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Camping Heaters at Altitude

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby Rangerat1 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:04 am

OK so I am fairly new to high altitude hiking, camping and such as I am originally from Michigan.

My wife and I are going to Grays and going to camp at the trail head and then hike up the next day. I am concerned about keeping warm and comfy through the night. I have read lots of things that the propane heaters either do not work or are unsafe at that altitude, trail head is 11,000. Have heard anything beyond 8000 is really not safe with them due to them getting confused and shutting off due to the low oxygen as well as them eating what little there is and you maybe dieing due to Carbon monoxide poisoning.

What can anyone tell me about this?

Any suggestions?
C. Thomas Eisele
Colorado Springs

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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby rijaca » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:06 am

Get a good sleeping bag and pad.
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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby Scott P » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:11 am

Get a good sleeping bag and pad.


+1
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby Theodore » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:12 am

and another +1. Seems like a complicated answer to a simple question.

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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby steelfrog » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:12 am

Take these things:

Sleeping bag (preferably down, about a 20 degree bag); sleeping pad

A long sleeve base layer--upper body. Capilene long johns for lower. Wool sleeping socks. knit gloves and hat. A micropuff down shell

This will prepare you for just about any conditions.

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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby djkest » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:14 am

Yep, what he said. If you are worried about being cold, it may also help to have a pair of warm, dry wool socks on your feet, and a nice warm fleece or wool skullcap on while you are tucked into your bag. Once you figure out if you are a "warm sleeper" or not, you can get the appropriate level of sleeping bag for your needs.

Do you have a vehicle you can sleep in? Usually that is warmer than a tent, and you can start the engine and run the heater if you get really cold.
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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby michaelgrundy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:08 am

Something that has helped me is that when I get in to my sleeping bag for the night, I wear as little as possible (just a t-shirt and my boxers). Usually i am comfortable until 3 or so in the morning, at which point I put on a layer and go back to sleep no problem. My wife used to get bundled up to go to sleep but would wake up in the middle of the night because she was cold and then didn't have anything else to put on, and now she does the same thing I do.

Just a little something that has helped me stay warm!

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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby schrund » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:29 am

In response to your question on heaters; yes, these reports are accurate. I remember when I learned this at the top of the old South Colony Lakes Road. We spent an hour fussing with the propane heater and couldn't figure out why it would not stay lit. Sure enough it was the altitude. The darned things just don't work at the typical TH altitudes here in CO. While I have not yet investigated these alternatives, alternative heater options may include kerosene or a gasoline generator and an electric heater. I am pretty sure the generator and elec. heater would work fine, not sure about the kerosene alternative.
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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby rijaca » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:35 am

schrund wrote:In response to your question on heaters; yes, these reports are accurate. I remember when I learned this at the top of the old South Colony Lakes Road. We spent an hour fussing with the propane heater and couldn't figure out why it would not stay lit. Sure enough it was the altitude. The darned things just don't work at the typical TH altitudes here in CO. While I have not yet investigated these alternatives, alternative heater options may include kerosene or a gasoline generator and an electric heater. I am pretty sure the generator and elec. heater would work fine, not sure about the kerosene alternative.


Whatever you do, don't use a propane heater in a tent unless you want to experience CO poisoning. I'm surprised an Industrial Hygienist would even try such a thing.

And running a generator at the TH would be noisy, and likely disturb the other campers.
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Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby TallGrass » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:42 am

Look at getting a silk bag liner for your sleeping bag and a thermarest or such to keep the ground from conducting away heat. Remember that the temp rating, e.g. +32F, is for survival not comfort and factor that in when considering what to buy/bring. Get all your gear ready to go the night before with your top on top so you can put it on first while your legs are still in the bag. Get moving/hiking as quickly as possible as that will warm you up the fastest. If the trail allows, consider eating as you hike the first part.
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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby Rangerat1 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:52 am

WOW thanks. I am thinking though that the Kifaru sawtooth and camp stove is the way I am gonna go. Just need to save the money to get it.

http://www.kifaru.net/sawtooth.html

There are some great videos on this and seems like the nicest option and is super small and lite and can be easily packed in any where!
C. Thomas Eisele
Colorado Springs

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Re: Camping Heaters at Altitude

Postby Scott P » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:59 am

I am thinking though that the Kifaru sawtooth and camp stove is the way I am gonna go.


Are fire bans still in effect?
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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