Sleep system

Lunarstorm95

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Need some input on my current sleep system.

Currently I am in the deep south so cold weather isnt very common. But id like for the system to be adaptable for trips to father north.

Currently im running a treeline 32 degree bag from seatosummit. It take ups about 4ish liters of space at about 2.2lbs with a snug pack bivi to keep the bag dry. I also have a heavy duty reflective tarp.

Looking back on it Im guessing i should have just spent the money and got the super small seatosummit bags but that is besides the point.

Do i need a ground pad with this setup? So far when using this system iv been lucky enough to not have to sleep directly on the ground outside. I have had some sort of shelter to sleep in.

I have ALWAYS struggled with getting a decent sleep/shelter system and have wasted a ton of money on it. So im asking around for systems people have found to work well so i can make one finale buy once cry once type of purchase and just be done with it.

Weight isnt to much of a problem but size is currently. Thanks!
 

Blutroop

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Check out the army modular sleep system. When I was in it was compromised of a gore Tex bivy sack, patrol sack, cold weather sack, and a stuff sack to hold it all. Grab a used one for cheap at a army surplus.. or you can find one new if ya want to pay more to know who all has been inside it. I’ve been out since 2006 and I still use a army issue sleep system.
 

clcustom1911

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Check out the army modular sleep system. When I was in it was compromised of a gore Tex bivy sack, patrol sack, cold weather sack, and a stuff sack to hold it all. Grab a used one for cheap at a army surplus.. or you can find one new if ya want to pay more to know who all has been inside it. I’ve been out since 2006 and I still use a army issue sleep system.
Same here.

Gore-tex bag, black bag, green bag, compression bag.

And fluffy socks ????
 

Romeo458

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I use the same Army sleep system setup in the north for hammock camping in the snow.

I don't have much suggestion for smaller except for a woobie and a sleeping mat.
 

Lunarstorm95

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I own the standard issue MSS and used a bit for field work, but we always had cots but yeah the size is the biggest drawback with the MSS also still an issue with ground pad, as iv never had to sue it on the ground im not sure how necessary a ground pad is. But i dont plan on using the MSS.
 

Romeo458

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Thinking about it I'm kind of in the same boat. I need to figure out something smaller myself. I usually don't do much backpacking aside from out of a Canoe or something like that. I have taken just the inner bag out stuffed it in a small compression sack and left the rest of the sleep system at home when it was nicer, but I could use something less bulky and more comfortable
 

Alpine 338

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In cold weather, you'll need some sort of ground mat or pad. Think about it for a minute... your weight is compressing the insulation to almost nothing, and once compressed or collapsed, it offers little if any insulation value. Once that happens, you get thermal bridging that transfers the cold directly to your body. A Thermarest type pad, which has a foam core, and is also inflatable works pretty well getting you off of the cold ground, and providing some insulation. You can also adjust the inflation to suit your comfort level. The other type of pad is just foam, I would recommend getting a high density type foam for the added insulation factor.

One recommendation for any kind of pad, try to get one with a rough surface so your sleeping bag doesn't slide around on top of it, where you'll end up eventually sliding off of it in the middle of the night.

One sleeping bag system that incorporates the pad into the bottom of the sleeping bag is Big Agnes Products, or BAP. They are made locally in Colorado. No Chinese slave labor product crap.
 

Jefe's Dope

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In cold weather, you'll need some sort of ground mat or pad. Think about it for a minute... your weight is compressing the insulation to almost nothing, and once compressed or collapsed, it offers little if any insulation value. Once that happens, you get thermal bridging that transfers the cold directly to your body. A Thermarest type pad, which has a foam core, and is also inflatable works pretty well getting you off of the cold ground, and providing some insulation. You can also adjust the inflation to suit your comfort level. The other type of pad is just foam, I would recommend getting a high density type foam for the added insulation factor.

One recommendation for any kind of pad, try to get one with a rough surface so your sleeping bag doesn't slide around on top of it, where you'll end up eventually sliding off of it in the middle of the night.

One sleeping bag system that incorporates the pad into the bottom of the sleeping bag is Big Agnes Products, or BAP. They are made locally in Colorado. No Chinese slave labor product crap.
My bag doesn't have any insulation on the bottom. Designed to be used in conjunction with a thermal mat like you explain. It really is a better system as it forces you to deal with what you described proactively rather than lull you into believing you'll be fine just sleeping on the ground.
 
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Alpine 338

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As far as bivy sacks, make sure you get one that's breathable, and large enough to allow the moisture that you exhale and sweat out doesn't condisate in the bivy, causing all your gear to become damp/wet, and making for a miserable night.
 

Blutroop

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now that you mention it I do remember sometimes having a “pussy pad” as we called em. I just like army gear because it’s designed to meet basic needs well. No thrills but does the job.
 

Lunarstorm95

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now that you mention it I do remember sometimes having a “pussy pad” as we called em. I just like army gear because it’s designed to meet basic needs well. No thrills but does the job.
Yeah we used em for pillows
 

Alpine 338

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I've slept six straight nights in a military cold weather sleeping bag, on top of the OD green foam pad, on top of the snow (actually added pine bows as some added cusion and insulation), and with a nylon poncho made into a tent over me. The system does work well.
 
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natdscott

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My bag doesn't have any insulation on the bottom. Designed to be used in conjunction with a thermal mat like you explain. It really is a better system as it forces you to deal with what you described proactively rather than lull you into believing you'll be fine just sleeping on the ground.
Honestly, that sounds like psychobabble bullshit.

Having done nights in single digits at 20+ mph wind, using the MSS as-issued, AND wearing polypro, I can definitively state that while my Thermarest is good to have, it sure AF would not be enough alone.
 

AKMarty

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Check out Wiggy’s in Grand Junction, CO. I have used the Wiggy’s system in Arctic survival school, mil service as well as on all my hunts here in AK. Marc @Enough Said runs the Wiggy’s shop up here in Alaska.

 
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G-Dog

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The military Goretex bivy is awesome. Pair that with a good pad and it makes all the difference in the world. I write off the weight and volume as a necessity: the wilderness is a dangerous place for a sleep deprived mind.
 

Jefe's Dope

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Honestly, that sounds like psychobabble bullshit.

Having done nights in single digits at 20+ mph wind, using the MSS as-issued, AND wearing polypro, I can definitively state that while my Thermarest is good to have, it sure AF would not be enough alone.
Ok bro. You got this. (y)
 
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natdscott

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Ok bro. You got this. (y)
Thanks, brah.

You could, uh, further support your position with more evidence than I can read in ad literature....

I am of the opinion that my equipment needs to be as versatile as possible. A "bag" that is more a blanket (which is what you have), that requires SPECIFIC planning and timing of the "outing" on which it is to be used... well, that's just not very goddamn realistic, to me.

What say you about an instance where said bag might need to be used to keep you alive when you didn't mean to go "camping"? One where you might not have brought along your little bed. (nothing against little beds..I love mine)

-Nate
 

Romeo458

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How about you to just whip it out and measure than we can get on with it. ?
 

TheGerman

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The problem with the Military system is the size.
This was my concern too when I saw it all together. I was like, I'm going to need a 2nd ruck just for this shit.

Since steering away from the USGI stuff, I've started piecing things together with Snugpack bivvys/bags/liners.
 
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Jefe's Dope

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Thanks, brah.

You could, uh, further support your position with more evidence than I can read in ad literature....

I am of the opinion that my equipment needs to be as versatile as possible. A "bag" that is more a blanket (which is what you have), that requires SPECIFIC planning and timing of the "outing" on which it is to be used... well, that's just not very goddamn realistic, to me.

What say you about an instance where said bag might need to be used to keep you alive when you didn't mean to go "camping"? One where you might not have brought along your little bed. (nothing against little beds..I love mine)

-Nate
How about you to just whip it out and measure than we can get on with it. ?
No need. I concede. He's king dick. ?
 
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502Chevelle

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For gosh sakes, get over to Western Mountaineering and get something decent. Their bags are pricey, but they are light, and you will be warm, and they will take minimal weight for their size.
 
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HeavyAssault

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on top of the snow (actually added pine bows as some added cusion and insulation),
I was hoping someone would address this option. While having a "pad" would be an added bonus, if the area allows use of earthly elements to break your ground contact you need to use them. Plenty of survival training will guide people to use pine bows, or other elements to make a bedding base.

Now if you can't use the natural elements then getting as best/lightest pad or cushion you can fit into your gear is going to be a good investment.

Using quality undergarments in whatever textile you want can add to your comfort. You don't need the ol' brown poly-pros, but they may give you the best comfort.
Field testing will tell you what works best. Good luck!!
 
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ofelas

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If I'm basing myself for a week or so in the north country, I like a floor less teepee with one of them ultralight Ti stove/vents.

I've also built myself a basic snow cave on occasion.

I use evergreen boughs, a mat, and a Western Mountaineering down blanket in either shelter.
 

Dobermann

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And for the pioneers on modern tipis and lightweight stoves, check out Kifaru: https://store.kifaru.net/shelters-c5.aspx

But whether you're into tipis or not, the Kifaru Slick Bag is the schizzle: https://store.kifaru.net/sleep-system-c6.aspx

It's roomy enough to sleep in with your boots on, if you really want to do that.

The Climashield APEX insulation fill means you can get in wearing wet clothes, and they dry out inside the bag.

The center zip has a baffle behind it, so you don't loose heat.

And the zipper is designed so that you can simply rip it open if you need to get out fast. It's also got a three-way zipper, so you can have the upper and lower portions zipped up, but have your hands free/outside in the middle portion of the bag. This allows for using phones/GPS/comms while still toasty, or even just to roll over and piss straight out of onto the ground if you're running a tipi.

I liked mine so much for hunting and backpacking that I bought a second one - come winter, I don't worry with bedding that never seems to warm up - I just sleep in mine all winter long.

Being synthetic, and bombproof, the Slick Bags are pretty big, but Kifaru make a compression sack that runs the compression around the width of the bag, rather than trying to compress the whole length, as most other bags do ... this works really well.

They also do great Woobies, also with Climashield. There's a joke that men who buy them end up having them stolen by their wives/partners/girlfriends, so I ordered mine in Multicam ... guess whose peacenik wife now mysteriously likes Multicam? :rolleyes:
 
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BCMulx

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Another Kifaru fan here. Their gear is $$$, but bombproof, American made, all that. Love their packs.

In general, I like a ground pad, a very lightweight bivy to keep my bag and pad clean, even a bug - bivy to let condensation out, and then a floorless shelter like the Kifaru Supertarp.
 

Athos300

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You could try a Jerven bag. Light, durable and multipurpose. Doubles as a poncho and a tarp. Number of ways to wear it on the body too. It’s incredibly versatile and weighs less than 4.5lbs/2kg. Not as comfortable as a full sleep system but where weight is a concern, it’s top notch. I use the king size Thermo in winter or when I want to be comfy, and an original bag for when I want to travel extra light (it’s about 1.3lbs/600g). Not sure on availability in the US, but I’m sure you could find one somewhere if it seems like your kinda thing.

 

Jefe's Dope

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You could try a Jerven bag. Light, durable and multipurpose. Doubles as a poncho and a tarp. Number of ways to wear it on the body too. It’s incredibly versatile and weighs less than 4.5lbs/2kg. Not as comfortable as a full sleep system but where weight is a concern, it’s top notch. I use the king size Thermo in winter or when I want to be comfy, and an original bag for when I want to travel extra light (it’s about 1.3lbs/600g). Not sure on availability in the US, but I’m sure you could find one somewhere if it seems like your kinda thing.


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Pbgt

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I use the layer system, I run a cheap, light mummy bag rated for 30 f, put in one of those sleeping bag liners and depending on temp, boiled water in my canteen pushed to the foot of my bag. In the bwca, my life vest and light rain coat are under all this and I use a tarp tent so I can heat large rocks by the campfire then place them around me in this shelter. I am easily good for 0 degrees this way, and light weight, cheap to replace over the years.
 

ScottDWallace

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Have you considered a gathered end hammock and under quilt? Super light, very small when packed down, and no compression on the insulation during use. They are easy and CHEAP to diy from places like ripstopbytheroll.com but be warned, hammocking diy is very addictive.

Check out ShugEmery on YT for his sub-zero camping/hiking videos. It's shocking how little it takes to stay warm(and dry) in a hammock.
 

slothlacrosse

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I only use a sleeping bag in the winter. For the other three seasons, I use quilts. I always take an inflatable pad (Thermarest X-Therm in the winter and a S2S Ultralight the rest of the time).

If you're not worried about really cold temperatures, I'd recommend a 20 or 30 degree quilt. The Enlightened Equipment Revelation is nice because you can open up the footbox when it's warmer and cinch everything up when it's cold.

Order a quilt that's wider than you think you'll need if you're sleeping on the ground. Down is lighter and compresses down smaller than synthetic, but synthetic is more accident proof and wet weather friendly.

My 20 degree quilt, sleeping pad, and pillow weighs approx 40 oz
 

xdeano

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Id also suggest a kifaru slick bag.

Ive also had my wife steal my kifaru dooby(double thickness wooby). Then she suggested that I talk to the maker and get one in a queen. I about snorted my coffee. She has no clue what that would cost. 😆

It's a strange fabric, it feels cold at first, but with the climashield stuffing in it, it warms up very quickly and stays warm.

Kifaru makes a lot of great products, but you'll pay for it too.

Xdeano
 
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Lowdown3

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The military sleep system is nice but definitely bulky as others have stated.

Often times in the South here, I've used the gortex cover (which you can usually find and buy separately) by itself or in conjunction with a Snugpak Merlin or similar small bag. The gortex cover for the bag itself will compress down fairly small by itself.