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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Winter Car Camping

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Offline sandersmr

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Winter Car Camping
« on: July 24, 2010, 05:19:55 PM »
DBF and I are planning a trip to AZ over Christmas where we hope to spend at least some of the time camping.  The temps could be anywhere from the 70's on down depending on where we camp - even near the Grand Canyon is an option.

We are looking at tents and especially him, new sleeping bags.

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding tents?  One I've been looking at is the Big Agnes Big House and some by Eureka.

How about sleeping bags for a 6'6" big guy?
Six years between trips - way too long.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Winter Car Camping
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 08:06:41 AM »
You'll definitely want some really warm sleeping bags (probably 0F bags) if you plan on camping near Grand Canyon. With the altitude of around 7000 ft at the South Rim, the temps could easily fall into the teens at night. Might even get snow.

It is a good time to visit Grand Canyon (and all of northern AZ) as the tourist season is over. You might find yourself completely alone at many of the rim overlooks. The snow can make for some great pictures:



This pic was taken in Mar '05, but snow a good chance in Dec as well.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 08:18:38 AM by dkerr24 »

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Offline 04LJ

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Re: Winter Car Camping
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 02:31:19 PM »
You'll definitely want some really warm sleeping bags (probably 0F bags) if you plan on camping near Grand Canyon. With the altitude of around 7000 ft at the South Rim, the temps could easily fall into the teens at night. Might even get snow.

It is a good time to visit Grand Canyon (and all of northern AZ) as the tourist season is over. You might find yourself completely alone at many of the rim overlooks. The snow can make for some great pictures:
I hope they are are gone.  NP's with just the rangers and a a hand full of people, if that Are really nice.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 04:26:47 PM by RichardM »
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Offline perterra

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Re: Winter Car Camping
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2010, 03:16:45 PM »
Don't recall being thru there at Christmas proper but I have been at the south rim a couple of times the first week of December. If I recall the temps were bumping single digits both times. Went thru the North Rim in the first week of October and it was 18?. I remember it very well because we were on a motorcycle. Spent the night at Cliff Dwellers at Lees Ferry (Marble Canyon) and it was cool but pleasant there. It's going to be cold at night that time of year.

For a big guys sleeping gear, I would drop in at Cabelas, pick up a big bag rated 0? or below. I would buy a rectangular synthetic. It will probably weigh 15 lbs but it should be comfy and after a few nights of vapor (when it's 0? you almost always end up breathing in to your bag and making it clammy) it should still be warm. Goose down would be great but it's too expensive for limited use in my view. Enjoy yourself, wish I was going.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Winter Car Camping
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2010, 09:45:45 PM »

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Offline sandersmr

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Re: Winter Car Camping
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2010, 10:02:11 PM »
Yeah, I can see Big Guy walking around in one of those...

I think we have narrowed down between the REI Base Camp and the Big Agnes Big House - both the 6 person size to get the inside height.  Anyone have any experience with either of these?
Six years between trips - way too long.

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Winter Car Camping
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2010, 10:12:37 PM »
Check this out......You might get hooked with one of those.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld9Yrz_8cpA&feature=player_embedded#!
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Winter Car Camping
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2010, 09:20:38 AM »
You can't go wrong buying an REI Base camp.  We have a Base Camp 4 for three of us.  It is big enough for 3 real size sleeping bags and our clothes bags.  We bought our first on for $250 and then wore out the zippers.  Took it back to REI and exchanged it for the newer model and a few more bucks, and we were sitting happy once again.  After a few more years, wore out the zippers again; paid a few more bucks for the upgraded model, and got a new tent.  We are on our third one and now the zipper design seems to be done correctly.  

Rei never gave us any problem with returns.  We do sleep on the ground more than 6 weeks out of each year with the tent, so we are using it more than most.  And the tent has had to survive our daughter (now 6yrs old) going in and out of it for the past 4 seasons also.  It is all about the zippers when other characteristics are the same.  Anyway, I think you get my point.

Winter tent camping is actually about ventilation.  Pick the tent with the best air movement while the fly is on.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 09:29:37 AM by elhombre »
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Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

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