Author Topic: Help me be a mustachian camper!  (Read 14018 times)

fallstoclimb

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1084
Help me be a mustachian camper!
« on: March 15, 2016, 06:34:44 AM »
We've been camping more and more over the past couple years, and have reached the point where I'm confident we will be sticking with this so its worth getting proper equipment.

We have most of what we need already, but I'm not yet happy with our sleeping bags / sleep system. We have two old school sleeping bags that are warm and durable but also heavy and pack HUGE. We also have one broken synthetic bag that doesn't zip but packs small. Of our two big camping trips coming up in the next couple years, on one we will be flying to campgrounds and on the other we will be bikepacking - so weight and, more so, size/packability is important to us. Backpacking is possible in the future.

We typically camp in warm weather but have been stretching out our comfort level a bit. I don't see us ever doing winter camping, but Id like to be prepared for evening lows in the 50s or maybe even 40s.

We went camping last weekend and were shivering in the tent with lows in the 50s, in our jackets and with the synthetic bag over us as a quilt, so I think we need something better here.

I'm not experienced enough to know what is our best option.  Our sleeping pads clip together and I've been researching camping "quilts", because it does seem a little silly for a couple together in a tent to bother with two sleeping bags (...right?) but then the quilts are pretty pricey and I start thinking can't we just get a heavier bag to share and unzip over us?  I'm also not sure if we should do synthetic or down.

I'm sort of leaning towards using our current bag + a sheet to put over the pads for warmer camping, and just switching out the bag for a warmer (shared, unzipped) bag for cooler camping, but tell me if I'm wrong or missing something here.  Also nice warm bags aren't cheap either so then I think I should just go ahead and do the quilt.

I am ready to spend $ on something high quality we can patch and use forever. We have the money for this, I just don't want to drop more than necessary.

(And yes, I've been keeping an eye on Craigslist for a while but am only seeing kids bags, or old school heavy ones like what we already have)

 

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4382
  • Location: CT
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 06:41:53 AM »
I guess just start with knowing what your bags are rated for.

fallstoclimb

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1084
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 06:47:54 AM »
The broken synthetic bag can't be rated for anything below 40, I don't think. We got it at a garage sale so I'm not sure what it is but I'll take a closer look and see if I can figure it out. At the time we had only done HOT camping so thought it would be suitable.

Rufus.T.Firefly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 270
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 06:57:43 AM »
Quote
Our sleeping pads clip together and I've been researching camping "quilts", because it does seem a little silly for a couple together in a tent to bother with two sleeping bags (...right?)

I love snuggling with my wife in our real bed, so I thought so too, at first, but my temperature preferences are significantly different than my wife's. I will usually get hot in my sleeping bag while my wife wants it fully zipped up. And this is pretty common from what I've heard elsewhere: typically, women will run much cooler than men.

Also I tend to roll around a bit when I sleep. This will make your partner want to kill you after about the 3rd time. It took only a few times out for me to realize camping happiness is separate bags.

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1143
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 07:23:12 AM »
Keep in mind "ratings" on bags are basically what will keep you "the typical person they design it for" alive.  It's like when Aleve has commercials saying two pills relieves pain all day. Sure, maybe if your pain is from bumping your elbow into a piece of harder than normal foam.

If you want to be comfortable at 40-50 degrees, get something rated for 20-30.  Check for REI quarterly sales, and amazon occasionally has good prices too (I got a 32 degree Kelty Cosmic Down for my GF during a sale for ~$110).  I have a Kelty Cosmic Down rated for 40 degrees, but we live in South Texas, and I already have a 0 degree rated bag I got a long time ago on sale for a fall trip to the Appalachian Trail.  Our camping trips tend to be us trying to stay cool, rather than warm.

Some bags will zip up together.  Down generally packs smaller than synthetic for the same warmth, but don't get it wet.  You can also get sleeping bag inserts made of various materials that are basically sheets, they keep you from getting your sleeping bag dirty, and supposedly add a bit of warmth.  I haven't used one, but it sounds like a good idea.

I read about some hardcore light backpackers who use specialty quilts, can't remember where though.  I think a lot of them made their own.

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2419
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2016, 07:35:23 AM »
Agreed about the rating on a bag not necessarily being what's comfortable. Also agree that sharing a bag isn't ideal. It's not just the insulation in a sleeping bag that keeps you warm, it's the design. If you're in a mummy bag and using it properly, you have a very small amount of airspace your body needs to heat up and almost all the warmth your body produces is captured. This is a key thing with the ultralight hikers using quilts; they've customized them so it fits around them exactly and they tuck it and use it well plus they use any other possible insulating material they have with them.  Details that seem small really do make a big difference in how warm you are. Unless you guys are going to spoon all night, I would assume you both need your own mummy bag/quilt, although you can keep an eye out for mummy bags that zip together (if you both get the same brand/model, they often come with right/left zip option). Though I admit I don't have much experience sharing camping bedding with someone else.

I've found better prospects on ebay than craigslist. And sleeping bags aren't too heavy so the shipping usually won't kill you.

Make sure you're zipping your tent up. Not all the way! You don't want to suffocate. But the warmer the tent is, the less the bedding has to do.

You don't mention what you're using underneath. That's half your sleep system. Personally I sleep cold and I found it totally worth it to get an inflatable pad and it would fit your circumstance of being willing to spend $ to save space.

eta: Personally I have an EMS Solstice 20 degree in the junior size. I'm a little under 5'7" and they say the max user height is 5'2" but I don't find it's a problem and appreciate the savings in weight. Again, you want to minimize the air volume you have to heat up, though obviously you also need to be comfortable and not press against the sides too much or you'll compress the insulation which defeats the purpose (and that's the reason the ultralight hikers use quilts, btw, because the insulation you lay on with a sleeping bag isn't as effective so they just go without it and rely on their pad). Anyway, with my spare set of clothes on, I was pretty comfy this weekend in the low 40s :)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 07:56:10 AM by sheepstache »

ohsnap

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2016, 07:41:07 AM »
I'm glad you started this thread; I actually thought about starting a similar one a few days ago!  My husband and I have lots of car-camping equipment but we are hoping to upgrade to backpacking equipment.  Spending time outdoors can be so expensive!

...
 Check for REI quarterly sales, and amazon occasionally has good prices too (I got a 32 degree Kelty Cosmic Down for my GF during a sale for ~$110)....

I want to second the recommendation for REI.  If you join, they'll send you periodic coupons, as well as rebating a percent of your purchases every year.  Also, they have "garage sales" at their locations at which they sell returned merch.

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1143
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2016, 07:43:04 AM »
Agreed about the rating on a bag not necessarily being what's comfortable for the bag. Also agree that sharing a bag isn't ideal. It's not just the insulation in a sleeping bag that keeps you warm, it's the design. If you're in a mummy bag and using it properly, you have a very small amount of airspace your body needs to heat up and almost all the warmth your body produces is captured. This is a key thing with the ultralight hikers using quilts; they've customized them so it fits around them exactly and they tuck it and use it well plus they use any other possible insulating material they have with them.  Details that seem small really do make a big difference in how warm you are. Unless you guys are going to spoon all night, I would assume you both need your own mummy bag/quilt, although you can keep an eye out for mummy bags that zip together. Though I admit I don't have much experience sharing camping bedding with someone else.

I've found better prospects on ebay than craigslist. And sleeping bags aren't too heavy so the shipping usually won't kill you.

Make sure you're zipping your tent up. Not all the way! You don't want to suffocate. But the warmer the tent is, the less the bedding has to do.

You don't mention what you're using underneath. That's half your sleep system. Personally I sleep cold and I found it totally worth it to get an inflatable pad and it would fit your circumstance of being willing to spend $ to save space.

+1 on the inflatable pads.  Lots of the ultralight folks use foam, but the inflatables are nice for a wuss like me.   Some people get the shortest one they can and put their feet on extra clothes they have, that's probably not a bad idea.  I will say the inflatables do have a tendency to slide around more and be a bit louder than the foam, something to keep in mind.  Try a few out at REI.

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2558
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2016, 08:12:31 AM »
Assume you are car camping, not backpacking, so you can haul a bit more gear.
For true comfortable camping it's hard to beat cots and a tent big enough to stand up in.   I have the big Cabelas cots with the 2" foam pad and a pillow.   Just about any decent sleeping bag will keep you warm in the 40's and upwards.  Wear a sock hat and throw a blanket over top if necessary.

Nice to store your gear under the cot, plus being able to sit in the cot to put shoes on and get dressed in the morning.

Note - An air mattress is comfortable, but not as warm as a foam pad.  Those thin foam sleeping pads are made for backpacking and better than nothing, but not much better.  If you're car camping, get a nice thick pad for both warmth and comfort.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1778
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2016, 08:22:46 AM »
I find the key to staying more comfortable in winter or summer is not what kind of sleeping bag you have but what is between your sleeping bag and the floor. I use Therm-a-rest inflatable pads because they are lightweight and very durable to punctures. They keep you off the cold floor in the winter and are nice to sleep on in summer because the coating doesn't stick to you like inflatable plastic mattresses do. I never go camping without one.

For the sleeping bag, I have two mummy bags. One light weight and one heavy weight one. Almost all sleeping bags will pair with another sleeping bag of the same kind though most don't specifically sell them that way. Like others said, I sleep better at night not being tethered to my wife who has different sleep temperatures and habits than me. My advice is to do any romping and then zip up into your own bag for the night.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8193
  • Location: United States
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 08:59:19 AM »
When we do summer car camping, my husband and I share a double sleeping bag we got at Walmart. There is even room for the dog in there.

When we do cold weather camping we have separate mummy bags.

Until recently we didn't even sleep on pads, but now that we are a bit older will start. So I need to look into how to best join them together.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1360
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2016, 09:31:54 AM »
I agree with what everyone else has said. At the REI annual sales, there are always good thermal rated bags for a reasonable price. When I camp, I want good boots/shoes, a good tent, and a good sleeping bag. Everything else can be hand me down or crappy. I also prefer my own bag so I can roll and move as I please. It's also easier to carry the bags because most packs have space for one small sleeping bag on the bottom. A friend of mine who is section hiking the PCT has a 'quilt' from REI that she loves and it is very warm for her.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7031
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2016, 09:44:02 AM »
If you really are into camping/backpacking and expect to continue enjoying this in the future, then I'd say that this is an area where it is better in the long run to spend some money and get good quality gear. We got most of our backpacking gear from REI and have been very pleased. (Our backpacking tent in particular is fabulous.)

As others have discussed, I am colder at night than my husband so my sleeping bag is warmer and it takes me longer to warm up enough to fall asleep. We got the REI inflatable backpacking sleep mats and are very glad we spent the money. I also went with a silk sleeping bag liner, partially for warmth and partially to keep the inside of my bag clean when I zip the mummy bag up around my head. For backpacking, the weight and size difference between real silk and some silk knock-off is noticeable.

Areas you can save money in for backpacking: Food. We got a $30 dehydrator and make our own backpacking food instead of buying the expensive dehydrated meals. So far we have successfully dehydrated all sorts of things including chili, bangan bartha, and spaghetti & meatballs. Just be sure to cut up whatever you are going to eat into fairly small pieces (i.e. the meatballs) so they dehydrate and rehydrate in a reasonable amount of time.

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1143
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2016, 09:45:32 AM »
If you really are into camping/backpacking and expect to continue enjoying this in the future, then I'd say that this is an area where it is better in the long run to spend some money and get good quality gear. We got most of our backpacking gear from REI and have been very pleased. (Our backpacking tent in particular is fabulous.)

As others have discussed, I am colder at night than my husband so my sleeping bag is warmer and it takes me longer to warm up enough to fall asleep. We got the REI inflatable backpacking sleep mats and are very glad we spent the money. I also went with a silk sleeping bag liner, partially for warmth and partially to keep the inside of my bag clean when I zip the mummy bag up around my head. For backpacking, the weight and size difference between real silk and some silk knock-off is noticeable.

Areas you can save money in for backpacking: Food. We got a $30 dehydrator and make our own backpacking food instead of buying the expensive dehydrated meals. So far we have successfully dehydrated all sorts of things including chili, bangan bartha, and spaghetti & meatballs. Just be sure to cut up whatever you are going to eat into fairly small pieces (i.e. the meatballs) so they dehydrate and rehydrate in a reasonable amount of time.

I never thought of dehydrating that sort of stuff, I always assumed just fruits and whatnot would work.  With dried fruits you can usually get a good price in the store, so I didn't see the point.  What dehydrator do you have?

Rufus.T.Firefly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 270
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2016, 10:50:46 AM »
If you really are into camping/backpacking and expect to continue enjoying this in the future, then I'd say that this is an area where it is better in the long run to spend some money and get good quality gear. We got most of our backpacking gear from REI and have been very pleased. (Our backpacking tent in particular is fabulous.)

As others have discussed, I am colder at night than my husband so my sleeping bag is warmer and it takes me longer to warm up enough to fall asleep. We got the REI inflatable backpacking sleep mats and are very glad we spent the money. I also went with a silk sleeping bag liner, partially for warmth and partially to keep the inside of my bag clean when I zip the mummy bag up around my head. For backpacking, the weight and size difference between real silk and some silk knock-off is noticeable.

Areas you can save money in for backpacking: Food. We got a $30 dehydrator and make our own backpacking food instead of buying the expensive dehydrated meals. So far we have successfully dehydrated all sorts of things including chili, bangan bartha, and spaghetti & meatballs. Just be sure to cut up whatever you are going to eat into fairly small pieces (i.e. the meatballs) so they dehydrate and rehydrate in a reasonable amount of time.

I definitely agree with this. Even if you go on the fancy side of things, you're still saving an enormous amount of money compared to typical vacations. My wife and I treat backpacking like a vacation. We're saving $100s by avoiding hotel. Our only expense now is the food and gas to get there. Make sure the gear works well so you'll enjoy it and keep wanting to go back!

REI Garage sales are a great way to find deals. You can find barely used items for 30-70% off. Also, I found some of the best deals for new items (if you need to buy something new) here at this site: www.backcountryedge.com


dinkhelpneeded

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
    • Silicon Valley RE-FIRE
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2016, 11:05:43 AM »
Being a woman and particularly cold, I would recommend those breakable heat generating pouches for your feet inside the backpack, in winter.

Be sure to not burn yourself, but for $4 a night its not a bad idea especially if that one person who is cold is comfortable!


therethere

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 818
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2016, 11:20:36 AM »
I'm a trailer camper, but thinking of a few trips where it might be easier to tent camp as dispersed camping. Its the sleeping pads that got me stuck. We have a horribly uncomfortable air mattress currently that requires hooking up to the car battery to blow up. So uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Does anyone have experience making a lightweight simple pad out of reflectix (shiny bubble wrap type insulation)? I'm wondering if it would be comfortable (not looking to rough it too much). Also if its better or worse than some of the inflatable pads out there.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1751
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2016, 11:33:41 AM »
I tend to be cold at night so I use a mummy down sleeping bag rated for 15 degrees although I rarely camp if it's below 40.  I use a sleep sack (twin sheet folded and sewn up the side) as a liner.  This keeps the bag clean and gives me the option of just sleeping in the sheet if the weather is warm.  I find the down bag to be much more adjustable to the temp than my old synthetic one, which seemed too hot for anything but a narrow range of about 30 degrees.
For a pad, I still use an inexpensive piece of closed cell foam.  Something like this: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/478588/texsport-pack-lite-sleeping-pad-72-x-20-x-3-8-foam-blue
I really like this better than the $90 specialty self-inflating pad I tried.
I have flown to camp several times, packing everything in a duffle, but then I car camp, not backpacking.  So I care less about volume than a backpacker would.

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1143
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2016, 12:20:36 PM »
I'm a trailer camper, but thinking of a few trips where it might be easier to tent camp as dispersed camping. Its the sleeping pads that got me stuck. We have a horribly uncomfortable air mattress currently that requires hooking up to the car battery to blow up. So uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Does anyone have experience making a lightweight simple pad out of reflectix (shiny bubble wrap type insulation)? I'm wondering if it would be comfortable (not looking to rough it too much). Also if its better or worse than some of the inflatable pads out there.

You can get close cell foam sleeping pads for $20-40 at REI or online.  They aren't comfortable, and rely on you choosing a good location to put it (leaves, grass, etc). 

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
  • Location: MA
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2016, 12:38:12 PM »
Honestly?  Find a friend who has a lot of camping gear and go with them.  I am not talking about free-loading here, I am talking about sharing so that the outlays are low.  We didn't camp regularly so we bought a tent, a lantern, and a few coolers.  My friends have a camping stove, and an extra canopy that we used for the food tent.  We would rent campsites next to each other and share stuff.  I would rather camp with friends than camp alone anyway. 

shadowmoss

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2016, 04:39:03 AM »
The blue closed-cell foam pad at Walmart is a good starter sleep pad, and it is around $8.  I recommend getting a good down sleeping bag, best investment I ever made.  I have an REI sub kilo, which is light weight, and an old expedition grade zero degree bag I bought 35 years ago that made solo camping possible for me, and has been used a lot car camping.

Rollin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
  • Location: West-Central Florida - USA
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2016, 05:34:14 AM »
Keep in mind "ratings" on bags are basically what will keep you "the typical person they design it for" alive.  It's like when Aleve has commercials saying two pills relieves pain all day. Sure, maybe if your pain is from bumping your elbow into a piece of harder than normal foam.

If you want to be comfortable at 40-50 degrees, get something rated for 20-30.  Check for REI quarterly sales, and amazon occasionally has good prices too (I got a 32 degree Kelty Cosmic Down for my GF during a sale for ~$110).  I have a Kelty Cosmic Down rated for 40 degrees, but we live in South Texas, and I already have a 0 degree rated bag I got a long time ago on sale for a fall trip to the Appalachian Trail.  Our camping trips tend to be us trying to stay cool, rather than warm.

Some bags will zip up together.  Down generally packs smaller than synthetic for the same warmth, but don't get it wet.  You can also get sleeping bag inserts made of various materials that are basically sheets, they keep you from getting your sleeping bag dirty, and supposedly add a bit of warmth.  I haven't used one, but it sounds like a good idea.

I read about some hardcore light backpackers who use specialty quilts, can't remember where though.  I think a lot of them made their own.

Backcountry and Sierra Trading Post also have good deals often. Many item for cool to cold weather go on sale in the spring. And as ooiee said, go lower than you think you'll need. You can always unzip. You'll carry a little more weight, but it is minor.

Also, look to see that your air mattress is rated to block some cold too. I have a Neoair that is quite comfy.

Jacana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Location: Back in the DMV :(
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2016, 06:03:49 AM »
I'm always cold, and back when I camped a lot I always took along a fleece blanket. Wrapped that completely around myself inside the sleeping bag, and I was much warmer. If it was too hot, easily removed. And the fleece blanket doubled as a lap blanket around the fire at night. That plus a foam pad underneath, some thick warm socks, and a scarf for the neck/head made winter camping work for me. I actually still use the fleece blanket trick when I'm too cold in my bed at home.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7845
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2016, 06:13:12 AM »
Slickdeals.net

make alerts for what you want.  Read what people say about how good the deal is on the forum when you get an alert and read the amazon product reviews.  You'll get high quality stuff thats brand new for a fraction of the price.  Usually there are extra coupons and codes that can be applied if you wait an hour after a deal posts. (unless its a screaming deal then buy immediately)

Everyone here should know this site and how to use it.

dandypandys

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 488
  • Age: 44
  • Location: USA
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2016, 06:20:13 AM »
I love camping! We got our gear sorted slowly. I was industrious at finding the best stuff via reviews on Rei, amazon, youtube- tons of reviews of tents etc on there. Once i knew the stuff i wanted, i set up a search on eBay, and had it emailed to me once a day. We actually bought our tent brand new, sierra flash 3 - no regrets there, i LOVE it, it is so breathable. I got my thermarest on eBay, i guess a lot of people give up hobbies like camping and sell on fairly new stuff. 'Camping hacks' is fun to look up on pinterest too.

warehouse

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2016, 06:28:38 AM »
Check out REI garage sales, can get huge discount on gear returned to REI.  You will need to line up early to get anything good.

littlebird

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2016, 07:57:34 AM »
The adage in backpacking is that you get to pick two of the following: light, comfortable, cheap. You can't get all three, though sometimes the REI garage sale can help you get close. Where I live the garage sale is only once a year in the fall though, so that may not work for you if you need gear for this summer. In general, REI brand is less expensive and is high quality so you should check out their stuff even if you have to buy new.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7845
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2016, 07:58:39 AM »
why does no one here use

slickdeals.net

why are you spending time waiting in line at B&M stores. 

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8193
  • Location: United States
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2016, 10:57:23 AM »

why are you spending time waiting in line at B&M stores.

If I had an REI, I would wait in line there over ordering online. REI is an amazing place.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7845
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2016, 11:16:15 AM »

why are you spending time waiting in line at B&M stores.

If I had an REI, I would wait in line there over ordering online. REI is an amazing place.

let me get this straight you would DRIVE to a B&M store then use your cellular data to compare the cost of the items they claim to be discounted to what the value should be then you would DRIVE back home

vs

option 2:  place an alert for sleeping bag or tent or brand name tent etc. on slickdeals.  go about your life as normal.  wait for an email from slickdeals.  sit where ever you are work/home/beach/lake etc.  and then evaluate the deal using amazon reviews as well as a pricing history.  then purchase and have it shipped free or close to free to your home or office depending on cost and taxes if locations very. 

one of those is a much less mustachian option IMO.

littlebird

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2016, 12:14:17 PM »
There are some items I like to try on or physically see before I buy; for those I go to a brick and mortar. If I look at something in a physical store, I buy it there even if it costs more because they provided me a service of letting me see it in person and that costs money. I don't like to treat them as a showroom. Everyone can shop however they want but that's the principle I abide by.

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2016, 12:32:17 PM »
Camping gear is one area I don't feel bad for spending money on quality. It all comes down to cost per use, IMO. Plenty of people have $$$ camping gear sitting in their garage not doing anything. They think they'll go camping and spend the money only to let the gear sit, their cost per use is very high.

I have a very expensive feathered friends down bag, 20 degree and about 2 pounds. Expensive, but I probably spend 50 nights or more in it a year. I've used it down to freezing, but start to get cold at that point. I expect this bag to last a LONG time.

As a poster above said, the temp ratings are subjective, there is no standard. Instead look at down fill weight. Higher fill weights will be warmer.


zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2016, 12:35:59 PM »
I just want to add that REI is overpriced. Only shop there for their generous return policy or for the 20% sale, which is coming up March 18th. If I am unsure about an item I will buy at REI to try so that I can return it if it doesn't work for me. tried this with a thermarest neoair pad that went flat after 2 months of use. Returned it and went back to big agnes pads.

Inflatable insulated pads are about as light as foam pads these days, and way more comfortable. Only down side is using inflatable pads directly on rock, which probably won't be an issue for you. 

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1143
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2016, 12:40:41 PM »

why are you spending time waiting in line at B&M stores.

If I had an REI, I would wait in line there over ordering online. REI is an amazing place.

let me get this straight you would DRIVE to a B&M store then use your cellular data to compare the cost of the items they claim to be discounted to what the value should be then you would DRIVE back home

vs

option 2:  place an alert for sleeping bag or tent or brand name tent etc. on slickdeals.  go about your life as normal.  wait for an email from slickdeals.  sit where ever you are work/home/beach/lake etc.  and then evaluate the deal using amazon reviews as well as a pricing history.  then purchase and have it shipped free or close to free to your home or office depending on cost and taxes if locations very. 

one of those is a much less mustachian option IMO.

The difference is at REI you get to test things out, and see how they look/feel in person.  Especially when dealing with backpacking, a tent or sleeping bag difference of a few inches can radically change your comfort levels, and is worth seeing in person.  Two tents with the same length/width measurements from the manufacturer may actually be a few inches different in size depending on how the mfg measured it, or have different loft characteristics that affect your head/feet smacking into the walls. If you're not backpacking, get a size bigger than you think you'll need and live with it.

They also have a crazy good warranty, I've heard of more than a few people who took tents back after 5 years and got full refunds or replacements.  It's not why I buy there, but if I have to choose between that and saving 5% buying online, I'll take the in person look and warranty most of the time.  That being said, I have ordered things online when the price was significantly different and I already knew what I wanted.

They also often have their own branded stuff that is usually a pretty good deal that isn't sold anywhere else.  It's not always the best option, but sometimes it is.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1360
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2016, 12:41:59 PM »
I just want to add that REI is overpriced. Only shop there for their generous return policy or for the 20% sale, which is coming up March 18th. If I am unsure about an item I will buy at REI to try so that I can return it if it doesn't work for me. tried this with a thermarest neoair pad that went flat after 2 months of use. Returned it and went back to big agnes pads.

Inflatable insulated pads are about as light as foam pads these days, and way more comfortable. Only down side is using inflatable pads directly on rock, which probably won't be an issue for you.

You also get highly knowledgeable associates, ability to try out the gear in-store (e.g. run in shoes on trails, take the bike out for a ride, climb in a tent, scale the climbing wall), etc. They even have a rain room where you can test out coats and gear. Also you can ship to any REI store for free from the website and test drive it there.

When I bought my kelty kid-carrying back they actually had a giant teddy bear filled with sand so it weighed the same as a toddler. It helped me find the pack that felt best on my shoulders and hips.

Could I have saved money online? Yes. But I wouldn't have been able to get the best product for me.

Of course, I live in Seattle and we have amazing REIs here lol.

Ninjakern

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2016, 12:56:09 PM »
How has no one discussed sewing your own gear yet! The ultimage DIY mustachianism!
I used Ray Jardine's book Beyond Backpacking to sew a tarp with a net tent and my own backpack. (This was maybe 15 years ago--we've since had kids and now use a pop-up trailer-which we bought used and it's light enough to tow with our minivan.) I've always leaned toward a lightweight pack because carrying 50-60 lbs is a miserable experience. The tarp was super easy to sew--all straight lines, no special skills required and the no-see-um netting to hang underneath was also simple. Just practice pitching the tarp, it's so flexible and you can adjust for any conditions. I never did get around sewing a quilt but it's still on my list. I already had a good lightweight sleeping bag so it didn't make sense to spend the extra money. But good gear is expensive! Check out Seattle Fabrics http://www.seattlefabrics.com/ . You can get the same technical fabrics and insulation that go into manufactured gear and make it yourself. Do some research, find a pattern, calculate what you need and start sewing. Also, you could sew a double quilt and if sharing doesn't work well for you and your wife, you can cut it in half, sew a couple more seams and have your own quilts.

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2016, 01:05:07 PM »
I just want to add that REI is overpriced. Only shop there for their generous return policy or for the 20% sale, which is coming up March 18th. If I am unsure about an item I will buy at REI to try so that I can return it if it doesn't work for me. tried this with a thermarest neoair pad that went flat after 2 months of use. Returned it and went back to big agnes pads.

Inflatable insulated pads are about as light as foam pads these days, and way more comfortable. Only down side is using inflatable pads directly on rock, which probably won't be an issue for you.

You also get highly knowledgeable associates, ability to try out the gear in-store (e.g. run in shoes on trails, take the bike out for a ride, climb in a tent, scale the climbing wall), etc. They even have a rain room where you can test out coats and gear. Also you can ship to any REI store for free from the website and test drive it there.

When I bought my kelty kid-carrying back they actually had a giant teddy bear filled with sand so it weighed the same as a toddler. It helped me find the pack that felt best on my shoulders and hips.

Could I have saved money online? Yes. But I wouldn't have been able to get the best product for me.

Of course, I live in Seattle and we have amazing REIs here lol.

I am glad you like it.

IMO the REI associates are knowledgeable unless you want to buy actual technical gear. If you want technical gear and advice go elsewhere, pro mountain sports, second ascent, or feathered friends in seattle.

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1143
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2016, 01:06:43 PM »
How has no one discussed sewing your own gear yet! The ultimage DIY mustachianism!
I used Ray Jardine's book Beyond Backpacking to sew a tarp with a net tent and my own backpack. (This was maybe 15 years ago--we've since had kids and now use a pop-up trailer-which we bought used and it's light enough to tow with our minivan.) I've always leaned toward a lightweight pack because carrying 50-60 lbs is a miserable experience. The tarp was super easy to sew--all straight lines, no special skills required and the no-see-um netting to hang underneath was also simple. Just practice pitching the tarp, it's so flexible and you can adjust for any conditions. I never did get around sewing a quilt but it's still on my list. I already had a good lightweight sleeping bag so it didn't make sense to spend the extra money. But good gear is expensive! Check out Seattle Fabrics http://www.seattlefabrics.com/ . You can get the same technical fabrics and insulation that go into manufactured gear and make it yourself. Do some research, find a pattern, calculate what you need and start sewing. Also, you could sew a double quilt and if sharing doesn't work well for you and your wife, you can cut it in half, sew a couple more seams and have your own quilts.

Very cool idea!

RosieTR

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Location: Northern CO
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2016, 01:12:32 PM »
Agree with the in-person tryout at REI or other B&M stores. I might buy replacement stuff online when I know an exact brand, but trying certain things out can actually save time and sometimes money. When I started camping/backpacking/hiking I initially bought cheap stuff or stuff sight-unseen. Generally I have regretted it and upgraded to something better as funds allowed. Currently we have both synthetic and down mummy bags. Synthetic purchased first, sight unseen. OK for car camping at relatively ambient temps but no good for backpacking or cold camping. When I say cold, I mean that in our area 40s and 50s is *summer* camping in the mountains. I was happy to have all my toes after my first winter camping in the synth bag, and immediately bought both a full-length pad and a down bag after that. Winter camping with those was pretty comfy.

I would recommend a fully inflatable mattress (not self-inflating or insulated) for what you're talking about doing. For temps down to 40s, a good bag and some warm clothes you should be good, and the packable size for bikepacking will be well worth not having insulation.

Like others have said, get a down bag. There are a bunch of options but look for the fill. Higher #s are warmer. I would definitely try out the bag fit in the store. Like someone mentioned with tents, they can vary even with the same published sizes. Where the bags taper can differ, the zippers can be more or less difficult to deal with, the head part can be annoying or great, etc. Keep in mind that the cost of a good down bag is roughly the cost of a single night in a middle-of-the-road hotel! You will save more money if you like it and it lasts 10 or 20 years than if you get something that's irritating and you either go to hotels or buy something else.

I would also try camping with the bag itself before also getting a liner, unless you're handy with sewing and want to make your own. In that case, get some thin fleece, silk, or polyester fabric to use rather than cotton sheets. Cotton is heavy and does nothing but absorb and keep moisture which won't keep you warm. If you're hoping for something to keep you cool, then cotton may be your friend, but then that would assume you're camping in places like south TX, FL, the low desert of AZ/CA/NV etc. and only in summer. That said, we do have liners and I have found them convenient for other situations as well, such as couch-surfing or lending folks my sleeping bags (because then I can just wash the liner; down bags are a PITA to wash and should not be done often to preserve lift). But it's something that doesn't have to be done this year, if you're just trying to outfit for this summer.

hankscorpio84

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2016, 01:47:37 PM »
Lots of good suggestions on here.  I don't think I saw anybody mention www.gearscan.com .  It links several steepandcheap.com-like sites and even gives you a preview of upcoming deals, many at 50% or more off.

As far as the sleeping situation is concerned, a lot depends on the type of camping you are doing.  For mustachians, the best gear is the stuff that does the job in all situations and costs the least.  Quality, versatile camping gear at a reasonable cost certainly exists, but you might not get the performance of more specialized products.  You mentioned that lightweight camping/backpacking is in your future.  There are plenty of lightweight camping forums that have extremely detailed gear reviews and comparisons, most of which would make a mustachian cringe at the $$ involved.  Generally speaking, specialized, ultra lightweight gear is more expensive and less versatile than standard equipment.  If you plan to have only one set of gear, you have to ask if you would rather be crammed in an ultra light mummy bag perched on an 18" wide 1" thick pad while car camping? Or lugging heavy-but comfortable gear around in a backpack?  The answer really depends on your preferences and which activities you plan to do more often.

Another solution to this problem is to maximize the amount of multi-purpose gear.  This device weighs very little and turns your inflatable sleeping pad into a simple camp chair:  (http://www.backcountry.com/therm-a-rest-trekker-chair)  If your sleeping bag isn't warm enough, fill a stainless steel water bottle with hot water and bring it to bed with you.  You can do this with a regular nalgene bottle too, but the steel will help hold the heat even longer.  You should already have the stove and water bottle for camping, so the only extra cost is the gas burned.  I use old wine bags (from the bota-box) for a camp pillow.  Just blow it up and put it in a spare shirt.  If you follow MMM's advice, you're already wearing long-johns in the house to save on the heat bill.  Bring them along as insurance against a cold night in a cheap sleeping bag.  For me, a big part of the fun of camping has always been the creativity of being comfortable with as little as possible.


hankscorpio84

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2016, 02:05:23 PM »
Agree with the in-person tryout at REI or other B&M stores. I might buy replacement stuff online when I know an exact brand, but trying certain things out can actually save time and sometimes money. When I started camping/backpacking/hiking I initially bought cheap stuff or stuff sight-unseen. Generally I have regretted it and upgraded to something better as funds allowed. Currently we have both synthetic and down mummy bags. Synthetic purchased first, sight unseen. OK for car camping at relatively ambient temps but no good for backpacking or cold camping. When I say cold, I mean that in our area 40s and 50s is *summer* camping in the mountains. I was happy to have all my toes after my first winter camping in the synth bag, and immediately bought both a full-length pad and a down bag after that. Winter camping with those was pretty comfy.

I would recommend a fully inflatable mattress (not self-inflating or insulated) for what you're talking about doing. For temps down to 40s, a good bag and some warm clothes you should be good, and the packable size for bikepacking will be well worth not having insulation.

Like others have said, get a down bag. There are a bunch of options but look for the fill. Higher #s are warmer. I would definitely try out the bag fit in the store. Like someone mentioned with tents, they can vary even with the same published sizes. Where the bags taper can differ, the zippers can be more or less difficult to deal with, the head part can be annoying or great, etc. Keep in mind that the cost of a good down bag is roughly the cost of a single night in a middle-of-the-road hotel! You will save more money if you like it and it lasts 10 or 20 years than if you get something that's irritating and you either go to hotels or buy something else.

I would also try camping with the bag itself before also getting a liner, unless you're handy with sewing and want to make your own. In that case, get some thin fleece, silk, or polyester fabric to use rather than cotton sheets. Cotton is heavy and does nothing but absorb and keep moisture which won't keep you warm. If you're hoping for something to keep you cool, then cotton may be your friend, but then that would assume you're camping in places like south TX, FL, the low desert of AZ/CA/NV etc. and only in summer. That said, we do have liners and I have found them convenient for other situations as well, such as couch-surfing or lending folks my sleeping bags (because then I can just wash the liner; down bags are a PITA to wash and should not be done often to preserve lift). But it's something that doesn't have to be done this year, if you're just trying to outfit for this summer.

RosieTR - Good call on the liners.  Washing any bag will diminish its life span, especially down.  There is a big debate on down vs. synthetic fill.  Personally, I'll sacrifice the weight/warmth advantages of down and go with synthetic every time.  I especially would recommend synthetic fills for anyone who expects to get wet while camping.  I had a Kelty Cosmic down sleeping bag that performed very well, even when I crawled in it soaking wet, but after about 2 seasons of use much of the fill was clumped together so badly that it no longer insulated well.  And yes, I did pay attention to the storage and care instructions, I always dry stuff out and let it hang at home.  Alternatively my cheap (probably half the cost of the kelty) slumberjack synthetic bag is heavier and doesn't pack down as well but has survived 6 or 7 seasons and is still very useful.  There is definitely a lot more info out there on the advantages and disadvantages of both, just my 2 cents.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1872
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2016, 03:28:37 PM »
I think you need to think hard about the line between frugal and cheap in your situation. It can be hard to discern with camping; on the one hand, you're roughing it intentionally; on the other, you're doing it for fun so being cold, wet, and sleep deprived would detract significantly from the experience, and possibly discourage you from it in the future. I see it as a vacation to minimalism; you leave all your other stuff behind and head into the wilds with just a few well-chosen items that are not necessarily cheap, but are extremely functional and reliable and durable.

So, when I finally, as an adult, moved out of the Midwest last year to somewhere with terrain and outdoorsy interest, I splurged on the REI Joule (23F down mummy bag for women). One trip sleeping in it was a revelatory experience (temps were in the 30s). I've never been so comfortable while camping, and I always had cold feet; I think I even took my socks (wool, of course) off one night! Women's bags have extra fill in the footbox; one of the reasons to get separate bags! :) I was on top of both an inflatable pad and a foam one (RidgeRest, I'm a fan; comfy and inexpensive, but bulky for backpacking, hence the inflatable).  I would definitely put a good bag at the top of "worthwhile camping splurges" list; maybe not this class of bag for everyone, but pick something that fits your specifications for temp rating, weight, and volume based on your planned usage. And as others have said, lowball the temp rating; you'll probably be comfortable 10F+ above the rating and just survive below that. Reviews can also be useful in that respect...if it's rated 32F and people are reporting freezing at 45F...well...maybe not a great choice. Nothing beats an in-person test, though, which is why I bought from REI: 1 year return policy! (I actually got another bag before the Joule, took it on a trip, froze my tush off, and returned it.)

Other worthwhile (IMO) equipment:
-headlamps
-wool socks
-hydration bladder (so much better hydrated on long hikes since my bf got me to try one!)
-waterproof/breathable rain shell
-good hiking boots (I've had mine since I was 12 and they're still going strong 15 years later...BIFL).

Incidentally, I also have a thick fleece from when I was 12 showing basically  no signs of its extensive wear as a jacket for some years. This (outdoorsy) stuff does NOT wear out quickly. So choose wisely :)

Other tips:
-Care for your bag. For any bag, open it up, maybe hang it up, and air it out after a trip; as long as you wear clothes inside you shouldn't need to wash it often, if at all.  For a down bag, don't store it in its stuff sack! It will get used to being compressed/clumped. Store in a large storage bag or box. I think synthetics are less sensitive to this but it also can't hurt to let them expand, too.
-Wool. Socks. Always.
-Avoid cotton as much as possible. I'll wear a standard polyester/cotton hoodie to bed while car camping (because they are just the coziest thing ever and the hood keeps my hat on) but only with synthetics underneath. These don't have to be specialized, technical clothing; just check the tags.
-Wear a hat to bed
-Never wear your top layer from the evening to bed; you're likely bringing condensation (/dew) into your sleeping bag, which will keep you damp and chilly all night. Change before sleeping if possible. (I've slacked on this and definitely noticed a difference!)
-Stuff a T-shirt with clothes for a pillow. I've even used my rain jacket as stuffing. Comfortable enough for camping!
-for those with kids: the foam tiles with interlocking edges (sometimes with alphabet, etc?) can serve as tent flooring! Not cushy but insulating. Not great for backpacking.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8193
  • Location: United States
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2016, 03:51:21 PM »

why are you spending time waiting in line at B&M stores.

If I had an REI, I would wait in line there over ordering online. REI is an amazing place.

let me get this straight you would DRIVE to a B&M store then use your cellular data to compare the cost of the items they claim to be discounted to what the value should be then you would DRIVE back home

vs

option 2:  place an alert for sleeping bag or tent or brand name tent etc. on slickdeals.  go about your life as normal.  wait for an email from slickdeals.  sit where ever you are work/home/beach/lake etc.  and then evaluate the deal using amazon reviews as well as a pricing history.  then purchase and have it shipped free or close to free to your home or office depending on cost and taxes if locations very. 

one of those is a much less mustachian option IMO.

I don't have an REI so I can't shop there. Not having one has taught me that there is value in local stores. If I had one I'd pay slightly elevated prices to be able to look at gear in person (especially since they carry size 5 shoes, something very few places do). In the process if support the employment of someone in my local economy.

Mustachianism is about buying only what I need, not just getting it for $2 cheaper.

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2016, 05:03:01 PM »
RosieTR - Good call on the liners.  Washing any bag will diminish its life span, especially down.  There is a big debate on down vs. synthetic fill.  Personally, I'll sacrifice the weight/warmth advantages of down and go with synthetic every time.  I especially would recommend synthetic fills for anyone who expects to get wet while camping.  I had a Kelty Cosmic down sleeping bag that performed very well, even when I crawled in it soaking wet, but after about 2 seasons of use much of the fill was clumped together so badly that it no longer insulated well.  And yes, I did pay attention to the storage and care instructions, I always dry stuff out and let it hang at home.  Alternatively my cheap (probably half the cost of the kelty) slumberjack synthetic bag is heavier and doesn't pack down as well but has survived 6 or 7 seasons and is still very useful.  There is definitely a lot more info out there on the advantages and disadvantages of both, just my 2 cents.

I think the reason the down bag was dead after 2 seasons vs the synthetic isn't a matter of down vs synthetic, it is a matter of shitty down vs synthetic. A good down bag made of quality GOOSE down should last a long time.

From Feathered Friends:

Regarding Down vs Synthetic
"At first glance Synthetic filled sleeping bags, jackets and bedding appear to offer substantial savings over down. However, the longevity of down and the quality of comfort far outweigh the benefits of synthetics. It's not uncommon for us to see 13-15 year old down bags coming back to us simply to be washed. Compare that with having to purchase 3-4 synthetic bags in the same amount of time and the savings become apparent (not to mention 3 less sleeping bags in a landfill somewhere).

Additionally, down breathes far more effectively than synthetics. It is up to four times as thermally efficient as synthetics and up to ten times more durable. Down is also far more earth friendly; synthetic insulation is a petroleum product. Synthetics will not retain its loft as long as down, they are not biodegradable and represent a non-renewable resource. Down is fully renewable, biodegradable, and a natural by-product of the poultry food industry. No animals are destroyed solely for their down."

And on goose vs duck down:
"With a microscope you can see tiny barbs on the smallest fibers of duck down, but not on goose down. These barbs make duck down cling together. From this you might conclude that duck down is superior, and in fact the most prized down in the world, Eider down, clings together as if it were one piece. In the commercial world, however, duck are almost never mature by the time their down is collected. Most comes from restaurant ducklings that never are over six weeks old. The down is more like fuzz than mature down. The way mature duck down clings together presents a problem for the down processors when they separate the down from the feathers - one of the many reasons we use goose down exclusively."


If I were going to be camping for extended periods of time in very wet environments then I might go synthetic, otherwise I would go down every time. I use down in the PNW where it rains a lot and haven't had a problem.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 05:05:37 PM by zoltani »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7845
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2016, 07:52:16 PM »

why are you spending time waiting in line at B&M stores.

If I had an REI, I would wait in line there over ordering online. REI is an amazing place.

let me get this straight you would DRIVE to a B&M store then use your cellular data to compare the cost of the items they claim to be discounted to what the value should be then you would DRIVE back home

vs

option 2:  place an alert for sleeping bag or tent or brand name tent etc. on slickdeals.  go about your life as normal.  wait for an email from slickdeals.  sit where ever you are work/home/beach/lake etc.  and then evaluate the deal using amazon reviews as well as a pricing history.  then purchase and have it shipped free or close to free to your home or office depending on cost and taxes if locations very. 

one of those is a much less mustachian option IMO.

I don't have an REI so I can't shop there. Not having one has taught me that there is value in local stores. If I had one I'd pay slightly elevated prices to be able to look at gear in person (especially since they carry size 5 shoes, something very few places do). In the process if support the employment of someone in my local economy.

Mustachianism is a buying only what I need, not just getting it for $2 cheaper.

Ha

Ha

Ha

2 dollars cheaper on something g you could get from REI on slickdeals. Wow. You just don't understand how to shop affordably. My post said to make an alert for what you need. Which applies to the same as what you said. Being able to touch and feel something. Then go to the store if you please but paying retail for it vs going home and making and alert and searching online for a better price makes little monetary sense

The whole you owe it to the store owner thing is a crock and an excuse to be lazy.

The post is about getting the most value out of something. And there is nothing you can buy and get the most value out of paying full retail. It annoys me to no end on this site when people say I stopped going cheap and xyz product lasted me longer. 

News flash xyz product can still be bought more affordably. If you aren't impulse buying it. And shopping in a store and buying things is the definition of impulse buying unless you're making constant trips and understand the full market for the item and if that product is the best and worth more than the price you're paying.

Much more if you're into using online forums that will alert you to crazy good deals on something you've made an alert for what you need.

kimmarg

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
  • Location: Northern New England
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #45 on: March 16, 2016, 09:07:39 PM »
I find the key to staying more comfortable in winter or summer is not what kind of sleeping bag you have but what is between your sleeping bag and the floor. I use Therm-a-rest inflatable pads because they are lightweight and very durable to punctures. They keep you off the cold floor in the winter and are nice to sleep on in summer because the coating doesn't stick to you like inflatable plastic mattresses do. I never go camping without one.

For the sleeping bag, I have two mummy bags. One light weight and one heavy weight one. Almost all sleeping bags will pair with another sleeping bag of the same kind though most don't specifically sell them that way. Like others said, I sleep better at night not being tethered to my wife who has different sleep temperatures and habits than me. My advice is to do any romping and then zip up into your own bag for the night.

This. Cold seeps from the ground. I use a cheap blue foam pad for insulation and a 3/4 length therm-a-rest for comfort. Blue foam also has a million other uses in a pinch so at <$10 new from walmart I'd always bring one along wiht some duct tape.

I would highly recommend synthetic over down as down is utterly useless when wet while synthetic will retain the warmth. I"m sure you don't intend to get them wet but the day it accidentily happens will be no fun.

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2558
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2016, 05:11:31 AM »
I see REI gear being mentioned quite a bit.  No doubt that it is good stuff, but REI is pretty much the Porsche of camping gear, and it has a Porsche price tag to go along with it.   Don't know how hardcore OP is, but most campers can get by with much more economical gear than REI.  The average person can get by just fine with basic, economical gear from Campmor, Coleman, Gander Mountain, etc.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8193
  • Location: United States
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2016, 06:43:04 AM »
I see REI gear being mentioned quite a bit.  No doubt that it is good stuff, but REI is pretty much the Porsche of camping gear, and it has a Porsche price tag to go along with it.   Don't know how hardcore OP is, but most campers can get by with much more economical gear than REI.  The average person can get by just fine with basic, economical gear from Campmor, Coleman, Gander Mountain, etc.

Campmor is awesome.  I wish they carried shoes in my size.

I don't have a Gander Mountain anymore, but when we lived somewhere that did- I didn't find it to be less expensive than REI for most things.

A lot of camping gear you only need to buy once. My backpack (a frameless Kelty) is over 20 years old now.

Walkering

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2016, 08:43:38 AM »
I didn't have the time to read all of the comments but felt compelled to respond.  First, I'd strongly encourage anyone looking for deals on used high-end gear to use Backpackinglight.com 's gear swap forum.  The user's on this site are ultralight backpackers and actively sell their surplus gear for a reasonable price. To participate in the forum you must pay $5 but it's well worth it for the savings by not paying full price at REI, Gander Mountain, and other big box outdoor retailers for their mediocre gear.

I'd also like to comment on the OP's original points. There are many ways you can stay warmer at night and they don't just involve your sleep system. For instance, sleeping in gully's, near water, or in open fields is always cooler than sleeping under trees on the side of hills/mountains and on well insulated ground.  Also, don't wear too many layers in your bag.

With that said, I want to address my own experiences. I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail without a partner with a foam pad and a down quilt rated for 32 degrees. 1/4 of the nights were too cold for me. The foam pad was not sufficient, the down decompressed as a result of grease and grime, and I was over layering when sleeping at night. When I hiked the Continental Divide Trial the next year, I brought a neoair pad, zpacks 20 degree quilt, shared a shelter with my partner, and layered less in the the quilt.  I also, was much smarter about where I picked my camping spots (never near water). This time around only 1/50 of the nights were uncomfortable. Sleeping on the CDT was much more enjoyable as a result.

If you're looking for durability, then foam pads are not your friend. Invest in an air pad and patch it up when you get holes, but avoid getting holes in it (don't use air pads in the desert). Down is great for dry climates and need to be washed with Granger's detergent periodically to keep the down free of human oils. You can definitely find synthetics that work just as well but they'll be heavier. Quilts are great and there's a reason ultralighters don't use full sleeping bags anymore.  There are also companies like Zpacks that can make two quilts for you and your partner that will zip together into one big bag. Look into that if you really want to stay warm and close to your loved one.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 08:54:14 AM by JMHow01 »

redbird

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
Re: Help me be a mustachian camper!
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2016, 10:33:37 AM »
I haven't actually tried this yet. I hope to sometime this year. But I plan to use my Prius for mustachian camping. Meaning I will use it as a tent. I already have some sleeping bags and other blankets I can use. We will put down the back seat and sleep in the trunk/back seat area. My husband and I are both short. We plan to buy some mosquito netting and some good magnets, put down the windows, and put the mosquito netting up on the outside of the Prius over the windows.

This isn't a thing we came up with. There's plenty of people on the internet who use their Prius as a mini-RV for camping.

We don't plan to camp all the time, just every once in a while. So it didn't feel worth the expense and storage space in the apartment to buy a tent. We already have the Prius so we're just going to use what we have.

This obviously doesn't work for backpacking, but we wanted to do car camping anyway - not backpacking.