Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Mystery Monday: Flagstaff Snowplay Guide

It’s that time of year again: Snow has come to Flagstaff, AZ. And that means that the updated 2011-2012 Flagstaff Snow Guide is now available.

Flagstaff Snow Guide Cover

As always, this is a 100% free publication. All you have to do is provide your email address so I can send you any updates that might occur over the course of the snow season.

Flagstaff is the MUST-VISIT Arizona winter destination for all things snow: sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and snow play. There are even places to cross country ski, snowshoe, and ride snowmobiles. In Arizona! (Crazy, I know!)

Your eGuide is a 32 page printable Adobe .pdf book. It is Mac and PC compatible and you can print it all, a selection of pages, or save it to your laptop computer to take with you.

Do you own a Flagstaff business? Would you like to promote it in the Snow Guide? Contact Kim at Pricing starts at just $50 for an ad that will be seen by THOUSANDS of Flagstaff winter visitors.

Download yours today!

Flagstaff Snow Guide

Do you live in Arizona? Have you ever been to Flagstaff to play in the snow?

Flagstaff is the MUST-VISIT Arizona winter destination for all things snow: sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and snow play. There are even places to cross country ski, snowshoe, and ride snowmobiles. In Arizona! (Crazy, I know!)

For the past 5 years, has been producing the Flagstaff Snow Guide. It’s an all-in-one resource for all your snow play needs including maps, pictures, driving directions, GPS coordinates and more. Plus, it has great special offers from Flagstaff businesses.

The 2010-2011 guide is here! It’s been fully updated with all the current information INCLUDING a brand-new Flagstaff Sledding Area!

The guide is a 30+ page .pdf download that covers Flagstaff sledding, skiing, snow play and more!

Flagstaff Snow Guide

Mystery Mondays: Keeping Water From Freezing

Crystal D. sent me this email:

I am going camping in the Grand Canyon and I will be at the bottom of the Canyon for about 5 days. I will be taking lots of water with me, and I am worried that the water will freeze due to the freezing temps. Could you give me some helpful tips on keeping my water, and food from freezing, and any other helpful hints?

Ah! The Grand Canyon.

Ah! The Grand Canyon.

Crystal, I’m not sure if there is any way to 100% prevent your water from freezing, but here’s what I’ve found out for you:

Thoughts On Keeping Water From Freezing

1. Water freezes when the temperature of the water reaches freezing, not when the air temperature reaches freezing. It takes a lot of energy (relatively speaking) to change the temperature of water even one degree up or down.

2. Water that is in motion takes longer to freeze. This is why you float a tennis ball in your outdoor pond during the winter. However, I can’t really think of a way to keep camp water in motion once you’re at camp.

If you can, put your food and water into an ice chest. An ice chest will keep things warm as well as cold. To get started, you can run hot water into the chest to heat it up. (If you’re using a Styrofoam chest, be sure not to melt it!)

Then, when you pack your food and water, they will absorb the heat from the ice chest. At the very least, an ice chest will help keep the temperatures constant and insulate from colder temperatures outside the chest.

If you’re backpacking into the Canyon (and I’m assuming you are) you might want to try an extra space blanket instead of an ice chest. At the minimum, you could try a insulating wrap around the bottle made from closed-cell foam.

Now, if you’re going winter camping, a thought is how much water do you need in a liquid form?

Enough for drinking, cooking, and washing; the rest can freeze. However, you still need to leave room in each container so if the water does freeze, it can expand without cracking the container.

Since it takes quite a bit of energy to change the temperature of water, then a larger container will freeze slower than a smaller container. If you can, carry large containers of water, then you’ll be better off than carrying small containers. Ice will form at the top of the water, so if you can, store the water bottle upside down so the ice forms at the bottom of the bottle. Of course, you have to be certain that your bottle or water container won’t leak.

Make sure you have the right water container for your winter adventure!

Make sure you have the right water container for your winter adventure!

Solar Power:

A solar hot water heater will heat water, either to drinkable temperatures or more. However, you can’t fill it with ice (especially if the ice is in the shape of 3 gallon water containers!) so it might take some pre-planning to use.

Put your water containers in the sun all day where they can absorb heat from the sun. Once your water is warm (or as warm as it will get) then wrap closed cell foam around it to retain the heat.

Wind chill and solar heat and do NOT contradict each other. Wind chill is the “feeling” that it is colder than it is and since water isn’t affected by feeling, any sunny area will work for your water. Keep that mind when you are finding a sunny spot for your containers. If you can find a place that is sheltered from the wind, but also against a natural “wall” like a rock, then you can also get the heat that is reflected from that surface being heated by the sun.

Melting Water:

I NEVER recommend drinking water from the “wild”. Meaning streams, rivers, ponds, etc, because of the extra steps you need to take to make it safe for drinking. The verdict is out on whether eating or drinking snow is safe or not; make your own choice. For me, I really don’t recommend drinking melted snow either — you just have no way of knowing what is in it!

My thoughts are that this isn’t Hollywood, so if you get sick you have to deal with it. And who wants to do that!?

Now, you might run into needing to melt the safe drinking water you brought with you. First off, remember that if your container freezes solid you will not be able to get the ice OUT of the container! You don’t want to try and hold a plastic water bottle over a campfire or stove for it to melt — takes too long and can ruin the plastic.

So, the best bet is to melt cubes or slush — something you can get out of the container! Remember that it always takes more fuel and time than you think to heat water so plan accordingly by starting the process BEFORE you need the water AND by bringing extra fuel for your stoves.

Because it takes so much energy to convert water from one state to another you should have some water in the bottom of your pot when you are melting ice or slush. Heat this water up and add snow to it slowly so it turns to slush and then water. This is much more efficient. If you dump in straight ice, you will only burn the bottom of your pot or container and not make any water.

If you’re really serious about camping in the snow, or where water will freeze, then a good investment is gear designed specifically for winter camping. Camelbak has a thermal control kit for the hose to their hydration packs that might be useful.

Camelbak Thermal Control Kit.

Camelbak Thermal Control Kit.

What are your suggestions about keeping water from freezing?

Do you drink melted snow?

What’s been your experience?

FYI: If you food is frozen, you need to be careful about eating food that has been frozen and thawed several times. It would be better to carry as many dry foods as possible rather than wet foods that could freeze.

Mystery Mondays: Staying Warm on Winter Outdoor Adventures

I’m the first to admit that I hate cold weather. I hate being cold and I hate being wet. Still, I head to the great outdoors as often during the winter as I do during the summer. Most of the time, my winter “camping” is limited to day-trips, even though my area of northern Arizona isn’t all that cold (say compared to Flagstaff, AZ or Idaho!)

Here are some of my tips to make sure that you enjoy your winter day-trips.

Common Sense
If you’re not comfortable with your cold-weather gear, don’t go out! If you’re expecting rain, snow, wind, etc in your area and if you’re not 100% sure you know what to do, that’s the PERFECT day to go to and plan a spring activity.

Layer your clothing. Wear several layers of lighter clothing instead of one heavy layer. This way you can better regulate the amount of insulation. If you get warm you can take layers off and add some more clothing layers if you get cold.

Wet = cold! And you can get wet from rain OR from sweating. Remember when buying clothes for cold weather that wool retains most of its insulation properties when wet, while cotton does not.

Long underwear can be cute AND warm!

Long underwear can be cute AND warm!

I have and use long underwear! I picked mine up at in the women’s section, so it’s very cute. In the men’s clothing section, I bought a pair of very baggy cargo pants that I wear over my long underwear so I can still move around. I recommend getting something you’ll actually wear — if that’s color or style. Here’s some options.

Fleece pull-over.

Fleece pull-over.

I can’t wear wool, since I’m allergic. A great alternative is fleece, like the stuff made from recycled plastic bottles. Fleece wicks away moisture from the body, so it feels dry, even when soaking wet. It offers tremendous warmth in comparison to its weight. I tend to get men’s sizes so they’re big & bulky. Perfect for layering. Here’s a suggestion: Russell Athletic Men’s Dri-Power Hooded Pullover Fleece Sweatshirt

Wear a hat or hood (or both!) since we lose most of our heat through our heads.

My very ugly green camping jacket is a lined canvas with a deep hood. I put on a hat, pull up the hood, and I’m usually protected from the wind. I also wear a scarf, since the zipper is where most cold air gets into my jacket.

The Outdoor Princess in the ugly green coat.

The Outdoor Princess in the ugly green coat.

I also have a coat that has a material in it that protects from the wind; you know the type of wind that just cuts through all layers like they weren’t even there. The only thing is I don’t like to wear it out to much around in the woods! It’s too nice. But here a pick of us all out geocaching LAST winter and I am wearing my good coat. A winter storm was coming in but I was toasty warm.

The Outdoor Princess & Family.

The Outdoor Princess & Family.

Athletic shoes and nylon hiking boots do not provide enough insulation. Wear a pair of cotton and a pair of wool socks to increase insulation and take the perspiration way from your feet. (If you choose to wear rubberized boots, remember they do not allow for ventilation, therefore you will need to change your socks several times a day.)

Waterproof your footgear with the appropriate commercial treatment.

If you’ll be out camping or hiking for multiple days, think about bringing two pairs of shoes and then alternating. That way, it gives one pair the chance to dry out a little bit.

I hate it when my feet get cold. In addition, it’s not really a safe prospect to have cold feet — hypothermia, not feeling your feet, balance, etc. I always take more than one pair of shoes and when I change my socks, I change my shoes as well.

Other Considerations
Wet = cold. It may seem like breathing on your hands, sticking your head in your sleeping bag, etc. is a good idea, but the moisture from your breath will make you colder in the long run.

If you’re going out, even if it’s just for the day, be sure to tell somebody where you’re going and when you’ll be back. (And, when you GET back, call that person!)

Now, considering I’m from Arizona, this might not be the best advice for places where it is truly bitter cold.

For those of you who DO live where it snows in early winter and then stays snowy all season, what do you recommend? What have I missed? What do you do to enjoy your winter adventures?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Affiliate Link
Let Kim Help You Publish Your eBook
On The Beach Publishing
Share |
Royalty Free Images