Fieldcraft Cooking in the field

Eric B.

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For longer (5 to 7 days) backpacking trips I have begun to turn more and more to my Trail Designs titanium Sidewinder cone stove. I can use either wood or ESBIT fuel tabs.
I've found that stove and included ESBIT tablet holder make it a full 30% more efficient than any other ESBIT stove/windscreen combo I've ever tried. The beauty of ESBIT fuel tabs is that you can blow out an partially used tablet and re-use it for the next meal. Yes, the botttom of your pot will get some brown residue on it but it's easily wiped off with leaves or on grass. Just keep your pot and lid in a stuffsack with a plastic cup and bowl inside it.

This is the lightest stove-to-fuel setup I've found, even lighter than a tiny canister-top stove and canister combo.
HINT: ESBIT tabs light quickly with a dab of alcohol based hand sanitizer gel on them. You should be carrying a small botle of hand sanitizer anyway for after-potty cleanup.

The Sidewinder, as with all Trail Designs Caldera Cone stoves, requires a pot that exactly matches the cone diameter. No problem as Trail Designs offers MANY stove/pot size combinations.

To use wood and get a really HOT fire you need to buy the optional Inferno insert cone and grate. This makes the Sidewinder or the taller Tri Ti stove into a true "gasssifier" stove that recirculates unburned gasses to create a hotter fire using less fuel. This is a great winter setup as carrying lots of fuel is unnecessary. Just carru a Siploc baggie full of Vaselined cotton balls for tinder. Works great.
 
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Sean the Nailer

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    There was another thread here, previously, that spoke about and described the sidewinder, the inferno, and the Tri Ti. They are quite impressive, considering what they do.
     

    mission_fail

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    I'm still luggin around my msr whisperlite international. I like the idea of the fuel tabs but the ability to use kerosene and gasoline is appealing. I've seen people use sterno burners with success but they put out low heat.
     

    threetrees

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    met a guy once whose gasoline leaked in his backpack. all his clothes had that smell. we smelled him (or rather the gasoline) before we met him close to a ridge ... if you are on a hunting trip, that's more than just subideal.
     

    threetrees

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    those metal bottles that look like sig bottles. he told us that he kept the pump attached to the bottle at all times and that the pump at some point started to leak in the pack.
     

    kraigWY

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    I like the MSR Whisperlite. Been using it and similar stoves since the early 70s in extremely cold (sub zero) temps. I've found white gas works best in cold weather. Usually carry it in the MSR fuel bottles and never had one leak. But I do check the O rings and replace them every now and then. Sterno/Wool and such never worked for me, propane or butane freezes at sub-temps. Sterno/Wood doesn't but I like to bring my stove in my little mountain tent to take the chill off.

    When I stop for the night I fire up my Whisperlite to heat my coffee/dinner, then crawl in the tent. I put some small rocks in a pan, bring the stove in the tent, and heat up the rocks. This also warms up the tent so I can get undress. I put the heated rocks in my shoes put them outside, then turn off the stove and set it outside the tent, but with in reach.

    Come morning I can fire up the stove just outside the door of the tent and heat my coffee. Then bring the stove in for a minute to warm up the tent so's I can get dressed in comfort.

    The rocks from the night before has my boots dried out.

    I love winter camping but I like my comforts also.
     

    IES

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    I have been using an msr whisperlite international for the last 5-6years for berry-picking and hunting trips. The MSR fuel bottles...I have always worried about leaking, but I kept lids on them and have had no problems. As kraig mentioned, you need to replace the o-rings (MSR has o-ring/maint kit) on the pump eventually.

    Recently got an esbit but not thinking I will be impressed by it in really exposed and windy conditions. More of an emergency/UL tool I think...time will tell.

    I really love the MSR's ability to quickly (and relatively stably) boil water for tea and then make 2-3 quesadillas while in the middle of nowhere with little fuel used. Definitely like the international's ability to burn so many different types of fuel...and its ability to control how much fuel you burn via the valve on the pump. Don't like the need to pre-heat the MSR's "vaporization line", but not that big of a concession really.
     

    northern50

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    I like the MSR Whisperlite. Been using it and similar stoves since the early 70s in extremely cold (sub zero) temps. I've found white gas works best in cold weather. Usually carry it in the MSR fuel bottles and never had one leak. But I do check the O rings and replace them every now and then. Sterno/Wool and such never worked for me, propane or butane freezes at sub-temps. Sterno/Wood doesn't but I like to bring my stove in my little mountain tent to take the chill off.

    When I stop for the night I fire up my Whisperlite to heat my coffee/dinner, then crawl in the tent. I put some small rocks in a pan, bring the stove in the tent, and heat up the rocks. This also warms up the tent so I can get undress. I put the heated rocks in my shoes put them outside, then turn off the stove and set it outside the tent, but with in reach.

    Come morning I can fire up the stove just outside the door of the tent and heat my coffee. Then bring the stove in for a minute to warm up the tent so's I can get dressed in comfort.

    The rocks from the night before has my boots dried out.

    I love winter camping but I like my comforts also.



    Damn! Hot rocks in the boots overnight, that's one of the best ideas yet! I love winter camping and this will make the mornings when I have to put my icicle boots on a lot more pleasant.
     

    threetrees

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    you can also try this one: my bag for the sleeping bag is waterproof (one of the exped compression bags, http://www.exped.com/exped/web/exped_homepage_na.nsf/0/EF59105D5AD9AB24C12579C7002E07E5?opendocument). besides the stone idea (which i like and will try),

    - i turn the transport bag inside out (so that outer side is now inside)
    - put my shoes inside the transport bag
    - put the bag inside my sleeping bag

    -> inside my sleeping bag, they won't freeze during the night. inside the transport bag they won't make the sleeping bag wet or dirty. and because i turned the bag inside-out, only the outside of the transport bag will get (if at all) dirty/wet. which i don't care about as the bag is waterproof and the dirt is easily removed with some snow/leaves.
     

    kraigWY

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    I've never had a problem with getting a sleeping bag wet in winter camping, but I'm talking sub-zero weather. The problem is moisture from the body the bag gets overnight. What I do when I get up is turn the bag inside out, hang it up outside. The moisture freezes and can be shaken out prior to stuffing the bag in a stuff sack. This pretty much keeps it dry.

    As to the stove in the tent, NO ONE is saying leave the stove on, once the stove is going, you put it in the tent for a minute or two to take the chill off so you can get undress and in the bag (you'll sleep a lot warmer in the nude then with cloths on). The stove is turned off and set just out side the opening of your tent in reach. Come morning, while still in the bag you should be able to reach the stove, and lite it while its outside, once it quits spitting and is burning right, you bring it into the tent to take the chill off so you can get dressed.
     

    threetrees

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    to make my point about the shoes/bag more clear - it's something you can use to prevent your shoes from freezing over night by keeping them inside your sleeping bag in a dry&clean way.

    it was not intended to refer in any way about wet sleeping bags ...
     

    45.308

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    those metal bottles that look like sig bottles. he told us that he kept the pump attached to the bottle at all times and that the pump at some point started to leak in the pack.

    I had my MSR Firefly stove with pump attached to fuel bottles, with fuel and empty for 25 years and never had a single drop a fuel leak out. For a precaution, the fuel bottle was carried on the outside of my pack in a pouch.


    I like the MSR Whisperlite. Been using it and similar stoves since the early 70s in extremely cold (sub zero) temps. I've found white gas works best in cold weather. Usually carry it in the MSR fuel bottles and never had one leak. But I do check the O rings and replace them every now and then. Sterno/Wool and such never worked for me, propane or butane freezes at sub-temps. Sterno/Wood doesn't but I like to bring my stove in my little mountain tent to take the chill off.

    When I stop for the night I fire up my Whisperlite to heat my coffee/dinner, then crawl in the tent. I put some small rocks in a pan, bring the stove in the tent, and heat up the rocks. This also warms up the tent so I can get undress. I put the heated rocks in my shoes put them outside, then turn off the stove and set it outside the tent, but with in reach.

    Come morning I can fire up the stove just outside the door of the tent and heat my coffee. Then bring the stove in for a minute to warm up the tent so's I can get dressed in comfort.

    The rocks from the night before has my boots dried out.

    I love winter camping but I like my comforts also.

    I have to disagree with isopro fuel stoves commonly called cartridge stoves use in winter if these are what are being referred too. Propane in my grill outside works very well in the winter for grilling. For those who say they have issues with these stoves, they did know how to use one in the cold. I used my MSR Superfly with hanging kit down to -40 and it worked just fine. Once you screw the fuel cartridge on the stove, flick your Bic and run the flame under the fuel can for 5-10 seconds. Open the valve on the stove, light the stove and instant heat. When the stove starts to sputter, run the flame again under the fuel can. Isopro cartridge stoves are the most used stove in high altitude mountaineering all over the world. Of course the pressure at alt makes them super flame throwers, the temps are still very cold.

    White gas stoves in deep cold work OK until an O ring cracks and leaks, too many small parts with O rings and seals in a white gas stove to include the pump. I have seen the plunger shrink in deep cold and pumping like crazy never built up pressure in the fuel. Parts kits are a must and trying to replace small parts at -30 is an ordeal in itself. An isopro stove side by side with a white gas stove from pack to boil will have bubbles in the boil about the same time a white gas stove is put together, pumped, primed ready to roar, isopro stove you will be drinking or eating before a white gas starts to boil.

    I always used my stove with hanging kit inside my tent from first spark to pack up in the morning. It helps dry kit out, puts some heat into the body core in winter and I can lay inside my sleeping bag and dip boiling water out the pot. In the morning, reach up and spark the stove, this will get the shelter warm while boiling up hot all while I stay warm and comfy inside my sleeping bag.

    In winter were liquid water is at a premium, you have to have water from snow or ice so I melt snow/ice and boil it, pour it in a bottle(s) and then place the hot bottle inside my sleeping bag at my feet with my boots also. Keeps the toes toasty all night, dries the boots and in the morning its warm enough to drink and warm the body core and then use it to melt more snow.


    you can also try this one: my bag for the sleeping bag is waterproof (one of the exped compression bags, Exped-Waterproof Compression Bags). besides the stone idea (which i like and will try),

    - i turn the transport bag inside out (so that outer side is now inside)
    - put my shoes inside the transport bag
    - put the bag inside my sleeping bag

    -> inside my sleeping bag, they won't freeze during the night. inside the transport bag they won't make the sleeping bag wet or dirty. and because i turned the bag inside-out, only the outside of the transport bag will get (if at all) dirty/wet. which i don't care about as the bag is waterproof and the dirt is easily removed with some snow/leaves.

    Good idea but even in winter I would just smack the snow and ice off my boots and place them down by hot water bottles. Many times I left them out and would put them inside the sleeping bag in the AM while boiling hot.


    I've never had a problem with getting a sleeping bag wet in winter camping, but I'm talking sub-zero weather. The problem is moisture from the body the bag gets overnight. What I do when I get up is turn the bag inside out, hang it up outside. The moisture freezes and can be shaken out prior to stuffing the bag in a stuff sack. This pretty much keeps it dry.

    As to the stove in the tent, NO ONE is saying leave the stove on, once the stove is going, you put it in the tent for a minute or two to take the chill off so you can get undress and in the bag (you'll sleep a lot warmer in the nude then with cloths on). The stove is turned off and set just out side the opening of your tent in reach. Come morning, while still in the bag you should be able to reach the stove, and lite it while its outside, once it quits spitting and is burning right, you bring it into the tent to take the chill off so you can get dressed.

    No matter how dry you think your are even in winter, yes your sleeping bad collects and stores water vapor from the body. Weigh your 3 pound down bag after a week long trip and see how much more it weighs. Weigh a 3 pound synthetic bag at the end of a week long trip and see how much more it weighs. Its surprising how much weight a down bag can gain Vs a synthetic over a week. Best option is, as you crawl out of your sleeping bag, turn it inside out and squeeze the bag hard like you are stuffing it in its sack. This will expel warm water vapor through the very open weave on the lining before it has time to liquefy and freeze inside the insulation. Sleeping bags with a black or very dark inside will use solar heat to dry laying on top of your tent even in winter temps.

    I have relaxed for quite a long time in a tent and snow cave with stove roaring, even a trickle charge or two.
     

    Mackay Sagebrush

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    Besides carrying a little alcohol stove in my pack, I will also often carry a little TI cone stove with me. Often I just hunt out of my truck, just using my Tent-Cot and a Silnylon tarp for a basecamp. I usually use a TI cone stove to cook over in this case. I get a handful of sticks going for a base of coals and then put my cup o' whatever I am eating on:



     

    Mackay Sagebrush

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    Being able to stop during a snowy day on the side of a mountain and have a hot meal or coffee does a body good and makes the experience all that much more enjoyable:



     

    Night Eagle

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    I just don't buy sleeping in the nude is warmer. I've camped in mid winter in Durango for several yrs and tried nude and all clothes on board. Clothes on is def warmer

    Night eagle
     

    kraigWY

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    When its -40 or colder, sleeping w/out cloths is definitely warmer, Cloths are confining and restrict blood flow which is critical in sub zero temps.
     

    45.308

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    Clothes add R value or insulation. The more insulation or more R value, the less calories are needed to keep the body warm. Same thought as, wearing a light jacket Vs a heavy parka. More insulation is warmer. A simple base layer while sleeping adds a tremendous amount of R value to the body Vs naked. Even a t-shirt adds warmth to the core.

    I used Integral Designs Renaissance Primaloft +20F sleeping bag well below zero, I would guess the coldest trips were guiding in Caribou Creek at -20f. I used ID North Twin Primaloft +5f sleeping bag in the Alaska Range at altitude well below -40f. Two reasons, if you carry the weight of clothing, use it so you can carry less weight overall. I wore Patagonia exp weight base layer, WildThings Wind Shirt, Black Diamond Dymanic softshell top and pants, WildThings Primaloft Sweater, Integral Designs Dolomitti Parka, ID Denali Pants, fleece hat, fleece gloves and Parabat booties. Every mountaineer I associated with in the Alaska Range where temps get to -60f, all wear extra clothing at night to get more warmth from their sleeping bag.

    Plus, what happens if a huge blow comes in, ripping at the tent, you wake up to find snow fall half way up the side of your tent. No clothes on I find dangerous that I would be naked or lightly dressed to deal with a huge Alaskan storm. I have this t-shirt many times and one guiding trip up near the Wedge, a Nov blow came in during the night, shredded many quality tents that most of the team had to dig and dive in bolt holes in the snow....good thing every one had extra clothes on. When my partner and I put up a first ascent route up hear No Name glacier in the Gach, a blow came in that was probably my most scared I ever been in the most violent storm I ever been in. Weather reports once we got back to town showed winds well above 100mph in the mountains, 80mph in town.

    I am not sure how clothing restricts blood flow. If anything, extra clothing can reduce dead air space inside the sleeping bag, the less dead air the body has to heat the warmer the system. With a quality sleeping bag with a differential cut, extra clothing does little to compress outward that could compress the insulation from the inside out. With inferior sleeping bags this could be a concern but not with high quality sleeping bag.

    In my experience, wearing extra clothing sleeping adds tremendous amount of extra warmth to the sleeping system.
     

    threetrees

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    i would say that both kraig and 45 are right, based on their individual experience and depending on the details

    whatever restricts your blood-flow will make the affected limb cool down. just put a rubber-band around your wrist so that you notice the reduced flow, and the hand will get cold. this is what kraig is pointing out. if your clothes wrap around you such that they start to restrict you, this _may_ lower your self-heating capabilities. just use way too tight gloves (from a lab, for instance) and you'll notice your cold fingers almost immediatly.

    but also 45 is right. who doesn't know at least one girl that sometimes puts on socks for bed despite the blanket? this winter i was out in the eastern alps and a cold-front came in. using my old 3-season sleeping bag, i added my bed sack (is that the correct word for the sack you use in mountain huts in the mattress area?) and loose,warm and long underwear and nicely slept about 10 hours at -30 degC (about -22F) in a small cavity and only a bivy protecting me from the wind. well. a facemask and warm cap notably increased the comfort. for instance the mouth area of the face mask was entirely frozen in the morning due to the humidity of my breath.

    or like a friend of mine likes to state from our trip to iceland: once you wrap your wind-stopper jacket around your sleeping bag, it isn't that bad anymore :)

    just apply a bit of common sense.
     

    onethousandmeters

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    GREAT thread! I've lugged around a Wiggy's -40f bag for about 4 years, because of the "possibility" I might be out camping in a Southern Illinois trail, and get caught where a bad storm blows through. Now, mind you, in the 43 years I've lived in Southern Illinois, the coldest I can ever really recall it being was a out -2F (before windchill). I've always liked the size the +20f bags would compress down to, but never really read about any one using them down like the above poster here did. I have actually two different bivy sacks. Nice to know that with clothing and a good sack, I would be okay in that particular emergency, with a bag a LOT lighter than my current on! On to the shopping sites... LOL! Thanks again to all who contributed here.
     

    45.308

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    i would say that both kraig and 45 are right, based on their individual experience and depending on the details

    whatever restricts your blood-flow will make the affected limb cool down. just put a rubber-band around your wrist so that you notice the reduced flow, and the hand will get cold. this is what kraig is pointing out. if your clothes wrap around you such that they start to restrict you, this _may_ lower your self-heating capabilities. just use way too tight gloves (from a lab, for instance) and you'll notice your cold fingers almost immediatly.

    but also 45 is right. who doesn't know at least one girl that sometimes puts on socks for bed despite the blanket? this winter i was out in the eastern alps and a cold-front came in. using my old 3-season sleeping bag, i added my bed sack (is that the correct word for the sack you use in mountain huts in the mattress area?) and loose,warm and long underwear and nicely slept about 10 hours at -30 degC (about -22F) in a small cavity and only a bivy protecting me from the wind. well. a facemask and warm cap notably increased the comfort. for instance the mouth area of the face mask was entirely frozen in the morning due to the humidity of my breath.

    or like a friend of mine likes to state from our trip to iceland: once you wrap your wind-stopper jacket around your sleeping bag, it isn't that bad anymore :)

    just apply a bit of common sense.

    Its not about being right or wrong, hope no one thinks I was arguing. I am just stating my experience over decades in the backcountry and alpine in Alaska. I was a guide / instructor and try or want to give out my knowledge to help those who ask.
     

    Archer762

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    I bought a $8 mini-stove on Amazon that works just as well as my expensive one. I also carry a few different methods to start a fire and try not to become too dependent on modern conveniences. Cotton balls mixed with petro jelly makes a really good fire starter. I keep a bunch packed into a waterproof match container.

    Regarding cold weather- I sleep in my (long) underwear and my clothes are inside my bag- rolled up down at the bottom by my feet. I wake up warm, then get to put on warm clothes.
    I also got rid of everything cotton. I only wear Under Armour or similar clothing because it dries quickly, doesn't get funky, and never chaffs my skin.
     

    onethousandmeters

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    I bought a $8 mini-stove on Amazon that works just as well as my expensive one. I also carry a few different methods to start a fire and try not to become too dependent on modern conveniences. Cotton balls mixed with petro jelly makes a really good fire starter. I keep a bunch packed into a waterproof match container.

    Regarding cold weather- I sleep in my (long) underwear and my clothes are inside my bag- rolled up down at the bottom by my feet. I wake up warm, then get to put on warm clothes.
    I also got rid of everything cotton. I only wear Under Armour or similar clothing because it dries quickly, doesn't get funky, and never chaffs my skin.

    My dad just "tested" that very way of starting a fire, using the cotton ball and petroleum jelly. I was amazed at how long that burned. I've since added SEVERAL of those things to my fire-starting kit. Pretty impressive, IMO.
     

    threetrees

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    use an old can, melt wax, drown cotton ball in it. let it harden/cool down again. i prefer them over cotton+(some petrol/gas/whatever jelly). you don't need a watertight bag anymore. it doesn't smell. and burns as good. all you have to is break/tear up the cotton ball in the beginning, to get to the softer inside.
     

    kraigWY

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    I agree one should know how to make a fire. But I think one should learn without the use of fire starters. I take my grandkids out in the rain and have them build fires without such aides.

    As wet as it is, a block of wood is dry on the inside. Slit it, shave off shavings to start your fire. Fine shavings at first, bigger to get the blaze going. After that, you can throw wet wood on the fire and it will dry as it burns. Stack your wood supply close to the fire to help drying.

    Aids are nice, use them if you have them, but learn to build fires without them.

    Also there are cases where you don't have wood or for other reasons you can't build a fire. That's where the light camping stoves come in. In the picture below, it was extremely dry and the forest service had a fire burn forbidding camp fires. Plus you can see there isn't a lot of wood. Skip being too dry a bit, in the case in the picture you'll find cow pies, Clean off a place to build a save fire, use the grass to get the dry cow pies going and you have a nice hot fire.

    But you don't want a grass fire, with Wyoming winds you wont out run them.

    antelope%20camp.jpg
     

    onethousandmeters

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    I agree one should know how to make a fire. But I think one should learn without the use of fire starters. I take my grandkids out in the rain and have them build fires without such aides.

    As wet as it is, a block of wood is dry on the inside. Slit it, shave off shavings to start your fire. Fine shavings at first, bigger to get the blaze going. After that, you can throw wet wood on the fire and it will dry as it burns. Stack your wood supply close to the fire to help drying.

    Aids are nice, use them if you have them, but learn to build fires without them.

    Also there are cases where you don't have wood or for other reasons you can't build a fire. That's where the light camping stoves come in. In the picture below, it was extremely dry and the forest service had a fire burn forbidding camp fires. Plus you can see there isn't a lot of wood. Skip being too dry a bit, in the case in the picture you'll find cow pies, Clean off a place to build a save fire, use the grass to get the dry cow pies going and you have a nice hot fire.

    But you don't want a grass fire, with Wyoming winds you wont out run them.

    Good point about not using "fire starters". Most of the 'aides' I have on me are for when I really need a fire NOW. Generally, I'm just making wood shavings and then going up from there and using a striker for the spark to get the tinder ignited. There have been times, however, that I really needed a pinch of my dryer lint to speed things along, and I'm glad I had my Ziplock bag of lint with me to get it all going. Great thread, IMO. Still looking for a good +20F sleeping bag. Does anyone ever use "rolls" of like a poncho liner, and wool blankets? Just curious if there are any people being out in moderate cold (+20-35-degree temps), and NOT used a sleeping bag, per se?
     

    45.308

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    Great thread, IMO. Still looking for a good +20F sleeping bag. Does anyone ever use "rolls" of like a poncho liner, and wool blankets? Just curious if there are any people being out in moderate cold (+20-35-degree temps), and NOT used a sleeping bag, per se?

    I borrowed a blue wool blanket from a jetliner one time, I returned it by the way. I slept wrapped up in the blue wool blanket using a large black trash bag for shelter, hole cut in the end for he head. It snained all night until clearing, then the temp dropped to just below freezing, had a decent wind too, I built a rock wind break, at around 12000 feet up. I was wearing mid wgt Capeline, Goretex jacket and pants and a old school carpet pile jacket from Patagonia, fleece hat and gloves. Was not comfy but I survived.

    I routinely used WildThings Primaloft bivy liner as my sleeping bag. Its one layer of 1 ounce Primaloft, weight less than a pound. Using my WildThings Andinista backpack as a bivy sack, slept in the mid 20s and survived. Routinely used this system mid 30s to low 40s on fast and light trekks. This is my main summer sleeping bag for fast and light.

    We got caught Chugach spring blow with no sleeping gear on a long day ski/climb. Dug a bolt hole in a snow bank to escape the wind, got inside our backpacks as bivies wearing all our clothing, by morning after the low pressure blew on its way was high teens. Survived but once again not comfy warm.

    I believe most backcountry users use sleeping bags with a way too high temperature rating. 20+f seems to be the best all round rating in my experience until arctic cold but you can survive a night or two as I have. I have had clients show up with -20 to -30 rated bag for a summer trekk because they thought they would get cold.

    Look at Integral Designs Renaissance sleeping bag. I used these bags all over Alaska summer and winter down low and up high with outstanding success. Primaloft insulation the best on the planet with Pertex microfiber shell. I have mine sewn with a half zip so I can tie into anchor that also decreases weight.

    If you want down, Western Mountaineering HighLite or MegaLite.
     

    kraigWY

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    When it wasn't too cold, in temps above +20 or so, I use to use a couple of GI wool blankets rapped in a piece of light canvas, It rolls up nice and goes well behind the saddle of on a horse or on the top of your ruck.

    Not real fancy but it worked, The canvas held the heat you developed with the wool blankets.
     

    onethousandmeters

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    45.308 and KraigWY, freakin' AWESOME replies!!!! Thanks SO much for taking the time to answer my post, and for helping people in general. I, for one, sincerely appreciate people like you on this forum. Thanks again!
     

    malinkyhoy

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    I have a Snow Peak folding hexagonal wood burning stove. Its made out of titanium and folds flat, super light and sturdy.
     

    cowman1836

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    ive mainly used cast iron skillets and dutch ovens, you cant really go wrong with either if you are using a base camp or have at least two people. hard to go wrong with a good cat iron skillet. if going afoot alone a small skillet has always done me right.
     

    George63

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    I come from a different angle then most posting here, I do distance hiking mostly in the off season - to me a temp appropriate down sleeping bag is the most weight efficient warmth system, I often carry minimal clothing and when encountering daytime temps at the low end will get into the bag for breaks over 5 minutes, I usually use a bivy sack instead of a tent

    for cooking, I use a fuel tablet setup with the cup, spoon, stove frame and wind screen at about 7 ounces
     

    45.308

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    I come from a different angle then most posting here, I do distance hiking mostly in the off season - to me a temp appropriate down sleeping bag is the most weight efficient warmth system, I often carry minimal clothing and when encountering daytime temps at the low end will get into the bag for breaks over 5 minutes, I usually use a bivy sack instead of a tent

    for cooking, I use a fuel tablet setup with the cup, spoon, stove frame and wind screen at about 7 ounces

    I think it was called cyclops, a sleeping bag combined with a parka; had sleeves, chest zipper and open bottom with draw cord for this very thing. I used it as a coat during the day with the bottom open and arms in the sleeves, walk around and do things staying warm. At night, draw the cord at the bottom closed, pull arms in and instant sleeping bag.



    You are a tuffer man than I using a bivvy bag, I hate em.
     

    George63

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    one of my bags is a feathered friends - no sleeves but it has arm holes and drawstring bottom, the great thing is being able to take the morning crap without getting all the way out of the bag - exped makes a sleeping bag system with sleeves

    - another piece of gear I like, that is no longer made, is a down jacket with zip off sleeves. I use the sleeves over my feet at night to help with the usually cold feet

    - to me the bivy is about being wimpy for weight carried ( like the 7 oz kitchen ) and putting up with less room for sleeping

    - other advantages of the bivy for cold conditions is you breath outside the system so less condensation is kept inside, even double wall well vented tents get frost/ condensation -and the interior volume is much less than a tent, so retained heat will keep shoes, water etc from freezing until about zero - also it is the ultimate kiss system: toss it out, put in the pad, bag and done

    they seem to only be liked by climbers, very few distance hikers actually use a bivy, many are going to hammocks, but for winter the systems get pretty complicated
     

    45.308

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    At one time I regularly used bivvy sacks; Moonstone Mountaineering, Bibler, WildThings, Black Diamond to name a few. I had a customer stitched WildThings Andinista pack sewn with an extra long sleeve to use my pack as a bivvy sack, tight fit inside but I survived. I had a one piece alpine suite from WT with the leg zippers on the inside seam and opposite zippers so I could zip the legs together to make a sleeping bag.

    I started using Bibler I tent and at times, I left the poles at home using it like a large bivvy, more than one person for our light weight climbs. The Integral Designs SilShelter is my favorite shelter now, I can erect as a tent using ski / trekking pole, hang the apex from a tree, piton, nut, cam, ice screw, or wrap up it like a bivvy tarp. Mine weighs 12oz.

    I also have Black Diamond First Light, fairly light for the room.

    I use to cut things off, drill holes, whatever it took to lighten my kit. I did a 3 day trekk with 12.5 pounds of total weight.

    Light is right, lighter is righter and lightest is rightest!
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Joined Cub Scouts sometime back in/before 1953, was in Scouting as a kid up until I was 18, came back from the Marines, married, and got back into Scouting as a Leader when I was 25. From that point on, I was involved in Scouting leadership nearly all my life up until maybe two years ago (am currently 67). From the time I started back in as a leader, my Wife has also been involved to some degree, as well as Girl Scouting with our Daughter.

    As a Scout, we mostly cooked with wood or charcoal, doused liberally with 'Scout Juice' (Kero) and lit with a propane torch.

    Later, our gang of adults, who date back to our being Scouts together, did lots of forest/hills hiking and camping, sometimes going on foot and travelling light, or doing car camping (aka 'Swine Camping').

    When camping in cold and sleeping in the bag, we would strip down to fleece PJ's and keep our daytime togs in a duffel. On awakening, the clothes would come into the bag for a warm-up, and in 10-15 minutes we'd don them. The reason for the switcheroo is that when the clothes go all night inside the bag, they absorb body/breath moisture and this can reduce their insulating properties. By keeping their exposure to the moist interior of the bag brief, that reduction can be minimized.

    Greg
     

    Killswitch Engage

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    Anyone's thoughts on jetboil system? I realize the small shortcomings of isobutane in extreme cold but other then that they seem like a great way to go for 3-4 day excursions?
     

    45.308

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    Anyone's thoughts on jetboil system? I realize the small shortcomings of isobutane in extreme cold but other then that they seem like a great way to go for 3-4 day excursions?

    No shortcomings with canister, piggyback or sobutane stoves in the cold. I ran mine just fine down -30 with no problems. Most of this is a misconception of them from those who do not know how to use them. Simply run the flame of a Bic lighter under the fuel can for a few seconds, this will increase the pressure and keep the stove running at max output. Use MSR isopro fuel, the most efficient fuel, full to empty and most efficient in the cold.

    As far as the Jetboil, not a fan here. They are not as light and compact as other stoves and their output is not any faster than other stoves. Under the same test parameters as Jetboil, my MSR Superfly will beat Jetboils time to boil.

    I have used several stoves over decades, this is my current stove.

    MSR Superfly
    MSR Ti 1.5l pot
    Bibler hanging kit

    Inside the 1.5 ti pot, Bic, pot handle, plastic cup plus stove and one 220 pressurized Isopro fuel cartridge.

    All this weighs just 2 ounces more than standard jetboil and slightly bigger but mine will boil water for two with faster times and more efficiently.

    I can get 3 days from one 220 fuel can, I use Primus pounders for base camp.
     
    Last edited:

    Killswitch Engage

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    I think the jetboil appeals to me because of the cup unit llocking on the stove and everything fitting inside when I'm done. My excursions are short in nature and I am not a professional guide or anything of that nature. Coming in at around 15oz and not having a big foot print in my pack excites me more then über quick boil. Thanks for the feedback and advice 45!
     

    45.308

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    That's what makes horse races!

    For solo use I can understand but 8oz at a time is a slow inefficient system for me but its your process and it if works for you, run with it.

    For me, I have to be able to hang my stove, gets it up off the floor of shelters so it is out of the way, less chance to tip it over (have that t shirt) or clothing / sleeping bag / tent get burnt or melted (have that t shirt). As the stove roars, I dip water out of the pot with small cup and drink. Once I have a boil, I place food inside a cooking bag that is placed inside the pot to re-hydrate home made dehydrated meals, one meal in a bag, and heat it up with the boiling hot water. Saves fuel, keeps clean camp, it is a process I worked out over time that allows me to be he most efficient as I can.

    While I have not used or taken a Jetboil apart in years, mine was a simple Primus burner hot rodded by the Jetboil skeleton. Do not lose the defuser screen in your Jetboil / Primus or the heat output becomes very poor ( have this t shirt too).
     

    45.308

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    Anyone's thoughts on jetboil system? I realize the small shortcomings of isobutane in extreme cold but other then that they seem like a great way to go for 3-4 day excursions?

    Forgot to add, white gas stoves have many small parts, seals and O rings that shrink in the cold, tear and leak or become clogged but fuel. Try breaking down a gas stove, replace a small O ring or repair it a -30, have fun. Me with my isopro stove will be decompressing and drinking down some hot before you get that gas stove out of your pack, put together, pumped, primed...I have hot water boiled by this time, gas stove still has to boil....repair time not included.
     

    xdpatriot

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    Damn. My wife says I'm crazy for tent camping down here when it's 30 to 40 and drizzling. I ain't shit compared to y'all. Maybe one day I'll get to experience it. Great info on here, thanks.
     

    45.308

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    Well I got a jetboil flash on the way. Have some time comin up in the mountains to try it out. Thanks

    It looks like Jetboil may have designed their own burner in their newer product Vs just using a medium output Primus burner with the defuser screen.

    Love to hear feedback?

    If its cold, try running a Bic flame under the fuel cart for a few seconds and see what you find out.

    Have fun
     

    Killswitch Engage

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    It looks like Jetboil may have designed their own burner in their newer product Vs just using a medium output Primus burner with the defuser screen.

    Love to hear feedback?

    If its cold, try running a Bic flame under the fuel cart for a few seconds and see what you find out.

    Have fun

    Will do. Would also love to hear any advice on foods, recipes you would care to share. what/how to dehydrate. What is best for useful caloric intake and energy.

    Many thanks for your time!
     

    45.308

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    Damn. My wife says I'm crazy for tent camping down here when it's 30 to 40 and drizzling. I ain't shit compared to y'all. Maybe one day I'll get to experience it. Great info on here, thanks.

    Actually, that is some of most uncomfortable weather to camp in. I have some of my most miserable camps in just that weather. Temps in mid 30s with snain is just pure suffer fest. And is the perfect weather to bring on hypothermia.
     

    kraigWY

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    Now of course we could do it the old fashion way, the method I used in my "poor" days. When I mean poor I mean living in a little log cabin squatting on railroad land 3 miles north of Healy Alaska. Still did a bit of hunting, only it was because I had to, I only worked in the summer and had no income in the winter.

    I carried nothing but a canteen cup, some oat meal and coffee. I carried (and still do) a Case Stockman's pocket knife. I've cut up moose with nothing but this knife. I wittled shaving s and started a fire with nothing but those shavings. Melted snow to cook oat meal and/or coffee in the canteen cup.

    It worked great until I started working full time and could buy fancy stuff.

    Killswithch: As too food, that's a personal choice. I don't like freeze dried food, ate too much of that when I had to, we called them LRP rations. Depending on how long I'm out, I like to take Biscuits, cheese, and jerky. For a varity I'll shoot a rabbit or something. Instant oatmeal is good. So is the little packages of soup mix. Put that in your pot and cut up a rabbit or squirrel. Good and tasty. If I'm horse back or have an sled. I'll take a pan, and biscuit flour & bacon.