US Rocky Mountain Winter Weekender: Colorado Banana Belt

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Neal A. Tew

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Colorado camping in winter? Are you crazy, you ask? Perhaps, but the chosen camping area is in the "banana belt" of Colorado and usually warmer than most. Unless there is a storm just prior there shouldn't be much, if any, snow at our planned camping area. Some of the shaded trails could still be covered, however. This is a one nighter from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek, Canon City, Salida and more. See below for details.
 

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Neal A. Tew

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@trail_runn4r @Charles Drives Boris @NoCo4Rnr Thanks for your RSVP!

Everyone: All banana jokes aside, this does have the potential to still be a really cold night. That's not a huge deal with the proper gear, but remember the nights are probably a couple hours longer than the last time you went camping. That makes it tougher. With that in mind, I recommend you have some way to entertain yourself in case we retire early. I usually have a number of movies or TV episodes on my phone. I also have some 12V ways to heat food and water in the truck if it were to come to that. If you're bringing a buddy heater type device, have at least 2 full bottles. If you'll need a lighter in the morning to cook breakfast, keep it in your sleeping bag with you. They often don't work on cold mornings. Be sure to vent your sleeping area despite the cold. You will be warmer in the end due to lower humidity.

We should be okay for a campfire, but I don't expect much fire wood in the planned camping area. If you have the ability to bring some, it would probably be a good idea.

Plans are still a little fluid as I continue to check the status of these places. I've already made one change due to a closed gate and I need to check on another one. I'm assuming you're like me, however, and not so concerned about the exact route and destination. You just want to get out. These places aren't that great in the summer with all the other opportunities, but they are way better than sitting on the couch in winter.

One of my backup plans would be a trip to Bishop's Castle on Sunday. Does that interest anyone?
 
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Charles Drives Things

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Thanks Neal!
These are some really good tips and stuff I didnt really think about.

I'm pretty open to whatever we decide to do on Saturday, on Sunday though I'll want to get back home on the earlier side so I probably won't make a full day of trails. I'm not going to rush to get home on Sunday though if that makes sense?
 
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Neal A. Tew

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Thanks Neal!
These are some really good tips and stuff I didnt really think about.

I'm pretty open to whatever we decide to do on Saturday, on Sunday though I'll want to get back home on the earlier side so I probably won't make a full day of trails. I'm not going to rush to get home on Sunday though if that makes sense?
What time do you think you're looking to cut loose?

Have you invited Chang to come along?
 

NoCo4Rnr

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Good tips Neal, thanks!

Whatever we do will be a good time. I can bring some firewood and assume that if it’s fine to have a campfire there’s no need to bring my propane campfire.

On Sunday I’d say I’ll probably cut loose by 2 so I’m home around dark but depends on what kind of fun we find.
 
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Charles Drives Things

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Thanks Neal!
These are some really good tips and stuff I didnt really think about.

I'm pretty open to whatever we decide to do on Saturday, on Sunday though I'll want to get back home on the earlier side so I probably won't make a full day of trails. I'm not going to rush to get home on Sunday though if that makes sense?
What time do you think you're looking to cut loose?

Have you invited Chang to come along?
I'm thinking some time around mid-morning or Noon depending on whats going on. Don't plan/worry about me, I'll figure it out.
 
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Neal A. Tew

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I'm thinking some time around mid-morning or Noon depending on whats going on. Don't plan/worry about me, I'll figure it out.
But I do worry about you....A LOT!
 

trail_runn4r

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@trail_runn4r @Charles Drives Boris @NoCo4Rnr Thanks for your RSVP!

Everyone: All banana jokes aside, this does have the potential to still be a really cold night. That's not a huge deal with the proper gear, but remember the nights are probably a couple hours longer than the last time you went camping. That makes it tougher. With that in mind, I recommend you have some way to entertain yourself in case we retire early. I usually have a number of movies or TV episodes on my phone. I also have some 12V ways to heat food and water in the truck if it were to come to that. If you're bringing a buddy heater type device, have at least 2 full bottles. If you'll need a lighter in the morning to cook breakfast, keep it in your sleeping bag with you. They often don't work on cold mornings. Be sure to vent your sleeping area despite the cold. You will be warmer in the end due to lower humidity.

We should be okay for a campfire, but I don't expect much fire wood in the planned camping area. If you have the ability to bring some, it would probably be a good idea.

Plans are still a little fluid as I continue to check the status of these places. I've already made one change due to a closed gate and I need to check on another one. I'm assuming you're like me, however, and not so concerned about the exact route and destination. You just want to get out. These places aren't that great in the summer with all the other opportunities, but they are way better than sitting on the couch in winter.

One of my backup plans would be a trip to Bishop's Castle on Sunday. Does that interest anyone?
I was doing a bit of research myself. I need to get a winter sleeping bag, what' the rating of the bag you guys will bring?
I will bring some firewood as well!

Oh and regarding the route I'm fine with everything.
 
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Neal A. Tew

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@trail_runn4r @Charles Drives Boris @NoCo4Rnr Thanks for your RSVP!

Everyone: All banana jokes aside, this does have the potential to still be a really cold night. That's not a huge deal with the proper gear, but remember the nights are probably a couple hours longer than the last time you went camping. That makes it tougher. With that in mind, I recommend you have some way to entertain yourself in case we retire early. I usually have a number of movies or TV episodes on my phone. I also have some 12V ways to heat food and water in the truck if it were to come to that. If you're bringing a buddy heater type device, have at least 2 full bottles. If you'll need a lighter in the morning to cook breakfast, keep it in your sleeping bag with you. They often don't work on cold mornings. Be sure to vent your sleeping area despite the cold. You will be warmer in the end due to lower humidity.

We should be okay for a campfire, but I don't expect much fire wood in the planned camping area. If you have the ability to bring some, it would probably be a good idea.

Plans are still a little fluid as I continue to check the status of these places. I've already made one change due to a closed gate and I need to check on another one. I'm assuming you're like me, however, and not so concerned about the exact route and destination. You just want to get out. These places aren't that great in the summer with all the other opportunities, but they are way better than sitting on the couch in winter.

One of my backup plans would be a trip to Bishop's Castle on Sunday. Does that interest anyone?
I was doing a bit of research myself. I need to get a winter sleeping bag, what' the rating of the bag you guys will bring?
I will bring some firewood as well!

Oh and regarding the route I'm fine with everything.
I apologize, but I don't recall the ratings of my sleeping bags. I usually keep a couple so that I have a choice and that I can layer them. If I don't need the extra as a cover I'll use it as a cushion.
 

trail_runn4r

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I apologize, but I don't recall the ratings of my sleeping bags. I usually keep a couple so that I have a choice and that I can layer them. If I don't need the extra as a cover I'll use it as a cushion.
My current setup is a 0 degree bag, liner, wool blanket. It should be doable :D
 

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It's mainly the shelf road that concerns me....
Who has chains for their vehicle?
It also might not be a bad idea if we all had shovels and some gravel or sand onboard (if the material is not easily accessible from the side of the road) for each rig to throw down on any spots that become dangerous to navigate because of sheet ice.

I never want to experience this again :fearscream:
 

Neal A. Tew

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Who has chains for their vehicle?
It also might not be a bad idea if we all had shovels and some gravel or sand onboard (if the material is not easily accessible from the side of the road) for each rig to throw down on any spots that become dangerous to navigate because of sheet ice.
Great advice!
 
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trail_runn4r

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Who has chains for their vehicle?
It also might not be a bad idea if we all had shovels and some gravel or sand onboard (if the material is not easily accessible from the side of the road) for each rig to throw down on any spots that become dangerous to navigate because of sheet ice.

I never want to experience this again :fearscream:
I don’t have chains (yet) but I will bring recovery boards and a shovel.
Other than gravel or sand, I heard cat litter is quite effective
 
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