TROOP 52 WINTER CAMPOUT INFORMATION
CONSERVING BODY HEAT - THE PRIME
There are three ways to lose body heat. Keeping them in mind will help
you be much more aware of what you are or could be doing to keep your
RADIATION - The emission of body, especially from the skin areas
exposed to the elements. A good set of gloves, hat, and scarf can help
best in keeping bare skin to a minimum.
2. CONDUCTION - The absorption
of cold by the body when sitting or laying on cold ground, or handling
cold objects such as metal cooking utensils and metal canteens. This is
why a decent sleeping pad is required for cold weather camping. The
same goes for wearing gloves. A camp stool is a must on a winter
camping trip. Try not to sit on the ground.
3. CONVECTION - The loss of
body heat due to wind blowing across unprotected body parts. This
situation can also be reduced by keeping bare skin covered with hats,
scarves, and gloves. It is important to keep exposure to a minimum,
ESPECIALLY in a windy situation. Convection heat loss can reduce body
heat the fastest. Wet clothing will accelerate this process, making
staying dry even more important Cold WX Medical watch outs. See page
321 in handbook.
HYPOTHERMIA - When
your body temperature drops below normal because of exposure to cold.
Frostbite - When your
body parts freeze.
Dehydration - When you
do not have enough water in your body. It can happen in cold as well as
hot days. On a cold day you may exercise & sweat and not notice it.
You will dehydrate & that will make you weak to the other cold
weather watch outs.
Tent Placement -
Whenever possible, place your tent in a location that will catch the
sunrise in the morning. This will aid in melting off any ice and
evaporating any frost or dew that may have formed during the night.
This will also warm your tent as you awaken in the morning. Cold air
sinks. Try to place your campsite on slightly higher ground than the
rest of your surroundings. Try to choose a protected site if it is
snowing or the wind is blowing.
Water Consumption In Cold
Weather - Dehydration can seriously impair the body's ability to
produce heat. Drink fluids as often as possible during the day and keep
a water bottle or canteen with you at night.
Cooking In Cold Weather
- Cooking in cold weather will take about twice as long as normal.
Always use a lid on any pots that you are cooking in. This will help to
hold in the heat and decrease the overall heating time. Make sure you
start hot cleaning water before you start cooking. The pots and
utensils must still be cleaned. Try to keep your menu to good one-pot
meals. Things like stews, chili, and hot beans stick to your ribs,
lessen the cleaning time, and provide good sources of energy and fuel
for your internal furnace. A good high-calorie snack before bedtime
will also keep you warm all night. Stay away from an overabundance of
sugar, cheese is a good high-calorie bedtime snack.
1. REMEMBER: The
sleeping bag doesn't heat you, you heat it. So use this rule,
"Thickness is warmth", to keep this heat. If you're cold, add some more
insulations (blankets, clothes, more newspaper).
underestimate the insulating quality of a good ground pad. The flat
closed cell foam pads are ok (open cell just act as sponges getting
everything soaked), riderests are better, but thermarests are the best.
You should have 3 times (in insulating value) under you that you have
on top of you. Make sure you never come in direct contact with the icy
floor. Stay on the pad.
b. Wear a ski
hat to bed; REMEMBER 70% of body heat is lost through the top of your
head. (Not the one you wore all day.)
2. DO NOT SLEEP IN BOTTOM OF BAG: Your breath
contains water. If you close your bag with your head inside, then this
water sticks to the bag. Wear a hat to keep your head warm. The
moisture of your breath will condense in the bag, and cause it to
become wet and ineffective as an insulator.
3. CHANGE CLOTHES: NEVER sleep in wet clothes. Even
perspiration will chill you at night. Don't wear the same clothes to
bed that you wore that day: too much perspiration in them. And don't
wear jeans for any purpose. A sweat suit makes a good winter pajama
set. Wear a hat to bed. If wool makes you itch, wear something else.
Make sure you don't try to sleep dehydrated: you'll sleep colder.
4. EAT A CANDY BAR: This increases your metabolism
(moves your blood faster) and it helps keep you warm.
5. GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE BED: This saves you a
middle of the night trip in the cold.
6. DO NOT DRY "WET" CLOTHES IN BAG: Moisture will
travel from wet clothes to sleeping bag.
7. PUT TOMORROW'S CLOTHES UNDER BAG: This heats up
clothes for tomorrow's cold morning and also provides more insulation.
8. FLUFF UP YOUR BAG: Always fluff up bag before
using to create the thickness important in keeping warm.
9. MOST IMPORTANT, KEEP IT DRY: Keep all your
sleeping gear dry and follow these rules, and winter camp should prove
to be a rewarding experience.
STUFF TO KEEP IN MIND
1. Clothing does not
make you warm; it is your body processes that keep you warm. Clothing
merely provides the insulation to preserve your warmth.
2. Layered thickness is warmth.
3. Keep your torso warm so that it can send heat to
4. Avoid sweating by ventilation.
5. Keep rain and wind out of your insulation.
6. Use your head. Keep it covered when you're cold;
remove cap as you warm up to avoid sweating.
7. Strain one muscle against another to maintain
8. Wool clothing is best but needs wind protection.
Synthetics are next best. Down is okay as long as it stays dry. Cotton
is a poor choice.
9. If your feet are cold, put a hat on.
True winter campers avoid those warming
fires. All they do is make you sweat which later freezes. So how do you
Keeping warm is the most important part of cold weather camping. Use
the C-O-L-D method to assure staying warm.
C - Clean
Since insulation is only effective when heat is trapped by dead air
spaces, keep your insulating layers clean and fluffy. Dirt, grime, and
perspiration can mat down those air spaces and reduce the warmth of a
O - Overheating
Avoid overheating by adjusting the layers of your clothing to meet the
outside temperature and the exertions of your activities. Excessive
sweating can dampen your garments and cause chilling later on.
L - Loose Layers
A steady flow of warm blood is essential to keep all parts of your body
heated. Wear several loosely fitting layers of clothing and footgear
that will allow maximum insulation without impeding your circulation.
D - Dry
Damp clothing and skin can cause your body to cool quickly, possibly
leading to frostbite and hypothermia. Keep dry by avoiding cotton
clothes that absorb moisture. Always brush away snow that is on your
clothes before you enter a heated area. Keep the clothing around your
neck loosened so that body heat and moisture can escape instead of
soaking several layers of clothing.
CLOTHING FOR TWO-DAY WINTER CAMPING
In addition or in substitution to what
you would normally bring to camp, bring:
- Zero degree rated Sleeping Bag. (Get at least a +15)
- Sleeping bag liner or a fleece sleeping bag to use as a liner. (Warmer to the skin than nylon.)
- Sleeping pad, a simple foam pad is great good insulation from the ground. A Thermarest etc., for a backpacker.
- A wicking sock liner (Polypropolene sock) Keeps feet dry and reduces chances of blisters hiking.
- 2 shirts (wool,best, or flannel) Lots of layers to add up to lots of insulation.
- 2 pairs wool or synthetic pants (cotton pants like jeans absorb moisture like a sponge).
- Fishnet, thermal or polypropaline long underwear.
- Extra shoes or boots (WATERPROOFED).
- 2 - 4 pairs of heavy socks (wool recommended).
- 2 - 4 pairs lighter socks (polypropaline is best).
- Windbreaker (as is or part of heavier jacket).
- Balaclavia or stocking cap (wool is best).
- Parka or heavy jacket.
- Mittens (wool is best; gloves not recommended except as extra pair).
- Night clothes-- Pajamas or Sweat suit.
Note: Put items you want to keep dry
in a gallon zip-lock plastic bag.
- Rain Gear -- Poncho or rain coat.
- Canteen or water bottle.
- Eating utensils -- Plate, cup, and bowl (or mess kit). Knife, spoon, and fork.
- Clean up. Soap, comb, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and towel.
- Toilet paper.
- Personal first aid kit.
- Sleeping bag, pad, and extra blankets, etc. as weather demands.
- Scout Handbook. Pen/pencil in plastic bag.
- Clothes as needed; extra underwear and socks.
- Personal stuff like a camera, watch, etc.