FREE LINE 03 - Page 176



Winter Carp Fishing
(Top left) Keep warm and you find you
will fish better through the winter.
(Top right) The AI Sleeping Bag
system is still under development but
will be worth the wait.
(Left) Skee-tex boots, in my opinion,
are the best on the market.
176 FREE LINE
in extreme cold, I utilize the standard
winter wrap, which gives it a second
skin and virtually eliminates condensation, which is the downfall of any
single skin shelter at this twilight
period of the year. Ultimately whatever style of shelter you choose, make
sure to do some homework and ask
anglers’ opinions before parting with
your hard earned cash, as you definitely will want to make the right
choice for your individual circumstances. More recently, I have used
the new Airframe bivvy from Angling
Intelligence, and although it hasn’t
seen its first winter yet, early indications point to it being a superb product, and I am looking forward to putting it through its paces and getting it
frosted to the max! There is no point
in buying a 2-man behemoth of a
shelter if you can barely get a brolly in
every swim on the lake, so make an
educated purchase.
Right, with a roof over your head
you need to get the bedroom sorted,
and not surprisingly the next bit of
equipment on the agenda is the bedding. Now carp fishing has no real
place for black satin sheets or latex,
depending on your particular bedtime
activities, but a top quality sleeping
bag and thermal cover are of significant importance. Choose a sleeping
bag which has a good full length
quick release zip, a nice fleece lined
inner, plenty of room to move, securing facility to the bedchair, and most
importantly has excellent internal
padding to keep in the heat. These are
readily available to suit all budgets,
but if you are going to be a hardcore
carper, a minimum of a four-season
rating is acceptable but a five-season
is preferable; just go for the best you
can afford, as it really is money well
spent. If you sleep well you will be
alert and ready for the following day’s
trials, whereas if you have spent all
night shivering you will not be in the
mood for anything other than packing
up! In addition to a top-notch sleeping bag you can bolster the heat
retention by having an additional
thermal cover, which can really make
all the difference. My particular preferences are for the gargantuan proportioned Gardner Smokey Branch
cover, and the new AI fleece cover.
The former has several buckles to fasten it securely to the bedchair, virtually touches the floor all the way
round, and has the added bonus of
being 100% waterproof so if you do
have a single skin shelter, the condensation drips are no longer a reason for
concern.
With all the clothing, bedding and
shelters now sorted the cooking
arrangements need to be examined,
and what seems like a simple choice
between gas or petrol is not quite so
easy. Let me explain; gas is most people’s preferred fuel because of its
cleanliness and ease of use. However
this has one major drawback in winter, and that is that gas needs an elevated ambient temperature to function properly because the propellant
within the canister becomes ineffective in the cold because it cannot
expand, which makes it useless at
forcing the gas out. The problem is
exaggerated further when using small

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