The set-up you suggest would be good from spring to autumn, but you would need to be a very warm sleeper to be sure of a decent night in winter. I've not used the DAS parka myself, but fairly similar synthetic tops I've worn don't have the warmth to give me a good night's sleep when it's freezing. I think the belay jacket with lightweight sleeping bag combo is a better way to go.
Mike and mick
This is all relative what (roughly) air temperature, and what weight of bag are you using for this combination?
Fully dressed with down jacket and a bag - must be a bloomin thin bag there Mike....
"Fully dressed with down jacket and a bag - must be a bloomin thin bag there Mike...."
Hi FB. Rab Quantum 250 most of the time. ME Lightline Ultra for really cold conditions. Obviously the clothing varies depending on temp.
It's a good idea Lil John, but there must be a very good reason why sleeping bags are so popular. One of them I suspect is that, for the weight, they give much greater warmth than individual clothing items combined, in the same way that mittens are warmer than gloves.
You could give it a go with a back up sleeping bag just in case, maybe a BPS Blizzard bag. I take a half way approach to what you suggest for the few winter trips I do. I can only fit a 3 season synthetic bag in my pack, so I back it up with a belay jacket and sleep in my clothes. I don't wear the belay jacket, just have it inside the sleeping bag (sleeves tucked inside) covering wherever I feel like, usually my body area, it's like a big hot pad. I always think that sleeping undressed when wild camping is a bit pointless anyway, if I've got insulation layers lying around unused, then I'd feel that I was pointlessly carrying around too heavy a sleeping bag.
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I've done plenty of backpacking in moderate temperatures using an old Rab Glacier down jacket and a very light, compact cashmere/silk blanket. All this inside an army surplus bivvy bag to cope with damp and drafts. The blanket is great for warmer weather on its own and when it's colder I just double the blanket around my legs and wear the jacket as usual. I wouldn't try this without additional shelter in winter except in an emergency, but it was fine for a Nepali teahouse trek on the Annapurna sanctuary in early March (snow and a few degrees below zero).
In colder weather I wouldn't like to go without a proper bag - though I'd try a top-bag, half-bag or quilt a la Nunatak.
To my mind there isn't anything wrong with being able to strip down to sleep at night - it means that you have a bit of margin if the weather (or your metabolism) take a tumble. The insulation needed to recover from hypothermia is far more than that which is needed for a normal night's sleep. The trade off is what you have to carry, but that isn't usually a big concern for me.
I would suggest the back-garden as a testing zone for whatever you would like to try out. If it turns horribly cold, you can retreat indoors and rethink your strategy!
Interesting thread, this! I'm looking at a bivvy night this weekend, up in the lakes and I think it's gonna be chilly. I've got a light(ish) down bag, a snugpak sleeka, long johns, etc, a bivvy bag, silk liner, tarp if it looks windy...
...think I'll check the weather forecast for sunday morning though, just the same. I really want a clear night, and not too wet or misty on the monday. Full moon on saturday, so it should be good!
Does a silk liner help much?
It does, in that it keeps the inside of the sleeping bag clean!
I don't know if it gives any extra warmth, but it means a bit of crap on my clothes won't matter too much.
The other problem with using insulated trousers is that they're less efficient than a bag - effectively your legs are two cylinders, so by insulating them separately, you're actually increasing the surface area available to lose heat. It's like mitts versus gloves.
As Captain P says, climbers have been using elephant's foot bags for years. The reason that the big boys like ME and Rab don't make them, I'm surmising, is that few retailers are actually going to stock them on the assumption that some hardcore climber might pop in one day on the off chance. With a direct sales web site, that's not an issue.
Hi lil john. OMM make 1/2 bags as well.
I've been considering getting one myself.
As do Nunatak, Mike,
but they also do the Raku if you like the chargrilled mermaid look!
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