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Sleeping Bag and Space Blanket

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I went with the cot, blue pad from Wal-Mart, sleeping bag, fleece bag in sleeping bag, wicking layer, socks, mittens, hat, fleece pullover Friday night, but I can't remember if I used it Saturday or not, and flannel bottoms. No clothing worn to bed that had been worn that day.


Only changes from previous outing was the blue pad, mittens rather than gloves, and no cotton sweatshirt.


Temp Saturday dropped below 32, Friday was slightly warmer, but in the 30's I think.


Definitely warmer than previous outing, Saturday I had some trouble getting my legs comfortably warm. Unfortunately, the flannel was all I had to use as a second layer.


In the future, I'd take a better 2nd layer for sleeping and a blanket for isolating the area under the cot or throwing over the leg area on top of the bag and some wool socks - they just weren't in the budget this weekend.


I was warm enough, just not toasty like my 14 yo in his 15 degree mummy bag at the same camp but a different event on Saturday.

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Ditch the cot you will be warmer. At least 10 people who have some experience told you to do it. Add one more.....


When on the ground you can toss a blanket over you and it makes a big difference.


To be real honest I think your wearing way too much into the bag. I am a single layer of long johns and hat with cord to tie under the chin. Remember you have to warm the air in the bag before you will be warm. too many layers no warm bag. I stick my cloths for the coming day in a stuff sack and use that for a pillow.


Gloves in a sleeping bag. I have done it but it was a windy -12. then they were just the liners.


I am gonna have to disagree with the wool socks, my experience with my kids is that the socks fit relatively tight and restrict blood flow. They recommend camp booties or loose fitting socks.


You can get a really reasonable 15-20 degree bag at wally world. I would do that instead of struggling with all that clothing.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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One thing that was not mentioned. Don't completely close the sleeping bag over your face. Your nose or mouth (whichever you breath with) should be outside. If you completely close the sleeping bag the moisture builds up inside and reduces the insulating effect of the sleeping bag.


As to not using the cot. I suspect that it is no colder than sleeping on the ground, and if done right will be warmer. Warm objects transfer their heat to colder objects that are in contact--air, ice or ground. Air has low thermal conductivity compared to the ground (and much lower than ice). The problem with air is that it moves easily. You may eventually warm the ground you are sleeping on (and loose lots of heat doing it!) but the air under the cot will rise and be replaced by cold air. Using Stosh's suggestion of hanging a blanket or tarp over the sides to prevent this air flow will help. Filling the space beneath the cot with gear, crumpled newspaper or straw will also help as it breaks up the air flow.


Finally, as has been said, the insulation beneath you gets compressed and becomes less effective. Your sleeping bag is likely adequate on top. Instead of wrapping blankets around you, you should fold them and put them under you for increased insulation where you need it. You are better off with two layers below you than one below and one above if the one above is not needed. This is true if you use a cot or not. You might even fold it again so it is only under your body as your legs will likely not be fully compressing the sleeping bag and pad.

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Well, not ditching the cot because warmth is only one component of comfort. I had several camping nights this summer, and can not sleep restfully on the ground with the gear available to me at the moment. A $100 pad might help, but that's not in the budget any time soon.


My hands and feet get cold easily, even in my suburban bedroom, hence the gloves and need for heavier socks than I took.


Face/head was not in the bag - frankly that kind of creeps me out!


Friday I did start with two layers, but started with only one on Saturday and didn't add the pants until I was sure things weren't warming up without them. I genuinely can't recall whether I used the fleece top Saturday, but I don't think I did.


The ideal solution would be an adequate bag, but that wasn't possible.


I consider it a successful weekend - temps were lower than previous outing but I was warmer. And this is the last of camping for me this season - I'll be starting up again in the spring when I think the weather's suitable for my Webelos.



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Lots of good tips. Klondike Derbies coming up.

Read "To Build a Fire" by Jack London again.


Heater in a tent??? Nononono. See G2SS.

Asphyxiasion danger. Fire danger. Melt nylon issues. Burn Scout issues. No need for extra weight. Leave No Trace issues. This is "roughing it"?


Save a sheep. Wear Wool.



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Buying a larger furnace isn't going to be of much help if someone always has to sleep with the windows open for comfort. :)


There aren't many options beyond doing it correctly and expect to get the same results.



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The one thing I would add to all the above is long underwear. I noticed that one other poster mentioned this. I rougtinely carry lightweight synthetic long johns with me, even in the summer. These are an extra layer if I really need it, but also enable me to carry a lighter weight sleeping bag and make up the difference with the underwear. The advantage to this is that you do not have to deal with an extra blanket layer falling off of you during the night.

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