Northern Tier 2010

July 15, 2010

My Bed

Filed under: Gear — Henry Scott @ 7:00 am


I love thinking about gear, so I was pleased when Steven asked to hear more about how things are working out in the comments. So, as I get time, I’ll try to make a few posts about the stuff I’m using. After the bike, which I described in my first post (and is working out incredibly well — I can’t think of anything I’d change), I’d say my sleeping gear are the next most important items.


Since I’ll go through a wide range of temperatures, from near freezing to disgustingly hot, these need to be quite versatile. Accordingly, I decided to use a warm-weather down bag coupled with a liner. I also usually sleep in long underwear. I start out lying on top of everything and progressively bury myself deeper as, or if, I start to feel cold. Some nights I just end up in the liner, but on Sherman’s Pass I was zipped up in the bag, in the liner, and wearing my fleece jacket.

A significant benefit to the liner, in addition to either adding warmth to the bag or providing some cover on a warm night, is that it can be easily laundered — that’s key because I don’t get to shower very often. (Just for the record: I just about always find some way to clean up reasonably well — especially if there’s a roaring mountain stream nearby.)

Specifically, I have the Big Agnes Yampa 40 degree down sleeping bag (thanks to Larry letting me use his 20% REI discount), the Big Agnes 2″ thick, full-length, inflatable Air Core sleeping pad and pillow, and a Sea-to-Summit Reactor bag liner. The pad and liner were much-appreciated Christmas gifts from Jennifer’s parents, Bob and Sally. All of these items easily fit into one of my rear panniers. In the photo, the bag is in the grey bag, the pad is in red, the liner is in yellow, and the pillow is in black mesh. The water bottle is for scale.

My only complaint is that inflating (and deflating, for that matter) the sleeping pad is a pain. Unlike a Therm-A-Rest, it has no self-inflating qualities. It only takes about three minutes to blow it up, but that feels like a very long three minutes! That said, there are three great things about it: it is light; it packs up very small; and it is designed to work with the Yampa sleeping bag.

The bag has no insulation on the under side to save weight and pack space. Instead, it has a full-length sleeve into which one slides the pad. This makes it so one cannot slide off of the pad.

Granted, I’m going to bed very tired each night, but I’ve been sleeping extremely well. I suppose I do have one more complaint: I usually have trouble getting out of bed!

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