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Messages - 300winmag

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General Winter Camping Discussion / Winter backpack
« on: February 22, 2019, 07:53:26 pm »
My old Dana Terraplane weighs 7.5 lbs. Much too heavy even for a large pack.

* 4.5 lbs.
* 75 cubic liters -  a large pack
* zippered sleeping sleeping bag bottom compartment (a must for me)
* very adjustable harness (5" vertically and huge horizontal adjustment in hip belt padding)
* removable top lid compartment (for fanny pack on day hikes/ski trips
*excellent quality (I own an Osprey EXOS 58 snd it's top notch, as is my Osprey daypack)

Since I cold camp in the western mountains I need a large backpack. Wish I could take my pulk.

Any other suggestions?

Eric b.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Ski Climbing Skins
« on: February 22, 2019, 06:52:35 pm »
Du Nord,

My experience in both Pennsylvania and Nevada supports - in spades - that skis require less effort than snowshoes in all conditions except very rocky, brushy or steep conditions. This resumes the skier has basic ski skills, of course, like braking and turning.

I have MSR Lightning Ascent 'shoes with add-on tail extensions. These are the grippiest large 'shoes I could find. Yeah, traditional "Michigan" style 'shoes are perhaps more supportive in deep snow but I'll take my Tele skis or the new Black Diamond Glidelite short skis 90% of the time over any 'shoes.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Ski Climbing Skins
« on: February 20, 2019, 11:27:42 pm »
I have a pair of G3 ski climbing skins for my Atomic TM22 Telemark skis and Asnes Combi Combat backcountry touring skis. I need them for climbing "hills" here in the in the western US.

Skis with skins are FAR easier to use than snowshoes if you have even a modicum of XC skiing skill. I may even sell my MSR Lightning Ascent 'shoes.

Anyone else use climbing skins?

Tents and Shelters / Hot Tent W/light canvas tarp over nylon tent anyone?
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:10:05 pm »
I can see protecting nylon tent made for a stove with a light canvas tarp. Also to help hold in heat.

Anyone tried this?

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / NOW is it cold enough??
« on: January 29, 2019, 09:41:31 pm »
You guys in the northern states are getting some really sub-zero temps this week. Time to test your winter clothing and take a short vacation to get out and camp.

I envy you those frigid temperatures. here i am in southern Nevada and even at 9,000 ft. in our nearby Spring Mountains it has only been done to -5 F. so far.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: Not a great camp this week
« on: January 20, 2019, 12:40:02 am »

I did take some photos.I'll download them tomorrow and post here. They were taken before the "slush" hit.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Not a great camp this week
« on: January 18, 2019, 08:12:31 pm »
Went to 9,500 Las Vegas' Spring Mountains Wednesday. I used my Atomic Telemark skis and climbing skins. My70 liter Dana Terraplane  pack was 38 lbs. with a 2 person Tarptent Scarp 2 tent, -20 F. down bag, -40 F. down belay parka, MSR Whisperlite Universal stove (white gas mode) and other necessary items with meals for 2 1/2 days.

My purpose was to test the "winterizing" mods I had made on my Scarp 2 tent under a snow load B/C the US sweater Service had forecast 2 ft. of snow at that altitude. The mods were optional X'd crossing poles that I ran under the fly for much better wind and snow load than the factory exterior straps system.

Anyway, rain, not snow, from 11:00 PM Wednesday to 6 AM Thursday then finally rain mixed with snow but not in great amounts. In other words just miserable weather that was wet and slushy. The tent did very well with 2 inches of literal slush on the fly so I was a bit satisfied with its ability to handle a heavier load.  But with that rotten weather I packed up and skinned back to my car.

I'd planned to stay two nights but in actual cold, snowy weather, not in that dangerous wet situation. I had an eVent WPB parka but my pants were heavy nylon fabric cargo pants lined with fleece over polyester long johns. They had good DWR water repellant on them but were not water resistant enough for snow mixed with rain. Interestingly the front of my knees & thighs got soaked but I never had water penetrate to my long johns.

I had pondered wearing uninsulated GTX ski pants instead but felt I needed warmth over waterproofness. WRONG! The weatherman got it wrong and so did I.

I had a decent time until Thursday morning but the weather gods did not favor me.

Eric B.

Winter Camping Clothing / Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« on: January 13, 2019, 07:23:14 pm »
OK, the Eddie Bauer PEAK XV parka arrived 2 days ago and it is an excellent "expedition" severe weather parka.

1. DWR treated down - absorbs 30% less & dries 60% faster than untreated down
2. baffled construction in torso, arms and hood
3. hood is "helmet compatible" (will fit over my ski helmet)
4. Drawstrings at hem (tighten from inside hand warmer pockets if desired), face (ends inside hood to keep wind from slapping them in your face), rear of hood drawstring pull  (horizontal drawstring  to pull hood away from eye area on each side)
5. light and tough Cordura brand fabric shell (does not lock like Cordura pack cloth but is tough. Snagging it on a Ponderosa pine branch stub did not phase it.
6. 800 fill down
7. Three outer pockets and three inner pockets (2 large mesh pockets, one on each side)

1. needs more down fill in upper sleeves (easily fixed from an inside lining seam.)
2. interior zipper baffle needs filled with down. (another easy fix) and maybe a 2nd baffle on the other side like the Patagonia Grade VII parka has.

I took the parka on a ski camping trip this week and though the temps were just barely below freezing the parka proved to be a virtual "cocoon" after sunset. Yeah, it's bulky to pack but to me it is comforting to have that "insurance" along.

TODAY (2/19/'19) I unstitched the top of the zipper baffle and filled it with down then sewed up the baffle. It's now very puffy and I'm ready to add a left side similar baffle so it looks like the Patagonia GRADE VII and Fitz Roy parkas' baffles. I figure if Patagucci did it there's a good reason to do it that way. Those guys make very few design mistakes.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Re: BAFFLED down parkas?
« on: January 10, 2019, 10:09:26 pm »

Thanks for the info on the snaps. I'll use some "industrial strength" Velcro. Fabric shops carry it. I'll test it before sewing to on my parka hood.

The Tenacious Tape with snaps is a good backup plan. Or at least 3 strategically placed snaps on the Velcro. (Belt & suspenders, ya know.)

Eric B.

UPDATE: The Eddie Bauer PEAK XV parka arrived today and it is very nice. FULLY baffled in torso, arms and hood.

->Hem drawstrings can be accessed from inside the hand warmer pockets, but must be relaxed from the outside hem.
->Hood face drawstrings can be accessed from inside the hood (loose string stays inside & will not whip your face in windy conditions)
->Back of hood drawstring is horizontal to pull cinched hood away from eyes for better peripheral vision
->Shell is light Cordura brand material. Very tough
-> Down is Dri-Down DWR treated

->upper arms need more down fill (easily remedied
->interior zipper baffle needs sen filled (Again, easily remedied)
->front zipper is only one-way (I'll live with that)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A very good parks for $299. that has a few fixable problems.

Thanks gents, quite a range of bag brands and fills including several double bag systems. I've found double bags to work VERY well.

Wilderwes,  I had a Mountain Hardwear - 20 F. Polartec bag but sold it B/C it was far too bulky and heavy to backpack. I'm in Nevada and pulks don't fare well in the mountains so I must backpack on skis with climbing skins.

That bag had a full length zippered gore above the main zipper and when opened added another 6" or girth so I could actually insert my WM Megalite 20 F. down bag inside with no problem. THAT combo would have been good to -40 F.

I may later buy the REI 4 season FLASH Insulated air mattress if the 3 season one is too cold for winter with a 1/8" closed cell foam mat cut from underlayment foam. (No lie, try it.)

Eric B.

I just bought a 30" coyote fur ruff form Glacier Wear in Maine and will sew on Velcro to it and my new Eddie Bauer PEAK XV parka. I want to be removable for skiing. Also I want it to be able to flip forward for a breathing tunnel.

I'll add an aluminum wire to the backside of the ruff but wonder, how many others have a wore like that?

When I do it I'll send some photos.

Also some photos of me camping above 9,500 ft. here in Nevada for your Alpine Camping request.

General Winter Camping Discussion / BAFFLED down parkas?
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:57:13 pm »
I just returned an LL Bean down parka that was advertised as baffled but was actually sewn-thru. Very nice in every other way except that.

Then I ordered an Eddie Bauer PEAK XV down parka WITH baffles for $90. more ($299.on a sale) and well worth it.

Do most of you folks have baffled down parkas for severe weather?

Eric B.

Winter Camping Clothing / Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:52:41 pm »

That LL Bean "Big Baffle" parka was SEWN-THRU, and NOT baffled. The ad copy was wrong and their Product Specialist admitted it.
I sent it back.

But Monday (1/7/'18) I ordered an Eddie Bauer PEAK XV parka. It actually IS baffled and, like the LL Bean parka, has a DWR treatment for the down called Dri Down. At $299. for baffles and 800 fill down it is $90. more than the Bean parka but well worth it given its much better construction.

Now I'll be warm on ski lifts and back country winter camping.

AND I got the 30" coyote fur ruff from Glacier Wear in Maine. A nice ruff that is made of 4 pieces of matched fur with grosgrain tape on the edges. It will get Velcro on it and on the parka hood so I can remove it when I want.

Eric B.

Winter Camping Clothing / Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« on: January 03, 2019, 01:27:28 pm »
Hi Gear Freak,

Like your handle. Reminds me of my motto, "I can stop buying backpacking gear anytime I want. I've done it hundreds of times."  ;D

My layering system is varied as well.

20 F. to 0 F.
1. Moving with pack -> polyester long johns, wool Norwegian sweater, fleece vest, vented GTX parka

2. In camp -> add light down jacket (after removing mountain parka and "airing out" to get red of moisture buildup)

   0 F. to -20 F.
1. Moving with pack -> same as above plus synthetic fiber filled (Thermolite Micro) jacket

2. In camp -> my new LL Bean baffled down parka
and mittens when done cooking.
mitten shell-> OR Gore-Tex gauntlet style
mitten liner-> double layer fleece or Dachstein boiled wool with thin liner gloves

Eric B.
P.S. The new down mountaineering parka and the -20 F. sleeping bag both have Down Tech treatment on the down for moisture resistance. Mainly it means it will dry more than 2X faster than untreated down. It does absorb 30% less moisture and that helps a bit. Still a waterproof VBL suit keeps that to almost nothing.

Winter Camping Clothing / Re: BEST VBL SOX EVER
« on: January 03, 2019, 01:16:09 pm »
Yes the US Divers 3 mm neoprene socks are waterproof and factory seam sealed.

Most closed cell neoprene has nitrogen bubbles in it. Nitrogen has larger molecules than O2 and does not pass out through the neoprene membrane as readily. That's one reason why some tire dealers offer nitrogen for inflation (at a price, natch).

Yes, you can dry, at least partially, your felt pac liners in a hot tent but it's a PITA to do it every day. Plus by the end each day with no VBL sox your boots have much less insulating value (R value) just when you need it most. Not to mention some of your sweat migrates to the inside of your boot shells then freezes there overnight, building up a bit more each day and wetting your liners when it melts as you wear them in the morning. Vicious circle that good VBLs can stop.

Eric B.

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