As these things come and go, the list of "things I learned" gets shorter, but still there's always something...
At the 08 trip, we did go to the trouble of going to the redneck range, but not on any WCT's since. It tends to be a real pain in the ass, you've got deep snow which complicates setting targets, you have noplace clean and dry on the ground to set things down, you possibly have no feeling in your trigger finger
A shoot-centric Chapter 007 trip during warmer times would be a nice thing. It's been a while since we've done a "SCT" just for the sake of a warm-weather camping trip, without a hike or paddle involved.
For those interested in winter camping in deep cold with a hammock, hammock socks seem to be a WIN. SirSharpe doesn't need a hammock sock because his Clark comes with zip-up panels which work the same way.... cool. The general consensus between NFA and myself is that the sock is best used to augment an UQ, although getting a sock with extra layers of IX installed can allow you to use it without an UQ in milder temps. The wonderful thing about a sock is that you get an airspace which is much warmer than outside. It's easier on you to breathe, your hands are often warm enough outside the sleeping bag to do things like texting home or posting to Facebook from the cellphone. Also the sock provides some extra protection from falling snow, which doesn't hurt. Makes winter camping with a tiny HH tarp a GOOD idea.
Although the first night at about zero degrees was respectably cold, the second night wasn't... don't think it got too far below freezing. This actually posed a unique challenge because of all the snow we got. When it started falling I was just wearing snow pants and a single layer of polypro on my legs... fine during the day but when the snow was falling I was losing too much heat through my legs, which melted the snow... and unlike my Gore-tex parka the snow pants are NOT waterproof. My legs soaked through as well as the wool gloves I had been wearing, honestly before I headed across the pond to the remote camp I got colder than I got on "the night of minus 36" a few weeks ago. Lesson learned, for next year I'll have waterproof gear to cover legs and hands
. I might get the Gore-tex pants they sell along with my parka, or as a minimum standard a breathable, oversize rain pant like Frog Toggs. I reckon Gore-tex gloves don't need to be super-heavy or warm... if I need super-warm gloves there's no water to deal with, just snow and cold.
Carol's chili... awesome. Carol also has a badass shovel which many of us were lucky to borrow. Thanks Carol!
My Brunton butane stove was unreliable on the cold night, second time it has failed me on that. Have to do more testing with "4-season" fuel and see if it's any better (seems the Coleman fuel they sell at Wal-mart is not great for the cold). At least I had my alcohol stove with me, reliable as usual although sideburners are a little tricky to use sometimes in the deep cold (setting a cold pot on a sideburner can "suck out" all the heat it needs to pressurize the stove). Anyways, "yay" to backup plans!
“What do you say we gather the camp elders; Be perplexed amongst friends?” – Al Swearengen (Deadwood)