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  #1  
Unread 11-19-2011, 01:02 PM
alido2boord alido2boord is offline
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Camping in Big Bear in December

I am thinking of car camping in Serrano Campground next month. It will definitely be cold and probably have snow. I have a Big Agnus Copper Spur UL3 tent. Will that tent be sufficient if I have the right sleeping bag and such. I am just unsure if weather in Big Bear will be too much for my tent. Thanks for any input!
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Unread 11-20-2011, 03:23 PM
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NEJ NEJ is offline
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Any sturdy tent is fine in snow--as long as there isn't a big storm. I have seen it snow 18" in about 10 hrs. in our local mountains. The snow is fairly light under those conditions.

What you will need is a way to cook inside the tent--in fact cooking in your tent is a great way to heat the tent. Be aware that tents a very flammable. I use a plastic mat system to protect the floor of my tent. You can buy plastic mats at RV suppliers. I just purchased a 9 x 12 for $50 for my 9 x 9 tent and will fold it over where the cot is located for floor protection. A plastic mat is also insulation. Obviously, when it is below freezing out, you will spend a good amount of time in the tent. A sturdy floor protection allows you to bring in your chairs, small table, gear boxes, etc, without wrecking the floor of the tent.

In winter I always bring my "cold bag." This is a nylon zippered duffel with a bunch of cold weather gear--ten sets of fleece and similar gloves, a few head wraps, stocking caps, thermal fleece and high tech underwear tops and bottoms, and an assortment of warm and warmer socks. Wet is cold. That is why you need a lot of back-up gear. Always replace wet, or damp, or even dirty with clean and dry to get warm. You can not have too many socks or fleece gloves or change them often enough.

I drag a Coleman propane heater with me in the winter. It has kept my toes warm many times.

Your cooler is very important---why? because it keeps your food from freezing!

Once you park your car, fold the windshield wipers forward away from the glass. That way they don't freeze to the windshield. I always have a small stick of soft wood ---3/4 by 2 by 8 so I can use it to scrape the ice off the glass surfaces and mirrors without scratching them.

Snow shoes can get you over soft deep snow. Otherwise you "post-hole" and progress can be very difficult. Spiked boot attachments like Yak Trax or even cramp-ons are a must for trails that have melted during the day and re-frozen at night.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that you need to have dry gear to replace the wet stuff---

Have fun.

NJ
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Unread 11-20-2011, 03:36 PM
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Let me add some more advise. Bring a few large heavy duty "contractor" plastic bags. If the weather turns awful, you can stuff any wet gear in the bags and not contaminate the rest of your load. These bags have got me through more than a few wet Sunday take-downs. When you are home and things are dry and sunny, remove the gear, rinse off the mud, and dry it out.

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick...&FcstType=text

The above link is for the Big Bear area. I use the California RAWS sites for all my camping weather predictions. This is a point location prediction site that can tell you the upcoming weather for a specific several-acre area anywhere in California. It does a good job about 4 days out with wind and precipitation.

NJ
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Unread 11-20-2011, 07:41 PM
Wardroid Wardroid is offline
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any tent from big agnus is great. I've survived much horrid weather conditions with lesser tents. cooking inside the tent is a very bad idea. stoves release carbon monoxide and you shouldn't even have your face too close to the stove while cooking 'outside.' nej, be carefull of the indoor tent as well. I'm thinking about purchasing a CM detector for mine. If you feel nausea or a headache, stop its use.
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Unread 11-20-2011, 08:05 PM
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My tents are anything but air tight. I have cooked inside many times. Usually because of windy conditions which makes them even less a problem.

But I do appreciate the warning as CO is no friend of mine.

NJ
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Unread 11-21-2011, 04:28 PM
alido2boord alido2boord is offline
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That was very informative, guys. Thanks a lot for the tips! I am excited as it will be my first time camping in the snow!
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Unread 11-21-2011, 05:02 PM
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Gee whiz, when it comes to advise about gnarly weather conditions, you can't offer enough---or listen to it often enough. I have a "clothes line" that wraps around the top of my tent. (I use a Kelty Yellowstone 6.) The tent has loops that make this possible. The warmest, driest place in your campsite area will be the top foot of your tent space. Find a way to use it. When you remove wet gear, hang it in this space so it can dry---even if it is a small bit of dry.

On the CO issue, I have never had a problem. Tents are made to breath. BBQ's inside your tent? Bad idea. Stoves and heaters---should be no problem if the tent has any air space or ventilation. I would caution a person against leaving a heater on when they sleep. CO and CO2 are heavier than air and pool in low spots which tents do provide. If a night is very cold and the air is perfectly still---you may well be able to take the "Big Dirt Nap"" by passing out with a heater still running. Which is why I sleep on a cot---it is just that much further from the grave.

NJ
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