Pg 12: Quilt and Tarp Work Together
With a sleeping bag, people usually sleep warmer without their clothes. But there's something that the "experts" don't tell you, often because they don't know this themselves.
The sleeping bag is usually too warm. So a person wearing clothes in a sleeping bag tends to fall asleep at a slightly elevated temperature. And for the first hour or so, the body compensates by expelling more perspiration. And where does this moisture end up? In the person's clothes. As this moisture builds up in the clothes over the next hour or so, the clothes grow less warm. And remember, it's very difficult to feel the dampness in body-warmed clothes. But finally a point is reached where the damp clothes become heat-robbing, and from then on, the person is likely to spend a not-so-warm night.
Without wearing the clothes to begin with, the sleeping bag is not so overly warm, so the person is likely to perspire less, and so sleep warmer.
This strategy benefits the people selling sleeping bags, because they can sell much thicker, and therefore much more expensive sleeping bags, and also much larger and more expensive backpacks to carry them in.
But it does not benefit the camper, because it means that he or she must carry separate warm clothes to wear in the daytime, and a thick sleeping bag to sleep in. And the use of the two are mutually exclusive.
Another bad idea is to use a somewhat thinner sleeping bag and to sleep in ones clothes, thick or thin, to compensate. For over one-hundred years, people have been trying that, and failing. Why? Sleeping bags are too restrictive of ventilation. That means that either the clothes worn inside the bag are too thin, causing the person to sleep cold, or the clothes are too thick, causing dampness, causing the person to sleep cold as well.
That brings us to my shelter/insulation analogy.
"Sleeping bags are to tents, as quilts are to tarps."
That is, both the sleeping bag and the tent restrict ventilation. The quilt and tarp are open all around, so they promote ventilation.
So the quilt/tarp combination is much warmer for the weight and bulk. More ventilation means drier, and therefore warmer. And remember that heat rises, and is trapped by the quilt.
The quilt is designed for the person to sleep with their clothes on. And the colder the night, the more clothes should be worn. After all, in colder weather you are carrying warm clothes for the day, right? So why not put them to use at night also? With a quilt you can.
That's why Jenny and I use a 2-person quilt with the Alpine Upgrade on most of our trips. Even 57 days skiing to the South Pole. Even sleeping at 13,000' at Camp 2 on Vinson in Antarctica; even at 17,000' at Base Camp on Everest; even at 19,000' at Camp 2 on Aconcagua. The colder the night, the more clothes we wear under the quilt.
Next Page: More Than One Ray-Way Quilt -->