How to keep really warm on a tight budget/for free with fall/winter camping? (1 Viewer)

Childgoddess

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May 17, 2013
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Hello there People!

thanks so much if you decide to read this, as i need to know something to survive and stay warm in the bush with my fiance during the rest of october in northern ontario, canada. For the past 3 months, me and my bf have been sleeping in a tent in the bush ( cuz we are homeless), on the outkirts of my hometown, due to personal reasons, i refuse to stay at the shelter house, now that its getting colder out, im wondering of some better ways to keep warm during the late october/ early november, the weather here is icy rainy/snow and has strong winds. The weather has been

4°C
-5°C
with a few flurries for the past days


im worried we won't have a place to live untill early november, so im considering sleeping in our tent. Anybody got any suggestions on how to keep warm during really cold nights in the fall and winter sleeping in a tent, without getting sick or anything. I'm also short on funds for alot of items, but i have some free ways of inquiring some warm items, like , jackets, tukes, boots, socks, thermal pants, shirts, long-johns, etc for me and my fiance, but i cant afford some good sleeping good suited for cold fall/winter camping. Whatever good suggestion you would suggest for fall/winter camping to keep warm on a tight budget would be appreciated. Sorry if a smilair post has been posted, as i cant find anything right now.
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!
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Do you have cattails in the area? You can use the seeds as a down substitute. Get two long sleeve shirts for example, and sew the bottoms and cuffs together. Stuff it with as much fluff as you want/it will take and sew the collars together.
You can do the same with pants, probably hats or gloves too. You could even make sleeping bags or blankets too, but its alot of sewing. You’ll want to sew the material into seperate chambers like you see on store bought bags. This will keep it evenly distributed.

As for your shelter, I really suggest building something out of natural materials. Tents have very little insulative properties and you can’t have a fire for warmth in them.
Something simple like a teepee or an A frame hut wouldnt be hard to make out of pine trees. Use alot of poles for strength then cover them in sheets, shitty tarps or whatever. Then pile leaves,grasses,moss anything insulative around the outside, 2-3 feet thick. Leave a hole at the top to let smoke escape, and make an insulated plug or door for the enterence. finish it with a firepit and your good to go.
It will take several days to collect and place the insulative material. So start soon if you go this route.

Other tips:
You need to have a barrier between you and the ground in winter. Especially when the snow comes, A thick sleeping pad, a pile of cut tree branches, even a bed. Otherwise the ground will sap your heat all night long.

Eat big dinners. Your body is like a fire, fail to feed it and its flame will shrink and grow cold. Your body needs extra calories to maintain temperature in extreme cold. Tend to that with extra food as you would throw extra wood on the fire.

On very cold nights its a good idea to get into bed before it gets dark and stay there. This will trap more body heat. You will immediatly lose alot of stored heat if you leave your bag/shelter in the middle of the night too. In extreme circumstances, I’ve pissed in a bottle rather then get out of my sleeping bag to pee. (wide mouthed gatorade bottles work best)

If you have a fire, you can toss a stone into the coals when its burned down, let it heat up for idk.. 20 minutes? Take it out and let the surface cool. Wrap it in a towel and sleep with it held to your chest. The rock will remain warm for most of the night, you now have a little stone heater to cuddle with!
 

Tude

Sometimes traveler is traveling.
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There is a lot of information here on wilderness camping etc - and lots more. Weather updating is important, keeping electronic devices charged etc. Here is a good friend here and another place - Kal Emery who camps year round - spent two years ago in massachusetts, last year in pennsylvania. Resoursful. Look up kal emery on facebook.
 

Anagor

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No experience sleeping in a tent in the wilderness ... only sleeping in doorways last winter.

But in February/March we had some cold nights ... about -10°C.

I was totally fine with my sleeping bags. When you have shelter (from wind and rain/snow), you only need good sleeping bags. I had 3. One summer sleeping bag at the bottom (can be replaced by cardboard), one warm sleeping bag and another in mid range.

I put the summer sleeping bag out first flat on the ground (as said, cardboard will do as well), then the midrange. Inside the midrange I put the warm sleeping bag. I also had a cheap fleece blanket I also put in. Kept my clothes (incl. jacket) on. Zipped up all the sleeping bags. And I was fine. Actually a few times at night I woke up and had to open the bags cause I was sweating.

Wear a woolen hat and have gloves (in case your hand get outside the sleeping bags at night while you are sleeping). That should do it.

And yeah, if you are outside in some hidden space far away from other people have some phone charged. So you could call help in an emergency. I never had to care about that cause I was in a city with people around all the time.

Take care!
 

Jackthereaper

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Earth
Are there any bandos available to squat? Ive successfully gathered aLl materials for a rocket mass heater for a squat in one day in detroit in the past. I used bricks. Either way, see if you can find a shelter whatsoever before crashing all winter outside.
 

roguetrader

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Exeter, United Kingdom
I agree with @TheDesertMouse, ideally you need to build a shelter so that you can have a fire inside or even better (safer) a wood burning stove with flue pipe that vents outside... you can use natural materials or scrap lumber and ply board to build a shelter, although this might be difficult without a vehicle to haul it with..

good quality goose down sleeping bags can be a life saver as well, they usually have a rating printed on the label saying what temperature they'll keep you warm to - some are rated to -30° Celsius or more ! only problem is they can be expensive to buy new...

finally what about coming out of the woods and squatting a building for a few weeks, til you get the place your after ? I hear in downtown Eastside Vancouver they got some cheap rooms to rent, the Balmoral sounds lush....
 

Anagor

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good quality goose down sleeping bags can be a life saver as well, they usually have a rating printed on the label saying what temperature they'll keep you warm to - some are rated to -30° Celsius or more ! only problem is they can be expensive to buy new...
A good sleeping bag is the most important thing you can carry. It was for me, always. A good one and perhaps (depending on weather) one or two more.

Don't care about clothes, don't care about shoes, hats, gloves, scarves ... all good to have BUT good spleeping bags are indeed a live saver.

So yes ...
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
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On the road
I just finished reading The Stranger In the woods, about the north pond hermit who lived in the Maine woods for 27 years. He talks about how he kept warm during those nights it was -40, he paced around his camp back and forth to keep warm. He also talks about making sure he didn't sweat as hypothermia would set in without you even knowing it. He made sure to dry his sleeping bags out, then slept during the morning and early afternoon.

My personal experience- a good sleeping bag, a good ground pad(or pine boughs), fire(if able to have one), Wool and fleece clothing. Layered socks and clothing, a shelter that doesn't accumulate condensation. Be careful about using rocks to keep warm. I know a guy who got 3rd degree burns by doing that. They've also been known to explode in fires if they have moisture. I've found excellent 100% wool clothing and sleeping bags at Goodwill for literally $1 a sweater. The bags were like $6.
 
OP
Childgoddess

Childgoddess

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Joined
May 17, 2013
Messages
184
Current Location
North Western Ontario
Do you have cattails in the area? You can use the seeds as a down substitute. Get two long sleeve shirts for example, and sew the bottoms and cuffs together. Stuff it with as much fluff as you want/it will take and sew the collars together.
You can do the same with pants, probably hats or gloves too. You could even make sleeping bags or blankets too, but its alot of sewing. You’ll want to sew the material into seperate chambers like you see on store bought bags. This will keep it evenly distributed.

As for your shelter, I really suggest building something out of natural materials. Tents have very little insulative properties and you can’t have a fire for warmth in them.
Something simple like a teepee or an A frame hut wouldnt be hard to make out of pine trees. Use alot of poles for strength then cover them in sheets, shitty tarps or whatever. Then pile leaves,grasses,moss anything insulative around the outside, 2-3 feet thick. Leave a hole at the top to let smoke escape, and make an insulated plug or door for the enterence. finish it with a firepit and your good to go.
It will take several days to collect and place the insulative material. So start soon if you go this route.

Other tips:
You need to have a barrier between you and the ground in winter. Especially when the snow comes, A thick sleeping pad, a pile of cut tree branches, even a bed. Otherwise the ground will sap your heat all night long.

Eat big dinners. Your body is like a fire, fail to feed it and its flame will shrink and grow cold. Your body needs extra calories to maintain temperature in extreme cold. Tend to that with extra food as you would throw extra wood on the fire.

On very cold nights its a good idea to get into bed before it gets dark and stay there. This will trap more body heat. You will immediatly lose alot of stored heat if you leave your bag/shelter in the middle of the night too. In extreme circumstances, I’ve pissed in a bottle rather then get out of my sleeping bag to pee. (wide mouthed gatorade bottles work best)

If you have a fire, you can toss a stone into the coals when its burned down, let it heat up for idk.. 20 minutes? Take it out and let the surface cool. Wrap it in a towel and sleep with it held to your chest. The rock will remain warm for most of the night, you now have a little stone heater to cuddle with!

Thank you very much for your tips, knowledge on this :) very helpful and its much appreciated <3 hope you have a blessed good day, love & light be sent your way today <3<3<3
 
OP
Childgoddess

Childgoddess

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Messages
184
Current Location
North Western Ontario
I agree with @TheDesertMouse, ideally you need to build a shelter so that you can have a fire inside or even better (safer) a wood burning stove with flue pipe that vents outside... you can use natural materials or scrap lumber and ply board to build a shelter, although this might be difficult without a vehicle to haul it with..

good quality goose down sleeping bags can be a life saver as well, they usually have a rating printed on the label saying what temperature they'll keep you warm to - some are rated to -30° Celsius or more ! only problem is they can be expensive to buy new...

finally what about coming out of the woods and squatting a building for a few weeks, til you get the place your after ? I hear in downtown Eastside Vancouver they got some cheap rooms to rent, the Balmoral sounds lush....

Well I didnt gather the items i needed to winterize my tent, so spent the past few days squatting in people's sheds or botton basements with my winter gear on and some fleece blankets :) thankfully the cops weren't called :)
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
248
Current Location
On the road
There is a lot of information here on wilderness camping etc - and lots more. Weather updating is important, keeping electronic devices charged etc. Here is a good friend here and another place - Kal Emery who camps year round - spent two years ago in massachusetts, last year in pennsylvania. Resoursful. Look up kal emery on facebook.
Kal has some really cool pictures and info! :)
 

Rune

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If you build the right kind of winter shelter, you should be safe and warm in most temperatures. A wool blanket [or cloak] always helps too. Ive seen them at the Greyhound store in my area for very inexpensive..
You need insulation if youre going to be out in the cold. Leaves can work as this, amoung other things.
The great thing about wool is it keeps you warm even when it gets wet.
 

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