Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:48 pm Posts: 161 Location: New England
I'm hoping to get into some winter camping for the first time this year. I have a 15º Big Anges Encampment. I'll be somewhere in Northern New England (VT, NH, ME) where it pretty cold every night. Usually 0-15º for the low at night. Will this bag be warm enough in a tent?
My wife and I have the Big Agnes (BA) King Solomon Double Sleeping Bag with Dual Core sleeping pads on our honeymoon (July 2007) in Vermont. Simply, we were cold with the Dual Core pads.
So I would not recommend the Dual core for winter camping, however the BA site says " Add a closed cell foam pad in colder temperatures for extra insulation"
Since then we purchased the BA Two Trac Pads and we were comfortable with them for winter camping. except... for the the bulk.
Meaning we go on hut trips and the Two Trac Pads are just to bulky to carry for an emergency bivouc gear. So I just purchased two Exped DownMat 9 from Ebay for this reason.
Also we carry an 2 x 1/2 length ensolite pads which fits in our ski packs. Ensolite pads have many uses for winter camping!
I wish we had these Exped DownMats last Valentines Day, as we had to bivouac overnight in below zero temps. We manage to sleep on the 1/2 ensolite pads and our packs with winter bags, but we were still chilled some.
Bottom line, for first time winter campers, I would try to rent quality winter gear (aka a Synthectic winter bag, thermorest / enslotie pad) from a local mountain shop and plan a short trips into the backcountry and enjoy the experience.
Short trips because your carrying a lot more gear, and everything takes a lot longer to set up.
PS Take a white gas stove! I have used the MSR XGK and/or a MSR Whisper-lite for winter camping. These stove work great.
I also MSR Pocket Rocket (butane canister) stove in our ski pack (for emergency bivouac). The Rocket worked ok the night of our Valentines bivouac, but in the morning the Rocket would not start. I should have taken the butane fuel canister and placed it in the bottom of my sleeping bag, the night before.
I'll probably test it out in the backyard before heading too far off into the woods.
This is a good idea, Try to test your gear wearing your gloves and/or mittens in the backyard.
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