Page 77 - WCM 2019 Winter
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Gearing Up for Sweet Dreams
A good night’s sleep should be a top priority, so don’t spare any expense when it comes to purchasing a sleeping bag and the pad that goes underneath. Most sleeping bags are rated for a certain range of tempera- tures, and campers need to get a bag that rates below zero to make sure they stay toasty when the stove dies down in the middle of the night.
Experienced campers also rely on sleeping pads that include a layer of closed-cell foam, one of the only materials that limits the loss of warmth caused by the ground below the bag. There are several compa- nies out there that make excellent ground pads, but my favorite is the NeoAir produced by ThermaRest. It offers, in my opinion, the best combination of a comfortable air pad cushion, with a layer of closed- cell foam, to insulate the sleeper from the frigid, snow-covered earth.
I also use heat packs that start warming up when you open the package. I put one near my feet, and one on my lower back, near my kidneys. They produce a little extra warmth that really helps when the temperatures get around zero or below.
Lightweight tenting is the way to go when backpacking.
How Will You Get There?
If you’re making your trek on foot, snowshoes, or skis, obtaining the lightest gear available makes perfect sense. Heavier gear is of no concern for the folks that motor in on a snowmobile. If I had the “luxury” of winter camping using a snowmobile, I’d be sure to bring a chainsaw to cut dead wood for the fire. I’d
also haul pots and pans, and plenty of food in a cooler. Snowmobilers can go hog-wild and also pack in canned food, frozen products, or any number of heavier meal choices. Some also like to bring extra warm blankets and clothing. Backpacking campers will have to limit food choices to lightweight, freeze-dried selections.
What’s Your Heat Source?
When hoofing it there, I like the stoves that put out some heat, but keep the weight down. My little sheet stainless-steel cook stove warms the tipi, and at the same time, heats up my meals.
If I position things just right, this awesome little
box also dries out any wet clothing. And what’s even better, it folds up flat into a bag that slips into my backpack, and the stove pipe rolls up into a little tube about three-feet long.
This folding camp stove packs neatly into a bag.

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