CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Stuff

Advice needed - synthetic vs down sleeping bags for Scottish cycle touring

(51 posts)
  • Started 2 months ago by Claire
  • Latest reply from sallyhinch

  1. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I am going camping on Saturday (snow forecast and -4C)

    Oooh.

    If anyone has any other tips on keeping warm, dry etc

    Ahhh.

    I've always found my state of mind was key. If you're having fun and looking forward to the next day then a damp bag isn't a biggie.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  2. Snowy
    Member

    We always use one of these reflective mats (not this precise one but similar) for 'family' camping. Good cheap insulation but bulky so I wouldn't backpack or bike with it.

    Ultimate tip and it's been said before...as many merino baselayers as your wallet will bear....

    Posted 2 months ago #
  3. Boab08
    Member

    Definitely down.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  4. Boab08
    Member

    A lot people forget when camping that it's important to eat well to stay warm too. If you're hungry you'll feel the cold.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  5. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    @Boab08

    Very true on the food front. Eat like a ploughman when you're out of doors.

    Being sober also helps retain heat but that's a step too far for me.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  6. bax
    Member

    Being sober also helps retain heat

    aye, always aspire toward retiring to your bivvy with an empty bladder

    so the body doesn't have to work to heat up that liquid

    Posted 2 months ago #
  7. steveo
    Member

    Also so you don't have to get up two or three times to pee. Far worse in a bivvy than a tent!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  8. cb
    Member

    Go to bed warm, not cold as it easier to retain heat than heat up from a cold starting point. So 20 sit ups before zipping the bag up?

    Decent camping mat makes a huge difference.
    Silk liner can be left in the bag and makes a noticeable difference too.

    My Tesco down bag is nearly 10 years old, just under 900g if I recall correctly and still just about ok into the low minus figures. Unlikely to be sustainably resourced somehow. Anyway, they don't sell them any more.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  9. bax
    Member

    Decent camping mat makes a huge difference

    big fan of the Thermarest NeoAir XTherm for subzero outings

    Posted 2 months ago #
  10. bax
    Member

    @Claire

    ah i see you have one, good stuff! enjoy

    Posted 2 months ago #
  11. wingpig
    Member

    "So 20 sit ups before zipping the bag up?"

    You can do sit-ups inside a sleeping bag.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. unhurt
    Member

  13. biketrain
    Member

    I took a down sleeping bag on a three month cycle/camping tour of Scandinvia ( it rained a lot).
    I kept the bag dry throughout as it was kept in a goretex bivibag and stored in a carridice pannier. Occasionally I would air it whilst cycling by hanging in off my rear panniers.

    With a previuous down sleeping bag I tried using a waterproofing treatment but this resulted in the down clumping up.

    Down is great but keep it dry.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. Ed1
    Member

    I would also agree synthetic is best for touring, unless have time and a climate to air/dry a downbag will get bit damp even from sweat on the inside.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. Claire
    Member

    Guys I am loving these camping tips, especially the rechargable hand warmers (I have several of them) and the sit ups before bed to get you warmed up.

    I've also read somewhere that eating just before you go to sleep helps to raise your temperature too. Can give that a whirl - any excuse for grub to be honest.

    The bag has arrived and I can't believe how light it is - especially in comparison to my massive 2.5kg synthetic bag I've been using for forever. I also bought a drybag - an Alpkit Airlok with the ability to hang the bag on the bars, so will see if that works well for summer camping. This time of year the bag will be living in the Ortliebs for sure.

    Hope the investment in kit will be a positive one. With snow on the ground today my winter camping baptism will be a one of ice and sub-zero temps, argh!!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. bax
    Member

    Something i learned the hard way in North Norway might be useful

    Obviously its unwise to bury your head inside the sleeping bag while asleep as your breath builds up moisture inside the bag

    To begin with i thought a silk balaclava would suffice to keep face warm outside the bag

    However, below a certain temp, the worst thing by far is the dread sensation of freezing eyeballs

    My tip is to pack a clean unused buff inside your sleeping bag, which you can insulate your eyes with, if need be

    The only problem you have left after that is the freezing condensation on the inner tent ceiling, so always pack your bag away before that drip melts onto it in the morning

    Posted 2 months ago #
  17. Arellcat
    Moderator

    One of the lovely things about a good sleeping bag is cinching it around you just above your shoulders, and then cinching the hood around your head with just your face peeping out.

    Bax is right; you want to cover exposed skin but in a way that doesn't put your breath into the sleeping bag.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. gkgk
    Member

    Talking of head strategy for sleeping, I quite fancy one of those down hats, for sleeping in. Good warmth value per gram, I think, maybe.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  19. Claire
    Member

    Hey guys, so my winter camping experience went pretty well! The temp was around -6, so very cold. Down bag held up pretty well, but I needed to put on my primaloft jacket and shove some stuff down the end of the bag to keep me cosy.

    In the end I did manage to get a sleep. Bag got a tiny bit damp around the top with condensation from my breath but as soon as I gave it an airing the dampness completely disappeared.

    So, all in all a success I would wager! Thanks for all the tips and guidance from seasoned campers.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  20. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    @Claire

    Thanks for letting us know. -6C is a good test of kit.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. sallyhinch
    Member

    I am enjoying this thread with the vicarious pleasure of one who knows she will never ever choose to sleep outdoors at -6C.

    Posted 2 months ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply

You must log in to post.


Video embedded using Easy Video Embed plugin