This September I will be flying to the Mackenzie Mountains to work as a hunting guide for over a month. I know very little about what to expect, only that I will be out for up to five days at a time and will need backpack my gear. Weather conditions will be variable and could dip to 0 degrees overnight.
I will need a beefier sleeping bag than the one I use for my local mountains, which is rated to 25 and used with a warm jacket. I don't want to spend much money until I know exactly what I need, because right now it is all speculation, and I am sure that if I return next year I will be buying all new equipment. For this fall I can get by with a bit more weight than optimum, but of course I am trying to keep it as low as possible without spending too much, since if I return next year and get started on mountain sheep I will be willing to spend plenty on ultralight gear. So basically what I am looking for is a cheap way to get a 0* sleep system.
The cheapest option I have identified would be using my existing bag and buying a reasonably priced, roomy, 45 degree down barrel bag to use as an over bag ($95 at MEC, 3.4 pounds total when paired with my existing bag). Sounds a bit shoddy, but in terms of ounces saved per dollar it might be a good option, especially since I could buy locally. My main concern would be that the 575 fill power down in such a bag could crush the 800 down in my ultralight bag.
I’d love to hear of other options, though. What do you think?