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Q&A with Johan Skullman

Questions and answers from our outdoor expert Johan Skullman 25/2 on our Facebook page.

Question 1

Hi Johan, in your video on setting up a tent in winter I see your tent has sides where you put on snow. How can you create the same effect if you don’t have those sides (preventing air to get in) because without those sides air gets in easier?

Answer

It's possible by piling snow or using snow blocks along the sides. When you do this, with or without so called snow mats it's important to remember that you do it to prevent snowdrift from getting in, but don't forget that ventilation of the tent is crucial for many reasons.


Question 2

Situation: you have being skiing many days and your boots gets wet, even they have inner boots. Then you wake up in -35 degrees and find out that your shoes are frozen to a one piece of ice and it's impossible to get your feet into it. How do you avoid this situation or what do you do when it happens? Do you use plastic bags around your socks?

Answer

I recommend you to use boots of leather with a separate pair of inner boots. Avoid rubber since it changes in size due to temperature (expanding in warmth, shrinking in cold!). Always put your inner boots inside a gear bag during night and put it inside your sleeping bag when you wake up to give them some warming up. You can do the same with the outer boots, at least put them together (shaft into shaft!) and place them in between your sleeping bag and mattress. Important not to forget the use a gear bag to protect your sleeping bag from getting moist or wet.


Question 3

How do you keep the weight of the backpack low on a winter trek?

Answer

Keeping the weight and size of your backpack is a matter of choices. In winter you need a slightly more robust tent and well insulated sleeping bag. In addition to that you even may have to pick a more insulated reinforcement jacket. Remember that there is no use in chasing weight on behalf of comfort, winter conditions change often and you need good insulation while resting- Very important for performance and endurance. Your aim and ambition with your outdoor life in winter in many ways sets the standard for your equipment.

Practical tip: Use a two-bag solution for your sleeping bag, one thin (idea: -2 to -5), one thicker (idea:-8-to -15). This gives you a lot more options to adjust according to temperatures. 


Question 4

Inner-tent or not on a winter hike?

Answer

Single walls are tricky in winter condition so I strongly recommend you a tent with separate inner-tent.


Learn more from some of our almost 30 guide videos with Johan Skullman.

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