Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona (CHAGGERTY@ARIZBPA.BITNET)
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 21:14:00 MST
Below is a list of items I picked up from a winter camp awareness
program done by the O-A in San Francisco. This list is about 15
years old, please keet that in mind (newer material are available).
I have added some comments at the end and have used this with our
scouts when we go camping in the mountains in the Winter. Hope
Sierra Vista, Arizona
RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR
KEEPING WARM IN THE SACK
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
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.
3. CHANGE CLOTHES: NEVER sleep in wet clothes. Even perspiration
will chill you at night.
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
IMPORTANT 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 the
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 metabolism.
8. Wool clothing is best but needs wind protection, synthetics are
next best. Down is OK as long as it stays dry, cotton is a
9. If your feet are cold, put a hat on.
10. Remember the word "COLD" - Keep your clothing Clean.
wear clothing Loose
Keep it Dry
RECOMMENDED CLOTHING FOR TWO DAY WINTER CAMP
In addition or in substitution to what you would normally bring to
2 shirts (wool,best, or flannel)
2 pairs wool or synthetic pants
(Strongly recommend against cotton pants like jeans. They absorb
moisture like a sponge).
fishnet, thermal or polypropaline underwear
2 pairs of heavy socks (wool recommended)
2 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, gloves not recommended except as extra pair)
It is always best to stay dry when camping in the snow, but you can
expect to get wet and should be prepared. Boots or other shoes
which are not waterproof will normally start getting the feet wet
and cold after less than 15 minutes in the snow (depending on
temperature, the colder it is, the longer the feet stay dry). Low
top shoes will not keep the snow out of the shoes. Gaiters can be
made from plastic bags and a strong tape like duck tape. Do not
cover the bottom of you shoes with plastic, doing so will cause you
to lose almost all of your traction (and you will fall down!).
Unless your parents are planning to buy some of the items on this
list anyway, do not run out and start spending lots of money on
cloths and equipment. If all your pants are jeans, for example,
bring three or four pairs and change frequently. If you are in
doubt or have questions, call one of the troop leaders for advice.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City