Winter Boat Camping

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RJG 26S
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Winter Boat Camping

Post by RJG 26S » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:11 pm

I thought it would be a ton of fun to spend the night in the :macx: with the kids. We had a blast playing games, eating smores made by roasting marshmallows over the alcohol stove, and watching a movie.

But...

Sleeping did not work out so well. I did not realize the night time low was going to be 11 F. Our 1500 Watt heater tried really hard to keep the boat warm, but it could not do it. At around 1:00 AM I grabbed another heater but the 100' 16 gauge extension cord did not like the extra amps and with the voltage dropping 85, the second heater was not putting out that much heat. Since the extension cord was getting warm, we went back to one heater.

We bailed at around 2:30 AM.

The mission was not a total success, but we still had fun.

Bob

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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by Love MACs » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:35 pm

I used to love winter camping, with the Boy Scouts both as a scout and then as a Scout Master. When those days past, I had a couple good friends that I hunted and camped with in all types of weather. But as of late, the past few (several) years, that thrill has passed. No tent or boat if I "know" the temp is going to dip below 50 deg. These old ( well at least older) bones just don't take to the cold as they use to. But hurray for you guys and gals that still enjoy it. I had some good memories but for me, let them remain just that....memories 8)


Allan

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kmclemore
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by kmclemore » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:33 pm

We have really warm sleeping bags and almost never get cold on trips... and my sons (and fellow scouts) and I still camp out quite often in very cold weather (I'm 54 and still an ASM).

Tips for staying warm at night:

First, the trick to buying the proper bag is to look at the rated degrees for the bag. If it says it's a 20 degree bag, that's not the minimum comfortable temperature... it's the lowest temperature at which you will not DIE of exposure in the bag! So, for 32 degree weather you'd want to look for a bag that's rated at zero degrees or so.

Second, have a good quality insulating pad under you, not just a piece of foam. And do NOT sleep directly on top of an inflatable mattress, as it will suck all the heat right out of your body. If you must use an inflatable mattress, make sure you have an insulating pad between you and the mattress.

Third, never go to sleep in what you wore during the day - you'll freeze due to the moisture in your clothes. Instead, slip into some fresh, dry wicking-fabric underwear and socks before you settle in for the night. And hang up your day clothes during the night so they will be dry by morning. I always carry a coat hanger in my pack for this purpose... it's light-weight, thin, and it serves double-duty if I should need some stiff wire in an emergency.

Finally, be sure to wear a stretch cap - most of your heat will be lost out of your head and neck, even if you have a mummy bag.

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c130king
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by c130king » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:04 pm

I agree with Mr. "Luxurious Mustache",

I love winter camping...beats sweating and fighting bugs all night. Backpacking the AT or Philmont with light snow...that's living.

I spent two different weekends in November anchored out overnight solo with temps at or below freezing (but not much below). No issues at all. Slept like a baby in my sleeping bag.

I guess you just have to get used to it. Nothing like a hot cup of coffee on those cold mornings.

Was hoping to go out tomorrow night but I think my marina is still frozen solid.

Cheers,
Jim
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by kmclemore » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:24 pm

Philmont, 2010... our journey to Mt. Baldy (12,400 ft)...

With my two sons, Charlie (14) & Clayton (17)... (Mt. Baldy is in the background on the first two photos).

Image

And later, a lot closer, with my whole crew....

Image

And finally, at the summit...

Image

We did this in the 100th year of Scouting, and on my 40th anniversary of having been at Philmont. I carried with me the original Sierra cup I had used on that first trip. When we got to the top of Baldy we hit a flash thunderstorm and I had to get my crew off the mountain instantly and shelter them for 3 hours through hail, lightning and hypothermia for those who didn't bring sufficient clothing. We built a fire, dried everyone out, and continued on our way.

I had planned to take this trip three years ago, but shattered my knee that year and was on crutches for 1 1/2 years. Lots of physical therapy and exercise got me back so that I could make this 65 mile journey in the wilderness.

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c130king
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by c130king » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:41 pm

First...apologies for further hijacking this thread with pics of my Philmont trip. But since Kevin posted his I feel obligated to post mine...you know how it is.

I did not get to go as a scout myself...but I did get some great camping experiences as a scout in the Philippines back in the late 70's.

Philmont 2006...BEST CAMPING/SCOUTING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!!!! The training trips on the AT were not far behind Philmont as far as great trips are concerned.

My group didn't do Baldy...but the climb up and over "The Tooth of Time" was awesome. I have about 500 pics.

Image

Image

Image

Unfortunately the trip had to end. But what a trip. I moved to the UK in Summer of 2007 and this same great group did SeaBase in 2008...wish I could have gone on that trip.

My scouting days are over...my son is 22 and away at college. Now I do my camping in my boat...and having done a few nights in the Summer time...I prefer the cold.

Cheers,
Jim
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by Catigale » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:52 pm

The boylesmiths inherited polar bear genes somewhere... We brought the half moon replica ship up from NYC in 0C weather in November ... Sleeping bags were fine on that trip. We did sleep on anchor rides to keep off the cold deck

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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by Rick Westlake » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:02 pm

c130king wrote:I spent two different weekends in November anchored out overnight solo with temps at or below freezing (but not much below). No issues at all. Slept like a baby in my sleeping bag.

I guess you just have to get used to it. Nothing like a hot cup of coffee on those cold mornings.

Was hoping to go out tomorrow night but I think my marina is still frozen solid.

Cheers,
Jim
Dogue Creek is shallow and it freezes up pretty readily, Jim. Temps are going to the fifties tomorrow, though.

I spent Dec 6-11 sleeping aboard Bossa Nova in Placida Harbor, FL - near Port Charlotte - with temps above freezing at night, but not by much. The coldest December in locals' memory, down in the local area. (I skipped the St. John's River in search of a little warmer area, and had some good times sailing Gasparilla Sound.) One night I had to fire up the Origo "Heat Pal" for a while. Not quite a Nietzsche night, but stretching my limits a bit....

We may be frozen-in till spring, but ... have fun anyways.

RJG 26S
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by RJG 26S » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:00 am

In addition to the standard bed pads, we have some additional foam so the beds were not too bad with the blankets we had. It would have been better with our sleeping bags. We could have toughed it out - it was probably somewhere between 40 and 50 degrees inside the boat with the heater.

The problem was that temptation got the best of us since we were in our back yard within a stones throw from our warm bedrooms.

Bob

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ferd johns
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by ferd johns » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Last January, as per my usual, I had driven cross country to escape Montana's winter by sailing in balmy Florida with a good friend. I was actually towing my Sanibel 18 rather than Cacafuego. I won't detail the trip across other than to briefly mention roadside trailer taillight repairs in -9 degrees at midnight in South Dakota, ditto in freezing rain outside St. Louis, broken trailer axle shackles in South Carolina, etc. The usual for a 25 year old rig, I guess. After staying one night in Cedar Key (too cold, mega-low tides), and then looking up the Withlacootchee (ditto) but not launching, we drove down to Placida. Should be warmer. Record low in Placida to that point in history had been 37degrees. Cold, but better, so do-able. Dan had to fly back out of Tampa International for a couple days of business, so we launched at Eldred's and slept aboard. Went down to 28 degrees at night. Hadn't expected that in FL. Used the candle lantern for some heat. Glad the cabin was small. It was cold. And blowing so hard we never sailed. The boat would have been fine, but the wind chill was horrendous. After Dan got back, we hauled, and hauled a-- for Bahia Honda in the Keys. Dead fish floating everywhere in the harbor, killed by the cold. But ..... no mosquitoes! In the high thirties at night, and strong sailing wind during the day. Great, so long as you wore everything you brought along. We were the only boat in the harbor other than the dive boat (which never left the dock).

So, after that, are we going back this year? I leave Monday.

Ferd

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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by Gypsy » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:56 pm

This past November Joanne and I spent 5 days , 4 nights , traveling from our hometown of
Tallassee to Montgomery Ala , 66 miles , in our 12 foot kayaks.

The weather was perfect . It was going down to around freezing at night , and up to the 60s & 70s during the day .
Except the first night , where we had to camp on a ledge on the steep riverbank , the rest of the camps were perfect . It was a thrill to cook supper over a campfire again !

We have camped many times out of our 17' canoe , but never tried it out of our kayaks . It was a challenge pairing down our gear to fit in the small boats.
We took several small softsided " 6 pack coolers" and packed fresh food in them , then stuffed them wherever we found a nook.
We drank and made coffee with boiled riverwater .

We drink wine so we poured it into bodas and like the coolers stashed them wherever. Joanne was our wine conniseur , so she would say "I think there's a boda in my bow , or there might be one under your seat "

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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by Catigale » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:20 am

Has anyone figured out how Kevin uses a coat hanger as a mattress pad yet?
:D
 ! kmclemore:
OK, smartass. Fixed!! ;)

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c130king
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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by c130king » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:40 pm

Time to try some more winter sailing. Tomorrow is sunny, 10 mph winds...sounds nice so far...

Temp tomorrow morning is 23 with high of 44... :?

Hopefully the marina is not frozen and the motor will spit out the tell-tale water... :(

Here we go... 8)

Jim

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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by Fxwg80hd » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:40 pm

Jim:

Best of luck with the ice. Looking out my window everything is frozen solid. It will take a really warm day and a lot of wind to get rid of the ice. If you can, call before you waste to much time driving.

Chris

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Re: Winter Boat Camping

Post by Catigale » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:28 pm

safe travels Ferd. Just left BZN this afternoon heading home. Somehow ALB is colder than BZN this week
:?: :?:

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