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Snow (camping and driving)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by sunnyc123abc, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. sunnyc123abc

    sunnyc123abc 1/2 ton status

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    So Im thinking about driving up to big bear and camping for 2 nights. I know nothing about camping in the snow or driving in the snow. I have read some stuff about it, but what are the important things I need to know. Im trying to get a cabin from my aunt, but if that doesn't work out Im probably going to pitch a tent or sleep in my truck. So please give me some input on the subject. thanks
     
  2. scooter122983

    scooter122983 1/2 ton status

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    bring alot of warm dry clothes and some type of alternative heat source. you would be better off sleeping in the truck
     
  3. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    First, make CERTAIN that someone knows exactly where you'll be and when you plan to return. That way, they'll at least know when and where to start searching for your body. ;)

    Take WAY more food than you need, just in case... Keep even the non-refrigerated food inside of a cooler (with no ice!) to prevent it from freezing.

    Tire chains are your friend.

    Use a foam pad of some type to sleep on. It really helps keep you insulated from the cold ground, floor, or whatever.

    Take a really warm sleeping bag. Bring along an extra one, just in case you find that you need to double up.

    A Navy watch cap and/or a balaclava will keep your head warm while sleeping.

    Long undies and wool socks will help keep you warm inside the sleeping bag.

    I've tent camped in Colorado with night temps ranging from +10 to -9 degrees F :shocked: using the above and stayed pretty comfy.
     
  4. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Technology is your friend. Tents, sleeping bags, and clothing, have undergone vast improvements with time, and the technology has started to make it into the lower price catagories so it doesn't have to break you.

    One exception, wool. Nothing beats wool against the skin. Yeah, yeah, it's itchy. Wet or dry it will keep you the warmest. Try lambswool it's softer on the skin.

    Head, hands and feet. Protect them. Mitts are warmer than gloves.

    Insulate your sleeping area, foam was mentioned however air mattresses are usually better. I'm not thinking queen sized foot high here, but whatever floats your boat.

    If you really want to be sleep in your undies warm, and have fun, and gain outdoorsman points, look up how to build a Quincey. A snow hut, much like you made as a kid, that is serious warm.
     
  5. W7NB

    W7NB 1/2 ton status

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    My suggestion is to find someone with some snow experience to go with you. Understanding all the things that can get you dead or maimed is especially helpful - little things like avalanche hazzards, hypothermia and frostbite come to mind very quickly.

    Cold weather driving also places different stresses on your vehicle then normal. I'm sure other folks can relate things that have quit, frozen, broken or otherwise left them stranded when playing out in the snow.

    I can make these comments with a little authority as I do Search and Rescue locally, and we do a fair number of snow rescues every year of folks who whent wheeling and did not make it back under their own power. And yes, thats people we carried out, not broken trucks. We do winch out a fair number of stucks as well.

    Things to do if you are going:

    Leave an EXACT area you plan to be in AND GO THERE! We get a number of calls for people who are 'sposed to be in area "A" and are found in area "B" 50 miles away because they decided conditions were too rough and decided to go elsewhere - without telling anyone. Rest assured we will find you in these cases. It may be to remove your remains the following spring but by gosh we will get you back to your family sooner or later! If you do have to change areas, go to a phone or cell phone covered area and tell someone where you are going to be.

    If you have a CB or Ham gear let the person know what frequency you will be monitoring. We will try calling on CB9 and 146.52 if we know you have the gear.

    TAKE A GPS AND MAP. I have been on 2 searches that we had cell phone contact with the person we were searching for and they had NO IDEA where they were. If you have a GPS, we may not get called in the first place - you won't be lost. However, if you break or get stuck it sure is nice for someone to give us a coordinate or road number where to come help them at instead of giving us a half day of driving in crappy weather risking our own health and trucks...

    You WILL get stuck in the snow. People with 10 inch lifts with 44's will find deeper snow to get stuck in then us 4 inch 33 class folks, but they get stuck too. If you dont have a winch you will need a come-along (sic) and hi lift jack with straps and chains. You will need a shovel for each member of the party - 2 or 3 can dig a rig out faster then 1.

    Folks have commented on appropriate clothing already. Make sure your sleeping gear is rated 10 degrees below the coldest temps you expect to encounter. I don't know anything more miserable then spending 8 hours shivering in a sleeping bag.

    Food is VERY VERY VERY important. Most people don't realize it takes as many calories to maintain your body temperature at 25 degrees that it would take to run a marathon. If you get hungry you will feel cold - your body will have nothing handy to heat with and it takes more energy to burn the fat:wink1:
    Take enough food to last AT LEAST one day more then you plan to be out - that way you will be able to survive comfortably while waiting for help to arrive. If you break and can't get out by Sunday night most search agencies won't start to search till Monday morning. May as well have a good breakfast and read your owners manual while you are waiting then be cold and hungry...

    If anyone in your group takes medications, make sure they take extra as well. You can imagine how stressful it would be to be lost, broke down and not have important medication with you. Especially if it's birth control:doah:

    NO ALCHOHOL. Gad, that ought to make me popular... But other then making you stooooopid it is a vasodialter - in other words it makes you vessels relax and expand. Now thats a good thing if Paris Hilton is about to perform, uh, never mind that gave me a heluva hangover. What it does it turn your arms and legs into big radiators and dump alot of heat. THen you get sober and cold, or hypothermic and dead. Just leave it at home and get tanked when you get home to make up for lost time.

    Lastly, and this applies to all of roading situations, if you are worried about the trail, road or camping location just don't do it. We pulled the surviving driver out of a rig rolled off a hill. He said he was worried about rolling it driving on the sidehill, but his buddy said go for it! They buried his buddy.

    That said, have fun. Snow country is great - pretty views, quiet and serene... Till the big blocks come!:bow:
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2006
  6. chalet2506

    chalet2506 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Make sure and pick up some Snow Snake medicine:bow:. It's the last thing you need be without when your roughing it in the snow.
     
  7. thfonz98

    thfonz98 1/2 ton status

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    maybe a few of candles to keep in the truck *just in case*

    some can burn for quite a long time if you get stranded(a la james kim style). Could have used the candles instead of running the engine and using all his gas and burning his tires, then drove out of there when the snow melted away some(as it did by the time they found his family).
     
  8. bladwin

    bladwin Registered Member Premium Member

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    e-brake

    couple things come to mind that I learned over the years, the hardway...:doah:

    -4wd doesn't help your braking.

    -don't downshift and let your foot fall off the clutch while on ice @35mph

    -don't set your parking brake unless you check the cabling. It will freeze and lead to (besides horrible mpg) hot brakes!

    -heed the other posters advice if you go anywhere remote.
    Have Fun.
     
  9. sunnyc123abc

    sunnyc123abc 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the replys, they are very helpful. I heard that if you pack snow around your tent, that it will help keep in the heat. is that true?
     
  10. NoReGrEtS

    NoReGrEtS 1/2 ton status

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    I dont think big bear has any snow
     
  11. sunnyc123abc

    sunnyc123abc 1/2 ton status

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    Do you think it will have snow by the 27th?
     
  12. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    the yellow snow has vitamins in it, so stock up.......
     
  13. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, snow is an insulator. That is the idea of the Quincey. It is basically a burrowed out pile of snow. You would never believe how warm they are.

    However be careful how much weight is leaning on the tent, and really unless the tent was completely covered the heat would just escape out the top.
     
  14. NoReGrEtS

    NoReGrEtS 1/2 ton status

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    there might be some if another storm rolls through.

    which way are you going to take?




    Shawn
     
  15. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    One thing I don't think I saw in the suggestions is to check the weather forcast. Be prepared for drastically different conditions. Check the web about the 3 climbers lost on Mt. Hood right now.

    Snow is fun, but going it alone is risky. Personally I won't venture out into the mountains by myself in the snow. I don't have a winch for self recovery and I know I'll get stuck. Having another truck there with me means I can always get un-stuck. But at most we go play for a day and come home. Even then I over pack for the possibility of getting stuck overnight.
     
  16. babyburb

    babyburb 1/2 ton status

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    I haven't been in much of a snow but I have camped in single digit weather several times. Several years ago I came across a heat source in a hunting mag of mine and it actually works very well. Grab an emty coffee can with lid, roll of toilet paper, and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. (I usually carry a couple of bottles) put paper in can, pour alcohol in, and lite. This will burn clean and for a long time. When top of roll starts to brown, blow out and add another bottle. Put the lid on when you are through.

    Another thing I found out is not to sleep in all of your clothes. Get in your bag and strip down to one layer, (make sure your bag is rated correctly like the above post states) Your body will have a hard time adjusting in the morning if you come out of your bag fully clothed. Word of advise, keep your other cloths in the bag with you are they might be a little stiff in the morning as well.

    I love camping in the in the winter. I am taking my youth group camping for three days after Christmas. I hope it is freezing!!!
     
  17. sunnyc123abc

    sunnyc123abc 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I am going with 4 other people, but no other trucks, just mine. I don't think that im going to do any offroading. Just to the campsite i guess. But I will carry some equipment just incase.
     
  18. sunnyc123abc

    sunnyc123abc 1/2 ton status

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    I dunno where im going yet. Do you have any suggestions.
     
  19. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    At least where I go play in the snow in colorado, even the graded trails to the campsites can get pretty difficult in the snow. (thats what I like about snow, it makes the easy stuff hard) Drifts can develop where the wind blows and what may only seem 1 ft deep and passible might be 4ft deep 10 ft further down the trail. Meaning, the trail might dip but the wind piles the snow up to look level. I get stuck in that kind of stuff.

    Like it was said, bring shovels for every one riding. If you are in the snow, the likelyhood of getting stuck is high. Remember, getting stuck in snow is a lot like getting stuck in mud. In most cases it's easiest to get un-stuck by going backwards out of the hole you went into.
     
  20. spoolnaround

    spoolnaround 1/2 ton status

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    Take extra sleeping bags, double them up.

    Picture14.jpg
     

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