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Thread: Winter tent camping?

  1. #1
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    Default Winter tent camping?

    Searched but didn't see much...have done the public use cabins in the winter and enjoyed those but would like to do some tent camping as well. Ideally starting out someplace where I can not be too far from the car in case things go south, but would eventually like to do some snowshoe/ski-in type camping.

    Any suggestions on locations to go? Skiing nearby is a plus...I am going to try a couple spots in Turnagain pass to start out (Center Ridge or Davis Creek trees maybe). It doesn't look like the official campgrounds are open this time of year from what I can find on the in terwebz.

    Appreciate any feedback/tips/suggestions/encouragement/discouragement/etc

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    The "official" campgrounds are all closed in the winter, but that means nothing to a tent camper. Go where you want, pitch a tent and stay where you want. The entire Chugach is open to you. Unlike summer time, there are no limitations.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    The "official" campgrounds are all closed in the winter, but that means nothing to a tent camper. Go where you want, pitch a tent and stay where you want. The entire Chugach is open to you. Unlike summer time, there are no limitations.
    JOAT's right. The reason you tent is to get away from people who need campgrounds. Go anywhere with a good ground pad (or two) and sleeping bag and you'll be fine. I might sugest a p-bottle as well, getting out of the bag in the winter to answer the call just plain sucks! sorry to add that but trust me, you'll thank me later! haha
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew1200 View Post
    Searched but didn't see much...have done the public use cabins in the winter and enjoyed those but would like to do some tent camping as well. Ideally starting out someplace where I can not be too far from the car in case things go south, but would eventually like to do some snowshoe/ski-in type camping.

    Any suggestions on locations to go? Skiing nearby is a plus...I am going to try a couple spots in Turnagain pass to start out (Center Ridge or Davis Creek trees maybe). It doesn't look like the official campgrounds are open this time of year from what I can find on the in terwebz.

    Appreciate any feedback/tips/suggestions/encouragement/discouragement/etc

    Cheers

    I think you have some right ideas on orienting yourself to winter camping and comfort range... You'll find there is a learning curve on mind-set, safety, camping practices, good gear selection, and movement. Conservative on all counts is a better way to start out.

    Two of my suggestions before heading out:
    a.) Give us a general idea of how you go about some of your summer-late fall experiences with some specifics on gear selection.
    b.) Also provide a little info on what day trips you more routinely do in winter and what gear you plan on utilizing for overnights or multi-day winter camping.

    Some trip area selections for starting out:

    Around Anchorage)
    - Trail-heads into the Chugach --- like Bear Valley, Flattop/Powerline Pass, Rabbit Lakes, and several others

    North)
    - Arctic Valley, Eagle River and Chugiak trail-heads headed into the Chugach Mountains

    Further North)
    - Palmer Side... Hatcher Pass and many more trail-heads extending up that direction.
    - Willow Side... Hatcher Pass, Petersville, Broad Pass, *Denali Highway
    (*as in winter trail)

    Southbound)
    - McHue rest area trail-head
    - Indian/Bird Creek... Powerline Pass, Bird Ridge
    - Girdwood Crow Pass
    (more advanced w/ Avalanche danger)
    - 20 Mile, Portage, Placer river Valleys
    - Turagain Pass
    (some parts w/ Avalanche danger)
    - Johnson Pass
    (some parts w/ Avalanche danger)
    - Hope Trail-heads
    (...caution on exposed stretches for both headed into mountains and watch tides plus ice out to Gull Rock)
    - Many more trail-head options extending south via Seward and Cooper Landing vicinities.

    In the event you have no suitable 4-season gear like collapsible shovel, probe, beacon, communication, winter tents, sleeping systems, stoves etc. and need to rent, try b4 you buy, or ready for a purchase... Please list some of these things. Again, it can be a learning curve of expensive
    (possibly risky) trial/error... particularly once you are well away from the car and any flow of traffic.

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    Thanks for the responses, much appreciated.

    Brian - We're fairly experienced campers/backpackers/bc skier's...see here for a trip we did into WSE over the summer. Have been bc skiing for a few years as well, just not real experienced with adding overnight gear to the equation.

    We travel light & as efficient as possible when backpacking or skiing, I guess our issue is figuring out the balance in gear to take vs. weight doing the winter camping. We carry a good bit of camera gear too so finding that balance is tough.

    We'll be someplace south of Turny this weekend and will probably snowshoe in, leave the ski gear (skis/boots/beacon/probe/shovel/etc) in the car, set up camp once we find a decent place, and then just hit turny for a couple laps on the way back on Sunday.

    Thanks for all the suggestions

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