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Which losers amongst us sleep in the car? - Page 3

post #61 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman View Post
I'm a non confrontational sort, so the "places to sleep without pissing off the cops" aspect is interesting to me. I usually wuss out and camp in towns as a result, but I'd like to hear more about parking lots/nearby places to crash in at hills and tips on same.
Same here! I don't feel like having to talk to anyone in a uniform unless I'm buying a hamburger at the lodge snack bar.

My big concern is the whole coldness issue. I've never slept out in the elements in the winter and part of me just doesn't believe it's possible, though I know intellectually that I'm obviously incorrect.

So you just jump into a mummy sleeping bag rated for super-cold and you're set???
post #62 of 81
Well to be fair, I usually park in valleys near towns rather than right up at the hill, and I am not exactly in your neck of the woods temperature wise anyways. Also, as I recall being criticized for when this thread was new, I'm doing this in a van with a mattress, an extra battery, and a bit of heat. But yes, I think the coldness issue is usually secondary to other things like:
-where to excrete fluids and solids
-how not to get arrested for same, or for where you park
-how to avoid being charged with DWI when you are sleeping it off in a parking lot at a bar
-etc.
post #63 of 81
I have a -30 rated bag from Sierra Designs. It works to about -25. It gets too toasty at 20. I use a Thermarest under it. I sometimes bring a blanket too. No heater. For us women car camping near a comfort station is of prime importance. In winter, I've car camped in the free parking garage in Winter Park, the top of Berthoud Pass-(there are three port o' pottys' there), Steamboat Campground, and the parking lot of the Red Ram in Georgetown. I was not the only one camping up there on Berthoud Pass (elevation 11,000ft). I stayed up and watched the stars - just incredible views of the Milky Way up there. It was a little windy sometimes and the Exploder shook. The Steamboat Campground wasn't free but it is only $17.00/night/winter, has direct free city bus service to Steamboat, hot shower, free wireless internet, tv, pool table, and flush toilet. I think Western tradition is more friendly to car camping. It's legal to pull over in a National Forest and camp. I've also car camped in the Dillon Marina Parking lot during the summer and never been hassled by local law enforcement. They patrolled the lot during the night but knew the car campers were more interested in sleeping off the nights festivities than causing further angst.
post #64 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
.... So you just jump into a mummy sleeping bag rated for super-cold and you're set???
Just spent 3 nights BC in a tent and sleeping bag. Right equipment, toasty warm.
post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman View Post
Right equipment, toasty warm.
What did you use???
post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
What did you use???

Mountain Hardware Phantom 15 (Rated to -9 C and weighs 880g). Doesn't get real cold here but even at -3 C I didn't have the bag fullt zipped up. Used a Downmat 7 and closed cell foam mat between the bag and the snow.
post #67 of 81
OK, not recently, but beat this: Slept at Tahoe in the back compartment of a Datsun 1600 (Nissan's original attempt at an MGB). Compartment was for stowing the ragtop, was a triangle maybe 40" by 15" with the top angled down; lost the toss with two others who got the seats. No bags, also lost the toss for the blanket. But we got first run pow the next morning.
post #68 of 81
I've slept out plenty for golf Tee times in the back of an old for Windstar. I would take the seats out and lay in an old twin mattress. With a couple of beers and a light for reading it was very civilized. Now sleeping out in the winter. That my friend is hard core. Nicely done.
post #69 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
OK, not recently, but beat this: Slept at Tahoe in the back compartment of a Datsun 1600 (Nissan's original attempt at an MGB). Compartment was for stowing the ragtop, was a triangle maybe 40" by 15" with the top angled down; lost the toss with two others who got the seats. No bags, also lost the toss for the blanket. But we got first run pow the next morning.
Wow. How did you NOT suffer hypothermia????
post #70 of 81
"Berthoud Pass" isn't that the place wherer TJ and Dexter first camp when they get to Aspen?

Also, quite a number of the resorts in Tahoe have posted "No Overnight Camping" signs over the past several seasons. I think I noticed that as well at some of the Eagle/Summit Country resorts in Colo, as well.

I've heard that one can camp for free for a few nights at the Walmart parking lots, but have also heard that since the founder of Walmart, who apparantly was a huge RVer, passed away, that they are becoming a bit more stringent about folks spending multiple days in their lots.

To date I've only camped at the main campground in the center of Mammoth (two seasons ago on 4th of July) and then on BLM land with no amenities this past April in Mammoth (the rest of the TGR Maggots who were going to camp bailed, so I had 3 nights to myself out in the middle of the woods). Both of these times, however, were in the summer, so the weather was nice and toasty.
post #71 of 81
I've done it twice, neither of those times involved skiing,however. Once because i was waaay too drunk, the other was due to surfing and sleeping in the car on the beach (stupid misquitos)
post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
"Berthoud Pass" isn't that the place wherer TJ and Dexter first camp when they get to Aspen?
It's probably Independence Pass you are thinking of. Berthoud is on the way to Winter Park. Independence is closed to vehicles in the winter but if you have a snowmobile or don't mind trekking up it's open. It's beautiful but can be scary to some flatlanders.
post #73 of 81
I did it a couple of years back. Temperature was the main concern. It was around -25 Celsius near Quebec city. I have a relatively good ( but also very heavy...) sleeping bag rated to -17 Celsius. It helped that I took the felt liner out of the winter boots and had them on my feet. One mistake was that I only had a inflatable mattress underneath and was using the bag as a blanket. The cold came from beneath and woke me up several times. For next time I will make sure that I am better insulated from beneath.
post #74 of 81
My favorite was the night I pitched a tent on the snow next to the Grand Targhee parking lot. In the early AM some wise ass started up a rotary plow and I awoke to the sounds of empty beer cans and ice chunks hitting the tent.
post #75 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post
... I awoke to the sounds of empty beer cans and ice chunks hitting the tent.
LOL
post #76 of 81
I do it all the time, if you want to hit the pow days in VT but don't want to be constently on the phone with a hotel it works great. Headlamp and a pee bottle are musts, a good sleeping bag helps too. Honestly the cold has never been a problem, At resorts with hotels like Jay you can just park with the rest of the visitors, hotel parking lots never get looked at in my experiance. Whatever you do don't park behind grocery stores, the more shady you look the more likely a cop will take a look.
post #77 of 81
This is a great thread!

Although I don't have much first hand experience with car camping for skiing, I've got some other insight you guys might find useful (I could probably write a book about how to scam some kind of indoor shelter @ Copper.)

Here's some ideas relevant to this thread:
1. Car camping @ National Forest trailheads is about the safest place to be unless it's specifically posted NOT to camp there. If it's posted, there's a good chance cops patrol that trailhead regularly. A lot of ski areas have trailheads very close by, some even on property.

2. HR is your friend. I've never done this, nor have I heard of anyone doing this, but I bet it could work.. Apply for a job at the resort. Probably a manager position or just anything to get an interview - it's usually Really Easy to get an interview. Ask HR if they have any employee housing available you could stay in the night before your interview. Stay in the lodging, blow off the interview. Of course, this only works at bigger resorts with real employee housing.

3. If you want to car camp at a bigger resort, don't stay in the giant, main parking lot. Find the 'pay' lots during the day - usually at night they leave the gates up and it's actually OK to park there overnight. Again, mind the plows. It's almost always ok to pull in at night and leave your car there during the day while you ski. A lot of resorts offer 'free' close parking to employees if they arrive before 7am or 8am when the gates go down, so your car would just be mingled among those.


4. 4 words: Heated Underground Parking Garage. Even if you need a parking pass, there's a good chance you can park there at night without anyone caring. You just need to pull in later in the night. At Copper, stay in the Passage Pt garage, the Tucker Garage or maybe Copper Springs (this one has cameras in the garage, but they're generally not monitored.) However, don't try to get away with this during the day anywhere. Property managers are on the prowl during the day trying to catch the day skiers trying to scam close-in parking. At night you only have to deal with the Security staff and they're way too busy hitting on the girls at the front desk to bother wandering through parking garages.


5. Hot tub rooms kick ass. Getting into a hot tub room isn't that hard - just follow someone into the building (preferably a condo building, not a hotel.) Then just look for the sign that tells you where the hot tub room is. If you don't see a sign for it and don't want to look like an idiot wandering around, go for an elevator ride - it's probably posted in there where it's at. Carry your duffel bag in or small backpack in (don't bring your full-size backpacking pack) and then start looking for the bathrooms that'll be nearby to change in. There's often showers nearby too. If you're going to try a hotel, go for the biggest, older hotel you can find. You're really looking for something like a Holiday Inn from the 70's. There's usually good bathrooms easily accessible and the pools/hottubs aren't viewable by the front desk staff.


6. Someone else mentioned camping near bars - don't. Walmart parking lots - don't. Anywhere with glaring lights - don't. Someone can and will notice your windows fogged up.

7. Speaking of which, RainX makes an anti-fog wipe that I've had good luck with in my friend's mini-van. Wipe the inside of the window with it before going to bed, no fog on the windshielf in the morning.
post #78 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn View Post
snip I could probably write a book about how to scam some kind of indoor shelter @ Copper snip
Will you please not use my real name in your book?
post #79 of 81
I've done it. Not for quite a while, tho. Tents or snow caves are much more comfortable.
post #80 of 81
I've been doing the rolling chalet since my college years. At first it was because I couldn't afford both a place to stay and lift tickets, now it's because I just do not feel right getting a room by myself.

A good bag and learning to pee in a bottle inside of it are essential to keeping comfortable and warm.

I have had plenty of visits from the local authorities and the majority of the time they have had no problems with it. Most of the time they will check up on you which in my opinion is comforting.

At one time I had a white E150 cargo van. It was great because you could park in any industrial parking lot and never get noticed. It just blended in with the other commercial vehicles.
post #81 of 81
I've been sleeping in my car at ski area parking lots for years. I used to have a big Ford van with a platform and mattress. Now I have a Subaru Legacy wagon. A therm-a-rest and 0 degree bag work fine. If it's too cold in the morning just turn on the car and heat and crawl back in the bag till it warms up. Most of the times were in the late season when it didn't get quite as cold as midwinter. I only ski Timberline in the summer and drive down in the middle of the night to avoid I-5 traffic, sleeping for a few hours in the car before the lifts start up. Admittedly I don't do it as much as I used to during winter but I always have 2 sleeping bags and pad in the car just in case.
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