain in winter in one week's time. There'll be plenty of opportunities for parent-daughter bonding in the future in less extreme and more pleasant circumstances. My reasons: One of the cardinal rules in mountaineering is to usually travel in fours, minimum of three if all in the party have lots ...


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