On this trip I tested my winter camping skills once again. I packed out minimal gear, built a natural shelter, and slept next to a long fire with only a foam sleep pad and one wool blanket.
It was a lot of fun and I had a great time. I stayed plenty warm despite the temperature getting down to -26°C (-15°F). I have figured out a way to make a very effective long fire and I will make a video on this method in the near future.
Cooking in these extreme cold temperatures can be tricky. I try to bring out food that won’t freeze which is exactly what I did on this trip. I still had a delicious supper that filled my belly and was simple to make.
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Are there wild animals in this area?
Yes. There’s a variety of big game (moose, deer, grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, wolves) in this area. They tend to avoid humans for the most part though and don’t pose much of a threat. I do carry a form of protection just in case.
What clothes am I wearing?
Upper body: cotton base layer, wool insulating layer, waxed cotton jacket (outer layer).
Lower body: cotton base layer, polyester insulating layer (I would like to have wool pants for insulation, but they are very expensive to buy.. I will likely make my own in the future), waxed cotton pants (outer layer).
How can I sleep in these cold temperatures?
My fire is the reason I stay warm. I build it to put off a lot of heat and I stoke it throughout the night (every 2-3 hours) so that I’m always getting heat. My wool blanket absorbs the heat from the fire and it feels like I’m sleeping under a heated blanket. It is very comfortable to sleep this way, as long as you don’t mind waking up every few hours to put wood on the fire.
Gear that I use:
Backpack – Kelty Redwing 44 – It’s an ok pack. Comfortable enough to carry but it has a lot of flaws in it’s design. I use it because it’s all I have. One day I will replace it I’m sure.
Hatchet – This was an $8 antique store find. I put a new handle on it and it has been my go to for a couple years now. No makers mark on it so I’m not sure what brand it is but it holds an edge very well.
Knife – Mora Carbon Steel – Mine has a custom wood handle I put on it. It’s a great blade and works excellent for carving/crafting. It’s inexpensive and is great quality. One of my best knives.
Saw – Bahco 21″ Peg Tooth Blade – The wood frame I made myself. the blade is decent quality. Works quite well.
Boots – Sorel Pac Boots (I think) – I don’t know if the specific model I have is still available. But they’re Sorel brand. Not the best boots. I have to wear thick wool socks to keep my feet warm and sometimes they still get cold. Once again though they’re all I have so it’s what I use.
Wool Blanket – Queen size 100% wool blanket – I received it as a gift and I believe it was bought second hand. No label or anything on it.
Sleep Mat – Cheapo foam sleep pad found in any camping store – It’s just the typical foam sleep pad that most camping stores carry. Inexpensive but the warmest sleep pad I’ve used. Bulkier than an inflatable one but a fraction of the cost and warmer.
If you have any other questions or comments please let me know in the comments section down below.
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