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What do you do when it below zero outside
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daniel B
(dbogey)

Locale: East Coast
What do you do when it below zero outside on 01/07/2014 21:03:48 MST Print View

Since we are experiencing the Arctic Vortex here in Pittsburgh I thought I give my cold weather gear a test. I have 3 Sleeping bags (15, 30, and 40 degree)and wanted to see how the Marmot Plasma 30 bag holds up in extreme cold weather. So outside I went to setup my sleeping gear.

Here is what I used and wore:

Ground Cloth was Tyvek
1/8 inch Gossamer Gear pad went under the mattress
Mattress was XTherm large
Sleeping Bag was Marmot 30 Plasma
Ti-Goat Raven Omni Bivy

Clothing:
Icebreaker Thick socks
REI Silk bottoms
tshirt
Ibex Hooded Indie
Lightweight Outdoor Research Gloves
Mont-bell ex light jacket
Black Diamond balaclava

To my surprise after 20 minutes I was quite warm and would have no problem using this same setup on an actual trip in temps well below 30 degrees. I used a digital thermometer and the readings varied from 3 to -14 degrees.
GearGloves and SocksHow cold was itSetup Outside

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: on 01/07/2014 21:34:49 MST Print View

Did you sleep all night out there?

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
What do you do when it below zero outside on 01/08/2014 06:50:30 MST Print View

These winter nights are more than 20 minutes. I was out Christmas Eve, minus 2 or 4 by morning here in Kalifornia. I had a WM Apache 15F bag and was cool before morning, having to drag my down coat over my body, getting by then. Your body cools down in time.
Duane

Benjamin Meadors
(thebentern) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Cold days in Arkansas on 01/08/2014 06:50:43 MST Print View

We experienced (in Arkansas) the tail-end of that front that brought frigid temps to your area. I thought about performing some similar experiments with my gear too, but I don't think my wife would have been too happy about losing her bunk-mate on the coldest night of the year. ;-)
I'm glad you got a chance to test yours out though! It looks like a nice setup.

Mike Hutten
(hutten) - M
Re: What do you do when it below zero outside on 01/08/2014 07:09:49 MST Print View

Spend a night out there before you totally depend on it. 20 minutes isn't very long.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: What do you do when it below zero outside on 01/08/2014 07:12:15 MST Print View

Hard to tell from the photo ... was that test on a raised deck or on the ground/patio? Most (any?) sleeping setups will do better on the ground than up in the air with cold air below you,

Also, KC's question: Did you sleep all night out there? is very relevant ... metabolism is definitely lower while sleeping

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
More Testing Required! on 01/08/2014 07:26:02 MST Print View

I am almost always too warm for the first hour. I wake up in the morning and my body is cool to the touch, and I'm very cold.

All night is VERY different from 20 minutes. Keep this in mind.

daniel B
(dbogey)

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: What do you do when it below zero outside on 01/08/2014 07:51:51 MST Print View

The setup was done on a concrete porch with snow on it and I did not spend the entire night out there. If I was going to spend any amount of time in weather such as this I use my Marmot 15 degree bag. The real reason for doing this was each time I've gone out to the Sierras I brought too much bag for the occasion and I wanted to see how the 30 degree bag handled cold weather below the rated temp. I have no doubts with the clothing that i was wearing i could get into the upper teens with this setup and be comfortable.

While on the SHR in Sept the lowest temp we encountered was upper teens or low 20's. The 15 degree bag handled it we'll and I had to open the foot box and change into silk socks because I was way too warm. The next time I bring the 30 degree bag. It packs much smaller, saves a few ounces and with all the clothing I bring I can tailor my sleep system to the environment.

I've spent many a night while in the Army in a North Face Cat's Meow bag (20 degree) in extreme cold temps wearing every piece of Gore-Tex and clothing I had on and vowed to never sleep outdoors in cold weather again after waking up thinking I had frostbite on my entire body!!

What we'll do to save a few ounces.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
bottoms on 01/08/2014 08:37:22 MST Print View

I'm most impressed that your legs didn't get cold.

I got into the low thirties once in my 40 degree Marmot down bag and had a pair of Terramar body sensors midweight long underwear on - and my legs got really chilly. Also only had on a midweight base top and thin beanie - put on a heavier beanie and fleece and my upper body got warmer but my legs never did.

To push the limits for me at least I really need something substantial on my lower body ... two layers or base plus fleece pants or something.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
below zero on 01/08/2014 09:18:36 MST Print View

It was -17F at the TH Sunday morning, and didn't get much warmer all day. In the sun and with little wind ski touring was actually very comfortable. Easier to stay dry and warm than at 25F.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
20 minutes vs hours on 01/08/2014 10:34:39 MST Print View

i was out overnight in this weather as well, just a few hours east of you. a buddy and i managed 10 hours before we got just way too cold to safely stay out. my upperbody was fine, but my legs and feet were just too cold to fall asleep. i had on a crapload more clothing than you. i would guess that you would've been really, really cold in a matter of an hour or 2.

Lapsley Hope
(Laps) - M
how about in a hammock instead? on 01/08/2014 12:26:05 MST Print View

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTuGJgka1qc

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: bottoms on 01/08/2014 16:11:04 MST Print View

> had a pair of Terramar body sensors midweight long underwear on - and my legs got really chilly.
Very likely that your real problem here was that the Terramars you were wearing were too tight. ANY restriction on your legs will reduce the bloodflow and give you cold legs. I had some strange leggings on one night and had cold legs; I took them right off and had warm legs for the rest of the night.

If you must wear something on your legs, choose really soft thermal underwear which is NOT tight. Loose is much better.

Cheers

Desert Dweller
(Drusilla)

Locale: Wild Wild West
What do you do? on 01/08/2014 22:36:23 MST Print View

Just for fun, speaking of loose and warm things to wear to bed (and they are really lightweight!) Cuddl Duds is now selling a really nice stretch fleece top and bottom, and a stretch fleece hoodie. I went hiking for the last few days and the first night was 19 degrees and all I had with me was these fleece and my 20 degree EE Revelation, the fleece really helped. You can get it for 1/3 the price at WalMart.

I have no financial affiliation with Cuddl Duds.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What do you do? on 01/08/2014 22:43:59 MST Print View

Hi Drusilla

Would you mind explaining to me just how I should explain to a bunch of 20+ macho males I meet somewhere out back that I am wearing Cuddl Dudds?????
Heck - how do I even explain that to my wife??

cheers
PS: Oz humour!

Desert Dweller
(Drusilla)

Locale: Wild Wild West
CuddlDuds on 01/08/2014 22:55:06 MST Print View

No need to explain...just SMILE! Cause your butt will be warmer than theirs....hehe.
As for the wife, get her a set she will love you for it.

Edited by Drusilla on 01/08/2014 22:56:02 MST.

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: all night on 01/08/2014 23:05:52 MST Print View

I thought you didn't spend all night in the setup. I could probably dress in just cloths and be comfortable outside in 0-30F temps with no sleeping bag for 20min and be warm. The body is made of a lot of water and it takes a while to freeze. A good dinner and a properly rated bag and your bodies ability to generate heat will allow a good night sleep at 0F, In my experience. I used a WM Highlite once at 9F and froze my butt off!

Edited by KalebC on 01/08/2014 23:10:21 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: CuddlDuds on 01/09/2014 02:21:51 MST Print View

Hi Drusilla

> No need to explain...just SMILE! Cause your butt will be warmer than theirs....hehe.
Hum - good logic.
If I can wear bright fluoro green ski tights ... :-)

> As for the wife, get her a set she will love you for it.
Ah - now why didn't I think of that? Problem solved!

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 01/09/2014 02:22:49 MST.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: bottoms on 01/09/2014 09:26:29 MST Print View

Roger - thanks for the insight! I tend to always wear tights or long underwear to sleep but in chilly temps will revert to my looser pants.

The Terramars aren't like cycling tights, i.e. not really compression - but definitely form fitting and snug which is obviously still not ideal.