Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Sleeping Bag Trail Story

All this talk about sleeping bags brings to mind a couple of stories.

Preparing to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, I bought a Junior, or youth synthetic bag, rated 20 degrees. It fit, a snug fit. I would get in it, bend my knees, zip it up and stretch out. Tight. It fit my newly divorced-budget at the time, and I determined not to let that stop me.

The first season, 825 miles from Sonora Pass to Crater Lake, the bag did wonderful. Wonderful enough to take this bag, weighing just two pounds out in the spring to finish up the Pacific Crest Trail. I would be out for 5 months, and it never occurred to me that it was fairly trashed, and had lost most of its loft already.
While hiking through the desert I didn't notice any issues. But once into the High Sierras, I was freezing every night. This was early June, there was still snow banks at 10,000 feet.
I was using my Packless system, so determined to buy something at the next trail town, Kennedy Meadows, and strap it to the pack.
Within a few days we arrived at Kennedy Meadows, and I bought an old army blanket from the owner of the store there. I cut it down with my razor (5 gram) knife, sewed it into a mummy bag liner and carried it along with the sleeping bag.
The moral of the story? One way or another you will get a good sleeping bag.
My hiking partner sent me my fleece liner so that I could ditch the heavy, over 2 pound army blanket. With this combination, I finished in Canada on September 17th.
You can read my trail journals which are linked on my home page at:

I have all my gear lists for the trails as well, too numerous to list here.

Happy shopping.

No comments:

Post a Comment