Expedition To Madagascar
I am going on a 4 week World Challenge expedition to Madagascar. I recently bought the Osprey Kestrel 68 bag. I need a sleeping mat (looking at the Mountain Equipment Helium 2.5) and a 3 season sleeping bag. They both need to be able to fit into/on the rucksack and need to be relatively cheap while peforming well enough to sleep on/in. The bag has sleeping mat loops on the outside but they aren't that big, and it also has a compartment at the bottom for a sleeping bag. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
So many sleep mats of different types that we'd a bit more info on how you sleep. Personally i could never sleep on a typical roll mat or even a self inflater as being a side sleeper i constantly wake with dead shoulders and hips from the mat "bottoming out".
As for the sleeping bag i'd guess most 3 season down bags would easily be swallowed up by that sack so it would be down to budget really, Alpkit do decent priced well specced bags, you could also check out the classifieds on here for a relative bargain.
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Cheers guys, I'm fairly new to bag packing but did some work experience at an outdoors store. Just needed a bit of help deciding!
I can sleep on basically anything, recently spent 2 weeks sleeping on a rubbish Hi Gear self inflater in France with my scout group and had no problems.
I won't be going to Madagascar 'till next Summer, but we've started buying things early, spreading out the costs over a year and also giving me time to test it out.
Hi- I'm an school expedition leader, having lead several expeditions for World Challenge competitors.
First of all- don't spend your money on the most expensive Gucci kit. Expeditions tend to trash gear rather quickly, and top of the range lightweight camping gear/clothing isn't always best.
Its not what I normally wear, but Craghoppers clothing is great- designed for traveling (hanging loops, quick-drying etc) and is cheap as chips in TK Maxx. The Craghoppers stuff I brought several expeditions is still going strong, whereas some more expensive kit has fallen apart. I've just got back from a four week expedition, and spent 99% of the expedition in a pair of rip-off Crocs that cost me less than a fiver from Shoe Zone!
Personally- I went off self-inflating mats years ago- I've since used a Thermarest Ridgerest. Its a lot bulkier, but straps on to the outside of my pack and is totally bombproof- unlike inflating mattresses, and is cheaper and very light too.
As for the sleeping bag- if you've got the pennies and can keep it dry and clean go for a down bag, but again- you would probably be better off with something cheaper and more robust- ie: a synthetic.
One other piece of kit which I've cherished, but lost on this expedition which I'm completely gutted about is my Tilley Hat. Has been a faithful companion on several trips, and is guaranteed against lost and they will even replace it for free if it ever wears out. I'm gonna have to buy another. Not to be underestimated how important a good piece of headwear is if you're heading somewhere with strong UV/sun.
I am an ML, been a DoE trainer and assessor for years and my daughter did six weeks with world challenge in Ecuador last year.
First of all, sack off any inflatable/self inflatable mat. If you get a puncture you cant repair it turns into an expensive ground sheet. A CCF mat is the jobbie. Sleeping Bag - I get the point of down, but suggest easy maintanence is more valuable in this case - synthetic is the way. A CCF mat will go on the outside of your pack - my daughter made a nifty case/bag from ripstop for it. A synthetic bag will take getting wet and being dried.
One word of warning though - check out the cost of inoculations. WC didnt warn my daughter's school and we got hit with a bill for £600 2 months before departure. Lets just say it was a bit of a shock when she thought she had raised what she needed
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