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Old September 18, 2012, 09:14 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 10,835
I use to do a lot of "survival training" when I was in the NG in Alaska, spent a lot of time winter camping in sub zero temps.

Because I'm lazy I'm an artist when it comes to "light weight"

Candles, dump the battery operated crap, batteries suck when it gets cold. Good compass and map work in heat or cold.

You can get by with an army style canteen and canteen cup. Just don't carry water in the canteen if its extremely cold. Normally then you have snow for water. I like the arctic canteen. Keeps stuff hot. Fill it with coffee in the morning and it will last you until your noon stop. The old army mess kit is good too. I would pre-mix flour, baking soda, etc and have pan fired bread.

I normally carried a little white gas MSR stove. Even with an extra fuel bottle it doesn't weigh much and two small bottles of white gas last a long time. Propane stoves suck in the winter. Propane freezes.

Packages of oak meal is great. Coffee and tea bags are light. Coffee is good but when you get stressed tea works better.

I have a light weight tent that weighs about 3 lbs. My sleeping bag weighs less then 7. Kept me warm at 70 below.

I'm a smoker, so always have bic lighters and never had a problem keeping them dry. Besides that I have wax coated "strike anywhere" matches but never had to use them

A tuna fish size can to use as a small stove works great, it can be tied on the out side of the pack. It is also used for your candle. You'd be surprised how much a candle will warm up a little tent is a short time so you can get dressed in the morning.

I carried a few small rocks. Before I turn in at night I'd heat the rocks and put them in my boots, stuffing a sock in each to hold the heat in. Now you have dry boots come morning.

I never felt the need for carrying a heavy sheaf knife or ax. Always got by fine with a Case three blade (stockmans), knife, with the main blade about 2 1/2 inches.

Couple pair of socks, changing them often, putting the pair you just took on inside your shirt to dry out. All I carried for first aid is a military bandage and aspirin.

You'd be surprised how comfortable you can stay. My winter pack weighed only about 30 lbs.

You don't need a huge camp fire. As I said a candle in a small tent will warm you up. You'll burn up more energy keeping a camp fire going then the benefit it provides.

Yeah if you want, and there is a lot of fuel have one, they are nice to stir into but no necessary.

You'd be surprised where you can find food. We took a hundred mile cross country ski trip west of Kotz one year. We came across some native wolf trap where the natives killed and hung a caribou over the trap. So we cut off some steaks and had a good meal.

Even in extreme cold you're going to find open water. When winter sets in and the creeks freeze over, the water level drops. You'll find the ice cover broken in places and have running water underneath. I carry some fishing line and a couple of Mepps OO Spinners, dropping them in the water and letting the current work the spinners. Fish are hungry this time of year and are easy to catch.

I've always carried a revolver, same as my CC. Nothing more then a small J frame w/LSWC 38s. Could always pick up a rabbit for the spit.

I didn't do my winter camping for survival, I did it for fun and I stayed comfortable.

I got old and moved to Wyoming. The same set up works here too. I like taking my little set up out on the prairie and watching the stars and listening to coyotes just for kicks. Now I carry a little MSR white gas stove for making my coffee.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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