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alpine sleep system/ boot warming
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Zachary Arnold
(zrarnold) - F

Locale: Southern Spain
alpine sleep system/ boot warming on 02/02/2012 12:54:13 MST Print View

I am getting more into mountaineering and need some advice on a sleep system.

I usually use a 30 degree down mummy bag with insulated pants and DAS parka with a montbell bivy sack on a full length ridge rest. I just made a Ray Way quilt which is rated around 28degs. It has 2inches of synthetic insulation. But I'm now starting to doubt if it has enough insulation for me. The coldest it usually gets is about 0deg F but above treeline in a bivy that can feel a lot colder. My trips are usually only on night or two. Down is the lightest choice but I really like not having to worry as much about a synthetic bag or quilt. Any suggestions? What does everyone else use for mountaineering? Anyone use a quilt for mountaineering with a bivy?

I was thinking about using a thin synthetic quilt over my 30deg down bag. But that could be a pain inside of a bivy.

Also what are some more tips for heating up my boots in the morning because my feet get super cold.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: alpine sleep system/ boot warming on 02/02/2012 13:39:08 MST Print View

"Also what are some more tips for heating up my boots in the morning because my feet get super cold."

1. Store your boots inside your sleeping bag overnight.
2. Wear extra warm socks when you sleep.
3. In the morning, boil water and pour it into a plastic water bottle, then place that inside a cold boot. Repeat for the other boot.


nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
... on 02/02/2012 13:46:08 MST Print View

There is a good article on this on, but for 1-2 nights I'd say that down and a waterproof stuffsack is the best. I'd also try to get all snow off of me, and to have the bag inside the bivy sack ready to go.
Not sure what to say about the quilt other then that you should try it out and see what works for you.
In terms of boots, 0.5L nalgenees full of hot water works well, you could also hold them over the stove for a few min, but watch for melting/ungluing. I have also had good luck putting them is a stuffsack under my feet/pad or head/pad, the snow and my body heat seem to keep them a little warmer.... You could also try a few breaths into them right before your put them on too

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: alpine sleep system/ boot warming on 02/02/2012 16:21:18 MST Print View

Before I upgraded to a real sleeping I used to double bag also-- I started with a +20F quilt and a +50F bag combined with capilene baselayer top, bottoms as well as down pants and jacket inside a double or single walled 4-season tent. With this I could go down to zero without too many issues, I wasn't exactly warm but I wasn't uncomfortable either.

So based on my experiences I would give the two +30F quilt/bag combo a try while car camping or somewhere with a safe retreat.

However, I would say that with a single, full length ridgerest at zeroF, I would be getting pretty cold from below. I think if the double bags works, then I would look at adding additional pads or investing in something like the Exped 7-- well worth the cost/weight in the winter.

As I said, I have since upgraded-- I found that for true mountaineering, above treeline with temps ranging anywhere from zero to -20F, that a quilt was just a poor choice-- far too drafy and combined with another bag, I wasn't really saving any weight or space over a quality zero degree down bag.

These days I carry the following:
-WM Lynx
-Exped 7
-FA Down sweater
-FA Mountain Guide Hooded Jacket
-Capilene 3 bottoms
-FF Volant pants

I usually find the combined with a hat and various gloves that this system covers me for a wide range of temperatures (-15F to about +40F) and for everything from high aerobic climbing over 13K in Colorado, to sitting idle in base-camp.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Chemical hand warmers in boots overnight? on 02/02/2012 17:58:04 MST Print View

I've been considering putting chemical hand warmers in my boots overnight. It seems this would dry them out and keep them warm. Since you would need to carry a pair or two for each night this would only be useful on short trips.

Zachary Arnold
(zrarnold) - F

Locale: Southern Spain
thanks on 02/03/2012 06:19:47 MST Print View

I knew the bottles and putting them inside the bag. I didn't think about the handwarmers. Thanks.