Thursday, November 30

Not a Chrisicle

My sleeping bag test went well last night and I learned a lot. Some I will share here, some must be processed a bit more. I used no extra clothing that I would not have on a snowy bike ride. Actually I would have had a couple more items but for the sake of testing I just wore the basics minus my Driclime top or lobster mitts. Consider it Arrowhead testing I guess. All clothing items except the Pullover were actually worn on a ride yesterday so they contained any residual moisture they would have in normal conditions. No vapor barrier stuff was used in this test as I wanted a baseline before really confusing myself. No hot water bottles, heat pads or other tricks were used. Low temperature last night was -4degF at my house. I did not spend the whole night out, rather slept until somewhere after 2:30 am, satisfied that A) I was in no danger of freezing to death and B) between the negative temperatures and first time nerves I wasn't going to sleep more than 1 hour at a time the rest of the night. Knowing that I threw my stuff into the warm bedroom and concluded the test for the night. It's still below zero now and the Pugs and I are headed off to work again.

Sleep Specific Gear:
Marmot Sawtooth 15 deg bag (600 fill)
Thermarest Full Length (summer thickness)
3/4 Length Cheapo Blue Foam Pad
Montbell UL Bivy

Clothing Worn:
Smartwool Lightweight Wool Top and Bottom
Smartwool Lightweight Wool socks
Golite Reed Pants
Northface Diad jacket
Patagonia Micropuff Pullover
Pearl Izumi Balaclava

Lessons Learned:
My cheapish 15 Degree (F) down bag will keep me warm *enough* down to at least -5degF with my normal winter clothes
Winter camping is wet in a bivy and the corallary...
2 nights out in said bag in a bivy sack without a VB is pushing it, 3 might be very cold
I need to order a full length foam pad


Anonymous said...

After reading that you were going to sleep outside last night. I too dug out the sleeping bag and pad. The temperature made it down to 4 degrees F. I only stayed out until 3:30am when I woke up to go to the bathroom, and the temptation of a warm cozy bed won me over. The bag and pad worked great, and kept me plenty warm.

Northface Tundra -20 bag
Thermarest Prolite 4
No bivy

Long sleeve poly top
Smartwool Expedition socks

Anonymous said...

Wow, now you are passing on your mental illness to others. Glad you're not a Chrisicle. It was nice to have you crawl back in to bed. Thanks for leaving the warm wool long underware on so you didn't freeze me with your chilly skin :)

Dave Roberts said...

I sense a new tv show on the horizon - Chris vs. Wild.

Also, I too think the Eveeeresssssst is cheesy, but I love the scenery. Being from California, a TV show like that is the only time I can see mountains in Michigan.

Todd Plesko said...

Good gawd. What did I do wrong?

Maybe I should go outside and sleep in the back yard with my winter gear. There are a million people in St. Louis tonight without power. If I try to sleep outside in the snow, I will be able to "feel their pain."

Or maybe I would get a frostbitten brain. Frostbite of the brain make you want to find a job testing winter gear in a sleeping bag in your back yard.

Lordy, what did I do wrong?

Chris said...

Truely it must be better to figure out you have inadaqate gear within 20 feet from a warm house and a walkie talkie by your ear than 100 miles from home and miles from anything with central heating. Smart thinking I would say :) Don't worry, when I order my -20F bag I will be able to sleep outside in any weather. Muahahahahahaha