US Rocky Mountain Winter Weekender: Colorado Banana Belt

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trail_runn4r

US Rocky Mtn. Member Rep. CO Front Range North
Member

Member II

1,753
Denver, CO, USA
First Name
Carlo
Last Name
Donzelli
Member #

16845

It's the Cabela's parking lot, 39.521782, -104.871869, exit 192 of I-25.
 

Boort

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,522
Colorado
Member #

9314

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?
@trail_runn4r
Not sure what you are sleeping in currently, but some general advice before picking up a winter bag.
  1. The Degrees value on your bag is what you may survive in NOT what you'll be comfortable in.
  2. Get an Insulated sleeping pad R value of 6+ recommended. Remember your sleeping bag's insulation goes flat when you are laying on it killing it's warmth.
  3. You can double up for more warmth. If you have 2 bags say a 30 degree mummy bag and an old comforter put the bag inside the comforter.
  4. Make a bag shield from Silver mylar bubble wrap insulation. basically this is an overwrap of 1/4" radient insulation that traps heat in. Cut roll to length and tape together with high quality duct/packing tape. be sure to over tape the foot well. We made these for Snow cave campouts in the boyscouts. I recommend also picking up a fleece bag liner as the liner is easier to wash than most bags if you get too hot.
  5. Eat some carbs + protein just before bed
  6. New clothes before bed. Don't sleep in what you've been wearing it will likely be damp for the day's activities and will chill you more than fresh dry clothes.
  7. Put new clothes in the bottom of your bag to pre-warm them for morning.
  8. Be careful with hand/foot warmers they can lead to burms. Don't take them fully out of their packaging (air activated ones) and if you sleep with them put them in a sock or glove.
  9. Wear a nightcap.
If you do go for a winter weight bag. Check out BigAgnes (out of Steamboat Co), Wiggys (made in Grand Junction, CO), or outdoorvitals.com (more backpacking focused but makes high quality bags.)

Boort
 

scrambledadventure

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,479
Pueblo, CO
First Name
Scott
Last Name
King
Member #

15117

Would Love to come but its the sister in-laws b-day... We did Phantom Canyon (same area as Shelf Road, for those that don't know) on New Years Eve in our Crosstrek and it was snowy but not deep, maybe 3" in places. Sounds like a fun trip. I will keep an eye out for the next one. Have fun!
 

trail_runn4r

US Rocky Mtn. Member Rep. CO Front Range North
Member

Member II

1,753
Denver, CO, USA
First Name
Carlo
Last Name
Donzelli
Member #

16845

@trail_runn4r
Not sure what you are sleeping in currently, but some general advice before picking up a winter bag.
  1. The Degrees value on your bag is what you may survive in NOT what you'll be comfortable in.
  2. Get an Insulated sleeping pad R value of 6+ recommended. Remember your sleeping bag's insulation goes flat when you are laying on it killing it's warmth.
  3. You can double up for more warmth. If you have 2 bags say a 30 degree mummy bag and an old comforter put the bag inside the comforter.
  4. Make a bag shield from Silver mylar bubble wrap insulation. basically this is an overwrap of 1/4" radient insulation that traps heat in. Cut roll to length and tape together with high quality duct/packing tape. be sure to over tape the foot well. We made these for Snow cave campouts in the boyscouts. I recommend also picking up a fleece bag liner as the liner is easier to wash than most bags if you get too hot.
  5. Eat some carbs + protein just before bed
  6. New clothes before bed. Don't sleep in what you've been wearing it will likely be damp for the day's activities and will chill you more than fresh dry clothes.
  7. Put new clothes in the bottom of your bag to pre-warm them for morning.
  8. Be careful with hand/foot warmers they can lead to burms. Don't take them fully out of their packaging (air activated ones) and if you sleep with them put them in a sock or glove.
  9. Wear a nightcap.
If you do go for a winter weight bag. Check out BigAgnes (out of Steamboat Co), Wiggys (made in Grand Junction, CO), or outdoorvitals.com (more backpacking focused but makes high quality bags.)

Boort
Thanks, all great advices.

I will be sleeping on the back of the 4Runner, so I will have already some insulation from the ground already.
Then I will be using a Therm-a-Rest reflective pad, a self inflating foam mattress, and a 0 degree bag with a fleece liner, with an optional wool blanket. Oh and also I'm bringing a hot water bottle.
 
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tim.lemons

Rank I
Member

Contributor I

233
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
First Name
Tim
Last Name
Lemons
Member #

23312

@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'm bringing my propane fire pit.
 

Neal A. Tew

US Rocky Mountain Regional Director
Mod Team
Member

Influencer I

3,107
Pueblo West, CO
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Neal
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Tew
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12384

Ham Callsign
N1TEW
I'm thinking about trying this Loop for the first time. There's supposed to be a really good campsite on it. We may try that depending on the time of day we're there.

 
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trail_runn4r

US Rocky Mtn. Member Rep. CO Front Range North
Member

Member II

1,753
Denver, CO, USA
First Name
Carlo
Last Name
Donzelli
Member #

16845

I'm thinking about trying this Loop for the first time. There's supposed to be a really good campsite on it. We may try that depending on the time of day we're there.

That looks good and with some great views.
 
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JDGreens

Rank V
Member

Influencer II

2,846
Englewood Co.
Member #

8112

Hey, just wanted to touch base with you guys and thank everyone for such a great experience out there yesterday. The Shelf road was beautiful and the technical sections were a blast ( got to put my rig to the test) and the hike couldn't have come a a better time as my wife was ready for a break from all the bouncing around.
Hope we can get together again soon! Again thanks!!!!
 

trail_runn4r

US Rocky Mtn. Member Rep. CO Front Range North
Member

Member II

1,753
Denver, CO, USA
First Name
Carlo
Last Name
Donzelli
Member #

16845

Hey, just wanted to touch base with you guys and thank everyone for such a great experience out there yesterday. The Shelf road was beautiful and the technical sections were a blast ( got to put my rig to the test) and the hike couldn't have come a a better time as my wife was ready for a break from all the bouncing around.
Hope we can get together again soon! Again thanks!!!!
Glad you were able to join!
I had fun too and the trails were awesome, thanks for planning this @Neal A. Tew
 
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Neal A. Tew

US Rocky Mountain Regional Director
Mod Team
Member

Influencer I

3,107
Pueblo West, CO
First Name
Neal
Last Name
Tew
Member #

12384

Ham Callsign
N1TEW
Would Love to come but its the sister in-laws b-day... We did Phantom Canyon (same area as Shelf Road, for those that don't know) on New Years Eve in our Crosstrek and it was snowy but not deep, maybe 3" in places. Sounds like a fun trip. I will keep an eye out for the next one. Have fun!
Hope to meet you soon!