Winter Hammock Camping in a Snow Storm – Sub Zero Backpacking in the White Mountains

Join me for 3 days of Winter Camping, Hammock setup, Snowshoeing, Camp Stove testing with multiple Fuel types for Snow Melting, Cold Weather Clothing tips & more on this mega episode.

For this solo winter backpacking and snow camping adventure, I’ll be heading into the deep snow of the Sandwich Range Wilderness in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.  If you’re serious about geeking out on the finer details of camping in deep snow in temperatures below zero F, this video is for you.  We’ll be spending a lot of time at camp experimenting, demonstrating and discussing a lot of winter camping topics in detail, including –

  • Snowshoe types and usage
  • Campsite selection
  • Using the Outdoor Vitals Mummy Pod System
  • Snow melting for drinking water
  • Extensive testing using the Optimus Polaris Optifuel stove comparing several camping fuel types for winter cooking & snow melting – LPG canister fuel, white gas, and diesel fuel. Liquid fuel stove priming, inverted canister mode, fuel efficiency, etc.
  • Winter hammock camping tarp setup in the snow.
  • Trekking poles for winter hiking
  • Staying warm on winter camping trips – clothing layer management and strategy, sleeping bag choices, hot water bottle for supplemental warmth.

Trailhead Parking

  • Oliverian Brook Trailhead, Kancamangus Hwy, Albany, NH
  • N43° 59.747′ W71° 21.032′

GPS Data for this trip is available on the Trip Data Page, or by using this link for direct download: Sandwich Range Winter 2018 Hammock Camping Trip GPS Data – Sintax77

Stats & Trails Used, Day One

  • Park at Oliverian Brook Trailhead.
  • Head south on the Oliverian Brook Trail
  • Setup camp in the flat area near the junction with Passaconaway Cutoff Trial

Day 1 Elevation Profile – Sandwich Range Winter – Sintax77

Day 1 Mileage: 2.5 miles
Day 1 Elevation Gain: 502′

Stats & Trails Used, Day Two

  • Continue south on the Oliverian Brook Trail.
  • At the junction, take the Passaconaway Cutoff, towards the summit of Mt Passaconaway.
  • Head back down the same way, to return to base camp.

Day 2 Elevation Profile – Sandwich Range Winter – Sintax77

Day 2 Mileage: 4 miles
Day 2 Elevation Gain: 1,473′

Notable Gear Used / Seen on this Backpacking Trip:

Pack
Backpack – EMS Longtrail 70 (2011 model)

Location
GPS Unit – Garmin Oregon 650

Cooking & Eating Utensils
Multi-fuel Camping Stove – Optimus Polaris Optifuel
Cook Pot, 1L – MallowMe
Cup – Vargo 450ml Titanium Cup
Spork, Long – Sea to Summit Alpha

Hammock System
Hammock Body – Dutchware NylonD 11′ Netless
Hammock Suspension – Dutchware Polyester Tree Straps with Titanium Cinch Buckles

Sleep System
Sleeping Bag / Hammock Quilt – Outdoor Vitals Mummy 15° Down Model

Shelter
Tarp – Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp
Ground Cloth – Tyvek, long

Water Storage
Water Bottle – 40 Below 1 Liter Bottle w/ Bottle Boot

Light Sources
Flashlight / Clip-on Headlamp – Olight S1 Mini Baton

First Aid & SOS Messenger
Spot Messenger

Traction & Traversal
MSR Denali Ascent Snowshoes *No longer in production, I got them on Ebay. A modern equivalent would be something like the MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe.
Kahtoola Micro Spikes *I didn’t end up using them, as I had my snowshoes on most of the time, but I always throw these in the pack for snow trips to deal with icy terrain.
Trekking Poles – CNOC Outdoors Carbon Fiber Vertex Trekking Poles

Snow Camping Tools
Camp Brand Snow Shovel *I’m not sure my model is in production anymore.  The closest current version seems to be the Camp Rocket Shovel.

Clothing
Mid Layer – Surplus Military Fleece
US Army Gen III Extreme Cold Weather Trousers
Gloves – Sealskinz Water Proof Ultra Grip Gloves
EMS Over-mittens w/ US Army Wool Gloves
Boots, Winter High Top Garmont GTX
Face mask / neck gaiter by Seirus Innovation

Winter Hammock Camping on the Appalachian Trail – Port Clinton, PA

Come along for 2 days of Winter Hammock Camping, Backpacking, & Camp cooking as we hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail near Port Clinton, PA. 

For this winter camping adventure, I’ll be taking advantage of a couple of free days by heading up to Port Clinton, Pennsylvania for a spur of the moment solo backpacking trip.  Along the way, we’ll see some sections of the Appalachian Trail that PA has to offer, go over my winter backpacking gear, setup a winter hammock camping rig, build a campfire, and do a a decent amount of camp cooking on my trusty, old-school canister stove.

Trailhead Parking

  • Appalachian Trailhead, Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, Rt 61
    Note: Parking at the actual trailhead is no longer allowed / possible.  I parked in the town of Port Clinton near the Fire Station and proceeded down Penn St to the dead end.  This small detour allows you to hike directly under the highway bridge and link up with the Appalachian Trail on the other side.

GPS Data for this trip is available on the Trip Data Page, or by using this link for direct download: Port Clinton Winter Hammock Camping 2018 GPS Data – Sintax77

This was a relatively simple ‘in and out’ hike with a total one way distance of just under 3 miles and an elevation gain of 1,284′.

Port Clinton Winter Hammock Camping Elevation Profile for Hike In – Sintax77

Notable Gear Used / Seen on this Backpacking Trip:
For a more detailed account, check out my full Winter Ultralight Backpacking Gear List Blog Post / Video.

Pack
Backpack – ULA Ohm 2.0
Pack Cover – Dutchware Argon

Location
GPS Unit – Garmin Oregon 650

Cooking & Eating Utensils

Spork, Plastic – Sea to Summit
Stove – MSR Rapidfire

Hammock System
Hammock Body – Dutchware Chameleon
Hammock Sock – Dutchware Winter Vented Sock with Optional Zipper
Hammock Suspension – Dutchware Polyester Tree Straps with Titanium Cinch Buckles

Sleep System
Under Quilt – Hammock Gear Incubator 20
Top Quilt – HG Burrow 20

Shelter
Tarp – Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp
Ground Cloth – Tyvek, long
Tent spike – Titanium

Water Treatment & Storage
Water Filter – Sawyer Micro (came with my Sawyer S3 system)
Dirty Water Bag – CNOC Outdoors 2L Vecto Water Container Bag
Water Bottle – 40 Below 1 Liter Bottle w/ Bottle Boot

Light Sources
Flashlight / Clip-on Headlamp – Olight S1 Mini Baton

First Aid & SOS Messenger
Spot Messenger

Clothing
Mid Layer – Surplus Military Fleece
US Army Gen III Extreme Cold Weather Trousers
Gloves – Sealskinz Water Proof Ultra Grip Gloves
Boots, Winter High Top Garmont GTX
Face mask / neck gaiter by Seirus Innovation

Chair
Alite Mayfly Chair 

Mail Call – Angry Bushcrafters, Drip-lines, Chameleon Sidecar, UL Flashlight, Novice Camping

Tips, tricks and discussion on various Backpacking, Hiking & Camping topics.

Topics Discussed / Gear Seen

  • Sleeping Pads for Winter Camping? (I double up two summer ones)
  • Big Agnes Q-Core SL Sleeping Pad (inflatable)  I used it on the ground at -25F by itself.  …not a great idea. I had a pretty cold butt, but I lived 🙂
  • Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite Sleeping Pad (foam) I’ll be stacking this with the Q-Core on my upcoming New Hampshire winter trip.
  • How to get started with your first overnight backpacking / camping trip.
  • “Mickey Mouse Boots” – military surplus boots for extreme cold weather and snow.
  • Bushcraft is cool, but like many niche hobbies, it can cultivate some arrogant attitudes. Emphasis on some, but it’s out there. And no, I’m not even necessarily talking about Joshua’s comment. His was relatively mild but a good segue for discussion.
  • Fires starting / campfires on camping trips.
  • Survival skills (great to have) vs just having fun in the woods (great to have as well).
  • Winter sled camping is a ton of fun.

Deep Winter Hammock Camping System

A look at my Cold Weather Winter Hammock Camping Setup for Backpacking Trips that have Potential for Sub-Zero Temperatures.

Deep Winter Hammock Camping System Components

Total Hammock System Weight: 1.75 lbs (793 grams)
Total Insulation System Weight: 3.25 lbs (1.47 kilos)
Shelter System Weight (tarp plus all lines & adjustment hardware): 8.75 oz

Deep Winter Hammock Camping System Grand Total Weight: 5.55 lbs (2.52 kilos)


Other Gear Seen

Hiking the Dix Range Pt 2 – Adirondacks 3 Day Backpacking Trip | Hammock Camping

Join Sara and I for 3 days of Hiking & Hammock Camping on a Backpacking Trip in the Adirondack’s Dix Mountain Wilderness.

For this backpacking adventure, I’ll be breaking the hiking trip into two parts. Hiking the Dix Range Part 2 is comprised of mostly hiking and summits, as we ascend from camp up onto the Dix Range to hit the Beck-Horn (a subsidiary peak of Dix Mountain) and the summit of Dix Mountain itself.

The previous Dix Range Part 1 covered our hike in to camp, setting up our base camp with our two person hammock camping system, and some campfire chat while we made a campfire, camp chores, and cook some backpacking food.

GPS Data for this trip is available on the Trip Data Page or by clicking this link for direct download: Adirondacks Dix Range Backpacking Trip 2017 – Sintax77

Trailhead and Parking Location

Elk Lake Trailhead Parking Lot, 675 Elk Lake Rd, North Hudson, NY 12855
44°01’15.0″N 73°49’40.9″W

Topics discussed and things that happen in this episode

  • A quick breakfast and discussion on where we get our Cook-in-Bags for preparing our morning oatmeal.
  • Hitting the trail towards the Adirondacks Dix Range (full trail log below)
  • Some night hiking on the descent.
  • A backpacking food taste test of AlpineAire Guacamole.

For more details on trails used for Day 1, see our Adirondacks Dix Range Part 1 Blog Post.

Trails Used Day 2

  • Set out from camp and continue north along the nearby Elk Lake to Dix Mountain Trail.
  • Get some views of Dix Pond along the way.
  • At the junction, head right (east) to ascend the Dix via Beckhorn Trail.
  • Tag Beckhorn (a subsidiary peak of Dix Mountain) for some amazing 360 views of New Yorks Adirondack Mountains.
  • Continue a short bit and tag the official summit of Dix Mountain for another round of views.
  • Begin a steep and rocky descent via the Hunters Pass Trail.
  • Rejoin the Elk Lake to Dix Mountain Trail at the junction from earlier
  • Return to base camp along the Elk Lake to Dix Mountain Trail.

Dix Range Adirondacks Day 2 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 2 Total Mileage:  7 miles
Day 2 Gross Elevation Gain: 2,913 feet
Day 2 Gross Elevation Loss:  2,913 feet

 

Trails Used Day 3 (hike out)

  • Break camp along the Elk Lake Trail, after the Lillian Brook LT and just before the large bridge crossing Lillian Brook.  As of 9/14/17, this site had a yellow “Camp Here” disc, designating it a fully legal spot, despite it’s proximity to a small stream nearby. The stream is probably a convenient water source when flowing good, but we opted to get our water a 100 meters or so down the trail by the Lilian Brook bridge.
  • Head south on the Elk Lake to Dix Mountain Trail
  • Pass the Slide Brook Lean-to . The Slide Brook LT and camping area makes for a popular base camp for hikers hitting the Dix Range. We chose to push on a bit (under 2 miles) to the lesser used Lillian Brook lean-to area, which as some nice, legal campsites that are a bit more secluded.
  • Return to the Elk Lake Trailhead Parking Lot.  This is a decent sized lot along a gravel road on the way to the Elk Lake Lodge.  If the lot is full, you may park for free at the Elk Lake Lodge, a bit further up the road.

Day 3 Total Mileage:  3.6 miles
Day 3 Gross Elevation Gain: 354 feet
Day 3 Gross Elevation Loss:  559 feet

Full Trip 3 Day Grand Total Mileage: 14.6 miles
Full Trip 3 Day Grand Total Elevation Gain: 3,900 feet

Notable Camping / Backpacking Gear Seen on this Video

Our Dog’s Backpacking Gear

Backpacking Food

Mail Call – New Sawyer Select Water Filter & Outdoor Vitals MummyPod Hammock Sleep System

In this episode of Sintax77’s Mail Call, I check out the new Sawyer Select foam water filter, and a hammock camping sleep system by Outdoor Vitals called the StormLoft Mummy Pod, along with their netless hammock system with whoopie slings.

I also open some viewer mail and discuss Permethrin vs Picaridin vs Deet for tick and mosquito treatment of backpacking and camping gear.

Links and Info for the Sawyer Select Water Filtration System

  • Official Sawyer Select Filters Webpage Link
  • The three Select systems reduce chemicals down to 0.5 parts per billion (up to 40 times lower than the EPA’s maximum recommended level) and reduce pesticides down to 0.01 parts per billion (400 times lower than the EPA’s maximum).
  • The Select S2 and Select S3 models go even further, purifying contaminated water from suspect sources.
  • Select S2 filters out 99.99% of viruses.
  • Select S3 filters out 99.99% of viruses and reduces heavy metals such as copper, arsenic, and mercury down to 0.5 parts per billion (up to 260 times lower than the EPA’s maximum).
  • Weight: 9.25 oz total for bottle with foam filter and hollow fiber membrane filter attachment.

Links and Manufacturer’s specs for the Outdoor Vitals 15° StormLOFT Down Mummy Pod

  • Official SormLOFT MummyPod Webpage Link
  • Easily switches from use as a mummy sleeping bag to a pod system to fully insulate a hammock!
  • Patented footbox allows hammock to run straight out of the bottom of the bag and seal, or zip it up for use on the ground and insulating baffles keep your feet warm!
  • Redesigned shoulder baffles seal cold air out and add additional comfort!
  • StormLOFT™ 800 fill power hydrophobic down provides premium performance in both loft, warmth and dealing with adverse weather conditions!
  • NEW YKK Anti Snag Zipper makes it virtually impossible to damage your sleeping bag while zipping it up. It also provides easier zipper flow making it a breeze to get in and out!
  • Vertical baffles keep the down locked into place both on the hammock and on the ground.
  • Included suspension system keeps the bag from sagging or moving when using it on the hammock
  • Extra shoulder room (grid) keep the bag extremely comfortable and roomy.
  • Outdoor Vitals Lifetime Warranty: Here at Outdoor Vitals we believe in standing behind the craftsmanship and quality of our products. Anything that was our fault, we fix so you can feel confident that you’re getting exactly what you paid for!

Links and Manufacturer’s specs for the Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Solo Hammock

  • Official Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Solo Hammock Webpage
  • Weight: 14 oz (finished model may be 13 oz)
  • Hammock & Carabiners: 9.5 oz (finished model may be 8.5 oz)
  • Suspension System: 4.5 oz
  • Unfolded size: 9′ x 4′
  • Compact size: 7″ x 4.5″
  • 7/64 inch dyneema™ whoopie sling
  • 1 inch thick by 6 foot long double looped polyester tree strap
  • 40D ripstop nylon fabric
  • Triple stitched
  • Wire gate high grade aluminum carabiner
  • Rated to 300 lbs when used properly