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Winter Sleeping Bags

Winter Sleeping Bags

I arranged a trip away with a few mates for my birthday last year and got down to a choice between The Gold Coast Oceanway and a hike up Bimberi Peak. You might guess which one I opted for and also might guess that by the end of the first day I wished I'd packed my togs and some snake juice and offered myself as shark bait along some of those awesome beaches! We had some right dingdongs about my choice buy hey it was my birthday and I like a challenge.

For a trip like Bimberi Peak you need the right gear as well as the right attitude. Decent boots and clothes, right tents for the job and of course a quality winter sleeping bag.

Anyone who's ever gone camping has experienced a cold and damp night in their sleeping bag no matter what time of the year it was but winter up a mountain is another world again! Having a decent winter sleeping bag can literally be a life saver in these harsh conditions. The weather can turn real quick – one minute it's blue sky and sunshine and the next it's heavy snowfall.

Cold weather camping is generally defined as camping in weather where the average daily temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and the weather conditions are cold, wet or windy. The wind can make a real difference even if it seems quite mild. Depending on the exact type, most winter sleeping bags are designed to keep you warm in temperatures from about 10 degrees Fahrenheit and down to minus 40 or lower. Keeping yourself and your kit dry is one of the most important things in cold weather adventures – not always easy. Moisture cuts down on the insulating properties of just about everything and even the best kit can become pretty useless if it gets wet.

Winter Sleeping Bags

Synthetic sleeping bags are generally better than goose down bags in wet winter climates as they retain most of their insulating properties even when they get damp. Many people prefer a mummy style sleeping bag in the winter rather than a rectangular bag as there is less space inside for your body to heat up. Most mummy bags come with a hood to help keep your head warm and dry. Personally I find a mummy style winter sleeping makes me feel like a trussed up chicken and I prefer a good old rectangular bag and wear a warm hat to keep my head warm.

If you're not sure which type of winter sleeping bag to buy temperature wise try match the bag's comfort rating with the coldest temperatures you expect to be sleeping in. To be on the safe side it's usually a good idea to exceed that temperature for a little security – be prepared as an boy scout will tell you. If you're planning on camping out in temperatures of minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it's probably wise to get yourself a sleeping bag that can cope with temperatures of minus 20 or minus 30 Fahrenheit. Weather can be as unpredictable as a Sheila – you never what they'll do next!

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