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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
Begins: May 1, 2018
Date: Fri, Feb 9th, 2018
Entry Visits: 271
Journal Visits: 16,790
Guestbook Views: 181
Guestbook Entrys: 18
Starting out in the springtime one can pretty much count on all kinds of weather. There will be sunny skies, thunderstorms, snow and hail storms, and wind/sand storms. Sometimes all of these will come at once. It will be cold and It will be hot, and my concern today is the cold.
My trusty old down sleeping bag has traveled with me over 4000 trail miles. I have taken care of it, but after hundreds of nights of use the loft has diminished a little. My 20° bag is no longer a 20° bag. This was painfully apparent on the last section of the AZT when, on the 25° night, I got chilled wearing everything I had inside said sleeping bag.
So, I started looking at new sleeping bags. It's always fun to research gear and check out all the new features available from different makers. High quality ultralight down sleeping bags do not come cheap. Most of the bags I was looking at were in the neighborhood of $ 350 and up. Mostly up. But if that's what I had to do to stay warm it was worth it.
Now, to be truthful, I was doing all this research just before Thanksgiving last year. As luck would have it, I got an email about Black Friday deals at Dutchware Gear, run, of course, by a guy named Dutch. He was having a sale on 850 goose down. This was the good stuff. Every ounce of this down would expand to fill 850 cubic inches, and that's a lot of loft. Loft, or thickness of insulation, means increased warmth. Regularly $ 35 for 3 ounces, it was on sale for $ 17.50. For that price I could try to add an ounce or two of down to my old sleeping bag to improve the loft and see if I could return it to a 20° bag again. A plan was born!
I'll spare you the gruesome details of ripping the seams out on my old sleeping bag, rigging up a shop-vac to transfer the down, and re-sewing the seams. Let's just say it was harrowing, but not as messy as I thought it would be. In the end I added a little less than 2 ounces of down to the bag. I have since tested it out in 22° weather and found it to be awesome. I was so pleased with the result that I went ahead and added some extra down to my hammock under-quilt, thus improving the insulation below the hammock as well.
So, just when I was getting my pack weight down, I go and add a couple ounces. Still, probably worth it.
Until next week…Happy Trails!
SlowBro's Continental Divide Trail Journey
"I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days." -Daniel Boone
"The Journey IS The Reward" -SlowBro
"If you feel like quitting, just keep walking." -Gypsy Spirit
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