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Golf1echo
01-23-2012, 09:02
Working on a new project and looking for insights into extreme weather sleeping and shelter. Below is an image of the environment. Temperature range 20f.....-60f, elevation 2000'-20,000'

Pete
01-23-2012, 09:52
You wanting to "make do" of live in comfort?

125 lbs of lightweight gear is still 125 lbs.

Good stove would be first on my list then lots of high calorie foods to make sure the interior furnace is well stocked prior to turning in.

That's Arctic type weather at the extreme edge. I'd check with some blogs, forums and such related to Mountain/Arctic expeditions on what they use.

CW3SF
01-23-2012, 10:01
BBRRRR! That makes me cold just looking at your pic.:D


Ditto what Pete said.

Golf1echo
01-23-2012, 12:11
You wanting to "make do" of live in comfort?

125 lbs of lightweight gear is still 125 lbs.

Good stove would be first on my list then lots of high calorie foods to make sure the interior furnace is well stocked prior to turning in.

That's Arctic type weather at the extreme edge. I'd check with some blogs, forums and such related to Mountain/Arctic expeditions on what they use.
Excellent points! We are developing pieces to support an Army teams effort to summit MT Mckinley ( Denali).

Added: That interior furnace has everything to do with what we are trying to do for them, it is the engine that drives our shelter system. It is what pushes the moisture out and away from the interior layers and the body, it is what heats the interior and drys the wet and frozen gear over night. What we are trying to do is find the right balance of how to retain that heat and control it as well as the moisture and the condensation. One way we look at it is like an onion and how do you make the gear you already have work best with the layers of the onion, how do you make the layers work best together and how does that integrate into the environment......... and find the right balance between weight and durability?

Golf1echo
01-30-2012, 11:11
I thought this article has some good points and seems to convey many of the things learned over the years.
http://chrisechterling.com/blog/2009/09/18/cold-weather-sleep-system/

We are creating several zones of separated air space and looking to newer lighter materials to make up the construction. As each layer is employed it works together with the others to make up every increasing protection. We integrate both passive an active energies that enhance the physical construction if necessary. Weight precludes us from adding excess materials or extravagant detail so we work with voids ( air spaces ) and material performance.

As with many things this becomes as much about skill sets as equipment. Things like avalanches, crevasses, slopes, weather, hypoxia, hypothermia, etc...play critical rolls in surviving the environment. In talking with different mountaineers there is of course the old school vs the new school perspectives.

Basic information about the mountain.http://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=271

Ret10Echo
01-30-2012, 11:34
It was not uncommon for Natick Labs to show up with various pieces of cold weather gear. Where some items were useful a majority of those items attempted to utilize the air and vapor barriers for increased warmth. Those attempts tended to create items that were not manageable because of their sheer size and limitation on compression (damaging loft and therefore the efficiency of the item). Providing a sleeping bag that would keep someone warm at -65 (ambient air temp) wasn't much help if you needed a wheelbarrow to carry it in just out of size. Likewise there were some boots offered that looked much like something Gene Simmons would wear onstage. Not the most practical.

Check out Natick labs...

Golf1echo
01-31-2012, 10:03
Great advice, I have been a lurker for years on their sites. Once in a while I contact them about something specific but last week I spoke to both the Director of Shelters and the SOCOM Group there, am currently putting together presentations. Years ago I developed a testing program I call our MIST Program and have been able to place equipment in all of the SO Branches, I wish I had the frequent flyer miles our gear has. My philosophy is in order to develop relevant equipment for current use the end users better have a hand in its development. Hope they are interested to see their soldiers already putting our gear to good use.

Yesterday we received new thermal reflective material for use in our G1 Cold Weather Liners, performance went way beyond what I was expecting, now to quantify that warmth...

MtnGoat
01-31-2012, 14:50
Excellent points! We are developing pieces to support an Army teams effort to summit MT Mckinley ( Denali).

Added: That interior furnace has everything to do with what we are trying to do for them, it is the engine that drives our shelter system. It is what pushes the moisture out and away from the interior layers and the body, it is what heats the interior and drys the wet and frozen gear over night. What we are trying to do is find the right balance of how to retain that heat and control it as well as the moisture and the condensation. One way we look at it is like an onion and how do you make the gear you already have work best with the layers of the onion, how do you make the layers work best together and how does that integrate into the environment......... and find the right balance between weight and durability?

I climbed, West Buttress route, Denali back in 1992 at the winter warfare school, assualt climber leaders course. We use all the basic issued Army cold WX gear from the Late 80's to early 90's. GORTEX was just coming out. That was the newset thing we had. Old Down Sleeping bags, ETC

We never summited because we had weather roll in, stopped at 18,100+. We lived in a snow cave for 33 hrs.

Ambush Master
01-31-2012, 21:17
Check out Kifaru!!

Golf1echo
02-01-2012, 08:56
I climbed, West Buttress route, Denali back in 1992 at the winter warfare school, assualt climber leaders course. We use all the basic issued Army cold WX gear from the Late 80's to early 90's. GORTEX was just coming out. That was the newset thing we had. Old Down Sleeping bags, ETC

We never summited because we had weather roll in, stopped at 18,100+. We lived in a snow cave for 33 hrs.

Same mountain, same group ( senior mountain instructors), just a few years later. From what I am told it gets steep after 17,000'. I'll bet that's a great memory. I thought I was the only one without Goretex during Winter Training back in the late 80's. I would be interested in anything you might think applies, and will trade cold beer for same.

Ambush Master....I want to be careful with my reply to someone named that.
I completely respect brand loyalty ! We like it when our equipment speaks for it's self, since that can't always happen I will say this: The difference between theirs and ours is evolution, years of fielding our equipment in the field with soldiers, listening to them and incorporating those inputs....that is critical to what we do. By nature our G1 Liners are warmer, lighter and more compressible, the same with our G1 Cold Weather Liners compared to theirs. I am unaware of anything that is the equivalent of our new G1 Thermal Liners. Our liners can work with our hard shells enabling users to configure hundreds of different shelters, hammocks and other. Did I mention they cost less? Maybe the best way to put it is that if someone gets one and doesn't think so they can return it ( if serviceable ) and get their money back. There is one problem....if your wife girlfriend or daughter get a hold of a liner, it's gone.

Razor
02-02-2012, 10:26
The difference between theirs and ours is evolution, years of fielding our equipment in the field with soldiers, listening to them and incorporating those inputs....that is critical to what we do.

Mountainsmith was founded in 1979, and Patrick had years of hard use outdoor gear experience before starting the company. My simple math skills tell me therefore that the core of Kifaru's leadership and design team has well over 33 years of experience in the industry. I can also personally verify that they actively solicit and incorporate end user input on their products, including AD SF & SOF guys, along with big game hunters humping heavy loads in the backcountry and living in miserable weather.

Sometimes the characteristics we believe set us apart do just that, but not in the way we think.

Golf1echo
02-02-2012, 12:25
Roger That. I have a Mt Smith fanny pack that is a great piece of gear and still use it regularly. I understand Kifaru makes great equipment. Perhaps I miss communicated my message?

I do know our liners are very efficient and will think carefully about the last part of your comment!
Thank you.

Edit: Those are the same folks we get our feed back from as well as others.

HOLLiS
02-02-2012, 12:35
A good book, Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills There are a number of snow shelters that provide very good protection from the cold. In a igloo, it can be -48F outside and wind blowing hard and inside it is mid 30's and quite. Until the sun goes down it is pretty bright in side. Snow is a really great media. IMHO snow country is much more easy to survive than in 40's wet/damp environment.

As it was mentioned fuel to make water and hot chow is a necessity. The secret is to keep your body hydrated and your skin dry. In constant subzero temp, Vapor barrier liners really help. A 8 pound sleeping bag, can gain in weight with the condensation of body moister freezing in the insulation.

Personally, I like the alpine environment, it is quiet, no bugs, no mud and very very few people.

This is our kitchen at Kerr Notch Crater lake mid January. The sled/poke is a Mountainsmith. Makes carrying weight much easier and much easier to ski with it.

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k226/Hollis6475/KerrNotchCreaterlake0001.jpg

Golf1echo
04-02-2012, 15:15
I agree about the alpine environment, it beats 33f and rain in my opinion too. I would be curious about how much weight you have in your sled? One mountaineer I spoke with gave me figures of 75lbs in the sled and 75lbs on his back, I saw in another thread here on PS about the woman who crossed the Antarctica had 187lbs in her sled. That brings up why we were contacted in the first place, an inquiry about weight reduction and whether or not there might be a better way of doing things.

One model I like is the "5 mechanisms of heat loss".
1) Conduction, warmth being lost due to contact. Warmth transmitted through materials into a colder object you are in contact with.
2) Convection, air movement causing warmth to be pulled away from you as it moves around you ( wind, air movement due to the environment ie. up/down valley flows, on/off shore air movements, etc...).
3) Radiation, warm air radiating up and away from you into space.
4) Perspiration, sweating ( over heating or natural cooling). Moist air conducts more rapidly than dry air enabling greater heat loss reducing efficiency of insulation and other materials.
5) Respiration, warmth leaving via breath. This can also reduce efficiency of insulation and other materials if not properly vented, typically.

Without arguing about the viability of modern equipment like sleeping bags and tents, perhaps there are better ways of doing things? Perhaps weight can be reduced by looking at the problems in new ways? Nor would I try to argue old school vs new school or that equipment can substitute for skill sets. Simply looking at how modern materials and new design can improve on the weaknesses of existing gear.

One thing mentioned above is that a snow cave ( and a well built shelter ) work very well at protecting people from very cold exterior conditions. This is done by the efficient insulation the snow provides and controlled ventilation both of which essentially create a separated air layer just as a parka and jacket do. So creating those separated air layers are very important and using gear you already have can help reduce weight. The sleeping bag has a few weaknesses, like compression of insulation on the bottom and if down , moisture degrades it's insulating capabilities over time. Another problem can be overheating, a modular system can help extend the functional temperature ranges of a system, like the modular 3 piece military sleeping bag (2) and Gore- Tex bivy (1).

Looking at these issues with an eye to reducing weight and improve efficiencies we are trying to simplify the pieces, improve the material efficiencies, incorporate and combine with existing gear, make the pieces modular and maximize design efficiencies. Recently we were invited to a military cold weather and mountaineering symposium where we got to kick around the pieces we are working on in a real world environment and get some good one on one with end users. The results are encouraging as weights were reduced, materials and design has mitigated some of the traditional problems. Plus it was great to spend time with some of you and other military mountaineers!! :)

Posted are some images and please PM me with any questions. My hopes are that this thread facilitates a discussion about insights into experience and needs so it might be useful to our soldiers. Thanks Group One Equipment...

Dark Matter
04-02-2012, 22:41
I successfully guided Denali in 2008, so might be able to offer insight to some specific questions. Eg. the steepest part of the route is actually the fixed lines above 14 camp up to about 16.5. The ridge above Denali Pass can be steep in places, and certainly exposed, but my personal opinion is that the most technical part of the route is between 14 and 17, while the most dangerous parts are Windy Corner and the Lower Kahiltna.

PM with specific questions...

Golf1echo
04-06-2012, 06:52
Dark Matter, that sounds like an interesting gig.
A couple of things that other cultures prioritize for cold weather sustainability have always caught my eye. The Finns enjoy the benefits of sauna and usually deploy with sauna tents in the cold, even ran across one used for their horses during WWII, which answers some of the mobility questions about how they were able to operate so well against the Russians for extended periods of extreme cold. Doing a search you will find some of the light weight sauna tents one of which claims to take the record for the highest ( in elevation ) sauna ever used. Other cultures also understand the value of Hot Tubs to Winter health. Both methods rid the users of built up toxins as they sweat and increased oxygen absorption due to dilated red blood vessels, not to mention the mental and physical benefits of rewarming and staying clean in extreme cold weather...

Golf1echo
04-14-2012, 08:08
Other sustaining strategies for extreme cold weather shelter can be both passive and active. If you are a skier you are familiar with some of the ways people warm themselves. Great examples are found at the top or sun decks of the slopes. The idea is to take a little time and get out of the wind and into the sun, even a small wall or area will work great for this, a bit like a battery recharge. Coupled with what Pete mentioned, eating some good food like bread, cheese and sausage and you have done much to empower yourself for more cold.

An active strategy commonly employed is the warming hut. There are many examples from traditional to very new that have been used. Even something simple can suffice for the envelope and communal use is more efficient than several individual warming areas. They can be spread along a route so that movement can be facilitated like many cross country ski areas use. I realize this is obvious but wanted to show the rich vocabulary.
The link begins with some radical designs but you will see some eloquent traditional designs too .
http://www.google.com/search?q=warming+huts&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=aV9&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=8V6HT8qLN4GH8AGJxZWbCA&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CCAQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=622

Golf1echo
07-12-2012, 11:08
Here are some images of our system up on the mountain. The G1 Thermal Liner and G1 Ground pad allow for much more room to sleep in, room for gear when used as a stand alone shelter and function flexibility over a bag design. Weights are comparable to a down bag and the insulation and design handles moisture better than many synthetic bags. The modular nature enables users to be protected in a wider spectrum of conditions. The system is designed to incorporate a variety of equipment the user already has for flexibility and weight reduction.

Razor
07-12-2012, 20:52
Is it based on a quilt/pad concept?

Golf1echo
07-13-2012, 01:56
Is it based on a quilt/pad concept?

Basically it turned out that way.

Took another look at the concept of basic shelter and sleeping situations.
Wanted to apply modern performance based materials.
Weight considerations dictated Light weight materials and trying to capture the essence in a simple but functional solution.
Integrate active and passive energies.

Attached is an early concept drawing, an image of the liner, ground pad showing the different parts, several different systems in testing, and a good image of the insulation performance compliments of the US Navy.

The G1 Thermal Liner has layered synthetic insulation and breathable thermal reflecting material. The liner is useful from 30f- -30f by itself and additional layers of insulation can be added for colder temps.

The G1 Ground Pad is designed to mitigate ground conduction, heat loss from convection, the loss of insulation efficiency due to being compressed beneath the user,etc... It uses layered synthetic insulation and solid thermal reflective material. It is built with a waterproof tub bottom, different types of sleeping pads can be added and secured into the piece. We learned that the non-inflatable pads were the way to go in extreme cold weather because of moisture freeze up.

The Reaper
07-13-2012, 18:34
I can attest to the sturdiness and durability of the products G1E makes.

I owe some pics, will try to get them up in the near future.

Haven't seen the ground pad, though. Nice concept.

TR

Golf1echo
07-17-2012, 04:37
TR I appreciate that and hope items have been functional. The book" Lighten up" by Don Ladigin was given to me by one of the instructors. It is an easy read and used to convey some of the ideas about Light and Ultra Light backpacking. I was pleased to find the weights of our pieces fall in line and it was interesting to understand more about that kind of hiking. I also had some nice discussions with AT hikers at NOC.http://www.noc.com

Another use for the system is as an Evac Bag, not sure how many remember the old bag with the fur around the collar but that was quite a piece and weighed over ten pounds, this works better at less than half the weight while giving Med Personnel great access, even in cold temps. One or both pieces are useful in "Speed Ball" resupplies or "BOBs" for cold regions and they work pretty well in a cool FOB, expedient shelter, trench or litter. The orange we use can makes those pieces panel markers but coyote brown, green, white and grey are also available.

Razor
07-17-2012, 22:19
Skurka talks about his preference for quilt/pad systems in his "Ultimate Hiker" book, based on the balance of performance, weight and range. Sounds like the G1 has similar advantages. Nice job!

Golf1echo
07-18-2012, 19:20
Skurka talks about his preference for quilt/pad systems in his "Ultimate Hiker" book, based on the balance of performance, weight and range. Sounds like the G1 has similar advantages. Nice job!

Great resource, I ordered the book as it looks even more in depth covering some aspects with more detail, his site is interesting too. http://andrewskurka.com/

Golf1echo
04-10-2017, 21:36
Any thoughts about -45f to -65f mission sets?
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=302a2b23667b662465747b74b15f3d5e

Brush Okie
04-10-2017, 22:35
Any thoughts about -45f to -65f mission sets?
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=302a2b23667b662465747b74b15f3d5e

Yea, stay in a Holiday inn.

abc_123
04-10-2017, 22:54
Yea, stay in a Holiday inn.

Ok I'm going to have to +1 that comment. :lifter

Golf1echo
04-11-2017, 09:37
Fairbanks is the closest one and much more affordable, I did sleep much better over at Black Rapids although it was a balmy -30f.
Others did take pieces above the Arctic Circle on a joint US/ Canadian exercise where temps dipped down to -72f...but you better be sheltered up or in a space suit with heaters.
When you think about it those conditions potentially dish out some big temperature swings all in the deadly range. I did find it insightful to visit the museum at the University of Alaska https://www.uaf.edu/museum/ and see how the indigenous peoples survived in those environments. Carabou hides, seal stomachs, snow blocks, blubber oil heaters, using the stratified heat inside their shelters ie. sleeping in lofts.

Pete
04-11-2017, 09:48
Was rattling around the internet one day a while back and got in the neighborhood of the Raid on Telemark.

One of the clips was on a modern recreation of the route. Most had modern gear but some had the WW II rations and gear. Pretty primitive but it got the job done.

Golf1echo
04-15-2017, 08:56
Pete, I can still see that guy's expression as he emerged in the morning, I think he was being a good sport although some of those old bags were toasty if they were dry. Attached are two of the 10th mt div. tents from WWII. Edit: Shown is the white side of the reversible Army Mountain Tent http://quanonline.com/military/military_reference/american/wwii_equipment/1944tent.php

There used to be a company called Bibler who made some tents for the US Military, Black Diamond bought the company. I find it interesting, I used to have to walk through their show room to get to the offices I worked in above them, maybe a seed was planted?

Then there were the US ECWS tents supposedly designed by NATICK and built by North Face ( now Vanity Fair ) and looks like later Eureka built some or a version of them. They looked to be great tents, I understood they came with a snow shell and a woodland shell...not sure if any are still floating around in inventory, I know several folks that ended up with the ( shells/flies ). Not sure why it didn't occur to insulate them for extreme cold weather use? They claim to be geodesic domes which Buck Minister Fuller designed ( very stable and strong structure )...they were close. I would love to get my hands on one but not at $2,000.00- $3,000.00 as they are seen on e(harbor).

The Marines have a new cold weather tent, not sure if it's still in prototype phase but god help them if it's similar to the tent that looks similar and had a supposed rapid star shaped pole system, I did get my hands on one once and returned it immediately as it was non functioning.

I see the Inuit used caribou hides or snow to build insulated shelters for Winter. They used tunnel entrances oriented lower than the shelter and often had separated entrance foyers.

When we started out we made the G1 ISSUE System which was a multi-functional platform that could be insulated in different ways however end users wanted a much smaller and lighter solution so we focused on that. It is still a good solution for many situations.

Probably not to surprising the lead on the announcement has yet to get back to us :rolleyes:

DaveP
04-16-2017, 06:14
G1E, the idea of an integrated insulation pad, bag, and reflective/vapor barrier reminds me of the old Warmlite/Stephenson triple, which I'm sure you've come across (maybe even used?); although reliant on materials not esp appropriate to this mission set, the concept and attempt to use offset baffling to minimize loft shift or compression and cold spots seems sound.

Once you introduce the wx extremes of those temp ranges, wind resistance, and maybe snowfall weight for picking a tent system, all hell breaks loose in terms of pack weight to usable volume, venting/condensation mgmt., guying vs self-tensioning. I don't envy you the challenge of design!

As a warm sleeper, I've done well with a -20F (ratings always taken with a large grain of salt, being dependent on pad choice and user metabolism, I think) synth bag and rip-stop/g-tex bivy bag, with a light-wt tarp for heavy rain/snow when needed and when really in bad winter wx, tarping over a slit trench. Able to stay drier than digging a full cave or quinzee. Short-term use only, and the caveat that I hate winter camping...

Does your bag system have the option of mating (zips or hook/loop) two together? It seems you'd maybe lose insulation along the edge to be joined, for the utility of shared warmth (aka 'trying not to freeze to death').

http://warmlite.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/bag-Info.jpg

DaveP

Golf1echo
04-16-2017, 23:12
Thanks for posting, I hadn’t seen that before. Maybe I missed it but any idea what it weighs? There are some similarities with our system however we never intended to make another sleeping bag.

From an overview perspective we are trying to give end users pieces they can use in their shelter kit to build many different protections for different environments. Our system is modular so you can add insulation and or waterproof shells, pieces are multi-functional…they might get used for things besides shelter, and integrating end users existing kit is another strategy to help save weight. We see pieces used to augment or replace the gear soldiers are using already with some being used in the environment the RFI refers to.

I like that that company has been around since 1968, that’s a long time for a smaller company, inspiring really.

Edit: You need to get out here to the " Smoky Valley Ski School" (Camp Hale) in Winter if you haven't...it's part of your legacy. You might enjoy this series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQcv-mbq5Mw