ClubTread Community - View Single Post - Winter survival shelter / gear

View Single Post
post #13 of (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 08:42 AM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowboarding
Posts: 220

quote:Originally posted by Spokerider

quote:Originally posted by BCBoy

If you're hiking at or below tree line in the very wet/sleety wet coast of BC (i.e. near Sooke in Winter). I would bring 5'x8' siltarp, some paracord, full tang knife you can baton with (doesn't have to be too long or big -- I highly recommend Falkniven F1), flint, fire starter (cardboard egg carton section filled with lint and melted wax), couple OB tampons (fire starter plus bandage), goretex socks, primaloft belay jacket with hood (no down), first aid kit, headlamp, wool toque, wool gloves, wool socks, wear wool wherever you can, small pot / wide-mouth singe-walled stainless steel water bottle and 1 extra meal. Lots of deep snow -- add snow shovel. Most of this gear would be either on my person or in my outdoor EDC bag regardless (except belay jacket and potential snow shovel).

I consider at or around zero degrees when its a mix between rain / snow / sleet to be the most dangerous for hypothermia -- highest likelihood for being wet and cold. Down can be lethal under those conditions.

Above tree line/significantly sub-zero -- different story.

Good post BC boy, thanks.
I have been caught out in those "sooke", "at zero deg" conditions before, soaked, cold, and luckily not too far from my vehicle. I have thought about having to stay out all night, ill-prepared in such conditions, would be nasty life threateng event at best. I'll look into a primaloft jacket as an option.

I guess I'm trying to figure out the best bang-for-my-buck so to speak, on the weight penalties between the extra clothes / sil tarp combo vs an UL tent / sleeping bag combo.
I wouldn't bother with an extra change of clothes unless it can be integrated into your existing layering system -- don't bring it if it all can't be worn at once. Always bring at least one extra pair of wool socks (they can be used as mitts as well).

I would recommend carrying the 5'x8' sil tarp no matter what. The weight penalty is minor, its super versatile and it can also be used as a poncho with a little para-chord around your waist.

If you're contemplating UL tent / Sleeping bag then you're kind of leaning towards planned night out. I wouldn't want to lug that weight around if I plan to make it out in a day. For multi-day, it makes total sense; however, I would recommend event/gore-text bivy and sil tarp system over UL tent simply because of footprint and versatility -- especially if you're bush whacking. You can always sleep sitting upright against a tree/tree well in a bivy, integrate your sil tarp into a shelter system that you fashion plus its easier to integrate with a fire than a tent. With a UL tent you're pretty much stuck to crashing in open-ish areas and its very hard to find places like that and they are usually very damp/wet. Fire will become your best friend in an unplanned night out -- boost your spirits and keep you warm / dry gear out.

If you do decide to take a sleeping bag, I highly recommend the MEC Phoenix -12 Hybrid sleeping bag -- especially if you're bush whacking or expect a very high probability of being wet/soaked. I can't believe the price and performance you can get out of that bag. Its an insane performance to weight ratio bag. -12C at 1.6kg for reg for under $200. Thats pretty close to exclusive down weights (not including super high end down bags) for that temperature range with the added bonus of actually being semi-warm when wet for a marginal weight hit. Its super cheap too. I think MEC has struck gold with the right combination with that bag. I used to rock expensive but super light Western Mountaineering down bags and they're great for high altitude/ consistently sub-zero conditions (think Rockies, Sierra Nevada or anything over 10,000 feet) -- I still use them for mountaineering; however, after one night in a wet down bag due to gear failure (especially critical with a bivy system) I will never go back to down for the Coastal Ranges in BC for bush whacking and extreme wilderness hiking.

I forgot to mention, I also carry my survival kit with my first aid kit -- my first aid kit is also my survival kit so some key pieces of gear go in there (ex. magnesium stick with extra flint steel, space blanket, etc.) I use a tiny ultralight dry bag for my first aid/survival kit).

Depending on your bushcraft skills you may want to consider upgrading full tang knife to hatchet. You'll be able to process much more wood more efficiently. There are ways to process wood without an axe -- think cave man style -- but your bush craft skills have to be on point and you'll need at least a full tang knife to get your fire started.

There's a cool trick a buddy showed me that he learned off of his Dad to split logs without an axe. This is for making huge person length logs to sustain your fire throughout the night. Its dependent on you being able to make a big hot bed of coals and its kind of limited to certain geographical regions (mainly near lakes and oceans) -- but great for the Coast of BC. Its dangerous so I don't recommend it but I haven't seen it described anywhere yet. I call it cave man splitting. Its amazing but very dangerous so i don't recommend doing this at all unless you are really pinned out. You'll have to find a big heavy rock that you'll be able to lift over your head not very easily but doable several times without completely wiping you out. It should be under shoulder width with a big wedge like shape on one side. Sometimes you have to pry rocks from the ground to find that shape because most rocks near shorelines are smooth and rounded -- you might even have to break rocks open (very dangerous -- do from higher ground/ boulders and close your eyes / turn head away before the rocks hit the other rocks). When raising the rock over your head always do so from a higher position than what you're striking to avoid your rock wedge or any shards from hitting you back. Find long light non-water logged logs (recently fallen logs or slightly rotten logs work best) that are roughly the diameter of your two hands put together and longer than 6 feet. Find three boulders/ large stationary rocks, one of which is significantly higher than the other two from which you will stand on. The other two boulders should be about 2-3 feet or so apart so that you can drag the log over them (distance between boulders contributes to the section lengths you want to split the log). You then stand from the higher boulder and raise your splitting wedge rock over your head and throw it down with full force onto your log in between the two boulders. Keep striking the same spot until the log is split. When you have the right combo of logs, splitting rock and boulders you can process logs way faster than any axe. Its amazing seeing it done in action well -- it blew my mind what you can do with a little bit of ingenuity and the right application of a little muscle.
BCBoy is offline  
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome