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Thread: What's the difference? (winter vs. summer survival gear)

  1. #1
    StewartB
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    What's the difference? (winter vs. summer survival gear)

    Between your summer and winter survival gear. Please qualify your location. I'm primarily concerned with the north, but I'm interested in all answers.

    My own answer? A -20* down sleeping bag compressed in a waterproof compression sack. (4#) A Hilleberg 2-man self-supporting tent with extra stakes and a matching footprint. (7#) A Gore-Tex bivy bag. (2#) My trusty ammo box preheater with an MSR XGK Expedition stove and two 22 oz bottles of white gas. (Probably 6-7#) I wished I had them all this past weekend. I also add snowshoes. I have an older set of Tubbs shoes that are light and good walkers. This year I'll add collapsible trekking poles, too. I always keep a compact avalanche shovel in the plane in winter. And ice screws, rope, and a packable come-along winch.

    I found a source for the Coleman Survival Cat and bought three last year. I haven't used one yet. I think I'll test one once the temps drop. I have a Fluke meter with temp function. That test will be interesting.

    I still carry my standard summer pack with a couple of space bags, knife, pot, sewing stuff, food, water, cord, baling wire, etc.

    What do you guys ADD for winter use?

    Stewart

  2. #2
    AntiCub's Avatar
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    I add the following:
    -40 Wiggy's sleeping bag
    small pair of snowshoes
    Heavy mittens (can't fly with them on)

    I remove the mosquito repellent and head net.

    Phil

  3. #3
    M1's Avatar
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    BC Coast Mountains

    Down jacket with hood
    wool long underwear
    snow boots
    wool shirt
    wool hat
    windproof pants
    wing, tail, engine, prop and spinner covers

    In addition to the items already mentioned. I go flying equipped to spend the night out and adjust what I take depending on the season, route and destination.

    M1

  4. #4

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    Steward

    I assume you also have a saw or ax in your war bag.

    Cub_Driver

  5. #5
    68Papa's Avatar
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    Stewart,

    My winter gear isn't too different than yours. My sleeping bag is an old North Face -40* bag. No come-along winch. I also carry my engine cover and wing covers. I put my wing covers in compression sacks, but not my engine cover. In the last 20 years, I've ruined several top of the line -40* sleeping bags because during the summer and fall season, (ex hunting & fishing guide) I would keep them in compression sacks. Although I knew the compression sack would destroy the loft, we needed to do so to conserve as much space as possible. When I completely destroy this North Face, I will replace it with a Wiggy's. You can compress them 365 days a year - no worries. I'm wondering if compressing an engine cover would also destroy the insulation qualities. I assume so, that's why I don't compress it.

    I also found a source late last winter for the Coleman Survival Cat. It took a little time to find them and when I did find them, they only had four left and I bought only one. A couple of weeks later, I was wishing I had bought two and when I returned to the site, they were sold out. If you want to sell one or if you know where to get another one, PM me.

    R.D.

  6. #6
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Collapsible water jug--what you need far more than food in cold temps is water....melt snow works okay, but you need somewhere to keep it.

    Therma-Rest pad---essential to keep you off the ground, and insulate.

    Light of some kind, preferably three. Easy to forget in Alaska summers that you might need a flashlight--the new LED lights are great.

    I also carry a couple of "Heater Meals". A quick warm up. Cycle them occassionally as lunch enroute.

    Fire starters, though you probably carry them all year, and you should--I like the blast match.

    MTV

  7. #7

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    Can you leave a Cat heater operating in a completly closed up tent and if so ,how come you don't get gassed.

  8. #8
    StewartB
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    The cat heater is for the plane, not the pilot.

    RD, I've never been a Wiggy fan. How small can you compress that -40 bag and how much does it weigh?

    Cub-Driver, Yes on the axe. I've never been a saw user, even on snow-gos. I prefer an axe. Besides, there are times you need to beat on things. A saw isn't any good for that. My axe rides in my year-round pack.

    M1, It's interesting how you listed clothing. I always wear clothes appropriate to spend time in the weather I'm flying in. I may slip a jacket off but it'll be on my seat back ready to wear quickly. Boots are problematic for me. I hate bunny boots and generally don't prefer to fly in big, heavy boots. I wear insulated/GoreTex hiking boots to fly and carry my White's pac boots in the baggage.

    SB

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    jr.hammack's Avatar
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    stewart,
    would suggest testing your tubbs snow shoes,i bought a set of 9 1/2'' x32'' modern northern lites several years ago,really didn't get to use them in real conditions till last year,they were sinking 6'' to 12'',my neighboor dennis blankenbaker had old 58'' wooden shoes,he was on top and no problems,i found a set of 58'' to use when on ski's.
    went the same route as you and had a -20 bag,test yours before you really need it,used mine in n.m.,got cold,now i carry a ground pad and a wiggies -60 dual system,they'll keep ya warm even if they are wet,agree their a little more bulk,but if your life depends on your equipment,get the best.

    IMHO

    jr.

  11. #11
    StewartB
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    jr,

    Believe it or not I actually enjoy snowshoeing and do it often. My Tubbs shoes are 10x36 and work great, but were de-throned when Kim bought me some Atlas 12x35 shoes. I prefer the Atlas bindings. The only time I've needed snowshoes in an emergency was to un-stick my Cessna that was sunk in overflow. In that case I'll take synthetic shoes hands down. Being able to clear the shoes easily of frozen slush was a lifesaver.

    My down bag and GoreTex bivy combo is hard to beat. I'm not concerned about it at all. I can compress the bag to the size of a coffee can but prefer to leave it a little looser. What is the size and weight of a compressed Wiggy's? I'm really curious. I know lots of people like Wiggy's but I don't know a single mountain climber or Iron Dog racer who uses one, and those are the guys I watch for lightweight, effective gear choices. And the warm while wet thing doesn't really apply when we're discussing -20 and -40* bags, does it?

    Stewart

  12. #12
    68Papa's Avatar
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    Stewart,

    The North Face -40* bag I can get compressed down to something slightly bigger than a basketball. It probably weighs 3 - 4 lbs. But I seriously doubt it is any good to -40 any more. A couple of years ago, I bought a Wiggy 20* bag for sheep hunting. It's held up good and works well in those temperatures. I love -40* sleeping bags! I have owned several North Face and until I bought the Wiggy 20* bag, I used -40* bags year round. I will also tell you that I am a compression sack freak. I own more compression sacks then any one that I know and I use them for everything. In my former life, I ran 7 day float trips in Western Alaska. Everything went into these sacks and then into river bags. So my -40* bag went into a compression sack on June 8th and pretty much stayed there until Oct. 1st. I would store it during the winter in a box. At the end of every second season and occasionally after the third season, I would send them back to North Face and they would send me a brand new one. They knew I was compressing them, but they stood behind the product anyway. Not only was the North Face bag an awesome piece of equipment, their customer service was second to none. Pretty soon, I will be forced to buy another -40* bag. Unless the technology has changed in the last 4 -5 years, I will probably buy a Wiggy's - simply because I will never quit using compression sacks and these sacks have no effect on a Wiggy. That would be the only reason I would buy a Wiggy over a North Face.

    R.D.

  13. #13
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    One thing I learned from the guy I bought my Champ from was to remove the seat foam from one of the seat bottom cushions, and stuff your sleeping bag & pad in there instead. Saves room in the back !

    Other than that, a -20 synthetic North Face bag, bivy sack, MSR XGK stove in a pot, fuel, a couple of Mtn House meals, Nalgene bottle full of energy snacks, duct tape, axe & saw, tarp, nylon cord, tool kit, LED headlamp, MSR snowshoes, avalanche shovel, heater packs, etc.

    I also throw in an extra bag containing 2 extra sets of gloves, fleece pants, fleece head-sock, and fleece jacket. Just in case I have to spend the night...

    I still wear my inflatable Stearns vest in the winter that has a minimum of survival gear on my person, including an extra hand-held radio & batteries, a second LED headlamp, blast-match, space bag, a couple granola bars, etc...

    And finally, wing/engine/windshield covers, white-gas catalytic heater, & 1 can of white gas.

    All of that gear essentially turns the Champ into a 1-person airplane, as if it wasn't really close to that already...

    With the miserable summer we've had this year, combined with the snow on the ground already, I cant wait for ski-season !!!

    Hasta ~

    Bob K.

  14. #14
    StewartB
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    Roger,

    I understand. I was looking at an $800 down bag a couple of days go and cringed at the thought of taking it home to compress it for the long haul. But there's little choice. I already own the -20* bag so I'll use it as the sacrificial lamb and see how things go.

    I went the opposite way for sheep hunting. I retired my synthetic bag and went to a +20* down bag. I loved every minute of hunting season spent in that bag. 1-1/2# and it compresses so small you can't believe it. Greg puts his inside his Mountain Hardware Conduit bivy and still stuffs it in a Sea-to-Summit XS compression sack. Incredible. I can't do that with my GoreTex bivy, though.

    Good stuff, guys. Keep it coming.

    Stewart

  15. #15
    High Country's Avatar
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    If we are talking sleeping bags Feathered Friends is the best money can buy in my opinion. I have the Peregrine with the outer shell made from e-vent fabric. It is just plain awesome. I have slept in -40 with the wind howling at over 17,000 ft and have never been cold in that bag and it's only rated to -25. The e-vent fabric is remarkable as well, repels the melted frost in the tent and breaths well also. The downside is cost, I think I paid near $800 to have mine made.

    Here's the link to their website:

    http://www.featheredfriends.com/

    Having said all that I usually carry a North Face or Mt hardware bag in the plane. I don't want to ruin the Feathered Friends bag by leaving it compressed all winter.

    Other than that, a -20 synthetic North Face bag, bivy sack, MSR XGK stove in a pot, fuel, a couple of Mtn House meals, Nalgene bottle full of energy snacks, duct tape, axe & saw, tarp, nylon cord, tool kit, LED headlamp, MSR snowshoes, avalanche shovel, heater packs, etc.
    Bob you don't need all that stuff to survive at Merrill, because I know that plane never leaves there.

    Shane

  16. #16
    BobK's Avatar
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    Ouch... I knew that was coming.

    Maybe I just didnt want to make you feel bad by racking up lots of hours this summer... Then again, maybe not.

  17. #17
    StewartB
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    Well, I went ahead and put my -20* down bag and a Gore-Tex bivy in a sil cloth XL stuff sack. It isn't compressed enough to be concerned about. I also tossed in a Cocoon liner. Why not? If I get stuck out I'll probably be damp at least, so this way I can get out of my wet clothes. I also tossed in a Hilleberg 2 man tent and a compact sleeping pad. It all fits easily into a waterproof duffel. There's room in the bag for my snowshoes and an Ortovox compact shovel so they'll go in as well. Yesterday I thought to bring my all-year survival pack home to look through. I'm glad I did. It's been 5 years at least since I went through my gear. I'm way overdue. I need to cull some items, replace some, and add some that didn't exist 5 years ago. I suspect I can reduce the pack's weight and size while making it better equipped at the same time. In fact I know I can. In a few days I'll post a list of what I have for discussion. Mostly I'll look to some other northerners to help me identify what I'm missing, but it should be a thought provoking topic for anyone who carries survival gear.

    Stewart

  18. #18
    gregory's Avatar
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    Good idea. I should go through my survival pack and update. I know I have stuff in it thats been there for years thats probably not any good.
    Greg

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    whats the diff

    what no duct tape the 200 mph stuff

  20. #20
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion

    Therma-Rest pad---essential to keep you off the ground, and insulate.


    MTV
    Keep in mind that if you have a thermarest pad you need to take them out of the bag from time to time. Actually, the same goes for sleeping bags. I do not store ours in the bag.

    Tim

  21. #21
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Leave in the bug juice, it is a great fire starter!

    I subscribe to the Wiggys camp. Took one night out when I was fighting overflow, was we to the skin and my stove failed.

    Too tired to build a fire, I crawled into the tent wet, into the bag wet and went to sleep.

    I was dry the next day. The couple of extra pounds for the Wiggy, and knowing that it will not deconstruct sitting there year after year is worth lots. When I get warmer climate conditions, I only carry the outer shell part of the wiggys -60.

    I also have the down light bag that is smaller than a water bottle, but I save it for when I am hunting and backpacking. The two pounds for the Wiggy is less than the snow built up on skis...

    Some mountian house is nice for easy food also.

    A couple of short 2x4s are nice to block up skis, and an ice scraper for that day you do overflow skis and need to clean them off, (learned the hard way).

    I also will carry some garbage bags and an ice axe, depending on what I am doing.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  22. #22
    16-bravo's Avatar
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    I carry a Wiggy's -60 bag, jet boil stove, survival knife, led head lamp, mittens, snow shoes (tubbs), water bottle, water purifier, extra socks, underwear, a variety of mountain house dried food, energy gel, matches, a fire sparker, a saw, frying pan( jet boil), white bunny boots, down coat, warm hat, a Garmin 60 cs GPS, rope, duct tape, cell phone, and I will soon include a satelite phone. I have weighed all of this survival equipment, and have come up with the following.

    Wiggys sleeping bag -60..... 7 lbs

    Survival bag..... 12 lbs

    Snowshoes.... 2 lbs

    extedable poles for walking... 1 lb

    bunny boots..... 3 lbs

    I have probably forgot something, but this close

  23. #23
    TCA's Avatar
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    The best way for me to figure out if I've got the right gear is to spend a night outside with just the survival gear from my plane.

    Once in a while, during the winter, when it's really cold, I'll go out to the airplane, gather up all my survival gear (which might not be possible in the event of a real crash) and try to spend the night outside. I figure out what gear works and what doesn't, and most importantly, I figure out what I've left out that I really need.

    One suggestion: if you do this, do it in the back yard or close to home so you can sneak back in the house if things aren't going well!

  24. #24
    NimpoCub's Avatar
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    TCA, you're a wise man, you should post more!!

  25. #25
    Matt 7GCBC's Avatar
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    Great topic! While only having two seasons on skis so far, I do tend to stray from the beaten path (not many ski fliers here in Idaho to beat a path!) and have found myself stuck and RON due to snow conditions and weather.
    When you get stuck, you are working your tail off and likely to be wet from either snow or sweat, so an extra set of long underwear is great. Not much time for sitting down to prepare food when you are trying to get unstuck before dark sets in, so I like a good "energy bar" as opposed to MREs or Mountain House. These would be great in your camping gear, but I guess I'm thinking more of emergency gear. The power bars get rock hard in the cold - do the gels do the same? Clif Bars or my personal preference Backcountry Bars, made here in Boise, are high calorie (600Kcal/ bar) taste good, as opposed to chewing on cardboard and have good shelf life and packability. On my first adventure getting stuck out, I had an MRE with me, but after non-stop work for 9 hours to pack a runway and unbury the plane (3 times) all I wanted to do was drink another gallon of water and crawl in my bag.
    I love my down bag for weight and packability when backpacking, but don't have the guts to depend on the down when my life depends on it in the winter. When I was in Aspen, CO in the 90's there was a group of skiers that got lost in a blizzard and spent I believe nearly a week out. Some of the down bags were ultimately left behind as dead weight. - probably better technology now though? I sweat like crazy if the nylon material is against my skin, so I have a liner. Keeps me from having to wear the long johns to bed, increases the warmth of the bag and having actually lived out of sleeping bags for several years, keeps the stench down and improves the life of the bag.
    I prefer white gas to propane, especially in the winter. Propane has never worked well for me in the cold, but maybe there's a trick I don't know about? I also like that I can use the aircraft fuel in my Whisperlite XGK in a pinch - so I only have to carry one fuel bottle of white gas.
    I like the idea of using a Nalgene bottle for storing some basic emergency gear. The more water containers you have, the less you are stopping to melt snow. In my survival vest I have several sturdy ziplock bags and some iodine tablets. Has anyone thought of a better packable water container for a vest. Someone mentioned a purifier, but I would think that it would freeze and crack in the conditions I am spending time in.
    I have a stiff bristle brush for polishing off the frost on the tail and fuselage. Anyone have further thought for that? Ice scraper for skis is great idea as opposed to chipping away with the ski pole!

    Don't know if I have just been getting excited about the ski flying coming up or what, but started to think about flying up to AK to catch part of the Iditarod. Is this something that anyone else from the lower 48 does? Good way to see the race, or do non-race support pilots just get in the way? Thoughts?
    Matt

  26. #26
    Cubus Maximus's Avatar
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    Matt, are you running a 150 hp 7GCBC on Aero Skis (wheel penetration - mechanical retracts)?

    The reason for asking is that I've seen this combination struggle a bit. There's another 160 hp Citabria on the field with the same set up that handles everything that gets thrown at it. The difference is:

    more power
    climb prop
    ski rigging

  27. #27
    StewartB
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    I won't get into the down versus synthetic sleeping bag argument. Pick what you prefer. Don't forget the insulated engine blanket, too. Mine rides with me in the plane, I never leave it behind. Wing covers may or may not go depending on the flight and/or how crusted-over they've become.

    I re-packed my survival backpack. Heat, shelter, food, and "other" were my categories to address.

    Heat- MSR XGK stove w/ 22oz fuel bottle. Esbit pocket stove w/ 9 fuel tabs. Fire starter sticks. Blast Match. 2 Bic lighters. Waterproof matches in a waterproof match container.

    Shelter- 2 Eagle Enterprises rescue bags (vacuum packed). 2 small space blankets. Sil tarp.

    Rations- 2 Nalgene bottles full of water. Gu. Cliff bars vacuum packed. Jerky. Werther's hard candy.

    "Other"- Cutco knife. 18" hatchet. 2mm & 4mm technical cord. Compass. Head lamp. Laser Torch. Strobe. Duct tape. Baling wire. Leatherman tool. Garbage bags. Bug headnets. First Aid kit. Advil. Sewing kit. Reading glasses. All the small items are packed into two MSR stainless steel cook pots with folding handles and latching lids. Collecting snow and water and heating it is covered. The smaller one serves as a drinking utensil as well. I'm sure I've forgotten to list some things.

    On the scale the pack weighs 24#. The previously discussed winter "camp gear" pack weighs just under 20# including the snowshoes and shovel. The topic was started as a result of me being stuck and recognizing the weaknesses of my gear. So far all of my "stuck" experience has been weather related and was the result of a decision to sit still to avoid an emergency. That's why I have the 20# camp comfort pack added. Surviving isn't camping but I'd prefer to sit out the weather in something more comfortable than my survival gear. Get home-itis is less an issue if I have an alternative.

    Eagle Enterprises is one of my favorite toy stores. Here's a link to the survival bags I referenced. Even you southerners may benefit from one or two of these in your gear.
    http://www.ultimategear.com/therprotaid.html


    Stewart

  28. #28
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    You guys might want to consider a "snowbunje" if you are skis and land on lakes. Very useful if your good at getting your snow machine aka snowmomobile aka sled stuck. I imagine it could be pretty useful if your stuck in overflow or deep snow on skis.

    http://www.snobunje.com/

  29. #29
    mvivion's Avatar
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    behind,

    I'm trying to envision how that thing works. I'd welcome any assistance in getting unstuck on skis. To date, the only solution I've found is digging and stamping down a track that will then freeze.

    Stewart,

    Your collection of tools seems pretty comprehensive. Has anyone else carried any of the "Heater Meals"? I've carried these for camping some, cause I'm lazy. They work in pretty cold temps, but not sure if they would in REALLY cold.

    In the Air Force Cold Weather Survival course, the instructor would not permit us to carry hatchets or axes into the field. Hit a log or piece of wood with an axe at -30, and the thing is apt to bounce off and cause some severe injury.

    Nevertheless, I too carry a hatchet....I only bring this up to remind people to be REALLY careful with these kinds of tools when it's really cold.

    I went through Cool School's outdoor session when it was -38 overnight, so we all built our own shelters and spent the night out.

    A properly built one person shelter will provide a LOT of protection, and extract a lot of heat from the earth. In those cases, a REALLY warm sleeping bag is a detriment, not an advantage.

    I've seen a few situations where you might have to spend the night out without shelter, but it'd have to be pretty grim for me to do that.

    I've slept out at -45 in a one man shelter I built in 30 minutes, and the temperature inside never got below +25 degrees.

    I think the combination sleeping bags (a primary bag and an overbag) would be good combinations in these situations. I could have easily slept comfortably in a summer sleeping bag that night. As it was, my heavy winter bag got pretty damp that night.

    MTV

  30. #30
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion
    behind,

    I'm trying to envision how that thing works. I'd welcome any assistance in getting unstuck on skis. To date, the only solution I've found is digging and stamping down a track that will then freeze.



    MTV
    Just an idea... Its essentially a bungee cord. It allows you put weight into a pull and use your body mass instead of all muscle. Hard to explain.

  31. #31
    StewartB
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    If you're stuck that means you've failed to move the airplane after applying full power to the prop. If that didn't get you out a Snowbunje will be worthless. My winter tools include ice screws and a Pack Mule come-along. I'll already have static climbing ropes in the plane. Dig and rig, rig and dig. Being stuck in an airplane is no fun. Getting unstuck is very hard work.

    http://www.deuer.com/html/page2.htm

    Stewart

  32. #32
    mvivion's Avatar
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    AMEN

    MTV

  33. #33
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Mini mule... NICE!

    I actually carry my North Face 4 season tent that will hold 3 comfortably. Yes, it is another couple of pounds, (11 actually), but for a cold night out if it is windy... And lighter than my Arctic Oven.

    When stuck one of the best things I have had was a couple of friends, a snowmachine (to pack down a strip), and lots of time to get things out

    I won't talk about how to get them to a stuck plane... That is the expensive part

    When really cold, a couple of cute escorts of the female persuasion can help moral, keep you warm, and take away the desire to hurry, then again, they can go the other way and drive you all night to get home

    Mike, I carry an axe because I use it to cut ice, drive boards under skis, and they work great for banging ice off snowshoes, (don't try it with wood ones) when you are packing overflow strips down and fill them with slush.

    One thing is for certian, until you are out there with your gear, mercury falling quickly and alone, you may not know what is really valuable, and what is dead weight!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  34. #34
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion
    AMEN

    MTV
    You guys sure are good at looking down at any new idea.

  35. #35
    StewartB
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    Because you just thought of it does not mean it's a new idea. A friend of mine has made bungee cord pull straps for snowmachines for 20 years. They work okay if you're pulling a snowmachine out with another snowmachine. All they accomplish is to buffer the shock you'd experience with a rope or cable. They don't magically produce more power than the pulling body can exert. A Snowbunje is a human powered gadget. You can't compare with the 160hp that your plane can develop. If you're stuck it's because 160hp wasn't enough. The Snowbunje won't be much help.

    I take it you've never been stuck? Take some advice from somebody that has. Have snowshoes, shovel, ropes, and a come-along. Read my story from a couple of years ago. I had a chainsaw winch break when trying to pull out an airplane. It took two manual HD come-alongs to get it done. One wasn't powerful enough. I don't think the Snowbunje will make it into my gear bag!

    http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=11772

    Stewart

  36. #36
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StewartB
    Because you just thought of it does not mean it's a new idea. A friend of mine has made bungee cord pull straps for snowmachines for 20 years. They work okay if you're pulling a snowmachine out with another snowmachine. All they accomplish is to buffer the shock you'd experience with a rope or cable. They don't magically produce more power than the pulling body can exert. A Snowbunje is a human powered gadget. You can't compare with the 160hp that your plane can develop. If you're stuck it's because 160hp wasn't enough. The Snowbunje won't be much help.

    I take it you've never been stuck? Take some advice from somebody that has. Have snowshoes, shovel, ropes, and a come-along. Read my story from a couple of years ago. I had a chainsaw winch break when trying to pull out an airplane. It took two manual HD come-alongs to get it done. One wasn't powerful enough. I don't think the Snowbunje will make it into my gear bag!

    http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=11772

    Stewart
    You win. You are the god of flying. I'm sorry for thinking about a solution to getting stuck.

  37. #37
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Behind,

    Chill out, Dude . Pun intended.

    There might be a situation where one of those things COULD help just a little bit.

    But, as Stewart notes, generally when you are stuck on skis, you are REALLY stuck, and it will take a LOT of work and/or force to unstick you.

    In those cases, a come along and something to anchor the other end are the only things I've found that will move you.

    I carry a come along and a length of cable (rope stretches too much for use with come alongs, in many cases) about 50 feet long.

    You can only carry so much stuff, and most folks are going to carry the items that are MOST likely to help in one of these situations. That device might be great for unsticking a snowmachine, but a snowmachine weighs what---a few hundred pounds? Versus an airplane (oh, geeeezzzz here we go again with airplane empty weights) even a light Cub, is going to weigh well over a thousand pounds empty. Different dynamic to getting a snowmachine unstuck...

    The bottom line when operating aircraft on skis is that you had BETTER be prepared to spend the night wherever you land, cause sometimes all the gear in the world isn't going to help much.

    I've had a C 185 so stuck in overflow I thought I'd never get it out. I've never had any assistance other than my passengers to help, but a snowmachine, or helicopter or???? would have been more than welcome on several occasions.

    I got stuck on a recurrent ski checkride in a 185 once, and had to leave the check airman on the ground (snow) to takeoff and come back around to pack down a better runway with the airplane. His comment to me just before I departed was "You do understand that if you DON'T come back to pick me up, you WILL fail the checkride, right?"

    After we got back to town, only five hours late, he was doing the paperwork for the checkride. He asked me when my next recurrent ride would be...I said June, on floats.

    His response: "I'll bring my swim trunks".

    MTV

  38. #38
    gpepperd's Avatar
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    Good thread! The only way the bungee tool could help would be using it in conjunction with ice screws (which I also carry) & the come-along to apply a pre-load to assist the engine power in moving the plane a short distance at a time. They work great with a snow machine as they extend the amount of travel per pull over just pulling on the front ski alone. I own a -30 down bag(tested in the yard) and a -40 wiggys. I'll take the down bag hands down over the Wiggy's.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

    "Anyone who would give up liberty for safety deserves neither" Ben Franklin

  39. #39
    Matt 7GCBC's Avatar
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    Maximus,
    I don't want to hijack the thread, but didn't want to just PM you either, so... I do have the 150 hp 7GCBC on Aeroski 2800 retracts. The things that have made a big difference for me in performance: The newer Axle mount points push the ski further down, pulling the wheels up completely. The old style always had a little remaining penetration = lots o' drag.
    The metal "axle" for the wheels on the trailing edge of the ski is mounted to the bottom of the ski. I ground this down so it would mount flush to the tunnels on the top of the ski and have noted significantly less drag. Another potential idea is that someone once told me they forgot to take their float season 80" prop off and this SIGNIFICANTLY improved their capability on skis. Unfortunately I can't do that because it's not approved except when you are on floats. Rigging: I flattened out the original rigging a bit. I found that when I unweighted the skis in deep snow I continued to have about the same drag and just couldn't break free. I attribute this to the springs increasing the angle of attack of the skis as well as this then allowing that dang rear wheel and bar to grab hold. Moving the axle to the top is what tightened up the rear cable, so I couldn't tell you which made the bigger change - I am still within spec for the ski angles, BTW. I have place photos in my gallery to show these changes.
    Matt

  40. #40
    gpepperd's Avatar
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    One other item I carry in winter is highway flares. They will give an intense heat for 15-20 min. that will start wet or frozen wood much better that other starters. Obviously, they could also be used as a signaling device.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

    "Anyone who would give up liberty for safety deserves neither" Ben Franklin

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