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  1. #21
    Registered User ny breakfast's Avatar
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    i did leg lifts in my sleeping bag to warm up one night seemed to do the trick better then anything else 20 degree bag -16 degree night

  2. #22
    Registered User handlebar's Avatar
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    Was out last Fri in -4*F---a bit lower than my 0*-rated down bag. I do always use a silk liner (partly for warmth, partly to keep bag cleaner). After eating and making my tea, I boiled, separately, 2 liter Nalgenes, one for the toes, one for between my legs. I had my down jacket around my shoulders and two hats with the hood cinched tight. Wore 200 wt long johns, and long sleeve top along with lightweight wool liner socks. Stayed reasonably warm. The same technique with the addition of a wool balaclava and my Marmot Dri-Clime wind shirt (which is all I wear over base layer while hiking in temps below 20*) got me thru a -12*F night last winter and I still had the rain jacket in reserve. It was very hard getting out of the bag for the middle of the night pee.

    One problem I do notice in such cold weather is that the moisture in my breath condenses in my beard and moustache. I keep a bandana handy to wipe them so as to keep the adjoining part of the bag dry.
    Handlebar
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  3. #23

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    Botach still has PolarWrap Full Head Cover (balaclava).

    I have a Half Mask and a Full Head Cover.

    I regard PolarWrap as essential gear. I had a PsolarEX before that. Now, there are these other brands: Cold Avenger and CT Mask. I don't know anything about CT Mask. If I could only have Cold Avenger, I would also wear a Turtle Fur or Buff. The AVa Lung is another, breathing warmer air with the air intake worn inside clothing.

    These warm air masks use out-breath warmth to pre-heat the in-breath, greatly helping keep core warmth.

    The other benefit is no condensation, or, less condensation on the inside surface of the tarp or tent.

    More importantly, little or no condensation from breath on the sleeping bag or sleeping quilt.

    I do the other strategies to keep warm. I regard this item as important essential cold weather equipment.

    http://www.exmask.com/Talus-ColdAvenger/
    Last edited by Connie; 01-21-2015 at 22:17.

  4. #24
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    After a hat and something to block the drafts around your shoulder, the most effective insulation to add to your bag, in my opinion, are down booties. They are much more effective than heavy wool socks which often tend to reduce circulation due to constriction of your ankles and feet. Usually the first place we feel cold is our feet.

    Do not, however, try to keep your feet warm unless you have protected your head and neck, it will be a futile attempt.

  5. #25
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    I still need to work out how not to roll over in my sleep and bury my face in the sleeping bag hood. If I'm out in subzero, I always seem to do that and fill the hood with condensation. Wearing a balaclava doesn't seem to help much because all that moisture has to go somewhere. The ColdAvenger thing looks as if it would be worth a try for when I'm out in the biting wind. It might help keep my goggles from frosting up, which is a problem with just a balaclava or a conventional facemask. I can't see myself sleeping in it, though,
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  6. #26

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    ColdAvenger Amazon shows DeWalt goggles that appear to be well ventiated.

    http://www.amazon.com/Coldavenger-CA.../dp/B001SARMZW

    DeWalt has a dark lens, as well:

    http://www.amazon.com/Dewalt-DPG82-2...SWXY810AC8MRV8

    If I got the Pro model for the wind, either half mask or full head cover, I think I would order the foam insert to keep my eyeglasses clear. Maybe not needed.

    I didn't need anything extra for their Psolar EX model I had for a number of years, I liked that one, under Turtle Fur neckwear, or not. I didn't care how stupid it looked. The improvement to my comfort and warmth was considerable. I like how it rinsed out under a stream of running water. I also liked I felt the need to do that only one time.
    Last edited by Connie; 01-22-2015 at 12:31.

  7. #27
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    So far, the only goggles that I've been able to wear comfortably over my glasses are the ESS Striker Land Ops Goggles. They're also the best I've had at staying free of frost, but still not really satisfactory. They have the foam all the way around, and have clear, amber and smoke lenses.

    I see that http://www.scandinavian-hiking.com/2...ldavenger.html reports that the ColdAvenger also has the problem of fogging/frosting the goggles. I wonder how well the updated version (with the nose wire) works.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  8. #28
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    Having enough food during the day and eating something in the evening can help you keep warm. My experience is that if I sleep in the bag and I'm hungry, I'll feel like there's about 10 degrees difference in temperature from when I eat enough.

    Being well hydrated also helps you keep warm, but drinking in the evening can make you get up to urinate few times during the night.

    I had a cheep synthetic winter bag that was not enough for anything below zero Celsius. So, I bought a thin, cheep spring bag and used it within the thicker winter bag - it worked down to about minus 10 Celsius.

  9. #29

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    Staying warm on a winter trip is in part related to air humidity and cold temps. 20F in bone dry conditions vs 20F in high humid conditions are two different beasts, the latter testing the loft and insulating power of your geese items---bag, parka, down pants etc.

    On my last trip I had many days at 35F with nonstop rain which cut into me and got me to shivering. Then when the so-called "arctic blast" hit the sky was clear for several days and the temps plummeted to 0F or below.

    The way to stay warm in such temps (when out backpacking) is to go overkill with your geese. Carry a -15F sleeping bag, use an Exped downmat (rated at 8R), carry a down parka and down pants etc. Overkill is the best system in the long run, as air humidity will take a nice lofted at-home bone dry -15F bag and turn it into a 0F bag at best since moisture in the air reduces its loft and warmth.

    Other tricks---
    ** Carry several 3 hour candles to use in the tent to keep the hands and fingers thawed when needed. Use common sense and keep careful tabs on the open flame.

    ** In the morning at -5F boil up a liter of hot tea and put into your nalgene water bottle and place this inside your down parka inner pocket and THEN start packing up. The hardest part of cold weather camping is packing up in the morning. This bottle will be there when you need it as you roll up stuff and take down the tent---to place against your face and to cup in your hands as you strike camp. Later it is your drinking water.

    ** The down filled Exped downmat makes a huge difference in warmth on winter trips. It's not a perfect pad as it's prone to getting blown baffles but nothing comes close to its warmth and will augment any bag you use.

    Just some thoughts.

  10. #30
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moytoy View Post
    I go to great lengths to keep my sleep system dry. That includes not exhaling inside my bag. Even if my head is covered I find a way to breath outside my bag.
    Yep, use the bag the way it was designed. It is amazing how much moisture accumulates in a bag from just your breathe.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    Yep, use the bag the way it was designed. It is amazing how much moisture accumulates in a bag from just your breathe.
    And it's also vital on a long uninterrupted drip (i.e. no town laundry mats) to make a morning habit of hanging out your bag for an hour as you cook breakfast and slowly pack your gear. String up a line if possible (or hang from a tree branch)---get into the habit of hauling out the bag and hanging it, as long as the weather cooperates. It can be cold and cloudy but still the sleeping bag with dry out or "sublimate" or whatever very well and keep the shell dry.


    Hang out the bag every morning.

  12. #32
    Registered User 300winmag's Avatar
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    ALSO:

    1. Air out & dry your sleeping bag morning & afternoon. Damp bags are cold bags.
    2. Increase temp rating of a down bag by having the maker overstuff it (if a made in USA bag)
    3. Buy a mummy-shaped quilt large enough to fit over your bag W/O squeezing its insulation. This quilt, depending on its loft, can increase the temp rating of your bag by as much as 40 F.
    4. Zip up the main zipper and cinch down the hood of your GTX or eVent parka, then pull it over the foot of your bag to keep it dry from tent floor & wall condensation. This also gives a bit more warmth to the foot of the bag.
    5. Place clothing under your mattress for more insulation. Place 3" to 4" of dry leaves or boughs under your tent floor for the same (or better) effect.
    6. Wear thin gloves to bed for more heat retention.

  13. #33
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    When I started my thru (in mid Feb, when it was damned cold) I was putting on several layers every night and FREEZING. I finally starting just wearing a thin layer of long underwear with no extra layers, and found that I slept way warmer because my body heat could escape my clothing and heat my sleeping bag. I also avoided sweating that way. (Before, I'd sweat but get clammy and cold). Definitely try to keep your body well insultaed from the ground. I have a neoair, which does a poor job of keeping heat in the baffles, so I also sleep with a 2 1/2 foot section of a thin foam pad on top of the neoair.
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  14. #34
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    Those are all good points, though to nit pick, pee is less than 100dF so heating up water is much more effective with greater radiant value. Although, why pour it out once its warm right? It comes down to, how much room is in that sleeping bag? Pee bottles are beneficial during periods of precipitation; the obvious value during rain, but also during snow storms. Going out to pee and bringing back (even a little) snow on your clothes etc. is not worth it. Using a bag liner while winter camping (25dF-0-and below) is great for added heat retention, but also as an important comfort layer between you and your gear you're keeping in your bag. Put your water, toiletries, electronics, etc. between your liner and your bag. Just as effective, and much more comfortable!

  15. #35

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    hand and body pocket warmers they work great it just take 2 a night and it will surprise you how much warmer it will be in your sleeping bag....

  16. #36
    Registered User JimBlue's Avatar
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    I found out years ago if you put one sheet of newspaper, or use a newsprint advert you get in the mail, between myself and an air mattress or cot, it blocks surges of cold coming up from below. It works in air about 50F with a breeze. I haven't tried it in freezing weather.

  17. #37
    Registered User JimBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    Yep, use the bag the way it was designed. It is amazing how much moisture accumulates in a bag from just your breathe.
    Been some tmie since I read the article, but at least a pint of moisture per night sounds about right. I've had damp sleeping bag problems when I scoot down in the bag in my sleep because my knit cap came off.

  18. #38

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    I totally agree, Meriadoc. I pulled my tent fly over my down sleeping bag while sleeping in a shelter in a spring ice storm. When I awoke there was heavy condensation between the bag and my tent fly. Luckily the weather broke the next day, and I was able to air and dry my bag in the sun at the next shelter.

  19. #39
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    To add to the many good points made here, I have another two or three tricks for really cold nights not mentioned yet:

    - I have a very old mummy shape bivi bag that never has been waterproof, its basically just a thin nylon layer. When its really cold and windy I put this on the outside and this adds some 2-3 degrees to the comfort

    - Usually I carry a down jacket for all the evening camp chores. After creeping into the sleeping bag the last piece of clothing I take off is this down jacket, and I stuff it into the thermarest stuff sack to form a nice pillow.
    In reverse, getting out of the sleeping bag the first thing I take is the (still warmed up) down jacket.

    - When its really cold, I spread the down jacket over the sleeping bag and tuck the long sleeves under the Thermarest. This way the jacket stays in place atop the bag during all nightly movements.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    And it's also vital on a long uninterrupted drip (i.e. no town laundry mats) to make a morning habit of hanging out your bag for an hour as you cook breakfast and slowly pack your gear. String up a line if possible (or hang from a tree branch)---get into the habit of hauling out the bag and hanging it, as long as the weather cooperates. It can be cold and cloudy but still the sleeping bag with dry out or "sublimate" or whatever very well and keep the shell dry.


    Hang out the bag every morning.

    I started doing this after reading this here before. I take down my bear bag and turn the line into a clothes line - bag, mat, night base layer, tent fly and footprint - it looks like wash day.
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