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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Where I will spend money



There's a lot of fancy and expensive gear out there. Generally, I'll use cheaper alternatives or do without.

One thing that I will spend money on is a quality sleeping bag. I've a large bag rated for zero degrees Fahrenheit. In reality, I've been comfortable in it down to -30. That's with a good ground pad, thermal underwear, and heavy socks.

There are lighter bags with the same rating. Unless I was going to be winter backpacking all the time, it's not worth the price difference. A good compression sack gets the bulk under control and I can live with my pack being a couple pounds heavier. That worked well enough for the occasional winter hike.

I've a second lighter bag too. That can be zipped together with the heavy one and make a very comfortable nest for two.

There's no sense in giving model numbers as these bags were purchased over 30 years ago. They are still going strong. They've lasted though backpacking, canoe camping, months of nonstop car camping, and now they are on the boat. Mine were purchased from L. L. Bean -on sale, of course. The company still carries a lot of decent bags.

Make sure you get a synthetic one. They are still retain heat when damp. Down is nice, but not very good wet, plus I'm allergic anyway. Cheap cloth bags are death traps.

The next place I'd spend good money for a survival situation is a good tent. Big tents are great for campgrounds. I own a nice one. However, for backpacking to throw in a canoe, or tie to a bike a smaller tent is the thing.

20 years ago I bought a quality 4 season backpacking tent. 4 season tents have better support to handle high winds and snow loading. I've used mine in the snow, and the extra strength makes all the difference. It's also a good tent to have when car camping. If my lovely wife and I were only spending one night someplace, we'd set up the small winter tent. No need bothering with the big tent for one night. We also used in places with high winds. The strong poles, low profile, and multiple tie downs keep the tent in place when lesser ones became kites. That tent is still in good condition. It's been everywhere from the mountains of Maine to Key West Florida.

If a person can keep warm and dry, the rest of survival is much easier. Never underestimate the advantage of a good comfortable night's sleep.

While these two quality items cost a few extra bucks, I've gotten years of use of them -cheap in the long run.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. I don't pay any income tax either, but thanks to all the tax stuck on everything else, I still pay!

    Thanks for the tips about the sleeping bag and tent. Always good to hear first hand how good things are!

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    1. The tax man always gets us one way of the other.

      You are welcome, Hermit Jim.

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  2. Agree totally on getting a quality bag. I bought mine in 1975. A North Face "King Tut" down bag, as back then I was doing a lot of Mtn. climbing and backpacking where weight and compactability was very important. This bag is still going strong today ! I paid like $300 for it then, and shudder to think what one would cost today....

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  3. A good night's sleep is worth the extra trouble and cost. Lightweight is great for the back, feet and knees while hiking, but if you are miserable during the sleeping hours - the fun is gone.

    My 'Cold Weather Bag' is a Cabelas canvas sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees. Cut extra large, its bulky as all get out, but when its cold outside, I'm as snug as a bug in a rug - oh yeah, bring it on!

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    Replies
    1. Comfort does much for one's state of mind.

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  4. A good sleeping bad is a first priority and a good tent is the second. Seems like you got both.

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    1. Yes, and I got them in that order. Better sleeping under a tarp in a good bag than in a good tent with a bad bag.

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  5. Six Bears I don't know if you have a Big Lot's around your neck of the woods, but they sell a 8 foot x 10 foot Canvas Tarp in the Paint section around $8.00. These are great multi-taskers for Summer camping, adding shade and I have used mine for ground clothes or as an extra layer of insulation though I haven't done much winter camping since the army. The canvas is an off white and light weight. You can even tack them up really quick around a porch for a wind break or for shade.

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    Replies
    1. No Big Lots around here. I use tarps all the time. They certainly are versatile. When travelling light, I've often used a tarp as a shelter.

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  6. It pays to spend our money wisely. Our family is also fond of camping adventures and we always see to it that we buy quality camping essentials such as tents and bags in order to last longer. We may pay extra bucks for that but we are sure we can use them in a longer duration.

    -http://www.tepuitents.com/

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  7. Always get in your bag with your honey.Naked of course. Friction Baby.Gring on the heat.

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