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What does your BOB contain?
I keep a sleeping bag IN my BOB at all times 24%  24%  [ 7 ]
I keep a sleeping bag near my BOB at all times 24%  24%  [ 7 ]
I keep a blanket in my BOB (with or without a sleeping bag near) 34%  34%  [ 10 ]
I just have a space blanket and a will to live, you sissies. 17%  17%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 29
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:16 pm 
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Yeh the down clothing I meant more as a boost than stand alone - but down pants in a debris shelter (or bivvy bag) stuffed full of leaves would make for a more comfortable night than not having them.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:18 am 
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The old ECWCS green puffy liner pants have been pretty life changing for me, and at around $10 a pop practically disposable. Can't recommend them enough.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:10 pm 
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RonnyRonin wrote:
While fire stuff is super fun and a very important skill to learn, I dislike the fire-centric mindset that often comes up in Bushcraft/survival circles.....For one relying on fire precludes many shelter options (most enclosed tents) and secondly the hour or two (minimum) that it takes to set up a good fire situation for the night could be spent putting miles between you and whatever you are fleeing.


For improvisation, I"ve been watching this guy recently. His ideas on using external heat to make a night more comfortable seem to require few calories. He is a bit long winded, but I like what I have watched so far.

http://www.youtube.com/user/wildernessinnovation/videos

http://youtu.be/DCncD_GevVM

RonnyRonin wrote:
I always have a hard time planning for this for BO purposes because I'm too paranoid about being split up..... Two thinner blankets that combined to make a double sleep system is an option, but once again you are stuck with something less then optimal if split up. I think the getting separated worry is vastly overblown and highly unlikely but I can't shake it.


Fair enough. I am experimenting with the "two thinner blankets" idea. I think it helps to reduce overall weight while giving both parties some protection if separated. Of course I could get some down gear and have both light weight and performance, but that would require $$$. In time that will become more of an option.

RonnyRonin wrote:
I was mostly comparing stuff in a vacuum for ease of discussion but shelter is always an important topic. Once again I tend to think natural shelters are false economy. Good modern shelters (be they tarps, bivvys or tents) are just so light and compact there are few excuses to be without them. Like fire my math says that the calories expended from carrying a well-thought out shelter system all day will never exceed that of improvising shelter.


Some natural shelters can be pretty quick. Some tents are huge, heavy, and flimsy. The tent my wife and I got was blown flat multiple times in some nasty Nebraska winds this summer. Quite the surprise. And I don't know the calorie differences between carrying a 3-5 lb tent 15 miles vs carrying a tarp and picking up some sticks to add shape when you get to your site. I know some natural shelters I have made were VERY calorie intensive. The best ones are tarp and rope configurations. Ok, so that is not quite "natural shelter," but it is far more improvised than carrying a tent. I am starting to think tents rock for bug out shelters. I think a car or truck would do nicely for a bug out too.

My basic point is that shelter of all sorts helps to moderate the equipment needed, or can help to increase the effectiveness of gear already carried. In various PAW fictions one sees characters squatting in abandoned homes/buildings, or under a bridge, or in a drainage pipe/tunnel. A vehicle offers shelter. So I just think there it is useful to consider how to use shelter to better maximize the utility of a BOB sleep system.

RonnyRonin wrote:
I don't like to sound like I'm against the improvising/adapting mindset, because I think it is a very valuable skill to develop, but I think it gets an emphasis it doesn't deserve and can mutate into a weird "I don't need X piece of critical gear, I'll McGiver it out of a panty hose and condoms!" when consumed by the uninitiated.


I hear ya on the uninitiated. I"m trying to go lighter weight for not much money. That tends to mean I'll have to improvise more gear.

RonnyRonin wrote:
My real goal with this thread is to A) show lots of better options then wool blankets, but B) subtly reinforce my message that a traditional sleep system (good bag, good pad, good shelter) is always best, and along with water filters and shoes is something that 1) we shouldn't compromise on and 2) really don't need to compromise on.


Yeah I missed that. Sorry. :) I got really focused on how to maximize the gear you have. I did figure out there was a goal of looking for alternatives to wool blankets.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:53 pm 
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Personally, I differentiate between primary hiking/have to to pack so INCH gear, and stuff in a go bag style BOB. Weight/Size is critical in a grab and go bag, whereas if I'm climbing/hiking/etc I want that extra bit of performance out of that gear, and that would include the sleeping bags.

For a go bag? Space blanket (or two) fit the 'keeps me warm' spec. Odds are you can find something in the field to make it better. For hiking/camping/INCHing? That's a pre-planned activity, and so packing the sleeping bag and not replacing it quite so often from crushed down from long term storage isn't a bad thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:46 am 
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Great read and excellent timing given the weather. Living in the northern midwest I have been making some upgrades for winter weather and this thread has a lot of useful info and links.

Tagged for future reference.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:18 am 
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Vagabond Tom wrote:
I have heard good things about Wiggy's bags, any recommendations on Wiggy's product offerings?

I just had my 0 degree bag in Marpat arrive from them - holy cow is it huge and heavy! But this is intended as car camping/sled maybe piece of kit so I was mostly prepared for that. It seems very durable - I have their poncho zip up liner which I think is great, nice light weight blanket to boost a summer bag when up in the Mountains and it drops a bit - when my ma visited in October I gave her my nice down 15f rated Marmot bag and I had my summer 40f down with the wiggys poncho liner when we were traipsing around. Got down to 20f and I was mostly comfortable.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:17 am 
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Interesting topic and one I’ve been testing and playing with over the years. Starting off with your standard, synthetic fleeces is that they are actually pretty decent for the “warmth value” when comparing weight and price. They are often bulky, but that is pretty consistent with the majority of alternatives. I’ve never noticed a degradation in performance when “compressed”, but they don’t really compress which is why they are often pretty bulky. The worst aspect of most synthetic fleece blankets is that they suck without a wind shell or wind barrier; wind cuts right through them which is a big consideration.

I have several wool blankets from high-end Pendleton, South American alpaca and cheaper military surplus blankets to very soft merino wool blankets. The alpaca blankets are by far the best performers from my personal testing; the most comfortable and feel like they provide the best warmth. They are typically thicker and heavier than the denser wools like Pendleton blankets, which are also pretty solid for their weight and compactness.

As one plans and assess the requirements for their sleep system, they really need to understand their “area of operations”, weather conditions and their personal requirements especially when it comes to traveling distance if force to go on foot. Weight matters. Understanding your personal thermoregulation needs is another significant consideration and the best way to assess that is to just get outdoors in various conditions with your gear. I know a lot of people throw a cheap space blanket in their kit, but unless you’ve never used one in cold, windy or wet weather, you’ll never understand the limitations which can create havoc on any shelter/sleep system. Learning the effects of radiation, convection, conduction and evaporation helps to plan, implement and find the best forms of shelter and sleep systems to keep you alive and even comfortable.

Most here would agree that before you start talking insulation, you need to address protection from the elements, specifically wind and precipitation. Once that is addressed, many overlook the importance of ground insulation (or convection from the use of a hammock) and reducing the effects of conduction which is far more important than any “top cover” insulation.

This (in my opinion) should NOT be planned around using any form or externally assisted mean of thermoregulation; i.e. fire. Fire should be a last resort and not meant as a primary mean outside of a severe climate. If you’re climate requires a tent stove, than were talking apples and oranges. I think most situations we’re discussing here are from zero degrees on up, which is completely feasible with packable shelter and insulation clothing and sleep systems. For the majority of locations in the CONUS and at reasonable elevations for the majority of the seasons, you should be able to build a packable shelter and sleep system that will work without needing a fire or stove. Yes, that’s an assumption, but not an unreasonable one and I conceded there are always exceptions.

As long as you have cover and protection from wind and precipitation, than we can start talking insulation types and their qualities. I have learned to appreciate the compactness, lightweight and performance of 850+fill down. Now with “treated down”, the fear of getting wet is reduced. Even before, with proper planning and protection, I’ve never (in over 35+years of outdoors use) got a down bag soaked, ever. I’ve had them get damp or covered lightly in condensation, but nothing to affect the performance. With that said, I haven’t used a down quilt when huddled on an open helo-pad during February with gusty cold winds and sleet in Afghanistan; I have used synthetic “woobies”, such as Kifaru’s Woobie and HPG’s Mountain Serape…both of which performed admirably.

As much as I prefer down, I must acknowledge that synthetic (higher end) insulation with a tough DWR shell is vastly more robust and can handle compression better than down over time. The nice thing about the newer treated down is that a soaked down quilt will actually dry about as fast as a synthetic quilt when hung up on a sunny, breezy day (as I was experimenting). Down relies on loft and long term compression does affect the loft and ultimately the performance. I will always keep my down bags uncompressed when stored, so they are typically never packed and ready to go. This leaves a companion piece of insulation such as the current high-end offerings. The nice thing about a pack with expandable collar, is that you can still stuff your emergency insulation in the top and not compress it…that has been my standard means of having insulation in my pack yet having my primary means of insulation separate, but ready to grab and go…compressing and packing when I get a chance.


Back to wool. I still love the value of wool. I have a quality wool blanket (twin size) that I also keep ready. It’s not attached to my pack, but does have a lanyard/harness. Wool for me excels in short-term, poor weather conditions and offers long term value once you get home or to a more permanent BOL or shelter. Yes, the weight is a significant factor, which is why it’s just a part to augment and not a necessary part of my shelter/insulation system. I do like the fact that if soaked, it will still provide some insulation value; however, that is a poor excuse for not keeping your higher value insulation properly protected which is really simple. What I do like is that a wool blanket can cover my more flammable insulation if I do have a fire and it can also provide additional shelter-insulation as well as ground insulation. The biggest detractors are weight and bulk and if you’ve never carried a queen-sized wool blanket that has been soaked, you really don’t understand how ineffective wool is for a long distance, hiking choice. Wool doesn’t dry fast and if your wool material absorbs a lot of water, you will quickly rethink how integral or necessary it is to your system planning.

I do have synthetic bags and Wiggy’s are some of the top choices for robust performance, but their bulk and compression typically rule them out for use in a pack. If I have more than a 10 minute “run out the door” notice on foot, I would grab that 0-degree bag for the truck. I know many wouldn’t consider down (even the newer treated down) for bugging out, but I’ve been using it for backpacking and in extreme conditions for years. I’m quite comfortable using it and despite requiring a little more attention, maintenance and protection, it’s vastly superior to anything synthetic when it comes to compression, weight and performance. Yet, even with a primary down bag, I will still keep a synthetic “backup” option such as my Kifaru Woobie or HPG Mt. Serape.

So, as much as I like the value of fleece, a better designed wind/DWR shell-covered quilt with synthetic insulation is what gets stuffed and left in my pack. My dry-down bags/quilts are stored (uncompressed) nearby and I keep that rolled up wool blanket next to it as well. I can grab it for short distances or strap it on for longer treks if really needed; however, I’m not dependent on the wool blanket.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:27 am 
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Let me chime in with some under represented positions.

If the question is warmth per unit weight, what is the CLO value for a mylar blanket? There was lots of talk about how to raise the “warmth” number in the equation, but what about lowering the weight number?

What about mixing materials, a light wool blanket and a fleece blanket for example?

Is this even the right question? How often will a bug out mean living in a tent in the woods compared to how often it will mean sleeping on the floor in a church/ someone's home/ a barn? Is a great sleeping bag really just part of the “I'll go and live of the land!” plan?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:13 am 
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You can't really measure the CLO of mylar (you can, practically 0) because CLO is mostly an insulation thing and mylar is a radiant heat thing. I believe it also changes dramatically on how much mass you have between you and the mylar.

The warmth number is the weight number, because CLO/oz is the insulation per a unit weight, so the more efficient the insulator the less weight you are carrying for the same amount of warmth. Whether it is a church gymnasium or a national forest, a sleep system with TEN TIMES the insulation efficiency (800 fill down compared to wool) is going to be a fraction of the weight. A good sleep/shelter system is ultimate freedom, whether you make it to your friends house or get run off the road and have to sleep in your car in a snow bank. As I always say a wilderness focused BOB works much better in a hotel room then a hotel room focused BOB works in the wilderness.

I do think many people look at it backwards and try to pick their sleep system and then try all kinds of crazy things to adapt to it, whereas I view insulation needs as fixed (I need a sleep system capable of sleeping in down to X degrees F) and you simply pick the best weight/dollar/bulk option that has that amount of insulation. I think people look at a 5lb blanket and think "Its a little heavier then a 2lb sleeping bag, but I'll manage" and don't realize that they might actually need 30lbs of blankets to match the insulation of that sleeping bag.

When a quality sleep system that will keep you warm and comfortable in extreme temps is so light these days it just doesn't make sense to go for a "barely keep me alive" sleep system in the name of saving weight, unless you are terribly budget constrained.

Mixing materials has advantages, but as far as warmth it is simply linear with the CLO values. A wool and fleece blanket will be better then two wool blankets, but not as warm as two fleece blankets.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:19 pm 
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ROCK6 wrote:
If you’re climate requires a tent stove, than were talking apples and oranges. I think most situations we’re discussing here are from zero degrees on up, which is completely feasible with packable shelter and insulation clothing and sleep systems. For the majority of locations in the CONUS and at reasonable elevations for the majority of the seasons, you should be able to build a packable shelter and sleep system that will work without needing a fire or stove. Yes, that’s an assumption, but not an unreasonable one and I conceded there are always exceptions.


I'm not sure when a tent stove is "required," but I know the Midwest can pretty easily get down to -20F. Having a sleeping system rated down to 0F is cool, but for winter use I really try to focus on getting down past -20F, even though I am in the Nebraska area, and that is fairly far south IMO. I grew up in Iowa with wind chills in the -40F range being fairly common (every winter would have at least a few days at those temps, and sometimes reaching lower). I still frequently see -20F actual in northern Iowa, with wind chills being even lower. So for winter time use I feel most people should plan for something colder than 0F. Granted, I don't see stretches of 10 days at those lower temps, but I"ll see 1-2 days where temps dip that low, or close enough to it, and then rise back up to -5 or +5. And I"ll see these dips happen 2-4 times each winter.

My one hope is that if temps are lower than 0F, bad guys will not be out and about to spot your fire. I do try and plan and create living conditions for that -20F condition, but so far I have not owned gear that is capable of doing -20F on it's own. At this point whenever I have camped down to -15F I have needed a fire to make things comfortable and livable. But I am also working towards acquiring a sleep system (bag & pad) capable of going down to -30F. I honestly think most of the American Midwest should do the same. In the mean time, I work to figure out how to extend the capability of the gear I currently have to reach into those -20F and lower temps.

Just my opinion and experiences.

RonnyRonin wrote:
Mixing materials has advantages, but as far as warmth it is simply linear with the CLO values. A wool and fleece blanket will be better then two wool blankets, but not as warm as two fleece blankets.


Just to be extra clear, and to make sure I am understanding everything right; it is both the material and the weight of the material that matters, right?

So Merino wool has a CLO of .084. A 10 lb blanket will be 160 oz of wool. So you will have (.084x160)=13.44 units of insulation which is 13.44 units of happyness.

Thinsulate has that CLO of .3. So a 10 lb blanket of Thinsulate would give (.3x160)=48 units of insulation, or 48 units of happyness.

In this example, a 2.8 pound Thinsulate blanket would provide equal warmth to a 10 lb Merino wool blanket. In this case, we would prefer the 2.8 lb Thinsulate blanket because it is lighter than the 10 lb wool blanket, and just as effective.

If we compare a 1 lb fleece blanket with a 5 lb wool blanket we find the fleece will deliver (16x.16)=2.56 units of warmth, and the wool blanket will deliver (80x.084)=6.72 units of warmth. So that 5 lb wool blanket will actually be about 2x warmer than the 1 lb fleece. But if you had 5 lbs of fleece, the fleece would be warmer (12.8 units of warmth). And if you mix your 1 lb fleece blanket with your 5 lb wool blanket you will have (2.56+6.72)=9.28 units of warmth.

Is this the correct way to interpret and understand the CLOs?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:27 pm 
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woodsghost wrote:
I'm not sure when a tent stove is "required," but I know the Midwest can pretty easily get down to -20F. Having a sleeping system rated down to 0F is cool, but for winter use I really try to focus on getting down past -20F, even though I am in the Nebraska area, and that is fairly far south IMO. I grew up in Iowa with wind chills in the -40F range being fairly common (every winter would have at least a few days at those temps, and sometimes reaching lower). I still frequently see -20F actual in northern Iowa, with wind chills being even lower. So for winter time use I feel most people should plan for something colder than 0F. Granted, I don't see stretches of 10 days at those lower temps, but I"ll see 1-2 days where temps dip that low, or close enough to it, and then rise back up to -5 or +5. And I"ll see these dips happen 2-4 times each winter.


Just to be extra clear, and to make sure I am understanding everything right; it is both the material and the weight of the material that matters, right?



I think you are a prime candidate for a tent stove, like I said there are plenty of DIY options out there that cost next to nothing and have every advantage over an open fire. Not all are man-portable but many are, I've seen everything from ammo cans to chaffing dishes used, and there is at least one design made from nothing more then flat sheet steel or ti (look up "seek outside sibling stove," a conical flue for a campfire more then a true stove). I have some DIY hot tent projects planned down the road.

You are very close on the CLOs, the key factor is that all these numbers are talking about both weight and area, so I try to avoid talking about total CLO value for a finished product as they have to be the exact same size and shape for the total number to be correct, in your example comparing flat blankets to flat blankets you are certainly close enough for the information to be useful. As I said complications immediately enter in as down and lofted insulation both require shell fabrics that add weight with little CLO so the finished product will have a slightly worse ratio then the insulation itself. To do the math properly what you really want to know is the weight of fabric in oz/yd^2, but extrapolating from the total weight of the item is close enough get in the ballpark.

half-assed example:

highloft fleece blanket has a CLO/oz/yd^2 of 0.2ish. assuming a blanket that is 2yd^2 and has a fabric weight of 8oz/yd^2 (280g/m^2 is what the cabelas blanket is) the total CLO is 3.2 (0.2x8x2). (you can get the same number from the total weight of the blanket, 16oz, as 0.2x16=3.2, but that only works because we know the exact size of the blanket)

We will say a 650 fill down has a CLO/oz/yd^2 of 1.0 (nice round number) in a blanket of the same size (2yd^2) but say we have an inner and outer shell fabric that weighs 1oz/yd^2 and adds 0.0 CLO (not true, it would add a tiny amount, but lets keep our number nice and round) so for a blanket that weighs the same as the 8oz/yd^2 fleece you would only have 6 oz of down/yd^2, rather then 8, so the total CLO would be 12 (1x6x2) and not the 16 (1x8x2) you would get if you only calculated the CLO of the down.

So while the down is 5 times warmer, the finished product is only 4 times warmer (boo hoo).

This still isn't the truly proper way to calculate things as down is not measured in oz/yd^2, and it is really hard to convert the fill weight of a bag into a usable number but this little exercise at least gives you a ballpark number to work off of. Real life continues to intervene, as unless the down blanket is fully baffled (which adds weight) there will be quilting that hurts the total insulation abilities, and the down will be more vulnerable to moisture that is hard to calculate, but we can see that even a down blanket working at 50% of optimum is still twice as warm as the fleece of the same weight.

Comparing synthetic to down is quite a bit easier, we can for instance assume that an identical sleeping bag (same cut, features, and shell fabric) of 800 fill down is going to be close to twice as warm as the same bag in climashield apex for the same weight. We also know that Climasheild is going to lose something like 30% of its loft during its lifetime while down will probably lose closer to 10% (properly cared for), but we also know that down can lose up to 60% of its insulation abilities when wet, while climashiled loses less then 40%, and dries much faster.

Comparing blankets to sleeping bags it all falls apart, and mummy bags to top quilts. But just having a frame of reference on the materials involved and which features add warmth (neck baffles, hoods) and which features detract warmth (roomy cut, drafty zippers) you can make much more educated guesses then otherwise.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:36 am 
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Crap. I forgot all about this thread. Will take a photo of that jacket thing tomorrow. Yea I know. That's what I said before. :(

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Really interesting thread, thanks for the explanation of the math. So the mathematical comparison holds, even if I want to limit my BoB to a certain weight of sleeping gear, say 3 lbs. It just means I am looking for / building / DIY, down vs, wool v. fleece to get the most warmth for my weight. Right?

I also believe in cheating every chance I get. So I cheat on this issue by living in the PNW, which is having a bitter cold snap right now with lows around 20F, but that is unusually cold for this part of the world.

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RonnyRonin wrote:
half-assed example:

highloft fleece blanket has a CLO/oz/yd^2 of 0.2ish. assuming a blanket that is 2yd^2 and has a fabric weight of 8oz/yd^2 (280g/m^2 is what the cabelas blanket is) the total CLO is 3.2 (0.2x8x2). (you can get the same number from the total weight of the blanket, 16oz, as 0.2x16=3.2, but that only works because we know the exact size of the blanket)

We will say a 650 fill down has a CLO/oz/yd^2 of 1.0 (nice round number) in a blanket of the same size (2yd^2) but say we have an inner and outer shell fabric that weighs 1oz/yd^2 and adds 0.0 CLO (not true, it would add a tiny amount, but lets keep our number nice and round) so for a blanket that weighs the same as the 8oz/yd^2 fleece you would only have 6 oz of down/yd^2, rather then 8, so the total CLO would be 12 (1x6x2) and not the 16 (1x8x2) you would get if you only calculated the CLO of the down.

So while the down is 5 times warmer, the finished product is only 4 times warmer (boo hoo).


The math teacher in me is totally loving this!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:26 am 
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Going to use these in a thread but posting here as promised.

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woodsghost wrote:
I'm not sure when a tent stove is "required," but I know the Midwest can pretty easily get down to -20F. Having a sleeping system rated down to 0F is cool, but for winter use I really try to focus on getting down past -20F, even though I am in the Nebraska area, and that is fairly far south IMO. I grew up in Iowa with wind chills in the -40F range being fairly common (every winter would have at least a few days at those temps, and sometimes reaching lower). I still frequently see -20F actual in northern Iowa, with wind chills being even lower. So for winter time use I feel most people should plan for something colder than 0F. Granted, I don't see stretches of 10 days at those lower temps, but I"ll see 1-2 days where temps dip that low, or close enough to it, and then rise back up to -5 or +5. And I"ll see these dips happen 2-4 times each winter.

My one hope is that if temps are lower than 0F, bad guys will not be out and about to spot your fire. I do try and plan and create living conditions for that -20F condition, but so far I have not owned gear that is capable of doing -20F on it's own. At this point whenever I have camped down to -15F I have needed a fire to make things comfortable and livable. But I am also working towards acquiring a sleep system (bag & pad) capable of going down to -30F. I honestly think most of the American Midwest should do the same. In the mean time, I work to figure out how to extend the capability of the gear I currently have to reach into those -20F and lower temps.

Just my opinion and experiences.


From all my cold weather training, if temps were consistently below -10 degrees, it was stove weather. My challenge has always been bulk and weight limitations, especially if you're talking a pack. Add a sled or other vehicle and there are other options. If you add in wind chill, an open fire can also be counterproductive at worse and negligible at best (hence the need for a shelter and stove). I agree, it's really a challenge and you can get those minuse 30-40 degree sleeping bags, but weight and cost make them niche items. Man, just thinking about those temps make me cold :mrgreen:

Getting out of the wind and any precipitation, and having excellent ground insulation are essential. Man, I bet only 10% of the current population in the Midwest are possibly prepared to survive those temps unaided in the outdoors; many just wouldn't make it as I don't think they are outfitted properly or understand the impacts of conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Excellent post OP. Thanks to you all for your posts and adding to my library of knowledge.

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ROCK6 wrote:

From all my cold weather training, if temps were consistently below -10 degrees, it was stove weather....

.... Man, I bet only 10% of the current population in the Midwest are possibly prepared to survive those temps unaided in the outdoors...


Just so I am clear, my experiences range in latitude from Omaha/Lincoln up to Minneapolis. Most of my winter experiences have been along the Iowa/Minnesota border.

I have done some "survival expeditions" with a few friends, running out in the woods with minimal gear. I am now a huge believer in space blankets, lean-to's, long fires, and high R value sleeping pads. Fire is the reason I am still alive, but we all have stories from when we were younger.....

I completely agree that most of the Midwest is unprepared for truly surviving serious winter extremes. I also know those days only hit for maybe 2-10 days out of 150. (winter is longer for some regions than others ;) Why would anyone buy a snow mobile? It is a waste of money to buy a vehicle you can only use 9 months out of the year....). However, on those nights when it hits -30 or lower you get these messages saying "don't go out unless it is an absolute emergency. EMS and police will probably not be able to respond if you get stuck or have an accident." I think most people simply stay home on those nights, and that helps keep the unprepared from becoming a problem.

One nasty night it got cold enough the natural gas lines running underground to the house froze. I did not go camping that night. Wisdom (and my mother) prevailed.





I have long done things on the cheap and haphazard. When it comes to knowing how NOT to do things, I am a fount of knowledge. I have only started to learn the right way to do things in the last few years.

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I spent a good part of my life in Maine and have camped out in very cold weather down to -51F.
I've spent a bit of time in Finland and Siberia.

I like wool. One of my favorite items is a Norwegian Army wool sweater. These are extremely hard to find
and it's a really useful piece. I grew up listening to the stories of the value of wool by the lobstermen and fisherman
going out onto the ocean. I like a good Merino wool blanket for certain things, such as in a car.
Here are some really nice brand new production European Merino wool blankets for just $29
http://www.ohioprepsupply.com/accessories/

these are much nicer than the traditional wool army blanket. But as has been gone over time and time here
they are big, bulky and heavy.

I have been trying different modern synthetics and options as well as good ol fashioned down.
Good thread with some good info


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:45 am 
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Quote:
I completely agree that most of the Midwest is unprepared for truly surviving serious winter extremes.


I think most of us here on the forum would be shocked to find out how few people in the US today can actually start a fire given matches, newspaper, kindling and fuel.


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woodsghost wrote:
Just so I am clear, my experiences range in latitude from Omaha/Lincoln up to Minneapolis. Most of my winter experiences have been along the Iowa/Minnesota border.

I have done some "survival expeditions" with a few friends, running out in the woods with minimal gear. I am now a huge believer in space blankets, lean-to's, long fires, and high R value sleeping pads. Fire is the reason I am still alive, but we all have stories from when we were younger.....


I agree with the weather conditions in the Midwest; it often gets overlooked temps and conditions can get brutal, even if for a period of a week or two...conditions that shouldn't be underestimated. It just kills me down here in the South. It was 20 degrees a week ago and it hit the low 70's this weekend for highs; simply ridiculous. My wife loves the warmer temps, I really would like to get some sustained temps in the teens (you can keep your sub-zero temps :lol: ).

My issue with fire, is that it often doesn't play well with the modern, lightweight synthetic clothing, insulation or shelters. Wool (even lightweight wool) would be high on my list if I planned on fire being my major source of heat. On the flip side, you can only carry so much insulation (usually bulky) to survive with a fire. Whatever the choice, the best way to find out is through experience and testing your own personal comfort level and limitations.

ROCK6


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Gunwriter wrote:
I spent a good part of my life in Maine and have camped out in very cold weather down to -51F.
I've spent a bit of time in Finland and Siberia.

I like wool. One of my favorite items is a Norwegian Army wool sweater. These are extremely hard to find
and it's a really useful piece. I grew up listening to the stories of the value of wool by the lobstermen and fisherman
going out onto the ocean. I like a good Merino wool blanket for certain things, such as in a car.
Here are some really nice brand new production European Merino wool blankets for just $29
http://www.ohioprepsupply.com/accessories/

these are much nicer than the traditional wool army blanket. But as has been gone over time and time here
they are big, bulky and heavy.

I have been trying different modern synthetics and options as well as good ol fashioned down.
Good thread with some good info

Just want to say I bought one of these blankets and for $30 it's great. Bought it for internal use at home as extra blanket but it's fantastic. Made in Poland and yeh just really impressive I think.

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:14 am 
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Bumping this again because been looking at quilts/blanket options. Came across MontBell down blanket at their store for $209 then started looking online.

Enlightened Equipment has been mentioned here before and they seem pretty interesting - $250 starting for their down quilts seems good. Again I like the idea of being able to combine this with my UL down sleeping bag as an option.

Price wise though I think Jacks'R'Better has them beat, their long 40 degree downtek treated quilt is 190.

Hmmm decisions.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Image

How did I miss this thread?!

My BOB is a MOLLE II, and in the sleep system carrier I have a 25 degree rated bag, small air mattress, and USGI woobie. I've been plenty comfortable in the sleeping bag with the woobie as a liner, and that was when the nights dropped to the low 30s. I'd invest in the USGI sleep system, but I think that combined with the tent in my BOB, it's overkill.

Should things get truly frosty, my plan is to place the woobie inside the sleeping bag, then the sleeping bag inside a SOL escape bivy. I keep the SOL escape bivy in my GHB, which is designed to be attached to the MOLLE II main ruck as an assault pack.

I've never had an opportunity to use the SOL escape bivy, (and truthfully, I kind of hope I never have to) but I'm reasonably confident based on what I've read here and my experience with the sleeping bag/woobie combination that I should be good to go.

Am I way off base in taking the Turducken approach to my sleeping gear? Or does anyone else use a similar approach?


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