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Sleeping systems Who uses them?

Moondog55

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Well I do of course
A multi layered approach to keeping warm in foul conditions whether tenting, tarping or just stuck out unexpected.
The base of my sleep system is a Goretex bivvy bag ( modified) and a foam pad. The next layer is a down sleeping bag and I have 2 to choose from. Next is a Thermarest 3/4 length and 40mm thick, better pads are now on the market but this is what I have at the moment, if I expect very cold conditions I will add another pad, either a self inflating pad or a Karrimat I have had for ever almost, next is my down half sac I made from an old MacPac Marathon and a down parka and if I am headed for somewhere really cold I could add a Dacron or Thinsulate over-bag to take me all the way down to minus 55C.
By choosing my night time clothing I can vary the temperature at which I can sleep by a massive factor, I always try and keep a snood or Finnish cowl dry for night time and can add a pair of down trousers or an extra long-john top if needed.
I find the main factor in keeping warm tho is not my sleeping bag but the warmth of my ground layer, half a kilo of mattress is warmer than a kilo of sleeping bag and this ration changes in the snow by a factor of about 2~
 

Corin

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For me its pretty simple. bedroll is a piece of closed cell foil backed foam (offcuts of material used to insulate sheds), this stuff is thin, and super warm. Sleeping bag is a -5 down bag with a silk liner, I have polypropylene thermals if it gets really cold. I have a Goretex bivy bag but outside of NZ I have never used it.
 

Moondog55

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Well for car camping I use pretty much the same system but based on an old canvas swag. I use a cheap poly-tarp groundsheet with the swag especially if the ground is soggy, old Swiss Army sleeping bag by Egge, single bed doona filled with half a kilo of Quallofill, closed cell pad and a foam mattress 2 inches thick. Again this covers me usually for worst case scenario, but I am a cold sleeper and need a bit more warmth than some of my mates, again if you don't need all of that you don't use it.
More than once in summer I just sleep inside the swag on top of everything ; sometimes I bring along a big mossie net and just sleep naked under the stars if the weather is right but I hate being cold in bed.
A good nights sleep is one of the main pillars of a healthy life
 

Moondog55

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Ah Yes but is it a "System"
When I said a system I perhaps should have been more specific about why I call it a system. By adding or subtracting units I can vary the ability of the system to cope with huge differences.
For instance the bivvy bag on its own can be used to keep the wind and dew off you and can be used on its own or with a silk bag in mild temperatures, then by adding layers the temperature you are comfortable in can be decreased.
My winter sleeping bag is cut large enough to fit a second sleeping bag inside ( it was made for climbing Everest but I never got to go --Kids and a mortgage got in the way ) or extra clothing.So each separate element is designed to complement and work with other parts to form the whole.

If I was starting again I would use this as the base

http://wiggys.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=67&CFID=3032258&CFTOKEN=43787082

Then find a lightweight down bag to go inside
In my "System" I started from the outside in and bought thee absolute biggest bivvy sac available; even if it meant making my pack a little heavier to start with, I have never seen reason; in 20 years; to regret that move.

It also means thinking about how you use your mattress, so I use a cheap foam pad on the ground to provide basic insulation and protect the expensive goretex and put the expensive and somewhat fragile inflatable inside the bivvy sac ( another reason for buying an oversize outer ) I also modified my bivvy sac with some webbing and tape to hold the outside pad in place, I noticed the other day that various makers are now doing this; I know that I was the first and I have been copied. So even if I decide I do not need a sleeping bag my bivvy sac is always packed, especially in winter and when skiing
 

Templar

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Well for me it's pretty simple...

My system is a Gore-Tex bivi bag, softie 3 (summer weight) or softie 6 (rated to -40C) sleeping bag, a German folding wimp mat and a hootchie if I'm ground dwelling. If I'm swinging, then add my Hennesy Asym Hammock.

I'm toying with the idea of a tarp and blanket based system based on the one Dave Canterbury used to show in his 'tube videos... but thats under development for now...
 

Moondog55

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I'm toying with the idea of a tarp and blanket based system based on the one Dave Canterbury used to show in his 'tube videos... but thats under development for now...
The old cowboy blanket roll; I remember them from my days as a "Boy Scout" Swag is the same thing in its original form I believe
 

Templar

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Hmmm... not so much a swag as a 7x7ft. Poly tarp shelter, wool blanket, some light-weight poles, bungee cords, 2 lengths of Para cord and a tumpline to carry it... similar to the system used by 18th Century long hunters and woodsmen...
 

Walker

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In My 'Quiver'

Like most people involved in outdoor pursuits, I've tried many combinations of gear to make the experience more enjoyable ... and safe.

Basically, I alway assume that weather and fortune are changeable so a shelter/sleeping system needs to keep me warm/cool and always dry - it ain't brain surgery, eh?

The other important factor is protection from wind, wind driven rain and snow.

I've narrowed my lightweight choices down to two alternatives:

1. a system that keeps me cool and dry e.g. below 1,000m anywhere desert/tropics, etc
2. a system that keeps me warm and dry e.g. above 1,000m anywhere alpine or winter in general

Some components are interchangeable = cost effectiveness.

MacPac Microlight tent (1.6kg),
dual use light groundsheet e.g. poncho or goretex rain gear
down sleeping bag e.g. one summer (-10C rated) and one winter (-25C rated),
thermal mat e.g. foam or thermarest, both if in the snow,
silk inner sheet,
beanie,
thermal underwear (only wear the top in a sleeping bag)

I never wear tight fitting clothes in a sleeping bag - constrictive to circulation = cold, and never wear socks.

The weigh-in for this is pretty low and ensures no matter what conditions are experienced, I'll be comfortable. Protection of other gear is also afforded by a small vestibule.

A bivvy bag and fly or a swag is okay up until the weather blows out for the worst ... and for multiple days.

The Microlight doesn't suit all people, but for a lightweight shelter on multi-day trips, it's my preferred choice for all-round protection.

Some people complain about condensation - not that bad really since the Kiwi manufacturer remade the door to be all flyscreen. The tent is freestanding and the aluminium poles are very strong, example:

we were camped a few klicks from Mt Jagungal in the Snowy Mountains one year in June - cold and frosty. An unexpected storm front dumped a metre of snow on us overnight. In the morning I woke to a blury vision of gray and a cold spot on my nose - it was the ceiling of the tent that had bowed under the weight of the snow! I simply pushed it up, the snow fell off and the poles reverted to their original shape! A bonus was, the tent can be collapsed on itself, so I quickly folded it down and had a nice grassy spot to set up my stove for breaky.

After that trip, and a similar one involving foul weather (wind and rain), my chosen sleeping/shelter 'quiver' has proven itself to be robust in most conditions.
 

Templar

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Walker

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Templar I think I need some more info on that one, Walker I would add my Chouinard "Megamid" as part of my "System" then

The 'Mid has been around for over 20 years - I recall seeing it advertised years ago. A recent check shows it has changed a bit e.g. available with a floor, but is essentially a very robust shelter. A good choice for most areas - much more room than my one-person micro. (I've got soft in old age and dislike sharing my bed with ants, spiders, scorpions, earwigs, marsupial mice, etc = sewn-in floor and netting :))
 

Moondog55

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Well mine is 3rd generation and I've had mine for almost 20 years, if I have kids ( grand-kids now ) with me it always goes in the pack even if I have my Fairydown Plateau as the main sleeping shelter. Unfortunately the change to silnylon for the new one has changed the dimensions slightly and the new floor and netting won't fit the old models.
Original was made in the USA of double rip-stop nylon, second and third generation were made in Taiwan from a much heavier nylon taffeta and the seams changed from lap-felled to chain stitched and taped ( which is stronger ) and then dimensions and fabric changed again when they swapped to a polyester fabric.
I may have to start saving for a new model, more than half a kilo lighter than mine and the ventilation is better.
Mine is heavily modified though like most of my gear, extra guy points for really strong winds and an attachment point for the Moss Pentawing shade tarp
 
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