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Tips Sleeping Gear, Sleeping Bags and Accessories.
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  1. #1
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    Sleeping Gear, Sleeping Bags and Accessories.

    I thought be a good idea to show some of the sleeping gear and sleep bags and accessories we have and some may find this of interest and helpful with deciding what you may want for RV, Cabin, Tent camping or Bug-Out Gear.
    Now some of what I have is discontinued, but keep in mind there are similar in-production products are available. Also posting this info may be spread out the next few days as I drag the stuff out of storage and photo it.

  2. #2
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    Military 3 Bag Sleeping System.

    Ok; many will say this is to big and bulky, but it offers flexibility that no other brand or make will offer at such an affordable price and believe it or not our military mountain devisions pack the whole thing as standard equipment.

    Theres the Cammo Bivy-Cover and its a Gor-Tex lined and waterproof and windproof and some care must be taken to avoid damaging the Gor-tex membrane so no sharp rocks, sticks or walking on it with your vibriam lug boots as it may have a small rock stuck in it.

    Next is the green sleeping bag and its called a patrol bag and rated for temp's for 50F to 30F.

    Next part of this sleeping system is the black bag and its called the intermediate bag and its rated for temp's of 30F to minus -10F.

    Now in warmer weather you can sleep in the bivy-cover by its self, or use any one of the sleeping bags alone, and the green patrol bag and or black intermediate bag can be snapped into the bivy-cover.

    Now all three of these bags can be put tougher to make a sleeping bag thats rated to temp's of minus -35F.

    The black bag slips into the green bag and the two into the bivy-cover and all have corresponding snaps to keep everything in alinement with each other, all the zippers are made so all you have to do is pull the bag open for quick escape! No need to touch the zipper to get out of the bag.
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1378742228
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1378742277
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1378742308
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1378742343
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Publius; 09-09-2013 at 03:22 PM.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    West Virginia
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    There Is More Photos of the Military Sleep Syatem.

    These Military Bags can be had on E-Bay and be warned there are fakes being sold on E-Bay as new and with plastic bivy-covers and bogus military bags. Many of the Military surplus stores on the internet have them used and new and prices for used going from $49 to $69 and new selling around $85 to $100.

    Edit add: These Military sleeping bag systems can be used with the bivy-cover out in the open! No tent needed or necessary and or pack a tarp to string up to make a lean-to or basic pup tent for added shelter
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1378743358
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Publius; 09-09-2013 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    West Virginia
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    Cablelas Trekker Sleeping Bags

    Everyone knows about Cabelas and we have 3 of their Trekker sleeping bags and I can say as an owner they are well made and great value for the money. Now Cabelas does make these Trekker bags in Rectangle as well as the Mummy as seen below and come in two sizes Regular and Long and both sizes are a very roomy generous cut, so don't worry about the Trekker bags being to tight/confining.
    The Trekker sleeping bags now only come in one temperature comfort rating and thats 0F degrees, but many and my self have found it will keep me warm down to minus -5.
    These sleeping bags come with draft tubes along the zippers and dtaft collars that have draw cords for both the draft collars and main opening, the mummy bags also have draw cords for the hoods. They also come with a little zippered storage pocket for personal items like a flashlight.

    Below are two Cabelas Trekker bags we own and the one on the left is the Trekker 0F Mummy Long/oversize, and next to it is a Trekker Bag minus -20F mummy that Cabelas no longer makes, but its a regular size/cut and the same size as their Regular size 0F degree mummy bag they still make.
    As shown they come filled with Dupont Quallofil' and I can say the stuff kicks butt, great insulation.

    Prices as of this posting!
    Rectangle Bag Regular $89.99
    Rectangle Bag Long $99.99

    Mummy Bag Regular $79.99
    Mummy Bag Long $89.99


    NOTE: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SLEEPING PADS FOR SLEEPING ON THE GROUND ANY TIME OF YEAR AND ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES.
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1378839293
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...&d=13788393965
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1378839425
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Publius; 09-10-2013 at 03:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    West Virginia
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    Down Filled Sleeping Bags.

    We have these two down filled sleeping bags and put out by Campmor and no longer in production, but there are many brands on the market. We bought these back in the early 90s and the price was a bargain! The red 20F bag sold new for $125. and the blue 0F bag for $185.

    both can be zippered tougher to make a his and her sleeping bag and something you may want to think about when shopping-buying sleeping bag's

    One of the photos is showing the draft collar and draw cords in the 0F bag and most but not all cold weather bags will come with this feature and all the sleeping bags I have shown above have them.

    There are a number of manufacturing methods for making a down sleeping bag, the Campmor bags shown are a Slant box construction.

    The pro's and Con's of Down filled sleeping bag's!
    Pro, they offer lighter weight.
    Pro, greater insulating per Oz than man made products.
    Pro, Down bags compress to a very small size compared to man made products.

    The Con's!
    Con, you must go all out with keeping a down bag clean.
    Con, you must be dedicated to keeping a down bag dry.
    Con, once wet a down bag is useless, very heavy and will take days to dry out and once dry it will not have the same low temperature rating it once did.

    One more detractor to down sleeping bags is todays prices! Starting prices $240. on upwards to $600. and higher.
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379178637
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379178676
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379178708
    Attached Images

  6. #6
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    West Virginia
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    Heavy Duty Rectangular Sleeping Bags.

    We have one example here somewhere the wife stashed it where I will not find it.
    But many have seen them, with the heavy cotton canvas outer shell and cotton flannel lining many made in larger sizes or over size with temperature rating's of 0F to as low as minus -30F.

    But not to berate these bags, but need to point out these bags are in no way back-packable or to be considered a bug-out bag option as they are way to bulky and heavy and in fact will be 2X or 3X bulkier than the military sleeping system I posted at the top of this thread, But they are ideal for someone wanting a heavy duty sleeping bag for the RV/Camper or cabin or base tent camp where things are brought in by truck or pack horse/mule.

    The insulation/fill most often used in these bags is very early (1960s) Dupont Dacron 808 and the early (1970s) Dupont Hollow fill and the later Hollow fill II and the later Hollow fill II, will be a little lighter and more compressible I.E. less bulky.

    The following bag's seem to have good customer ratings for anyone wanting such a sleeping bags and most are affordable-reasonably priced with the exception of the Cabelas Magnum 44.

    Colemans, "Big Game -5F"

    Cabelas, "Magnum 44, -20F" and "Mountain Trapper 0F".

    Sportsmans Guide, "Guide Gear Minus -30F Canvas Hunter".
    Last edited by Publius; 09-14-2013 at 03:53 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Virginia
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    Sleeping Gear and or Accessories.

    This spring we looked at getting a new tent and also needing to update some of our other camping gear like summer weight sleeping bags and after a quick look around the prices they were asking for a light weight sleeping bag I.E. basically a blanket with a zipper sewn into it, was more then I wanted to spend.

    So What I found was these Coleman fleece Sleeping bag liners at Campmor.com and really it's a fleece blanket with a zipper sewn into it for $14 each! Perfect for what we're needing them for! Summer, early fall and late spring camping and you cannot make these yourself for $14.

    So this and a self inflating pad/mattress and your go to go for summertime, early fall or late spring camping, so far from using these I can say they will hold out down to about mid to lower 50s and then you may want to put a wool blanket on top to go with it.

    These Fleece liners can be used to extend the comfort range of a sleeping bag, but personally I don't expect it to extend it much more than 8 to 10 degrees, better off with a wool blanket.
    I have not tried it but it looks like two of these can be zipped tougher to form a his and her bag.http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379269679
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379269752
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379269788
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Publius; 09-15-2013 at 08:23 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    More Sleeping Gear and Accessories.

    Many don't know that you can buy all the military sleeping system components separately.

    The Military Gore-Tex Bivy covers can be a great addition to your bug out gear and its water-proof and wind-proof and good for anyone looking to cut the weight of their pack.

    You can use it out in the open without a tent and or trade the tent and poles and tent pegs for a lighter tarp to make a lean-to or simple pup-tent for added shelter when needed and making room in your pack for other things you may find more impotent to carry with you like 550 cord and a camp axe and or food.

    Also note I post a photo of the tag on this Bivy Cover and it has NSN numbers and they can be use in a search engine to locate the product on the internet.

    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379287215

    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379287248
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379287279
    Attached Images

  9. #9
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    USA
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    bump, good info, thanks for posting.
    I have one of the military sleep system 4-piece sets for each member of my family.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911user View Post
    bump, good info, thanks for posting.
    I have one of the military sleep system 4-piece sets for each member of my family.

    To explain the 4-piece sets! To date all the military modular sleeping systems have two sleeping bags and a Gore-Tex Bivy-Cover and this alone is the 3-piece set. For some reason the compression stuff sack is a separate item and sometimes it's offered as part of the set when sold as surplus, making it a 4-piece set.

    These setups are kind of hard to beat for the price and while there are civilian market sleeping bags that are said to be better on a number of view points they just can't match the flexibility of these military bag sets.

  11. #11
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    Mar 2007
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    More Sleeping Gear and Accessories.

    With all the modern products that have come out over the years some things are hard to replace like wool.
    I'm a firm believer and user of wool product's and I know many members here feel the same way and will pick a wool blanket over a modern Fleece blanket.

    Military surplus 100% wool blankets are getting hard to come by.

    Don't be fooled by some offerings or beware of wording like "military style" or "military emergency" or "emergency blankets", these are not 100% wool, but synthetic with some wool blend and are thin material, weighing at 1 1/2 pounds each.

    A good 100% wool surplus blanket will weigh in at 3+ pound and depending on country of origin can be much heaver like 4 or 5 pounds, price can vary widely from $14 to $65 +shipping.

    Years ago I acquired a few U.S. Army blankets and they served me well and with the advent of the internet, sometime around 1999 I bought some Swedish surplus wool blankets that weighed 4 pound each and gave the U.S. Army blankets away as gifts to friends that I knew would like them.

    Starting from 1999 Sweden's government has been slowly releasing a massive stockpile of used and new wool blankets and I think by now they cleaned out the warehouse, but I have a few with tags on them dating all of them to 1923 to 1930s and all are in like new condition.

    Not long ago Poland was releasing some older surplus wool blankets from the 50s and 60s and were made while under USSR control, the mother country had them all made to their specs at 5 pounds each and I got a few of them.

    Below is an example of one of the Swedish surplus wool blankets we have and ends are sown/whipped and thick.
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379365376
    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/attac...1&d=1379365412
    Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Location
    West Virginia
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    Equipment Tips and My observations.

    From a very young age I was introduced to camping and travailed over much of this country, it became a part of my life and tried to learn as much of the outdoor life as I could and I grew up in a rural environment so camping with friends I grew up with just came naturally.

    I have seen my share of equipment come and go over the years and you learn a few things like how to deal with a sleeping bag zipper and today I read so many customer reviews with complaints about the zipper getting hung-up and saying it's a lousy and poorly made product and really more likely operator error!

    For anyone wanting to go camping and dealing with the sleeping bag Zipper, first try slipping down into the bag so your feet are all the way down to the bottom and put one of your feet in the corner where the zipper is and at the same time grasp the top of the sleeping bag where the opening is and pull the two half's evenly tougher (you now have the zipper lined up) and then with the other free hand pull the zipper-pull up to close the bag up, in time you will learn to keep the draft tube out of the path of the zipper using the hand you use to pull the zipper with.

    In the event it does get hung up just stop pulling and have a look and most of the time the fabric is just caught in the slider part of the zipper and can be pulled out easily and continue.

    One other thing my self and some of the camping writers and sleeping bag makers are aware of and thats some people sleep colder than others and most woman and some man too have problems with staying warm in cooler or cold weather inside a sleeping bag. Many do not understand the sleeping bag does not warm you, but rather you warm it with your body heat and the insulation traps that heat and slows its escape into the great outdoors.

    Now if your this kind of person it helps if the sleeping bag you pick has a temperature rating about 20 to 30 degrees lower than you expect to encounter.

    You can do a little exercise before going to bed to get your body temp up a little.

    In really cold weather you have to keep your water from freezing, so heat up some water and pour it into your canteen and make sure it does not leak and take that inside the sleeping bag with you and you now have a warm canteen to help warm up the inside of the bag.

    Dressing for bed can help and sweet pants and shirt is good and wool socks and hat will go a long ways with staying warm all night.

    Try not to pick a cold weather sleeping bag thats to large in size as you have to heat all that extra empty space, you can get away with it with some bags like one rated for minus -20F or -30F while using it in more moderate/warmer temps above zero degrees, but as the temps drop below that you will likely be needing blankets at some point.
    Last edited by Publius; 09-19-2013 at 02:59 AM.

  13. #13
    Great hints.

    Also LUBRICATE that sleeping bag zipper. Rub candle wax along it or spray with teflon lubricant. Makes a world of difference!

    ~Sportsman

  14. #14
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    Surprised no one is asking any questions.
    I can suggest make and model of a sleeping bag to hopefully fit your needs and no guarantees it will be the best or flawless, but selecting based on reviews your likely to end up with a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and not break the bank.

  15. #15
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    I'm surprised as well. Publius appears to know his stuff through actual testing. Comfortable sleep is something most humans need and desire. His recommendations can be used for non-emergencies (such as camping and guests) too. I have similar gear and some other way too expensive ultralight(ish) yet ultra comfortable goodies for non-emergency use.

  16. #16
    Some good info there Publius. Thanks for explaining it.

  17. #17
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    Bump:

  18. #18
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    MN
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    This was a lot of good info Publius. I think I'm going to pick up a couple of the military bag systems, for the price they look hard to beat.

    I'm starting to get ready for an annual winter camping trip and thought I'd add a few of my experiences to this thread. I've been winter camping in northern Minnesota and Canada since 1980. We've taken trips as long as seven days. A couple trips saw lows in the -30s and highs never above zero. I still have all my digits, it is surprising how comfortable you can be in those temps. Up until the last three years we always cold tented, or no tent at all. Now we have a canvas tent and wood stove, true luxury.

    My 30+ year old sleeping bag system is a Camp 7, no longer made, consisting of a down bag, synthetic outer bag, and an inner vapor barrier liner. A big problem in very cold and arctic conditions is the build up of moisture in your sleeping bag. When you are sleeping you still perspire, and when that moisture hits the cold exterior of your bag it turns into frost. In Will Steger's first trip to the North Pole they kept their clothes on inside their sleeping bags just in case the ice opened up under them. The bags built up moisture and turned into blocks of ice. They ended up ditching several bags and doubling up in the remaining bags. The vapor barrier liner helps keep that moisture out of the bag. I think it probably adds 10-15 degrees of comfort to the bag. It does feel clammy sometimes. Liner or not it is important to air out your bag whenever you can. Hang it on a line out in the sun if possible.

    That is also a concern with the outer goretex bivy in cold conditions. When the goretex is below freezing it will not allow moisture to escape. The moisture will just form frost on the inside of the goretex. But if your tent is dropping frost on you or you are inside a snow shelter that might drip on you it still might be worth it. Myself I've never used a goretex bivy in the winter but if I had one I would probably take it along just in case there was a sudden warm up.

    Publius also mentioned the importance of sleeping pads in freezing weather. When the insulation on the bottom of your sleeping bad is compressed from your weight it loses most of its insulating properties. The cold ground or snow will just suck the heat right out of you. My Therm-A-Rest pad failed me one time. I melted a 6" depression in the snow, and didn't get any sleep. The next night I put all my extra wool clothes under me and slept for about 12 hours. A closed cell foam pad or two provides the best insulation, but I do still use a Therm-A-Rest.

    Publius nailed the other tips I can think of as well. Don't go to bed cold, move around and build up some heat before you crawl in the bag. A snack before you go to bed is a good idea too.
    Was known as dairyfarmer but sold the cows.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Publius View Post
    Surprised no one is asking any questions.
    I can suggest make and model of a sleeping bag to hopefully fit your needs and no guarantees it will be the best or flawless, but selecting based on reviews your likely to end up with a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and not break the bank.
    Good, well written review, well done Sir
    I have an old army down sleeping bag with the correct canvas cover, and a "newer" army intermediate as well. Both have served me well over the years in the National Guard. Very often I used a Ranger Roll - a poncho and poncho liner snapped together - I was in a Light Infantry Unit, so.... I wasn't issued the good stuff like you have here
    I'm getting my Granddaughter set up with her own gear mow and I want something that;ll last her for years, this review helped me greatly in the decision, although truthfully I was leaning towards a "newer" 3 piece as you have here.
    Thanks man, well done.
    Why isn't Hillary Clinton in prison?
    III

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Kansas
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    Great review, Thanks! I'm looking for a sleeping pad to go along with my bag. The ground is getting too hard for me. Do you like the self inflating ones? I'm afraid they will pop a hole too easily. What do you suggest? Therm a rest I heard makes some good ones.
    Thanks,
    Joe
    The Lord's Servant

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joekan View Post
    Great review, Thanks! I'm looking for a sleeping pad to go along with my bag. The ground is getting too hard for me. Do you like the self inflating ones? I'm afraid they will pop a hole too easily. What do you suggest? Therm a rest I heard makes some good ones.
    Thanks,
    Joe


    There many of the self inflating sleeping pads or mats as some call them. One must check or police the ground for pokies, if your using a tent with a floor and ground cloth/tarp under it, your less likely to poke a hole in it. They do make repair kits for the inflatables.

    There is also the closed cell foam. My self I use the Therm-A-Rest Base Camp and a another model they make and no problems with them and had most of them more than ten years.
    Some people are careless and use them to sit on or never look to see whats on the ground before laying it down, I read of people that destroy one or more of these pricy sleeping pads a year and I guess they have more money than smarts.

    You can click this link: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/therm-a-rest/basecamp

    Same website but home link: http://www.trailspace.com
    Last edited by Publius; 12-30-2015 at 04:24 PM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    USA
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    3,578
    bump for a good thread.

  23. #23
    We now live in an all electric apartment. I have acquired multiple large space blankets and a small tent so we can "Camp in". I believe it is time to get some sleeping bags, the 4 piece military bags seem to fill the bill.
    In Honor of T/S R.L. Hare (Chief Sly)and the members of 322 BS

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbird View Post
    We now live in an all electric apartment. I have acquired multiple large space blankets and a small tent so we can "Camp in". I believe it is time to get some sleeping bags, the 4 piece military bags seem to fill the bill.

    the moving blankets from Harbor Freight are handy for insulating duty - almost give away $$$$$ during the spring & summer months .... the good 'ole blue poly tarp are handy also - provides an impermeable layer in closing off rooms & windows .....
    Illini Warrior

  25. #25
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    For anyone wanting one the Military Sleep Systems, they are flexible over a wide range of temperatures and with the Bivy Cover you don't need a tent.
    But for extreme cold the black bag go's inside the green bag and lined up they get snapped tougher. Now they are intended to work while wearing certain amount of cold weather clothing or adding layers as the gets colder. So long underwear sweet shirt and pants or fleece top & bottoms with heavy socks and a hat or balaclava would be best for your head and dressed like that you should survive minus -30F. They have used these sleep system in temps down to minus -50 with more added layers and a poncho liner used as a blanket
    The Military's idea is to have you dressed enough to survive for an hour if you had to get out of that sleeping bag during an attack defend your self in freezing weather.

    YouTube has a good number of videos on these sleeping bags, also they do make a extra long and slightly wider for tall people but are very hard to come by.

  26. #26
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    Thanks!!

  27. #27
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    NWAR
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    Nice write up. I purchased one of the military sleep systems last year from Midway and have used the 2 bags several times - once last Feb when it got down to 24 degrees - I was warm and toasty. I have not yet used the bivy yet but had it with me for that fed outing Incase I needed a little more insulation. The whole set is big and you would not want to backpack with it.

  28. #28
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    I have a cheap summer bag, good for late spring, early fall and a winter bag. If it gets really cold I put the winter bag inside the summer bag. Having an inflatable pad to put under the bag(s) to keep off the cold ground helps. The ground seems to get harder the older I get. May be something to do with that global warming?
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

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