How to dry gear during a winter hike

How to dry gear during a winter hike

So far I’ve found two ways how to dry gear during a winter hike. I’m sure there are more, and I’m working hard trying to discover them. There seems to be a lot information fighting against moisture, but how to dry wet gear while it’s freezing cold and you are on a trail – that seems to be some black magic which no-one talks about.

Here are the two ways to dry gear I’ve found so far:

  • Make fire and build a drying rack, or
  • Turn your tent into a sauna

Building a drying rack

Building a drying rack is super straight forward. Just tie 3-4 sticks together and hang your gear close to fire. I’ve done this back in army days and melted more than just one pair of boots and socks. So closer you get the more effective fire gets. ; )

drying rack
cof

A year ago I had pre-tied knots to a para cord, and now building a drying rack first time in years became so easy that I didn’t have to remove my gloves. Basically I had made a loop of my para cord first and then tied knots every 3-5 cm. This way I could rap the cord around two sticks and then put the first and last loop through each other. Now only thing to do is to add a little branch etc. through the loop and voilà. (Poke me if you want pictures of this, I kind of forgot to take them.)

I’m definitely going to use this trick when I’m at the winter hike!

Turning tent into a sauna

This way of drying gear seems a little questionable, but when you have wet clothes and you are above the tree line without any fire wood, I suppose this is viable – or the only way to dry clothes.

Basically what you want to do is to hang the wet gear in your tent’s sleeping cabin and turn on a stove in there. I believe this requires a powerful stove to generate enough heat for drying clothes. It might be the Finnish part of me which didn’t want to try this after reading all the warning signs in my Fjällräven tent.

What still remains a mystery, is how to dry your tent from condensation or other moisture you may have leaked in. But at least we know how to keep our other gear dry! Check out other questions I’m finding answer to here.

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