Winter Camping Revisited

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Finally got cold enough here in CT for a trial run on "stacking". It went pretty well. I wore my usual base layers and socks I'd have hiking, a heavyweight Minus 33 fleece zip up top, down booties, down pants, synthetic jacket, liner gloves and a fleece balaclava. I used my MH Lamina 21 deg F synthetic bag, an Exped Downmat HL inflatable pad inside of a Sierra Designs bivy bag, all on top of a Thermarest Ridgerest closed cell pad on my deck.

It was 15 deg F and pretty windy and I was very warm even without cinching the hood on the bag or my jacket. I even unzipped the sleeping bag a bit at first because it was too warm initially. I spent about 2 hours outside laying on my side, back, etc and was very comfortable the whole time. The only snafu I had was that I inflated everything inside at 70 deg F so my pillow and pad lost a lot of loft with the temperature change. I could sense a subtle cooling to everything as a result but it wasn't bad considering how much loft I lost. The incessant flapping of the cover on my grill and the barking of the neighbor's dog finally convinced me to head inside. But overall I was pleasantly surprised. I run very cold and I think this set up would be fine at 10 deg F and with some tweaks I could see it easily working to 0 deg F, especially in a tent versus just laying out in the open in the elements. Although there was certainly something to be said for staring up at the stars on a cold night.

I guess the next step is to see how this all fits in the pack and dig out my liquid fuel stove for some practice. :)

Looks good so far. Here's a website that has good deals on down bags:
Is that a legit site? There are some pretty serious discounts on some of the stuff. I'm not familiar with that company.

I've bought clothing from them years ago, back when Smartwool base layers were hard to find.
I got some new hammock gear and decided to head out last night to test them out. Some good (new hardware makes setting up tarp much easier without knots) and some bad (my attempt at a ridgeline failed miserably and I need to work on that). But overall an enjoyable experience in local woods and a great learning experience which was the point. For those interested here's the video: