Outdoors Information

Stay Warm - A Backpacking Skill


Stay warm or die. That's what it comes down to at the extremes. More people die in the wilderness of exposure than from any other cause. Staying warm, of course, also means more comfort, and for backpackers, it can mean going even lighter, without more risk.

Staying warm in the wilderness is about proper gear and good skills. Proper gear means clothing and equipment suited to the enviroment you're in. This is a subject in itself, worth studying if you spend much time backpacking. With better materials and designs, the newest clothing and equipment saves lives. It is skills, however, that make the biggest difference.

How To Stay Warm - Tips and Skills

- Set up camp in the right places. Hilltops are windy and cold, and cold air also fills valleys at night. Level ground somewhere in between, out of the wind, is best.

- Wear clothes to bed. Shake and fluff them up to make them insulate better. Some recommend against sleeping in clothes, but I've tried it both ways many times, and it's always warmer with clothes on.

- Wear a hat. This may be equal to a pound of insulation in your sleeping bag. A lot of heat is lost through an uncovered head.

- Go to bed dry. Stay up until your clothes have dried, or change into dry clothes. On a warm, dry night, however, you can put damp clothes on your sleeping bag to dry them with body heat. You may need warm, dry clothes the next night (Thinking ahead is a great wilderness skill).

- Breath into your sleeping bag. Only do this in a dry climate, or if you're sure it's your last night out. You'll get damp, but you should dry quickly from hiking in the morning.

- Take a water-bottle full of hot water to bed with you. This is easier and safer than heating rocks and placing them around you.

- Make a pine-needle mattress. Dead leaves and dry grass work too. Scatter the leaves in the morning, so they won't smother the plants underneath. I've slept warmly below freezing, with no sleeping bag, in a pile of dry grass collected from a frozen swamp.

- You can breath into your sleeping bag if you're really cold. You should only do this in a dry climate, or if you're sure it's your last night out. You'll get damp, but you should dry quickly from hiking in the morning.

- Fill a water bottle with hot water, and take it to bed with you. This is easier and safer than heating rocks and placing them around you.

- Adjust your clothing as you hike. Remove and add clothes as necessary to stay warm without sweating. Sweat can cause you to lose heat rapidly when you stop.

- Stay dry. On a cold day, wet and hot can become hypothermia soon after you stop moving those muscles. On a hot day, however, wear wet clothing to dry it out in preparation for a possibly cold night.

- Conserve your energy. It's tough for your body to keep itself warm with no energy reserves. You may also need that energy to gather firewood or hike to the car to escape a blizzard. Finally, you'll make better decisions if you aren't tired, and you'll remember how to stay warm.

This is a sampling of wilderness skills and knowledge. There are many more things to learn about how to stay warm. In fact, I've left out one of the most important, because it deserves its own artcle: how to start a fire in any conditions.

Steve Gillman is a long-time advocate of lightweight backpacking. His tips, photos and stories can be found at The Ultralight Backpacking Site: http://www.The-Ultralight-Site.com


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Chron.com

Outdoors report: Dec. 16
Chron.com
Galveston - Guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures reported a good bite for trout on Bass Assassins before the front. Most of the fish have been in 5 to 12 feet of water. Matagorda - Tides were almost 3 feet below normal. Guide Scott Sparks ...

and more »


WCBD News 2

Hike It Baby gets parents, babies outdoors
WCBD News 2
CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – The Lowcountry chapter of Hike It Baby is here to encourage and help parents to get outdoors with their young children. The goal is to raise a generation to love the outdoors. The groups began in Portland, Oregon and now has 300 ...

and more »


Baltimore Sun

Recreation and outdoors calendar (Dec. 17)
Baltimore Sun
Jay Bernstein jigged up this 32-inch rockfish on the Chesapeake Bay recently. He was fishing with Dale Morton and Martin Abel. (Courtesy photo). The Baltimore Sun. Duck season. Through Jan. 27: Last split of duck season. Daily bag limit is six birds ...



Chicago Sun-Times

Ice sketchy, ducks, walleye/sauger and perch: WWW Chicago outdoors
Chicago Sun-Times
Yet ice is sketchy enough that perch fishing remains the lead for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors. There are other things, such as trying for lakefront lakers along with the perch; sandhill cranes are at a season high at Jasper ...



KHOU

Win tickets to the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl ...
KHOU
The Texas Longhorns will face Missouri in the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. Enter for a chance to win tickets to the big game on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

and more »


KHOU

Sutherland Springs family sues Academy Sports + Outdoors
KHOU
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – A Sutherland Springs family is suing the retailer that sold church shooter Devin Kelley the assault rifle that killed three of their family members. The Webster Law Firm confirmed the Ward family is suing Academy Sports and ...
Sutherland Springs family sues outdoors store where church shooter ...mySanAntonio.com

all 6 news articles »


Naples Daily News

Grandview at Bay Beach residents to enjoy connection with outdoors
Naples Daily News
FORT MYERS BEACH — Residents of Grandview at Bay Beach, an 11-story luxury high-rise to be built by homebuilder and developer London Bay Homes within the gated Waterside neighborhood at Bay Beach on the southern tip of Fort Myers Beach, will enjoy ...

and more »


KTUL

Oklahoma model railroaders take the hobby to the extreme outdoors
KTUL
Oklahoma model railroaders take the hobby to the extreme outdoors. by Tyler Butler. An hour before our arrival, Hugh Keen had begun shoveling coal, stoking the fire and building steam pressure in his real, functioning steam locomotive. (KTUL). 1st.PNG ...



The Denver Post

GOCO awards $14 million to nine communities to get kids playing ...
The Denver Post
Great Outdoors Colorado on Friday awarded more than $14 million to nine Colorado communities as part of the Inspire Initiative,
$1.4 million GOCO grant will give underserved Eagle River Valley ...Vail Daily News

all 2 news articles »


Kokomo Perspective

Outdoors, travel, leisure: PF Hendricks has it all
Kokomo Perspective
“My slogan is outdoor, travel, and leisure,” said Fritts. “A lot of the things in here are really good for travel. You can wad them up in your suitcase, and they'll survive.” Dominating P.F. Hendricks is a display of Yeti merchandise, ranging from full ...


Google News

home | site map | Ocean Photography
© 2006