February 2, 2015 at 2:08 pm #35582
Below is a link to Traditional Mountaineering. The linked page is about the dangers of snow caves as well as proper construction methodology and use.
“Building a safe snow cave for two people can take at least two or three hours of hard work using a snow shovel or two. You can’t build a snow cave without tools. Once you build the cave, you will need insulation from the snow. If you do not have an insulating pad your compressed clothing will not keep the cold from conducting heat from your body as you sit or lie on the hard snow. Always carry a shovel, (a bivy sack) and at least a light 3/4 ensolite pad strapped to your winter sized daypack.”February 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm #35583
Nice post. I am a bit lazy at times and really should post things like this for everyone. Considering I do a lot of field prepping/writing things like this for my own site, too much cross posting might seem like I am just trying to advertise myself. Glad to see this stuff for everyone.
On one outing up in the Mt. Rainier area my brother and I had a surprise dump of snow after having been out camping for several days. We were not in a posiiton to really see what the weather services had to say (several miles up and into the bush) so our only real warning was the typical “Wow. It feels like it is going to snow tonight.” We woke up in the middle of the night to 18-20 inches of fresh powder on top of the base of a 12-18 inches we were already camping on. By daylight the next day we were over 2 ft of fresh and it was still dumping. We ended up digging in and using our tent as the interior dome for a modified snow cave. Throughout the day it kept dumping and left us with almost 3 ft of fresh snow. That night the temperature dropped. When we dug out and packed up that 3rd morning we had some USFS rangers pulling sleds come into camp and check on us when they saw our fire. Appearently several people above us had froze to death and they were packing them out in body bags and sleds. We gave them some coffed, oatmeal/bacon, broke camp and walked out with them (they really didn’t give us a choice because another snow storm was coming in that night).
Snow is a great insulator and will save your hind quarters. Just make sure you use some insulation beneath you like tree boughs or such. If not you will end up melting the snow under you, get wet, and freeze. Been there, done that, and still need a therapist….
http://ageofdecadence.comFebruary 2, 2015 at 4:20 pm #35588
Good article. I was especially interested to see their comments on packing powder. We’re in the midst of our 3rd snowstorm in a week and its been so cold that they’ve all been very light powder. Its easy to shovel but hard to do anything with. Temps will only be in the high single digits today which is cold for this much snow.February 2, 2015 at 4:51 pm #35593
I was reading a story about a couple of hikers from Quebec getting lost on Mt. Marcy recently. They reached the top and then got lost somehow…. in the clouds whiteout, no marks back to the down trail, treeless area, no compass or gps or map. No snowshoes. I’m not sure if it snowed but eventually they had to descend. No way to stay on an exposed face of a mountain. They took the scary option of going for a gully. They got down far enough and found wood for a fire and stayed up all night in the below zero temperature. The rangers saw their smoke the next day and rescued them The register your hike book saved them. Their only real alternative would have been to hike crawl back to the top of the mountain and find the right way. They were no worse for ware and tear and learned the hard way.
The story does say they were headed for another trail when found, but with no map they were still lost. The air search spotted the smoke and then they were spotted. Doing a self rescue lol.February 2, 2015 at 5:09 pm #35598
Great article, Do not think I will be using this in South Florida.February 2, 2015 at 5:29 pm #35602
freedom, you have your own hazards. I’ve told my American-Cuban friend that lives down by you that I’m afraid to visit, what with alligators prowling around, snakes everywhere, and those other creepy crawly little lizard things scurrying around. I’ll stay with my current 9 degrees with heavy snow and wind thank you very much.February 2, 2015 at 10:01 pm #35624
Hhmmmm….85* sounds pretty good to me……..February 3, 2015 at 12:20 am #35630
I can deal with the heat, its all the cold that makes everything so difficult.
But still good information regardless.February 3, 2015 at 12:23 am #35632
Whirly I would think out your way this would be good to know. For the kids as well.February 3, 2015 at 12:29 am #35633
It is, we actually teach this with our Scout troop.
We do a yearly winter camp where the kids dig in under a snowbank and make individual caves and sleep out for the weekend.February 3, 2015 at 2:20 am #35652
MB, I love the 85 to 95 weather here and you can eat those creepy crawly little lizard, snakes and oh the alligators taste like chicken. For the alligators all you need is a good shot gun to hit there small brain.
I will be afraid of all the wild dogs that people would let go since they would not have food for them. There are foxes everywhere here which maybe a problem. The only snakes I see here are the black grass snakes. Lots of squirrels here too.
I also think cats and rats maybe a problem too in a SHTF with all the trash that will be on the streets.February 3, 2015 at 2:22 am #35654
74, 85 is good my friend. I have two fireplaces in the house and only turn them on when it goes down in the 50’s which we had some night and will have some more next weekend. 50’s is cold!!!February 3, 2015 at 2:36 am #35658
Well I don’t have the coldest weather, but 50’s would be fine right now.February 3, 2015 at 4:11 am #35663
freedom, when it warms up to 50 in the spring is when I convert to shorts for the season. I start to melt at 85. For me perfect weather would be in the 60 – 75 or 80 degree range. And I am not kidding when I say I do not like alligators, snakes, and creepy crawly lizard things. Here we have black bear, the occasional moose, turkeys, coyotes, fox, the occasional bobcat, deer, and assorted smaller mammals. None of them concern me in the least when I am out in the woods, and I have encountered bears. Virtually no snakes and the ones we have aren’t poisonous. No lizards either. Too cold. I see Northern New England as paradise on earth.February 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm #35667
For some reason this year I don’t care if it warms up. It can stay cold as long as it wants. Spring is when the war starts. Until then I have a nice warm fire.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.