Can any New Zealanders comment on the suitability of our current sleeping bags for an extended NZ trip?
Things you'll need to know...
1) Wife & I each have a FF Swallow (30 degrees), which we zip together.
2) We have had the bags for a while, and like them. I think I might call it a 40-degree bag instead of 30, but in low 20s in Big Bend Nat'l Park we survived many nights quite well with some layering of clothing
3) Tent (for NZ trip) is a MacPac Celeste w/10k HH floor. Inner portion of tent has virtually no mesh so condensation shouldn't be an issue.
4) Will be sleeping on dual TR Neo-Air mattresses (short 47" versions). Thinking something like small portions of a chopped Z-Rest for under the sleeping bags below the knees.
5) Bags will be carried in bottom of packs, enclosed in a STS SilNylon stuff sack, which in turn will be enclosed in a sealed garbage bag.
6) We'll be doing about 30 assorted tracks from 11/09 thru mid-March 2010. As few nights in huts as possible -- we prefer to tent. No mountaineering, no crampons, no ice axes -- don't ever envision camping on snow. Mueller Hut is probably one of the few nights we would be tenting at high altitude. Entire itinerary listed here, if that helps...
I think I have 3 primary questions:
1) I know that NZ weather is completely unpredictable. But I would like some feedback on TYPICAL nighttime low temps, given our itinerary & the time of year. i.e. are our bags going to be warm enough?
2) We are going to take EVERY OPPORTUNITY to avoid any river crossings where the water would come up to our packs. If we have to hike an extra hour or two to cross in a shallower spot we will do it. So, having said that...can we still pack our bags in the bottom of our packs & count on them remaining dry? We will have pack covers, fwiw.
3) Given the precautions we're taking to keep the bags dry, any reason to switch away from down for these notoriously wet NZ environs?
Thanks for any advice...