Christmas in Yellowstone
Video: Winter Survival Gear

It’s December in Yellowstone, and the days are short. Tom Murphy must make camp before dark. He’s carrying everything he needs to survive — plus his camera gear. Jacket, mittens, emergency kit… Find out what else comes out of his 70-pound pack.

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  • Gerald E.Rider

    Where can I get a pair of mittens like Tom Murphy was wearing? They appear to be rugged warm trapper-type mittens. Thanks for your help. A wonderful program. Merry Christmas.

  • David Martin

    Today I’m wondering if Tom Murphy’s camera was digital or film. I didn’t think to look Sunday while viewing the PBS special. Wonderful program.

  • Nathan S.

    The camera that he was using was a film SLR idk what model but i saw him changing the film in the Show since well you run out of memory and battery quick on Digital and you get better quality on film

  • robert t

    Here’s a great family owned company in Minnesota selling some of the best gloves I’ve owned. http://www.uberleather.com/

  • Harry

    I also would like to know where I could get the mittens that Tom was wearing

  • Jennifer Gerring

    Great program…beautiful photography. Anyone know what mm lens he used?

  • Paul White

    I would prefer a tent to a tarp :-)

  • Ernest Garcia

    Are they hiring in yellowstone? I could really use a job!

  • Bryan

    I was thinking Tom was using a film camera because I thought I heard the film advance each time he took a shot but I might be mistaken. I was also thinking that film would be the choice because of the battery drainage problem. In and out in a day would be one thing but spending days out there is different. Like you Paul, I think I’d opt for a tent. I was wondering why he chose to use a tarp, set up that way, in such a climate. However and whatever his reasons are, he does good work.

  • Rick

    I am almost certain Tom used a tarp because of the weight. I don’t think you can find a tent weighing as little as the tarp he had. If you remember, with his camera gear included, his pack weighed 60 to 70 lbs, and that’s a lot of weight to be toting around in the backcountry. You’re going to cut weight in any way you can.

  • Peter

    Tom appeared to be using a Nikon F4 35mm camera.

  • Ed Williams

    I used to live in Ely, MN & made a few winter fishing trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) day trips only….I don’t think I could have survived an overnighter..although I know a few folks who did.

    You got to be tough & a little crazy to do this!

  • zook

    What an idiot,there are 4 season tents that way about 1 1/2lbs more than that ridiculous tarp that will do just about nothing if a storm rolls in…

  • Gnos Yidari

    I emailed Tom Murphy himself, and this is what he told me about his mittens:
    “The mittens I use are designed and made by me. It is a dirty trick, but I don’t make them for anyone else. They are shearling, which is sheepskin with the wool still attached to the leather. They are windproof and very warm even when wet. You can shop around and probably find something similar only sewn not laced like mine. Lacing and heavier leather would be the main difference between what you can probably find and the ones I make.”

  • Ramblin Ron

    I caint speak for Tom on why he chose a tarp shelter rather than a tent. But it’s his “church and his cathedral” so maybe the tarp is just part of the experience. From a practical standpoint tho, why hassle with the tent when most of his sleeping shelter is provided by the sleeping bag? A tent provides hardly any warmth — mostly helps reduce the chill factor with protection from wind (and rain or snow). The tarp functions more importantly as a wind break–so long as the direction is fairly consistent. Reorienting in the middle of the night isn’t fun, but sometime necessary. The tarp wouldn’t have the nuisance factor of condensation to deal with. Besides, on a full moon night in midwinter, the view from a tent is nothing compared to a tarp shelter.

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