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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/3/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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So after spending the last 7 days and nights in some of the coldest weather I have camped in and sleeping on the ground when the temperatures are hitting the teens and my water bottles are freezing I am thinking I want to get a new light weight sleeping bag that can keep me warm in sub 20 degree weather. I love my military gore-tex bivy sack to death but it weighs 2.5 lbs so I am looking at trying to get rid of it all together or find something equivalent that weighs less. I have a 1lb nylon bivy with a mesh face area but it just creates way too much condensation, for some reason my gore-tex one does not and it has a flap lid so I don't feel all closed in with it, just flip it open and watch the stars.


Anybody have any personal, real world advice for a light weight down bag for sub 20 degree weather and a better light weight water proof bivy or another way to stay warm with little weight? I would prefer the sleeping bag weigh less than 2lbs and be tough enough to withstand the desert environment. I have heard there may be some type of sleeping bag with down/gorte-tex and can be thrown down onto the ground and used as is, that sounds pretty good if the total weight is 4lbs or less.

TIA..!!



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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 763


1/3/2015
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 763
Daren,

Outdoor Gear Lab is chock full of real-world recommendations, including their Best Winter Down Sleeping Bag page. They aren't cheap though. Lots of thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail and PCT have sworn by these high-end bags though. You certainly had a bit of extra-cold temperatures this week, was wondering how it was going out there.... smile

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Buford
Buford
Posts: 200


1/3/2015
Buford
Buford
Posts: 200
Some thoughts:

The sleeping pad is just as important as the bag. It doesn't matter how warm the bag is if you are bleeding heat into the ground. A pad with a good R value is needed at low temps.

Katabatic gear is not cheap, but is really nice. I use the 15 degree version of their quilt and like it, they also make a 0 version. Some like quilts, some don't. When it gets cold a down hood is needed since the quilt has no hood. I use their bivy too, but sometimes get condensation. I want to add a strip of mesh down the top middle of it.

Everyone sleeps different, a 20 degree bag for one might be 10 for another. Eating a lot of calories right before bed helps, especially fat and protein. Midnight snacks help keep the internal heat going.

I have no experience with "feathered friends" or "western mountaineering" bags but I use and like their jackets. Alot of people really like their bags. At the temps you are talking about a lot of people that prefer quilts switch to mummy bags.

Hope some of this helps. Sorry if I covered stuff you already knew.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 464


1/3/2015
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 464
This old Native American trick only works where you can build a roaring fire on sandy loose soil in the wilderness in a survival situation.
1. Dig a trench at your sleeping bag location.
2. Build a rounded stone rock fire ring. Stones / boulders about the size of softballs.
3. Build a roaring fire.
4. At the end of the fire, roll the hot rocks in the trench and cover with sand.
Personally I carry a 2" thick foam pad nowadays mainly due to the fact I am a side sleeper AND keeps me warmer. My A16 bag is Xtra wide and rated to 20 deg. Don't forget the beanie!!
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 763


1/3/2015
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 763
Excellent advice from Buford. .... and no alcohol before bed young man.... smile

The NeoAir sleeping pad gets great reviews for utility and weight. I can't get one because I destroy anything inflatable in the desert.
edited by ziphius on 1/3/2015

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/4/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Great info from everyone....thanks!! WM seems to have a solid and tough product, I will be looking there. Also, my current sleep pad is a Ridgerest but the R-Value could be higher so I can invest in that also.

Ziphius, like you, I don't bring blow-ups to the desert (except my Cocoon pillow) and somewhat prefer the foam pads for durability, ease of use and multi purpose functionality.

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valdelane
valdelane
Posts: 1


1/4/2015
valdelane
valdelane
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I was in the Carrizo Badlands the night before last. Chilly, indeed. But I slept comfortably with a high-calorie dinner, in all my clothes layers + silk bag liner (protects bag from dirty clothes and adds a little R) + 4 lb Western Mountaineering down bag, on top of a Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol pad + Tyvek tarp. Yes, the bag is quite heavy, but in my case I judge it worthwhile because I hate being cold.

(And, hi! This is my first post. Great forum for a wonderful treasure of land).
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 763


1/4/2015
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 763
Val Delane wrote:
I was in the Carrizo Badlands the night before last. Chilly, indeed. But I slept comfortably with a high-calorie dinner, in all my clothes layers + silk bag liner (protects bag from dirty clothes and adds a little R) + 4 lb Western Mountaineering down bag, on top of a Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol pad + Tyvek tarp. Yes, the bag is quite heavy, but in my case I judge it worthwhile because I hate being cold.

(And, hi! This is my first post. Great forum for a wonderful treasure of land).


Welcome to the forum and thanks for the input valdelane. My winter bag (Marmot 15 deg 'Sawtooth' is also near 4 lbs, but worth it). I'm 'saving up' for a Western Mountaineering bag. smile

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/4/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Welcome Val Delane! This is great hearing from folks using real gear....4lbs is beyond what I am looking for, I am realizing I will need to pay for quality, light weight gear but with my back problems I am now forced to get light gear. Now after having spent some money on real light gear I have seen the "light" and would not go back to heavy gear again, even car camping I am loading a single backpack and throwing it in the truck vs the old days of throwing in this and that and making 6 trips back and forth to the truck and garage...no more.

Val Delane wrote:
I was in the Carrizo Badlands the night before last. Chilly, indeed. But I slept comfortably with a high-calorie dinner, in all my clothes layers + silk bag liner (protects bag from dirty clothes and adds a little R) + 4 lb Western Mountaineering down bag, on top of a Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol pad + Tyvek tarp. Yes, the bag is quite heavy, but in my case I judge it worthwhile because I hate being cold.

(And, hi! This is my first post. Great forum for a wonderful treasure of land).


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justinlowery
justinlowery
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1/7/2015
justinlowery
justinlowery
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Darren, have you looked at some of the UL gear suppliers like ZPacks.com and Mountain Laurel Designs? I know Andrew Skurka used their MLD28 Quilt to go down to some pretty frigid temps on his Alaska-Yukon expedition. It's my current bag, though I haven't had the chance to use it below about 40 yet, it's extremely light and warm, and packs down really small. Zpacks has a 10 degree quilt that weighs in at around 14 ounces or something like that, but it is a bit short. The MLD one I have is an XL size, so I can be completely wrapped up in it head to toe. I know you're not looking for conventional stuff, so figured you might like some of their gear.

The Western Mountaineering bags I've heard great things about, as well as the Mont-bell Spiral Down Hugger bags, for anyone else looking for a more conventional sleeping bag type setup, as opposed to a UL quilt.

P.S. - my first post on here - long time lurker, and avid Anza-Borrego / desert explorer.
edited by justinlowery on 1/7/2015
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 200


1/7/2015
Buford
Buford
Posts: 200
I have also used a zpacks bag. They are good, but I think the Katabatic bag is better. If I were to get a zpacks bag again, I would make sure to get longer, wider, and warmer than expected. Zpacks bags are so light because they are cut really slim and lack anything extra.

I use an Xtherm sleeping pad, but worry about cacti. I like the idea of idiot proof foam pads, but they are too bulky to pack and not warm enough for me. I would freeze if I were to sleep out there below freezing and just had a ridgrest pad under me.

Welcome Justin.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/7/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2284
justinlowery wrote:
Darren, have you looked at some of the UL gear suppliers like ZPacks.com and Mountain Laurel Designs? I know Andrew Skurka used their MLD28 Quilt to go down to some pretty frigid temps on his Alaska-Yukon expedition. It's my current bag, though I haven't had the chance to use it below about 40 yet, it's extremely light and warm, and packs down really small. Zpacks has a 10 degree quilt that weighs in at around 14 ounces or something like that, but it is a bit short. The MLD one I have is an XL size, so I can be completely wrapped up in it head to toe. I know you're not looking for conventional stuff, so figured you might like some of their gear.

The Western Mountaineering bags I've heard great things about, as well as the Mont-bell Spiral Down Hugger bags, for anyone else looking for a more conventional sleeping bag type setup, as opposed to a UL quilt.

P.S. - my first post on here - long time lurker, and avid Anza-Borrego / desert explorer.
edited by justinlowery on 1/7/2015
Welcome Justin and thanks for those suggestions..!

Yes, I have been looking at those sites and really like some of the zpack stuff, I just gotta figure out what I can sell to pay for some of it...wink
I actually just picked up off craigslist today a once used WM Sycamore MF for $200, it is pretty much new and at 2lbs is already almost a pound lighter then my current down bag. Gonna probably pick up some other misc light weight stuff off zpacks or such. I also ordered a new titanium cup/spoon and some ultru light reflective para cord for the sil-nylon tarp I bought over xmas break. My pack weight is getting down there, I am slowly closing in on 25lbs with food/water for 3 days....I never thought I would do that! Spring/Summer should bring those weights down even more but the need to carry more water will balance out needing to carry less cold weather gear.

Also, I gotta give ziphius TONS of credit for turning me on to dehydrating my own food, I can now take all my left overs and throw them in the dehydrator and get light weight home cooked food out backpacking...thanks ziphius..!!

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/7/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Buford wrote:
I would freeze if I were to sleep out there below freezing and just had a ridgrest pad under me.
That is all I got for now, an inflatable thing just does not interest me...yet...

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ziphius
ziphius
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1/7/2015
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 763
dsefcik wrote:
Also, I gotta give ziphius TONS of credit for turning me on to dehydrating my own food, I can now take all my left overs and throw them in the dehydrator and get light weight home cooked food out backpacking...thanks ziphius..!!


Your food prep has evolved! I found this in the archives. wink



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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/7/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2284
I remember that day/weekend/trip....it was hot, I did Cool & Rainbow Canyons...almost made it to the top of Granite....yeah, I don't lug that boy scout knife thing around anymore, I have had that since I was a weeblo...my new titanium spoon arrived yesterday...haha...Sugar High


Jim (ziphius) wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
Also, I gotta give ziphius TONS of credit for turning me on to dehydrating my own food, I can now take all my left overs and throw them in the dehydrator and get light weight home cooked food out backpacking...thanks ziphius..!!


Your food prep has evolved! I found this in the archives. wink



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