Cold weather dry camping
Well, My wife said I'd never take our Monte elk hunting. Well due to unusual circumstances, I was able to take it this year. It was nice to come home each evening to my alternate home. Kind of laughed calling it elk camp! So here is what I learned about dry camping in very cold weather (got down to 3 degrees on night).
Make sure you have fresh batteries that can handle the long nights of furnace use. Also don't forget to turn on the tank heaters, especially the fresh water the first night. They run on 12 volts if you weren't aware. Here is what happened. On the first day, the batteries exhausted themselves early as I'd run them down a bit the night before and only ran the generator for a short time to make coffee and use the microwave. And I forgot to turn on the tank heaters. The house was very cold when I got home. Of course the fresh water tank froze and I had to improvise a bit for a couple of days until at least part of the tank thawed. Nothing else froze as far as I could tell, just no water. Fortunately, I had access to fresh water from a hose (must use quickly as those freeze rather fast too). I replaced the batteries and they held up for the rest of the trip with only running the generator in the evenings to charge them while watching TV on the portable satellite system. We were really roughing it!
So, when I thought my tank had thawed and I had some running water I decided to take a much needed shower. After the shower, I checked the water level and noticed it said empty. Hmm. Where did all the water go? I'm pretty sure it was still there just in solid form. The tank heater apparently thawed enough to take a shower then it showed empty. I used the hose the replenish what I had used, but it didn't take much.
It got down right cold one night and the tank froze again even with the heaters this time. I suspect that had I had a full tank of thawed water the tank heaters might have been able to prevent the loss of water again. We had a bucket of water from our water source in the bathroom to use to flush the toilet when there was no running water and another to wash dishes and hands in the kitchen.
We didn't tag out on our hunt, but we had a grand time in our Montana elk camp.
2017 Ram 3500, Aisen Trans, Short bed Crew Cab. B&W OEM Slider,
2018 Montana 3810MS
Russ & Nancy Porterfield