/ Sleeping bags...

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richardsonneo on 19 Feb 2013
Hi guys,

I'm about to do my first walk combined with a couple of nights of winter camping. I recently bought a 3 season sleeping bag with a recommended comfort limit of -5C.

Forecast for where I'm staying is -3C both nights. Will I freeze my nuts off or will the bag perform as it should? What else, if anything shuold I consider? I will be wearing a good base layer and eating lots of lovely wayfarer meals (yummy).

Thanks.
gear boy - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: so, what bag is it? what mat are you using? do you sleep hot or cold? is your tent mesh inner or solid?
with this info there will be a more informed answer
richardsonneo on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to gear boy: so... Its a synthetic fill ayacucho 350. Thermarest mat. I don't know about the other two questions. The tents a vango banshee 200. I hope that helps.

Cold doesn't bother me usually. At home I sleep with windows open and in boxers but I guess that's not the hot cold question answered and I know in my house under a duvet is a long way from what I'm doing.

Cheers.
In reply to richardsonneo: This one? http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/index.cfm/product/ayacucho-sky-350-ps/fuseaction/products.detail/code...

If so, this is the important bit I think: "Comfort Lower Limit -5C", that sounds like the EN 13537 standard (google it for more info) which is standardising sleeping bag ratings. I'm reviewing a third bag rated that way currently and have come to think that it is very accurate for me at least. I find I can sleep comfortably in a bag at that the lower comfort limit, wearing a base-layer, a hat, a buff and a couple of pair of loose wooly socks.

So I suspect you'll be fine! If you're not, wear a jumper as well, then you'll be fine. :)

Eat well, have a cup of warm tea before bed etc. With a thermarest you'll probably be good as well, but sometime putting a rucksack etc. under you can make a big difference if you don't have enough insulation below you.

Have fun.
StuMsg - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:
Put on some clean dry socks, base+mid layer and hat and you should be fine.
A couple of tips;
- put a spare layer between your legs so its warm if you need it in the night.
- Fill a sig bottle with hot water and use as a hot water bottle (wraped in your spare layer (also means you have water hand in the morning)
- pee, drink a hot drink, pee again, then go to bed. If you don't you'll probably need in the night :( in which case just get it over and done with and go otherwise you'll probably have a sleepless night of needing to pee.

Banshee 200 is a nice little tent for the price, I've never had condensation issues or anything with it.
gethin_allen on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:
the limits sound fine and for a 2kg bag you sure hope it can handle such temps.
You're on the right line with food, eat a good amount of nice fatty food and it definitely makes you feel a few degrees warmer.
Roberttaylor - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: If you don't fancy leaving the tent to pee in the night, use a lucozade bottle or similar to pee in and empty it in the morning.

R
richardsonneo on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: thanks a lot everyone. I'm feeling a lot more confident about my first cold camp. Can I ask... what does sleeping hot or cold mean?
The Ex-Engineer - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: If you do get a bit cold, your best option is to try insulate OVER the top of your sleeping bag with a fleece or duvet jacket (and, as mentioned, insulate under your mat with an empty rucsac) rather than attempt to wear more clothing inside your sleeping bag.

After many, many years of sleeping outdoors I have come to the clear conclusion that wearing more and more clothing inside your sleeping bag is never particularly effective. Conversely, a thick down jacket spread over the top of a sleeping bag can work wonders.
The Ex-Engineer - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:
> what does sleeping hot or cold mean?

Do you sleep 'hotter' or 'colder' in comparison with the average person.

If you have a large group of people all camping out with the same tents and the same sleeping bags, the chances are that in the morning some individuals (who 'sleep hot') will invariably have a great night's sleep regardless of how cold it gets, whereas other individuals (who 'sleep cold') will consistently complain of being cold despite everyone else being fine.

It is hard to be make any objective comparisons, but it is fairly standard for people to get to know whether they sleep 'hot' or 'cold', at least compared to their spouse/partner, which can help inform decision making.
gethin_allen on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:
> (In reply to richardsonneo) thanks a lot everyone. I'm feeling a lot more confident about my first cold camp. Can I ask... what does sleeping hot or cold mean?

Do you find yourself half in and half out of the covers in the morning when loads of other people are moaning about it being cold?

I prefer the bedroom to be a bit cooler that the GF does, I lay there in my boxers while she puts on the fleecy bedsocks and winter PJs.
Wainers44 - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: ...and when having that last wee, run up the hill to the wee area. If you get into the bag nice and warm chances are you will stay warm. It can be really hard to warm up if you are already cold when you get into the bag...doesnt matter how good the bag is.
AndyCook - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
I would agree. Plus getting in to a highly insulated bag with cold layers on will take you longer to warm up so if you can bare it, strip down to your base layers as people have recommended, do a few star jumps and dive in to your bag.
gear boy - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: there you go, give 'em the info and you get your answers! enjoy your camp, i dont have anything to add to whats been said really

If you get cold put a hat on !-)
Wainers44 - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to gear boy: ...I use a "thinsulate" balaclava if its really cold...only downside is waking and finding its turned on your head and thinking its still night as its all so dark....
bouldery bits - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:

You'll be fine.
richardsonneo on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: thanks everyone. On my way back. Loved it. Got off the hill just as the snow started. Result. Sleeping bag was great but I think I will be after a smaller packing one when money allows. Just two hours of a megabus behind a crying baby to go...
In reply to richardsonneo:
> (In reply to richardsonneo) thanks everyone. On my way back. Loved it. Got off the hill just as the snow started. Result. Sleeping bag was great but I think I will be after a smaller packing one when money allows. Just two hours of a megabus behind a crying baby to go...

<Little thumb-up likey thing here> :)
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bouldery bits - on 22 Feb 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:

Alpkit have excellent value for money down bags. Excellent if you ain't gonna get wet!

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