Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snow Night

For a long time I was pondering about camping in the backyard during wintery weather.  Lately winter here was little or no snow but bitter cold and strong winds.  So with the lack of my idyllic romanticized image I wasn't to motivated to do it.

However, yesterday while being out on a lunch date with my wife I realized that this night would be great chance to do just that.  It had snowed four inches the night before and the forecast for the night wasn't to bad either with a low of 10 degrees Fahrenheit and a west wind of 10 miles per hour.

Tracks through the snow

It has been a long time since I last slept in the snow.  As a kid my dad and I went on a backcounty ski tour up a mountain in the alps where we stayed overnight.  We build a snow shelter but ended up moving into the adjacent hut early that night as our shelter started dripping melt water on us.

This time though I didn't worry about a snow shelter and just used my moment tarptent. For warmth I doubled up on everything.  Two layers of woolen long underwear, two 20 degree Fahrenheit sleeping bags, a self-inflating and a closed-cell mat, a thin balaclava and a beanie hat.  Only one thick pair of wool socks though.

Tent in the snow

Early in the night I got way to hot with the two sleeping bags.  It was still 23 degrees Fahrenheit so I unzipped the outer bag most of the way. As the night went on it got colder which meant cinching down the sleeping bag opening, putting on the beanie and finally zipping up the second sleeping bag in the early morning hours.  By the time I got up the temperature dropped to 8 degrees Fahrenheit with windchill around -4 degrees.

Throughout the night I was warm and comfortable.  I got lots of great sleep and woke up quite refreshed.  Of course I still had the amenity of a warm house near by, which meant I didn't had to eat, do my business or whatever outside.  Maybe next time I go somewhere further than my backyard to camp in the snow.