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Using pack as under-foot insulation
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Tim F
(kneebyter) - MLife

Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)
Using pack as under-foot insulation on 01/10/2009 17:31:19 MST Print View

I am still dialing in my sleep system and need some help. I am mostly a side sleeper, but often wake up on my back. I am also 6'3". I had been using a Prolite 3 short pad, with a GG Nightlight 3/4 under it. Last summer and fall I started just using the Prolite 3 and put my pack under my feet like some here do. I use a Granite Gear Lattitude Vapor, a larger volume, and heavier, panel-loading pack built like the Vapor Trail. Once I get most of my other gear to a point where I wont be changing it much I will probably be replacing this pack with a smaller frameless pack.

Sorry for the long-winded setup, but I thought it was necessary context to my questions. First, how much insulation will a frameless pack have? My current pack has a very thick piece of non-removable foam over a plastic framesheet which provides good insulation and cushioning. It doesn't seem like a frameless would provide much of either.
Secondly, what do you do when it rains? When I used this system last year it never rained on me before I made camp. I use a rain jacket, not a poncho, so after hiking in the rain my pack would be quite wet on the suspension part that sits against my back.

It seems like a lot of people on this forum use their packs like this and would have experienced these problems at some point. Hopefully there is something obvious I'm missing here!

I would really appreciate any wisdom you can share with me on this.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Using pack as under-foot insulation on 01/10/2009 21:06:42 MST Print View

You might consider getting a Gossamer Gear Thinlight pad in 1/8" thickness and cutting it to the length that you need below the foot of your 3/4 pad. The piece I use as a torso pad when my POE Insulmat Max Thermo starts getting marginal is 34" long and weighs 1.4 ounces. If it's really cold, you could get a thicker Thinlight (1/4" or 3/8").

That being said, I must admit that my pack gets used as a pillow instead, and I'm short enough that when curled up on my side in my normal sleeping position, my feet are still on my pad. My dog sleeps right below the end of my pad, so I need to move my feet down only a few inches to have the perfect footwarmer. In other words, a dog is another possibility for leg and foot warmth! Not mine, though; I want to keep him!

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/10/2009 21:09:29 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Using pack as under-foot insulation on 01/10/2009 23:16:04 MST Print View

I have my pack under my feet a good 90% of the time. For a couple reasons:
I never leave my gear outside at night so space is tight in my tent, second it lifts my legs a bit, which helps my circulation, third, I stay warmer.

And...if you ever get really cold a wide open pack can be used as a partial leg bivy to block the wind.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
PS on wet packs on 01/10/2009 23:17:48 MST Print View

I use a large pack cover that covers my pack so even on rainy trips my pack does fine. If it does get damp I just flip it over wet side down - the suspension side goes under my feet. (It is dry due to being on my back)