HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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RonnyRonin
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HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by RonnyRonin » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:13 pm

I know it's past the deadline, but I only traveled 40 minutes or so by foot so it wouldn't have been in the running anyway. As a photo credit note, most of these are mine but a few are stolen off Facebook.

Last year I made the drive from OR to CO for the Hill People Gear winter rondy but because I have since moved to Grand Junction the commute was about 23X shorter this year.

Last year Evan Hill loaned me a kiddie sled pulk and go me hooked on cargo sleds, the pulk instructions on the HPG site are simple and effective (http://hillpeoplegear.com/FreeResources ... fault.aspx). Unfortunately ACE has since run out of pelicans so I instead bought the very affordable Jet Sled Jr. which is smaller and lighter then the pelican and more then enough for one person.

My pulk loaded up at home:
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I used some roll top tote bags and a duffle I had made from truck tarp vinyl to keep my stuff dry, I will have to make some new ones that are sized better for the sled in the future.

Evan was nice enough to pick me up on his way so I got to walk in with him (and get a good look at the new First Spear Wind Cheater and HPGs new Aston House pack):

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Camp went up fairly quickly; Seek Outside 6 mans seemed to be the shelter of the day, being 3 out of 4 tents present.

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Most of us dug out foot wells in our tents, being my first rodeo I made may sleeping shelf a little narrow though. You can see the SO medium stove I had in my tent, simply not enough stove for the conditions. Also since it was shallower then the other stoves on the trip (2 HPG shepherd stoves) I had to re-buck all the wood. Any calories saved in weight were more then expended in extra wood prep. Still WAY better then nothing, it warmed up some boots, thawed and cooked food and took the chill off in the morning.

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Having a pulk around camp makes lots of things much easier. Also as a side note, I brought a GB small forest axe and my tent mate brought a GB hunters axe, if you are on the fence between the two just flip a coin, I couldn't tell much difference at all.

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The Shepherd stove going in the meetin' tent. apparently they got the inside temp up in the 80's at one point, I don't think it got much above freezing outside all weekend.

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We had lectures on firecraft, avalanche awareness and backcountry snow mobility.

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We also went on a lovely ski tour of the Mesa Lakes area, and as the only one on snowshoes I got to play the role of the Struggle Caboose.

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Coyote ruffs abounded, I'm currently debating if one of my shells needs one now. I get a weird headache if my forehead gets cold, apparently the ruff would help.

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I rocked some home made mukluks for a good portion of the weekend, felt boot liners on felt insoles wrapped in hypalon and uncoated 420D ranger green packcloth with paracord laces. I was pretty happy with them but my vibram soles didn't arrive in the mail in time so they were pretty darn slippery. Also it wasn't quite cold enough for these, as snow that got trapped in the folds melted and came through. fortunately felt doesn't mind the wet too much and pack cloth dries quickly. Gen II will have shock cord around the top to keep more snow out, and maybe be a waterproof breathable.
I slept in the felt liners which was quite delightful.

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Some of the tools that came in handy; cheap bow saw, old surplus shovel (cool aluminum snow shovels sure work better though), surplus stakes, fluorescent guy lines, and MSR snow shoes.

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I don't know much about these little snow anchors but they were the shiz.

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Obligatory pulk selfy on the way out:

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Some of the others on the way out:

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my tow rig: a HPG terahumara set up as a lumbar pack with their prairie belt. the nice thing about a pulk is you don't have to carry much on your back.

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More to follow.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Woods Walker » Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:32 pm

No it's not past the deadline. It was extended some time ago to the last day of winter. So this counts! so put a link here:

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=114942
Last edited by Woods Walker on Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Woods Walker » Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:49 pm

On a side note Evan makes an interesting stove.

Image
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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by RonnyRonin » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:14 pm

Woods Walker wrote:No it's not past the deadline. It was extended some time ago to the last day of winter. So this counts! so put a link here:

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=114942
sweet! done.

What was awesome:

Pulks. obviously. just for the quality of food you can bring if nothing else. Scott Hill made us soup and quesadillas, another guy brought chile, I brought buckets of cookies and brownies, and even made eggo sandwiches one morning. I could have brought a lot of what I did on a pack frame, but given the clown-shoes nature of winter travel all that weight up high is no fun.

Hot tents. sure I could have brought an extra 10lbs of insulation instead, but there's nothing like external heat to bring the life back into cold toes. Lowest recorded temp was 8* F, the stove was long out by then so surprisingly enough my cheap 15* bag and bunch of clothes did their job.

snow anchors. My stakes were a little wanting in the loose sugary snow, wind pulled them out at least twice while I was setting it up but the tiny little shovel-shaped anchors slid in deep and held right away. I only used them for the upper guy-outs on my tipi but I might try them for the main staking next time.

Knee pads. Especially in the snow having some insulation between you and the ground is nice. I used a hypalon and 1/4" foam kneepad I had sewn into the top of my DIY gaiters and was very happy with it. Arcteryx Kneecaps were the most popular choice at the rondy but I've found I don't much care for them. Next on my list of things to try is some better pant-integraded kneepads.

What I learned:

Get a bigger stove. If you have decided it's worth the weight to bring a stove, bring a real stove, it's no fun feeding a tiny little thing all the time.

More static layers. coming from oregon I don't have any thick lofted insulation, my previous winter trips are either quick overnighters or snowshoeing to cabins. I wasn't quite set up for standing around for a few days on the snow, a thicker down parka is on the shopping list.

My glove system is a little lacking but I'm getting close. I brought like 3 different combinations of handwear to try out some combos, wool liners under leather driver gloves where good enough in oregon but overmitts seem to be the name of the game 'round these parts.

Chopping wood on the snow is risky. Axework is always risky but add slippery mukluks or big trippy snowshoes and it gets even more so. I started being extra carful and just kneeling when practical.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Robbie in ME » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:06 am

Thanks for posting! I had thought about bringing kneepads on my last outing, I had seen pictures of others using them, but forgot. Seems like it would make setting up etc. easier.
Ruff question if you know, were ruffs attached to the serapes or was it on coats or jackets underneath? Speaking of serapes I bring a patrol bag that I use as an overbag and a down parka on my winter outings I wonder if the serape would do both?
Again thanks for posting I was wondering how that gathering went. I always pick up something new or reinforce old knowledge from these posts.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:46 pm

Robbie in ME wrote:Thanks for posting! I had thought about bringing kneepads on my last outing, I had seen pictures of others using them, but forgot. Seems like it would make setting up etc. easier.
Ruff question if you know, were ruffs attached to the serapes or was it on coats or jackets underneath? Speaking of serapes I bring a patrol bag that I use as an overbag and a down parka on my winter outings I wonder if the serape would do both?
Again thanks for posting I was wondering how that gathering went. I always pick up something new or reinforce old knowledge from these posts.
The ruffs where all attached to coats, a first spear smock (lecture picture) a patagonia dimension soft shell (guy in the middle) and a first spear wind cheater (below). Scott also had one on his Mountain Hardwear shell but no pics of it.

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Evan said he doesn't carry an insulated jacket anymore, and he uses the serape as an overbag in most seasons, it was certainly designed to replace both. I don't know if I'm quite ready to give up sleeves but an overbag sounds much more convenient then wearing a parka inside a sleeping bag, I always wake up all tangled and confused in my various layers. I might play with a heavy parka/elephant foot combo to try and achieve the same gains without loosing a coat. My only problems with the serape are both linked to being very skinny; it is much wider then I need and a little thinner then I think I want (skinny guys get cold). the serape has 2.4oz/yd^2 of insulation (or about 80g/m^2 if you prefer) but should out perform a similar weight jacket due to the "mitten" effect.
I've found I need more on the order of 6oz for even a summer bag (most people call that a 35-30* bag) and an 80g jacket in even mild weather so I might just make my own narrow thick version (somewhere between a Mt. Serape and a Woobie Express with more fluff then either) but if you are a normal sized dude with normal heat output it is definitely worth looking into. On paper at least the insulation in the Serape is the best synthetic on the market.
Last edited by RonnyRonin on Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Robbie in ME » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:57 pm

I tried that parka in the sleeping bag and didn't care for it. I picked up a USGI patrol bag for about 40 bucks and have used that over my 0 degree bag and have been good to -20. The patrol bag is 2 lbs and change I "think". My down parka is from the 70s a Sierra Designs not sure of the weight. I have never seen a serape in person yet. I like the idea. Thanks for the intel on the ruffs. My extreme cold weather parka aka fishtail has a coyote ruff I believe, with it drawn up it in snorkel mode it really protects the face.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:00 pm

you can always do what I did and punch a hole in your patrol bag and wear it as a serape as a proof of concept. I'm guessing the serape is actually warmer then those MSS green bags.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by dunamis » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:36 pm

The mukluks look friggin' awesome! I hope you'll keep us updated with your new developments on them!

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Boondock » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:54 pm

Very cool trip. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:04 pm

RonnyRonin wrote: What I learned:

Get a bigger stove. If you have decided it's worth the weight to bring a stove, bring a real stove, it's no fun feeding a tiny little thing all the time.

More static layers. coming from oregon I don't have any thick lofted insulation, my previous winter trips are either quick overnighters or snowshoeing to cabins. I wasn't quite set up for standing around for a few days on the snow, a thicker down parka is on the shopping list.

My glove system is a little lacking but I'm getting close. I brought like 3 different combinations of handwear to try out some combos, wool liners under leather driver gloves where good enough in oregon but overmitts seem to be the name of the game 'round these parts.

Chopping wood on the snow is risky. Axework is always risky but add slippery mukluks or big trippy snowshoes and it gets even more so. I started being extra carful and just kneeling when practical.
Yup larger the larger the stove the easier everything is however take the pulk out of the equation and weight plus bulk once again become concerns so smaller stoves do have their roll IMO. Cold hand suck. Suffered needlessly a few times during this winter for not packing the over-mittens. Chopping on the snow is indeed more difficult. Worse still if wearing snowshoes.
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"There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"
"Do not mess with the forces of Nature, for thou art small and biodegradable!"

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Canadian Guy » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:26 pm

Great WMBO report, looked like a nice outing.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by RonnyRonin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:45 pm

For anyone interested in putting together a cheap pulk sled, here is the breakdown on mine:

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Jet Sled Jr.: $22 http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/spor ... /cat126435

one 10ft length of PVC: $2

1/4" eye-bolt, 4 fender washers and two wingnuts: $5ish

4 snaplinks: $8

about 12 feet of poly rope: $4ish

so just a hair over $40. most people can save a few dollars because they have rope and carabiners laying around. on the rondy I used doubled paracord which is plenty strong but has a lot of stretch and ended up being pretty sloppy. I also used large carabiners on the sled side of the connection which added more play, I have since switched to much smaller snaplinks and thicker poly rope which appears to be much better.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

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Re: HPG winter Rondy/MBO

Post by Blackdog » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:20 am

Mitts baby mitts.

Nice, every once in a while it is nice to go out with folks who either know things you don't or do things differently. Looked like fun.
Luck is stupid as a cow
and blind as a bat

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