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Camping on snow?

September 20 2017 at 11:17 AM
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Helen  (Login HelenBoise)

Sigh. Forecast is looking a bit grim for the Idaho Mountain Festival, starting with snow tonight, a pretty low high tomorrow, and more snow.

Which means pitching a tent on top of snow, most likely, when we arrive at Castle Rocks tomorrow early evening.

Crash course, please? I've got a good sleeping bag, will take extra blankets, have two pads (the sort that self inflate, although one leaks), a run of the mill tent, and a tarp I can put under it.

Yes, I'm going anyway.

Thanks! Helen

 
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splattski
(Login splattski)

Re: Camping on snow?

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September 20 2017, 4:19 PM 

Helen-

What do you need to know?

Here are a few tips:

Think about wind direction and orient the door accordingly.

Take a dish sponge to mop up wet spots side the tent.

Putting a tarp under the tent is a good idea. But make sure it doesn't stick out from under the tent, or water will land on the tarp and be channelled under the tent floor. Instead, fold the tarp back so it ends about an inch shy of the edge of the tent.

In an inch or two of snow, use regular tent stakes.
If there is a lot of snow, regular tent stakes won't work; you need snow anchors. Basically, you want to bury something in the snow, tie the tent lines to it, and when it freezes in place it will hold the tent up. You can buy snow or sand anchors. But for cheap, just fill plastic shopping bags with snow, tie to the handles, and bury them. Caution: they can be hard to get out, and plastic is trash....

If the snow is going to melt, make sure you haven't put your tent in the drain channel- a slight high spot is a good idea. With drainage that goes away from the door (muddy boots in the tent are the worst!)

Anyone else want to jump in?

 
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Dan
(Premier Login bigdan_boise)
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Re: Camping on snow?

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September 20 2017, 4:43 PM 

Jump in and help? Nah, you've got this wink.gif

John digging out the tent space

 
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Bob
(Login reboyles)

If you're careful...

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September 20 2017, 4:56 PM 

a candle will raise the temperature in your tent quite a bit, especially near the top. Our winter tent had a vestibule without a floor and we would light up a candle and let it burn until we were ready to bury ourselves deep in our bags for the night. Our cook stove did too but that brings the risk of CO poisoning so good ventilation was essential while burning gas.


Bob

 
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Helen
(Login HelenBoise)

Thanks, all!

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September 20 2017, 9:26 PM 

That's what I was after, like, don't let the tarp funnel all the water under you. Sigh. Sixty is sorta old to start out on this stuff.

The snow block photo made me smile! The snow was perfect when IMSARU had a winter overnighter, and not one, but two igloos were built! My son had a blast with his. He was surprised at how comfortable it was.

I am not expecting much snow, or frozen ground. Just cold, and probably slop and mud during the day.

Again, thanks! I'll at least aim to have fun.

Helen

 
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