They are made of strong stuff over here!
Actually it got down to about -35C at our 'camping' spot near Lac Philippe (hard to tell since my thermometer only reads down to -30C).
Three of us set out last night from the bright lights of Ottawa to the snow laden forests of Gatineau Park. The purpose of the trip was to try out our gear for the Canadian Ski Marathon Coureur des Bois Or, which involves skiing 80km in a day, camping overnight, then skiing another 80km the following day.
So you need to get your backpack down to a manageable weight but without being too cold at night.
I discovered a few things:
- I need to make a few adjustments to my kit.
- It was too crowded in my sleeping bag with ski boots, booties, over mitts, water bottle, pee bottle, midnight snacks, phone; hardly enough room for me. I am average size but my "large" bag wasn't big enough. How do "Clydesdales" (large people) cope? I had to get rid of the ski boots and put boot warmers (heat packs) in them in the morning.
- At low temperatures: duct tape and foot warmers are not sticky; Thermarests do not self-inflate, unless you blow into them really hard (when you close the valve it then freezes shut); Ziploc bags do not open easily and when they do they tear; peanut butter freezes.
- After you have been sitting round a smoky campfire at -35C, you smell worse than a kipper...!
Ken also reports that he got about 2 hours' sleep.