I'm a newcomer to UL backpacking, and pretty inexperienced at backpacking in general (I get out about once every two years). This weekend, I froze in my sleeping bag, and am wondering how you all would have done things differently.
This Sunday/Monday, I took my 9 year old son on a little overnight backpacking trip in the Snowy Range, WY. We camped at ~11,000', near a small lake at the foot of a mountain. A nearby SNOWTEL temperature gauge at 9500' recorded a low of 40deg, so it is probably safe to say it was in the upper 30s that night. It was an awesome trip, but I was very cold at night.
The relevant gear here is:
+ Tarptent Rainshadow 2
+ GoLite UltraLite 800 Fill 3-Season Quilt (http://www.golite.com/UltraLite-800-Fill-3-Season-Quilt-Regular-P46821.aspx)
+ Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad (https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Pad/InsulatedAirCore).
I slept in a medium weight set of long underwear and a fleece hat, and used an old down jacket as a pillow. Later I got cold and put the jacket on, but at that point it was saturated from condensation dripping off the tent. I then gave it to my son who was a little chilly, and he put it over his head to stay warm.
I did make a couple of mistakes with the tarptent. I didn't keep the outside flaps open to encourage air flow, and then we also slept the wrong way, with our heads near the foot of the tent.
With that all in mind, I am curious if anyone has advice about these things.
1) is condensation always a problem with tarptents, or was it just because I screwed things up. The next morning my son said, "Daddy, did it rain inside the tent?" because it was so wet inside (and the night was clear). It makes me worry what things would be like on a wet night if we had to close the front flaps all the way
2) What do you all typically sleep in if you use a quilt? I deliberately skipped taking a fleece this time to see if that was reasonable.
3) I really didn't have anything to put my head on, and found I missed it. Do any of you take inflatable pillows?
4) Maybe I had my quilt bag fastened to my pad wrong, but it seemed like I wasn't able to fully prevent air flowing in and out of the head of the bag as I moved (I like to sleep on my side). I had the cord at the top of the bag cinched down as best I could.
Looking forward to some sage advice! Thanks.