Contributors to this thread:
Sleep System for BC Stone hunt
I know there have been a couple sleeping bag threads in the last few weeks, and I did read them. But I’m gonna reopen the subject a little. I “accidentally” bought a Stone Sheep hunt for the first week of August in northern BC. I’m certainly not in “sheep shape” but working on it as much as I can with limited time. It was simply an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I’m relooking at all my gear, and I have lots, but specifically thinking on my sleep system. What would you sheep/mountain guys suggest for sleeping bag and pad in that time frame? I’ve talked to the outfitter of course, but looking for additional opinions. I’m currently using a Neoair pad and either my marmot 15 degree bag or my Kuiu 0 bag. I’m thinking of upgrading on one or both. Weigh is upmost priority, but comfort is a close second. I tend to sleep cold so would rather go warm than cool. I certainly don’t mind sleeping in clothing layers though either. Cost isn’t a real concern, hell, it’s a sheep hunt, it all costs a lot!
For experienced sheep guys any other suggestions on gear to take or not take would be great as well. I’m fairly squared away (I think) but certainly open to any and all suggestions.
Thanks — Jim
Congratulations on having such a great “accident” !
Your good with what you got. Just add one of the Thermarest Z-Lite folding pads. Adds warmth, padding, protection and is great for sitting or laying on while glassing. The ground is almost always wet.
Bring a bug head net too. August can be brutal with bugs.
I hunted Dall sheep twice in AK during October. Both times I used a neoair and Northface Cat's Meow bag. The second was very cold. I slept well. I just wore my wools socks at night when n the bag with a light wool shirt and -33 underwear. I never felt cold. During the day I just layered up with Kuiu clothing. Most hunter have a tenacity to bring to much clothes. You once you start hiking you'll be shedding clothes.
IMO with what you already have you should be fine.
Not sure what Marmot 15 bag you have, but I've used my Helium on every hunt Up North so far. July in NWT to Late Sept in BC. Only been chilled two or three nights and that was taken care of with a down layer or warmer temps. I've been using the Neo air Xlite as a pad.
Horseback or BP?
Backpack, hence the weight issue. The Marmot bag is a Helium. Im leaning towards it, but always worry about being cold ;)
Ambush- I have a Zlite pad too (like I said, too much gear). I’ll consider taking it as well too. Thanks.
I certainly always try to bring too many clothes, but I am very aware of it and will concentrate on not over-packing.
Congrats Jim...Who you hunting with?
As far as a bag goes, my “early season” bags are either my Big Agnes 15 Degree Mystics or my Western Mountaineer Terralite 25. I’m taking the WM with me this August. My “early season” pad is a Thermarest NeoAir Xlite. Later I switch to a Thermarest Neo XTHERM and my 5 degree WM Sequioa Bag. (In a wet environment I use my Kifaru Synthetic 0 degree bag). If I could only have one pad, it would be the XTHERM.
You’re probably fine with that Marmot 15 bag, but if you wanna upgrade and have the best go Western Mountaineering and you’ll never be disappointed. Lots of good bags out there, but WM are tough to beat.
I wouldn't worry about your bag in August up there it will be fine and you can't get much lighter. You can get newer if that's what you really want...
I don’t think I’ve got much to add if weight is your number one priority. After freezing my a$$ off and tossing and turning in some tight, lightweight mummy bags I decided that comfort was worth the weight penalty for me. I’ve been running the Big Agnes system for the last 8 years and find I sleep much much better in it. I have a few different BA bags to choose from based on the time of year (from 0 degree to 30 degree). Lightweight just wasn’t for me.
Thermarest Neoair 12 ounce pad and 15* KUIU Superdown bag for me Aug 1 - Oct 15 in BC. I just add more clothes to sleep in to match conditions starting with base layers, adding Attack pants and Mictotex shirt, then Peloton 240 and finally superdown puffy jacket and pants if is really cold. I also have the warmer 16 ounce Thermarest Neoair pad (if I remember to bring it).
Good luck on the hunt!
Your neo air and Kuiu 0 degrees will work just fine. Get yourself one of the Kuiu glassing pads. They weigh nothing and you will be glad that you did. As far as clothes go - no cotton. Kuiu and/or Sitka. merino base layers. Puffy jacket. Less is more on a back pack hunt. Kurt is spot on.
If it’s not raining to bad give that Mormont 15 a good shake down before turning in , it’s a great bag.
You may want to take a look at some of the sleeping bag liners. They make your bag MUCH more comfortable, as well as keep it clean, and, depending on the model, can also boost the rating. I won't go on a hunt without one. Sea to Summit reactor is what I've settled on.
I went later in August and took my WM 25 degree bag and a BA insulated aircore pad. Unlike you though, I don't sleep cold. In early August I'd think you should be fine with your lighter set-up. You can always pack a set of pp long johns and a stocking cap for some extra warmth should the need arise.
I did the 2nd hunt in BC two years ago and used a WM 15 degree bag and a Neo Air Xlite. I was going to go with a lighter weight bag but glad I didn't. We got snowed and rained on for 8 of the 10 days. The first week of hunting that year was hot as hell so I guess I'd err on the side of caution as you just never know. Good luck, sounds like a great "mistake"!
I don’t know much about sleeping bags I just hope you accidentally shoot a sheep on the hunt you accidentally bought but have no other accidents on the adventure
This is what I used in the Brooks in August. I was never cold. Mine is rated to 20. Weighs 1 lb.
On top of my lighter (thinner) Thermarest. (I have a thick one and a thin one. Not sure of the models, they're like 20 years old).
I'm doing the same thing this August.
Take the Marmot and a dry bag for it. I use an older Mountain Hardwear 20 degree bag for just about everything. Temps got down to 10-15 and I wore my wool base layer, bit chilly. Other than that I am usually too warm. A good pad and a wool cap go a long way.
Save the money in case you accidentally have to get a sheep mount??
Sounds like you're pretty much good to go. When I went I used this weather site to help determine what I'd bee looking at for weather while I was there.
A lot of good info there with historical data too.
Thanks guys. I’m leaning towards the Marmot bag, I’m just such a sissy when it comes to being cold, I’m always worried I don’t have enough bag ;)
I’m sure it will all work out. Thanks for all the input and pm’s.
Doesn't it snow where you live?
You know where I live Ike! ;) It’s not exactly the snow capital of the world. And there aren’t exactly a lot of mountains around either!
I’m always too hot it seems. Your bags would both be too hot for me up here Jim. I hope your hunt ends in a smoker old ram for you.
I’m driving from Denver to Seward again here in a little over a week- saw thes guys in BC driving up with dad.
If you want the VERY best get a Western Mountaineering. The price of WM reflects their superb product! I don't think I've ever read a negative report about WM other than their price. I've been on quite a few dall sheep and mtn goat hunts in Alaska and always had great luck with a 0 degree bag. I get cold super easy and haven't ever been overly hot. If it is super warm you always have the option of opening up the sleeping bag, sleeping on top of your bag, or partially in the bag. What ever bag you choose make sure it has a water resistant outer. I always store mine in a dry bag in my pack and in the tent while camped.
From what I've heard WM's temperature ratings are right on (many companies are off). If you aren't too concerned about being cold you could do a 10 degree bag and possibly wear another layer to bed if cold. You may save a few ounces in bag weight and a tiny bit less bulk?
I;ve slept like a baby on my Neoair. The only complaint I've ever heard about Neoair are they are a little noisy. That's never been a problem with me. I doubt if you can find a lighter more compact pad. Several of my Alaska trips it snowed and I never had a problem being cold with my neoair plus 0 degree bag. As mentioned you can always layer up at night if it gets super cold.
Forgot to add that I use a Marmot Helium 15 degree bag and original Neoair and an a Z-Lite on top of or under the Neoair. Like Kurt, I use my daytime clothes to do double duty at night when needed. A light down jacket or vest and the Kuiu down pants will add several degrees to your bag, so why carry more bag (weight) than you need too. The slippery fabric also makes rolling around without twisting the bag easier.
Make sure your bag is fluffed up as soon as the tent is set. Shake it from all four directions. If you're moving camp, open the bag and let it air out in the sun if possible before packing, or before setting camp too.
At night when you're in your tent and the guide hollers across "gonna be cold tonight, got yer toque on? Left one in yer tent." Don't start searching around for a tropical Toucan bird. When you cross the border, your stocking or watch cap becomes a toque, eh.
CONGRATS on your "accident!!!"
Sounds like you've got a lot of great feedback on sleep systems and gear!
So....I'll throw the training ideas at you.....Backpack training in your boots/socks in hilly terrain is obviously the BEST. However, the stairmaster is my friend in MN winters! Lose as much body weight as you can (including upper body weight). Core and Leg endurance is where its at!
Make sure you prepare your feet with a lot of boot time and specifically SIDE HILLING!
Shoot some crazy steep angles (up and down), one knee, both knees and off your butt.
Jim, let us know if there is anything else we can help with!!!
You got this!!!
You should upgrade to something else for the Helium. Then sale me the Helium for pennies on the dollar! ;)-
Anything you can buy in the Wal-Mart camping section should work fine Jim. I’ve seen you go all the way to Nunavut and not bring any gear, you should be fine in BC with anything you have laying around!
When I grow up, I want to be the guy who is worried about sleep systems for a hunt in August while I'm in Australia hunting water buffalo. :)
I use an Enlightened custom quilt down bag and REI pad. Bag is very warm and light. Pad is a little heavier, but durable.