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Camping...Sleeping bags n stuff

this is a rant about camping gear...forgive my ramblings and feel free to add to it

how is a person to sort through all the advertising garb? one says ours is the best, the next says ours is better than theirs...LOL! I went into a popular store the other day to ask some questions and when I told him my bag was nearly 10 years old he scoughed and said "you need a "NEW" blah blah blah bag". (Newer insulations keep coming out it seems as often as I buy groceries...that is like every other day!)

I said why? mine is still in gr8 shape and keeps me warm...i've carried it for 10 years so I doubt 2 or 3 ounces is something my legs will notice! but I never did get one of my questons answered, so I will pose it here:

 I have a 20 dgree nFace mummy bag and a 15 dgee big agnus...if I am going to possibly be in 0 dgree weather could I slide the 20 dgree inside the 15 dgree bag for extra warmth? if so what will it be comfy too?? I figure it would give me roughfly the same temp as a bag wth the combined amount of fill?? so maybe a -5 or -10 dgree bag?? another bag I really don't want to buy...

NOW sleeping pads on the other hand have come a LONG ways in 10 years. I picked up a new superlight weight pad that weighs half of what my old thermarest weighs and sleep just as well plus packs into about a third of the space. I bought up the cabels ultrlight regular size($50).

backpacks have all of the new fancy carbon kevlar superlight doodad internal frames and cost 3-400 bucks! they dont carry any better than my old aluminum frame pack from 20 years ago! and actually weigh the same!!

tents... well this is a subject in itself but in my opinion you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to sleeping accomodations. I carry a northface VE25 (500$) when the weather "could" get ugly. oh and good aluminum stakes are a must

rain tarps are a great thing, the old blue or green tarp work just fine but I have recently gone to the kelty noahs tarp...its lighter and doesnt block as much light plus it has plenty of tie downs so it seems to handle wind without the popping/crinkly noises...16x16 for 85$ 

stoves...tons of them on the market from 25$ into the hundreds. I prefer the small butane/propane types. I use a brunton raptor(29$) and can cook 3 meals for 2 days on a 4oz bottle using a good copper pot with lid...that includes coffee smile

please ad your opinions on gear to this thread!

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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I am like you, in that if I

I am like you, in that if I have something already, and it does what I need it to do, then why worry about a new one.  I have just a few sets of camo, that Iuse for all types of hunting.  I have only one or 2 shotguns that use for all seasons, not one for each kind of game I shoot, etc......

The guys you talk to in the stores are just trying to sell you something.

 

ecubackpacker's picture
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Commission. Of course, the

Commission. Of course, the guys in the store are going to say you need new gear. It sounds to me you're set for a while to come. I don't ask the salesmen for opinion about the gear they sale b/c I know the answer I'll get. I get my research/reviews from Consumer Reports, sometimes from Backpacker mag, simply ask other backpackers or from threads like this.

I have been looking for a lighter weight tarp for my camping trips. I think I'll try the Kelty Noah now that I have some info about it and a positive opinion. Thumbs up

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kelty noahs tarp: i bought

kelty noahs tarp:

i bought the 16x16 because i put it over the tent at an angle to help with any rain when getting in and out. i like to be able to take boots and wet stuff off outside without getting my dry underclothes wet in a rain storm. they make it in a 9x9 and a 12x12 as well. its almost made like a tent actually and because of all the tie down areas it can be set up to any shape you want. check

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Thanks for the info on the

Thanks for the info on the tarp. I use the tarp for the same reason. Does it shed snow well?

Where did you get your tarp, locally or online?

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i havent tried it with snow

i havent tried it with snow yet so i dont know...but you could put it at an extreme angle and it should do fine???

ordered mine at cabelas and picked up at the store

hawkeye270's picture
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I've got this gigantic hand

I've got this gigantic hand written list of gear that I make a copy of every year to check off. There are so many colums of checks next to the gear though that it's getting crazy. I'm going to have to come up with a knew method soon.

NOTAKD's picture
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Location: Ohio
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i have been using and old

i have been using and old military surplus cold weather mummy sack filled with down.  it has kept me warm under a rock outcropping in 5 degree weather with 5" wet snow.  cant say i stayed super warm but i did wake up the next morning.  it was cheap.  just bought a cabelas 13x27 alaknak tent and have put it up twice in about 20 minutes with 4 guys.  were not in a hurry.  all reviews have been good.  we have not had it out in weather yet but have heard only good things.  knock on wood.  tarps and extra rope is a must. as for stoves i use a multi fuel coleman 2 burner stove and works great.  always love cooking on gas.  but when u forget or something breaks a lighter and plenty of wood will boil water too. obviously i dont do any long hike in camps but never really had an opportunity to do that but maybe someday...

sanforce's picture
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I've found that my old 20

I've found that my old 20 degree mummy bag works fine on extremely cold and snowy nights, as long I pad under the tent w/ pine and I have a good pad underneath. If the night is going to get really cold, I'll ususally heat up a rock near the camp fire and then drop it into a few wool socks. It makes all the difference down there by my toes.

 

On a side note, it's always nice when you don't have to deal with these snowy conditions on a hunt. Especially when you fall asleep in normal conditions and wake up w/ a foot if snow!

NOTAKD's picture
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the 1st time my fire went out

the 1st time my fire went out and i woke up i was able to get it going again and did the same thing with the rocks.  i learned that along time ago watching the outdoor channel or something.  and my wife says that its boring to watch shows like that.  kept me warm though.  the bigger the better, stays warm longer.

ecubackpacker's picture
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sanforce wrote, "Especially

sanforce wrote, "Especially when you fall asleep in normal conditions and wake up w/ a foot if snow!"  Yeah, that takes some getting used to. That happened to me last year. It was a learning experience but I had a great time. Picking a more sheltered spot to camp, putting enough angle on the tarp so snow slides off and making sure the snow won't built up around the door of the tent.

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