Winter camping in the Sierra Nevada


Just a few pics of the last camping trip of the year we did new years eve up by Lake Spaulding on Grouse Ridge. Was a beautiful spot, just below the snow line (with some around to play in) and no wind for the night. Wonderful camping. Also the first outing for our new pack member Artie, the black and white pitbull mix and Indica's brother (from the same mother).





And then I did my first camping trip of the new year out in Forresthill near Sugar Pine reservoir with my Militia Co. on our winter survival FTX. I did not last the night, and was woefully under prepared in equipment. I needed better layers and a cold weather sleep system. Most of the guys had these and were cozy, if not a little cold. I had tended my fire and had bad air flow, so it kept going out. I finally lost to the sub 30's cold and ran back to the truck in the middle of the night. My heater core was out and so it took a good hour/hour and a half of warm water bottles and hot fluids in my sleeping back to get warmed up. A learning experience and a good one with the boys.




Excited to get more trips in this year, do more survival/minimalist camping and explore new places I haven't seen yet.
I slept in my shell with a DAC tailgate tent back in Dec when it got down to the mid 30s and froze my ******** off. Couldnt image trying it in only a leanto :Wow1:


I slept in my shell with a DAC tailgate tent back in Dec when it got down to the mid 30s and froze my ******** off. Couldnt image trying it in only a leanto :Wow1:

Yea, it was something else. Most of my team had better set ups, walking in with 80# rucks. I didn't. One, I don't have that much equipment (i'm poor) and two, I never go on hikes with an 80# ruck, unless I'm training for something. I tried to make it through a night with an overstuffed day pack... needless to say, i didn't have the right gear. Next winter i'll do this again, with better and more purposeful equipment and should have no problems making it a night.

The woman and I have camped in snow storms and cold rains under our shell. We don't have a propane heater or anything, but lots of blankets and hot water bottles (and warm furry animals) get us through. Not our favorite, but if we can get out for a night or two of camping the last thing we usually check on is the weather (yea... stupid, i know :p).


Well-known member
Learn how to dig a good snow cave, if you never have before. Sierra Cement makes for great snow cave material, but it's tiring as hell to carve one out solo from that stuff. A good snow cave, with the right ventilation is relatively warm and stable temperature wise, and very durable. If you do it right, you can light and warm it with just a little tea light candle - spent two nights in one in the San Juans and I was too warm in a zero degree bag, even though it was double-digits below zero at night. Stayed warm and dry though - and it was big enough for three people to sleep comfortably and to sit up in. Felt like a bomb shelter.

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