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Thread: Sleeping bag

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
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    2,051

    Sleeping bag

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    I need a sleeping bag. Any suggestions?

    I've been wanting to visit a collaborator at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, NE. My old boss thought it was a waste of time when we accomplished so much by phone and emails. (And he shipped me some rats.) My new boss thinks that I should meet him in person, but doesn't have the money to pay for the trip. So I came up with the brilliant idea of biking there. I'll get the trip I've always wanted to do, and meet the professor who gave me my rats!

    I found a route that would take four days, puts me in a state park each night, but it's a little tough: two 70-mile days followed by two 100-mile days. I think I can do it, but I'd prefer to find a 5-day route that I'm more confident of.

    The nice thing about this destination is I have family and friends who can rescue me without terrible inconvenience to them along the way. Of course I hope I don't have to be rescued, it's just peace of mind.

    My collaborator in Omaha used to bike a lot himself, and has given me some advice about the ride. He also offered to pay for a hotel while I'm in Omaha, very nice! But I almost wish he hadn't because now I'm only saving the cost of gas which will probably equal what I spend on the trip. It's harder to justify taking so much time for something that is entirely for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    Check on rei or rei outlet and see what's on sale. You can end up spending a lot of money on a sleeping bag, which could then do away with the price of gas... Are you planning on continuing to tour with your bike or hiking? IF that's the case, then you should go ahead and invest in a nicer bag. If this probably a one time thing and you don't have much to spend and it's going to be relatively warm - then don't spend very much on a bag.

    It really depends on what you want - a down sleeping bag is going to compress smaller than a quallofill bag - however, a down sleeping bag will not remain warm if it gets wet. A quallofill bag will remain warm when it's wet, but won't be as compressible - and this is a bike trip you're on.

    It also depends on what temperatures you will be sleeping in - you can get sleeping bags that are rated to -15 degrees, 15 degrees, 30 degrees, etc.

    REI's housebrand of bags tend to be good deals:
    http://www.rei.com/outlet/search?sea...2Csleeping+bag

    If you're a tall person, you should get the longer length bag. Women's bags are wider in the hips for women's hips - so you might be more comfortable in one of those.

    I like the mummy style ones that pull over your head.

    I use a marmot helium 15 degree for hiking, and a sierra designs glow for kayak camping.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    Check Backcountry.com, check SteepandCheap.

    Don't sacrifice $$ for weight.

    Take the trip. You only get one life. Well, as far as I know anyway.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    If I were buying a new sleeping bag, I would check into the Big Agnes integrated bag and pad system. I don't know about weight or how it breaks down for packing, but the concept makes sense. Here's the web site:

    http://www.bigagnes.com/

    Have a great time on your trip!

    Pam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into those.

    We go camping occasionally, and we've been talking about the need for new sleeping bags for ages. We don't use them often, maybe a couple times a year. I hope this won't be my last bike trip but I imagine it is not something I'll have leisure to do often.

    I'm really excited about it. But I admit, I am a person who enjoys the planning as much or more than carrying out the plans. I am having a great time planning this trip.

    It will be in early May, mid-Missouri to east Nebraska. It won't be very cold, but it might be wet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
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    5,269
    I have a suggestion, but it might not be popular. I bought a Coleman fleece sleeping bag (found it at the thrift store for $3). It keeps me plenty warm in the summer and packs down small for the bike. I put it in a waterproof bag so it wouldn't be soaked if it rained. Plus, for $12, you could use it as a sleeping bag on this trip and if you decide to buy nicer bags later on, it can be added to the inside for more warmth, or used as a throw in camp.
    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/...0&CS_010=41895
    Last edited by Tri Girl; 05-26-2010 at 12:34 AM.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
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    You really, really, really have to keep weight down.
    Trust me on this, I learned the hard way.
    If you're short you could probably get away with a childs size. I'm 5'2" and that works for me.

    HOW NOT TO PACK
    Last edited by Zen; 03-10-2009 at 07:50 PM.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    For the wool weenies - my summer sleeping bag is a slumberjack meridan. Basically a merino wool lined sleeping bag.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I'm with Zen. Weight will be important. Not at first, but later.

    And, I would try to borrow a nice down sleeping bag before I bought one. Surely you know someone who would lend you one? I'd lend you mine but I'm in Arkansas. I borrowed a one-man tent for my tour with Tri-Girl. I was happy I did that.

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pendleton, OR
    Posts
    782
    I agree with Tri Girl. If it's not too chilly, go for the Coleman fleece. They're great.
    Tis better to wear out than to rust out....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
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    Thanks for the tips. I probably could have gotten by with spending less money, but I got a nice sleeping bag from REI, which seems very lightweight to me.

    The trip is almost here, 6 days away! I'm alternating anxious and excited. This post is mostly about my anxiety, because I'm hoping you all will calm my fears. But I have plenty of excitement about the trip too.

    I've worked and worked over maps and google, and advice from people who are more familiar with other parts of the state. My route is a little more strenuous than I'd hoped. That's one of the things I'm worried about.
    Day 1: 78 miles
    Day 2: 79 miles
    Day 3: 60 miles
    Day 4: 82 miles
    Day 5: ~65-70 miles.

    I'd hoped to keep it closer to 70-75 miles a day. I know from my training rides that I can do 70 miles, even with tent etc, even with wind. (My training rides prove I can do it once anyway. I wish I'd had a chance to try two in a row!) The location of campgrounds dictates my route.

    The other thing I'm worried about is the heat. I know, drink lots of water and gatorade and electrolytes. I also know that the first heat of summer hits me like a brick, and it simply takes time to adjust, no matter how much V-8 and water and so on.

    I'll browse the archives when I get a chance, but I'll go ahead and ask anyway: what do you suggest I carry to eat? I'll stop at any grocery store and restaurant when I get a chance, but this is rural Missouri & rural Iowa, not necessarily a lot of places to stop. I'm already tired of gas station food just from my training rides.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    273
    Dates. Raisins. Peanut butter crackers, Ritz makes some good ones.

    Personally I have to dilute Gatorade A LOT (about 1:4), I prefer Propel

    Bananas, can't go touring without bananas!

    Maybe some freeze dried camping food.
    By charity, goodness, restraint, and self-control men and woman alike can store up a well-hidden treasure -- a treasure which cannot be given to others and which robbers cannot steal. A wise person should do good. That is the treasure that cannot be lost.
    - Khuddhaka Patha

    The word of God comes down to man as rain to soil, and the result is mud, not clear water
    - The Sufi Junayd



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    Are you taking gear to cook? With or without a stove, I like whey protein powder which will mix with milk or juice.

    If you eat fish, tuna in packets is good. You can also find salmon and chicken packaged that way.

    Lots of travel-size stuff is available from Minimus. It's pricey and not very green because of the packaging, but handy nonetheless.

    Pam

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Tuna, that's a good idea. I wasn't going to bring cooking gear, but as I've thought about it, I think I will bring a small pan & spoon. I can cook rice (oh, better bring a 1/4 cup measure) or oatmeal. Plain brown rice & tuna will be so good after a day of riding and eating at restaurants. I could happily eat is without salt but I'll bring salt anyway, it'll do me good.

    I'll probably buy 2 or 3 bananas at every grocery store I find! Sometimes gas stations have them too (much more expensive but bananas are so cheap to start with). I can eat ramen without guilt because I'll need those empty calories & salt!

    Matches...I have a tiny little propane stove but the bottle of propane is a pound or two perhaps. I'm not really sure. But maybe I can get by on a little fire. I'm not a wizard at starting fires without lighter fluid. But if I have to bring lighter fluid I might as well forget the wood fire and just bring the propane.

    Only six days left. It's not so much the amount of stuff yet to do. It's the number of decisions I still have to make.

    Today: Set up the tent. Fix the broken pole, decide if it is too old and not in good enough shape. (I'll risk it.) I'm done with that! Next: buy groceries, contact folks in areas I'll be passing through.
    Monday: Move into my new office. Do actual work stuff. Get my brake pads replaced, replacement reelights mounted, and one last bike check.
    Tuesday: mow the yard
    Wed: Teach.
    Thurs & Fri: Grade quizzes. Grade group reports. Grade the other reports. Grade the final papers. (It wasn't my idea to have 4 things due the same day!) (I only have one section, so 24 students.)

    That leaves me tomorrow and Tuesday to pack.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Sounds like you're a little bit of everything: excited, nervous, impatient, stressed, happy.
    I think you've got a good plan. The mileage might be higher than you'd hoped, but it sounds like you're ready. Glad you found a sleeping bag.

    If you're able to update from the road, we'd love to hear from you to know you're safe and having a great time. Don't forget the pictures. I'd love to see the area you're passing through.

    Best of luck. Be safe and have FUN!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

 

 

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