Alternative sleep systems for BOBs

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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What does your BOB contain?

I keep a sleeping bag IN my BOB at all times
7
24%
I keep a sleeping bag near my BOB at all times
7
24%
I keep a blanket in my BOB (with or without a sleeping bag near)
10
34%
I just have a space blanket and a will to live, you sissies.
5
17%
 
Total votes: 29

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woodsghost
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Re: Alternative sleep systems for BOBs

Post by woodsghost » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:16 pm

echo83 wrote: 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?
I'd like to know what others think. I suspect the problem with the Turducken approach is more psychological. We test one or two parts, and then assume the combination will be fine at more extreme temps. We assume that one piece worked well at 50F, another worked well at 40F, so combined they should work at ..... 20F? When in practice they might only work at 30F. Maybe because one other piece of the puzzle was not though out or tested, or maybe because the combination of 2 pieces compresses insulation or increases moisture retention and decreases performance.

For me, I've slept in a setup which should have been good to -10F. At 5F it sucked. It was awful. I thought I was going to freeze to death until I got some hand warmers in there. It still sucked. The problem I had was I used a sucky sleeping pad. I did not understand R values and how they mattered. I just thought a green military sleeping mat must be amazing.

I later had a similar experience at 30F with lesser gear, but it should have been good to 20F. Again, that damn sleeping pad sucked. So my own Turduckens were awful because one piece of gear sucked.

On other occasions I have wrapped up in a space blanket and GI poncho. Nothing else. While that kinda let me sleep I was SOAKED with moisture. I have had similar experiences with other gear too. Moisture barriers reduce performance unless you have enough volume for moisture to disperse into.

I have used space blankets in different ways which helped (lean too w/ fire, ground cloth, blanket over top of fluffy sleeping bag) and ways that were not useful (alone or in conjunction with elements which don't have mass or fluffyness, or with other vapor barriers).

Back to psychology: Turduckens make us assume there is redundancy and resiliency in our systems which may not exist and which will not be discovered until tested. Better to test now than in an emergency.
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RonnyRonin
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Re: Alternative sleep systems for BOBs

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:53 pm

I have a few problems with the turducken approach:

1) If the layers are not sized to layer it is very easy to compress the insulation in the inner layers and compromise the warmth

2) If there are too many components it becomes increasingly difficult to adjust the layers, beyond 2 layers it comes a pretty big ordeal for me to even get situated once, let alone get up to pee.

3) As hard as it is for awake me to situate the turducken, asleep me is pretty darn good at ruining it in the middle of the night.


If you are going with as many as three layers I would go blanket+sleeping bag+quilt/totally open sleeping bag. Fitting all that in even a GI bivvy can be tricky, I don't think it would fit at all in an Escape bivvy. A plus sized bivvy is pretty easy to fab up with tyvek and tyvek tape though, and darn cheap too.

A down sleeping bag inside a synthetic quilt is pretty much the gold standard for multi-layer sleep systems, the synthetic protects the down from external moisture as well as usually moving the dew point into the synthetic bag so internal moisture doesn't build up so bad in the down.


Vapor barriers are a whole big topic for another day, but if used correctly they can greatly increase the warmth of a sleep system. I've wondered on using a non-breathable mylar bivvy inside a down bag. This would give you three advantages: It would reflect heat back at you, keep your moisture from degrading the loft of the down, and would negate the need for the outer layer of the bag to be breathable; you could wrap up in any non-breathable totally waterproof material you wanted, such as a silnyon bivvy, or even a second larger mylar bivvy outside for more radiant heat capture and keep any external moisture out. The Stevenson Warmlite bags were built on this premiss, they were waterproof inside and out.
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RonnyRonin
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Re: Alternative sleep systems for BOBs

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:59 pm

the_alias wrote: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.

On the budget side the costco/bed bath and beyond/eddie bauer down blankets are a pretty good deal, and with a few modifications make a decent summer quilt or a warmth booster for winter. I have one for my carryon sleep system that pairs with a jacket for unplanned sleeping. I would take one over a GI woobie any day of the week and twice on sunday, I'm just trying to decide on the best way to punch a head hole in one for a serape.

On the higher end there is certainly no reason to NOT buy an EE quilt as I have heard nothing but good. Of course the competition (katabatic, nunatak, JRB,) is as good or even better, but really if you just pick one at random you are still getting an amazing product. I'm biased for Nunatak because I like the owner (I only have one of their vests, no quilt yet) but they are all good.
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Re: Alternative sleep systems for BOBs

Post by the_alias » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:32 am

Well last night showed why under padding is important on a hammock - I bailed as the weather was way worse than expected (10,000 ft it was 25f and snowing at 5:30pm) and wasn't quite prepared to tough it out in a less than ideal setup.

In a hammock that compression really goes to the next level, air pads just feel useless in such situations.
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