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billbob

Winter Climbing & Wet Clothing

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Seems almost inevitable after a few days that clothes and bags become wetter and I get colder. What is the best way to dry your stuff out in the winter, assuming you haven't a roaring fire at hand?

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freeze it.

 

Edit: if it's below freezing and you can lay your gear out, then you can reduce quite a bit of the dampness by freezing it. Shake out and pre-warm items a bit before putting them back on or getting in your bag. Works best for smaller things like gloves, socks, etc.

Edited by Mikester

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wear it till dry. (layers near body)

 

don't get wet. (outer layers)

 

carry home wet clothes and carry extra dry clothes. (gloves and socks)

 

DO overnight things with a hut nearby.

 

Do things in dry environments like the canadian rockies where things dry out easy. Casacade areas are day trips.

 

I know this doesn't help at all but us all I got.

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if synthetic, boil water, fill a water bottle and roll up your bag with the bottle in the middle. I've dried out soaking wet bags/jackets this way.

 

 

 

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I've done a lot of extended trips in cold but not really cold weather (winter and spring in Cascades and Sierra) where body heat was all it took to dry things. If you sleep under a tarp or can leave the tent open so moisture can escape, you can dry completely sodden clothing by wearing it or taking it to bed (if taking things to bed, thought, you have to take relatively small items like socks or mittens, and put them on your belly).

 

In colder weather, and if you are using a tent, (particularly a gortex tent), it is not so easy. You can have some success if you take a stove into the tent and dry out things with that external heat source, but you will really only dry the morning frost and little more.

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for the smaller items i sleep with them between the shirt I am wearing and my skin in my bag. For larger items I do like the above said with a full water bottle stuffed inside of it.

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I agree with genepires, shortstow, and pdk. Sound wisdom. One other bit of advice...watch your layers and keep the sweating down, which it seems is the main culprit. I see this all the time, people start out with lots of clothes on in winter and don't shed layers until they've soaked them. Keep an eye on your body heat production. You lose more heat when wet through evaporation and convection. Winter is fun...if you stay relatively dry.

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I agree with genepires, shortstow, and pdk. Sound wisdom. One other bit of advice...watch your layers and keep the sweating down, which it seems is the main culprit. I see this all the time, people start out with lots of clothes on in winter and don't shed layers until they've soaked them. Keep an eye on your body heat production. You lose more heat when wet through evaporation and convection. Winter is fun...if you stay relatively dry.

 

Good thought...this is why I start with as little as possible maybe just a speedo and run to warm up...then I add a layer or two as I get higher and colder. My system has never gotten wet...3 layers: first layer of polyprops or just some Dickies and synthetic shirt. Second layer: softshells, which even in a full on rain climbing Needle Peak in BC Fall has kept my Dickies totally dry. Third Layer: Synthetic Parka and pants Mtn Hardwear Belay Parka and the Chugach powder pant to sleep and remain static and warm while drying the inner layers if they even got damp.

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And maybe it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways - the whole drying things out in your sleeping bag - not always a good idea if you have a down bag. The moisture will soak the down, rendering it useless.

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I found it also helps to melt snow in the vestibule, not in the tent proper and always, always make sure you took off the cap on the pee bottle before using. Yep.

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I would mostly say winter is all about the art of sweat management and not getting things soaked. It seems like there is a lot of dampness though. I primarily focus on using warm synthetic puffy clothes and mild activity to dry out my damp layers. This seems to be working pretty well and I don't usually carry any spare clothing other than socks and gloves.

 

Speaking of gloves they seem to be the exception. I've given up on dry hands and gone to neoprene paddlers gloves for any time I really need to use my hands. They work very well when they are wet, which is good because there is no drying them in the field. I usually put them in a plastic bag and take them to bed so they don't freeze.

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I agree with mountainmandoug that winter is the art of sweat management. I used to hike out to my deer stand in below 0 weather with multiple layers on and be sweating like hell by the time I got there. Then I would sit there in wet clothes and freeze half to death. Now I wear just a wicking longsleeve top and leave my jacket open while I hike out. When I get there, I take the jacket off and dry out in the cold air and pull my layers out of my pack and then dress however warm I want to. The best way to avoid the wet clothes is to plan ahead. I have done the same when I have climbed out west and has worked well for me there too.

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if you have issues with being too sweaty, try nonscented antiperspirent on the areas that dont see much airflow (back and hips). I have found this helps in keeping me from having a soaked back after being active with a pack on.

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I use a synthetic bag. I prefer Polarguard 3D.

I also use synthetic jackets like primaloft.

I also take a gortex bivy bag with me and use a slightly lighter bag than I would without the jacket and bivy sack.

get inside the bag with the jacket on.

Spread the wet stuff on your top. Inside the sleeping bag.

Or spread it on top of the sleeping bag inside the bivy bag.

Or both.

 

You have to keep re-arranging it through the night.

PITA but better than wet clothes.

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Neoprene paddlers gloves? I've never thought of wearing them when I'm not boating, but now that you mention it I might try that.

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What is the best way to dry your stuff out in the winter

 

Turn around and go to the bar to rehydrate. Then go home and get in bed with your gal.

 

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What is the best way to dry your stuff out

 

go home and get in bed with your gal.

 

sounds like someone needs some astroglide

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I have found that if you wear appropriate clothing (polyester etc.) they will dry from body heat with mild activity, not enough to sweat. walking downhill or settingup the tent and so on.By the way, I did a little test this fall when it was warm (45deg.) and raining. I did a quick walk uphill,1000 feet in 20 or so minutes, enough to wet my shirt with sweat.I did it twice, once with my goretex pro shell jacket fully zipped and once with my eVent jacket. In both cases my base layer shirt was dry when I reached the car after walking down at a moderate pace. I was pleasantly surprised because I would still be soaked with the old goretex.

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