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Old 01-23-2012, 09:02   #1
Golf1echo
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Extreme Cold Weather Sleeping and Shelter

Working on a new project and looking for insights into extreme weather sleeping and shelter. Below is an image of the environment. Temperature range 20f.....-60f, elevation 2000'-20,000'
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:52   #2
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Make do or live in comfort?

You wanting to "make do" of live in comfort?

125 lbs of lightweight gear is still 125 lbs.

Good stove would be first on my list then lots of high calorie foods to make sure the interior furnace is well stocked prior to turning in.

That's Arctic type weather at the extreme edge. I'd check with some blogs, forums and such related to Mountain/Arctic expeditions on what they use.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:01   #3
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BBRRRR! That makes me cold just looking at your pic.


Ditto what Pete said.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:11   #4
Golf1echo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
You wanting to "make do" of live in comfort?

125 lbs of lightweight gear is still 125 lbs.

Good stove would be first on my list then lots of high calorie foods to make sure the interior furnace is well stocked prior to turning in.

That's Arctic type weather at the extreme edge. I'd check with some blogs, forums and such related to Mountain/Arctic expeditions on what they use.
Excellent points! We are developing pieces to support an Army teams effort to summit MT Mckinley ( Denali).

Added: That interior furnace has everything to do with what we are trying to do for them, it is the engine that drives our shelter system. It is what pushes the moisture out and away from the interior layers and the body, it is what heats the interior and drys the wet and frozen gear over night. What we are trying to do is find the right balance of how to retain that heat and control it as well as the moisture and the condensation. One way we look at it is like an onion and how do you make the gear you already have work best with the layers of the onion, how do you make the layers work best together and how does that integrate into the environment......... and find the right balance between weight and durability?
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File Type: jpg Mt Mckinley 1.jpg (8.4 KB, 128 views)
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Last edited by Golf1echo; 01-24-2012 at 06:12.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:11   #5
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I thought this article has some good points and seems to convey many of the things learned over the years.
http://chrisechterling.com/blog/2009...-sleep-system/

We are creating several zones of separated air space and looking to newer lighter materials to make up the construction. As each layer is employed it works together with the others to make up every increasing protection. We integrate both passive an active energies that enhance the physical construction if necessary. Weight precludes us from adding excess materials or extravagant detail so we work with voids ( air spaces ) and material performance.

As with many things this becomes as much about skill sets as equipment. Things like avalanches, crevasses, slopes, weather, hypoxia, hypothermia, etc...play critical rolls in surviving the environment. In talking with different mountaineers there is of course the old school vs the new school perspectives.

Basic information about the mountain.http://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=271
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:34   #6
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It was not uncommon for Natick Labs to show up with various pieces of cold weather gear. Where some items were useful a majority of those items attempted to utilize the air and vapor barriers for increased warmth. Those attempts tended to create items that were not manageable because of their sheer size and limitation on compression (damaging loft and therefore the efficiency of the item). Providing a sleeping bag that would keep someone warm at -65 (ambient air temp) wasn't much help if you needed a wheelbarrow to carry it in just out of size. Likewise there were some boots offered that looked much like something Gene Simmons would wear onstage. Not the most practical.

Check out Natick labs...
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:03   #7
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Great advice, I have been a lurker for years on their sites. Once in a while I contact them about something specific but last week I spoke to both the Director of Shelters and the SOCOM Group there, am currently putting together presentations. Years ago I developed a testing program I call our MIST Program and have been able to place equipment in all of the SO Branches, I wish I had the frequent flyer miles our gear has. My philosophy is in order to develop relevant equipment for current use the end users better have a hand in its development. Hope they are interested to see their soldiers already putting our gear to good use.

Yesterday we received new thermal reflective material for use in our G1 Cold Weather Liners, performance went way beyond what I was expecting, now to quantify that warmth...
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"In the school of the wilds,there is no graduation day"Horace Kephart
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Old 01-31-2012, 14:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golf1echo View Post
Excellent points! We are developing pieces to support an Army teams effort to summit MT Mckinley ( Denali).

Added: That interior furnace has everything to do with what we are trying to do for them, it is the engine that drives our shelter system. It is what pushes the moisture out and away from the interior layers and the body, it is what heats the interior and drys the wet and frozen gear over night. What we are trying to do is find the right balance of how to retain that heat and control it as well as the moisture and the condensation. One way we look at it is like an onion and how do you make the gear you already have work best with the layers of the onion, how do you make the layers work best together and how does that integrate into the environment......... and find the right balance between weight and durability?
I climbed, West Buttress route, Denali back in 1992 at the winter warfare school, assualt climber leaders course. We use all the basic issued Army cold WX gear from the Late 80's to early 90's. GORTEX was just coming out. That was the newset thing we had. Old Down Sleeping bags, ETC

We never summited because we had weather roll in, stopped at 18,100+. We lived in a snow cave for 33 hrs.
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Old 01-31-2012, 21:17   #9
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Check out Kifaru!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnGoat View Post
I climbed, West Buttress route, Denali back in 1992 at the winter warfare school, assualt climber leaders course. We use all the basic issued Army cold WX gear from the Late 80's to early 90's. GORTEX was just coming out. That was the newset thing we had. Old Down Sleeping bags, ETC

We never summited because we had weather roll in, stopped at 18,100+. We lived in a snow cave for 33 hrs.
Same mountain, same group ( senior mountain instructors), just a few years later. From what I am told it gets steep after 17,000'. I'll bet that's a great memory. I thought I was the only one without Goretex during Winter Training back in the late 80's. I would be interested in anything you might think applies, and will trade cold beer for same.

Ambush Master....I want to be careful with my reply to someone named that.
I completely respect brand loyalty ! We like it when our equipment speaks for it's self, since that can't always happen I will say this: The difference between theirs and ours is evolution, years of fielding our equipment in the field with soldiers, listening to them and incorporating those inputs....that is critical to what we do. By nature our G1 Liners are warmer, lighter and more compressible, the same with our G1 Cold Weather Liners compared to theirs. I am unaware of anything that is the equivalent of our new G1 Thermal Liners. Our liners can work with our hard shells enabling users to configure hundreds of different shelters, hammocks and other. Did I mention they cost less? Maybe the best way to put it is that if someone gets one and doesn't think so they can return it ( if serviceable ) and get their money back. There is one problem....if your wife girlfriend or daughter get a hold of a liner, it's gone.
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"It is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly...that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again." Sir Francis Younghusband

Essayons

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"In the school of the wilds,there is no graduation day"Horace Kephart
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:26   #11
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Originally Posted by Golf1echo View Post
The difference between theirs and ours is evolution, years of fielding our equipment in the field with soldiers, listening to them and incorporating those inputs....that is critical to what we do.
Mountainsmith was founded in 1979, and Patrick had years of hard use outdoor gear experience before starting the company. My simple math skills tell me therefore that the core of Kifaru's leadership and design team has well over 33 years of experience in the industry. I can also personally verify that they actively solicit and incorporate end user input on their products, including AD SF & SOF guys, along with big game hunters humping heavy loads in the backcountry and living in miserable weather.

Sometimes the characteristics we believe set us apart do just that, but not in the way we think.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:25   #12
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Roger That. I have a Mt Smith fanny pack that is a great piece of gear and still use it regularly. I understand Kifaru makes great equipment. Perhaps I miss communicated my message?

I do know our liners are very efficient and will think carefully about the last part of your comment!
Thank you.

Edit: Those are the same folks we get our feed back from as well as others.
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"It is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly...that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again." Sir Francis Younghusband

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"In the school of the wilds,there is no graduation day"Horace Kephart

Last edited by Golf1echo; 02-04-2012 at 06:41.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:35   #13
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A good book, Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills There are a number of snow shelters that provide very good protection from the cold. In a igloo, it can be -48F outside and wind blowing hard and inside it is mid 30's and quite. Until the sun goes down it is pretty bright in side. Snow is a really great media. IMHO snow country is much more easy to survive than in 40's wet/damp environment.

As it was mentioned fuel to make water and hot chow is a necessity. The secret is to keep your body hydrated and your skin dry. In constant subzero temp, Vapor barrier liners really help. A 8 pound sleeping bag, can gain in weight with the condensation of body moister freezing in the insulation.

Personally, I like the alpine environment, it is quiet, no bugs, no mud and very very few people.

This is our kitchen at Kerr Notch Crater lake mid January. The sled/poke is a Mountainsmith. Makes carrying weight much easier and much easier to ski with it.

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k2...erlake0001.jpg
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Old 04-02-2012, 14:15   #14
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I agree about the alpine environment, it beats 33f and rain in my opinion too. I would be curious about how much weight you have in your sled? One mountaineer I spoke with gave me figures of 75lbs in the sled and 75lbs on his back, I saw in another thread here on PS about the woman who crossed the Antarctica had 187lbs in her sled. That brings up why we were contacted in the first place, an inquiry about weight reduction and whether or not there might be a better way of doing things.

One model I like is the "5 mechanisms of heat loss".
1) Conduction, warmth being lost due to contact. Warmth transmitted through materials into a colder object you are in contact with.
2) Convection, air movement causing warmth to be pulled away from you as it moves around you ( wind, air movement due to the environment ie. up/down valley flows, on/off shore air movements, etc...).
3) Radiation, warm air radiating up and away from you into space.
4) Perspiration, sweating ( over heating or natural cooling). Moist air conducts more rapidly than dry air enabling greater heat loss reducing efficiency of insulation and other materials.
5) Respiration, warmth leaving via breath. This can also reduce efficiency of insulation and other materials if not properly vented, typically.

Without arguing about the viability of modern equipment like sleeping bags and tents, perhaps there are better ways of doing things? Perhaps weight can be reduced by looking at the problems in new ways? Nor would I try to argue old school vs new school or that equipment can substitute for skill sets. Simply looking at how modern materials and new design can improve on the weaknesses of existing gear.

One thing mentioned above is that a snow cave ( and a well built shelter ) work very well at protecting people from very cold exterior conditions. This is done by the efficient insulation the snow provides and controlled ventilation both of which essentially create a separated air layer just as a parka and jacket do. So creating those separated air layers are very important and using gear you already have can help reduce weight. The sleeping bag has a few weaknesses, like compression of insulation on the bottom and if down , moisture degrades it's insulating capabilities over time. Another problem can be overheating, a modular system can help extend the functional temperature ranges of a system, like the modular 3 piece military sleeping bag (2) and Gore- Tex bivy (1).

Looking at these issues with an eye to reducing weight and improve efficiencies we are trying to simplify the pieces, improve the material efficiencies, incorporate and combine with existing gear, make the pieces modular and maximize design efficiencies. Recently we were invited to a military cold weather and mountaineering symposium where we got to kick around the pieces we are working on in a real world environment and get some good one on one with end users. The results are encouraging as weights were reduced, materials and design has mitigated some of the traditional problems. Plus it was great to spend time with some of you and other military mountaineers!!

Posted are some images and please PM me with any questions. My hopes are that this thread facilitates a discussion about insights into experience and needs so it might be useful to our soldiers. Thanks Group One Equipment...
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"It is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly...that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again." Sir Francis Younghusband

Essayons

By Dand

"In the school of the wilds,there is no graduation day"Horace Kephart

Last edited by Golf1echo; 04-02-2012 at 14:28.
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Old 04-02-2012, 21:41   #15
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I successfully guided Denali in 2008, so might be able to offer insight to some specific questions. Eg. the steepest part of the route is actually the fixed lines above 14 camp up to about 16.5. The ridge above Denali Pass can be steep in places, and certainly exposed, but my personal opinion is that the most technical part of the route is between 14 and 17, while the most dangerous parts are Windy Corner and the Lower Kahiltna.

PM with specific questions...
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