Sleeping bag.

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by sci, Nov 25, 2006.


  1. sci

    sci Monkey+++

    Hi! I'm a long time reader, first time poster.

    While putting together my BOB, I have run across a problem; the lack of maneuverability and agility I have when a sleeping bag is strapped to my ALICE pack frame (I have attached my Blackhawk X-1 RAPTOR to the frame).

    This raises my concern as to whether or not I really need the sleeping bag. I already have a heavy duty poncho, polar fleece clothing, Under Armour for cold weather conditions, and three tarps along with paracord; all of which I think will help me through a cold night. If SHTF and I must ruck with my pack for a long distance, do I really need the sleeping bag?
     
  2. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    If TSHTF, how far and where are you going? More to the point, what is the plan? Are you going to meet up with family somewhere, or just hide out in the woods for a while?

    Very good read on "backpack survival" here http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2750

    ..... and welcome to the Monkey :)
     
  3. sci

    sci Monkey+++

    If SHTF, my family will rendezvous and then travel according to the situation at hand. We have several options planned out, but a long trek will ensue no matter what until we reach a destination where we can settle/fortify/seclude ourselves.
     
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I bet you could get by without it.
    I've seen guys sleep in nothing but a tarp on a cold night before.

    One other thought is a Super High End down bag like one from Western Mountaineering. I've had mine for about 14 years and it still keeps on ticking.

    In a compression stuff sack, it shrinks to about the size of a cantelope. Not too bad in the pack at all. In fact, I can drop my tent and bag into the sleeping bag compartment of my Kifaru Navigator.

    Welcome aboard.
     
  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    "as to whether or not I really need the sleeping bag.?"

    I dunno? do you?

    (PASS THE SOAP BOX PLEASE....)

    There is no magic formula, No agreement on scenarios.Certainly IF you could define exactly what you were trying to accomplish, a magic bag of tricks could be "gathered". But; be realistic about buying "survival" stuff.
    I.E. a military entrenching tool (folding shovel) Is a "shovel" but I wouldn't want to "double dig" a garden or firebreak with one.You still want to have a "real" shovel you just don't want to have to carry it in your alice pack...read the "backpacking survival " thread. Most folks start out thinking they can put everything they need in a "man portable(<80lbs)" back pack and walk into the woods and be ok in a few hours (under normal conditions plenty of people do it for fun, its called "backpacking")...Be aware the more REALISTIC thought you put into this, you soon realize its just not possible to "prepare" to win ALL concievabledisaster situations.
    carrying 200 rounds of .308 and 100 rounds of .45 and 500 rounds .22lr? How about heirloom garden seeds and fertlizer/pesticides.?? Or a grain grinder? Toilet paper?
    Skills and knowledge don't weigh heavy on the back.
    Northern clime Native americansgdidn't use sleeping bagsthey just used skins and teepees with a fire pit inside. Some did okay, Some died...
    improvise, adapt, overcome...

    IMO the bag :
    depends on your latitude and how safe (tactically)and practical it would be to build and maintain a fire. A bag won't give your position away with the smell of smoke... A bag could save your life or some else's if you get hypothermic. Saves human energy versus gathering firewood. I am big on tarps, ponchos and mosquito netting, but 3 tarps and a poncho seems like overkill to me(Maybe not for a family or in the car kit,)..I make a game of camping with as little as possible,(without getting dangerous)...Infact I just bought a pvc coated nylon poncho today(on sale) to replace my vietnam era poncho, its Alot lighter ( and at 50"x80") all I need (Solo)If i'm dressesd correctly , short of a monsoon.
    In temperate north american forests there's all kinds of shelter improvements you can make if you are going to stayin one place for a while.

    Reality says there is only so much stuff anybody can carry. Water,shelter,food, guns/ammunition,tools. If you are only out of a shelter a few nights;

    Toughing it out with a poncho and liner( or a canvas bedroll) has been done by military folks for a long time. Comfort is relative...If you plan on staying out with out regular heat for more than a few days, the safety and comfort will be welcome and a dry sleeping bag becomes the basis of your whole plan.

    Even if you live in the south, Hypothermia can still kill you( 40 degrees f and wet is dangerous)...
    Up nort here we have lots of trees and water and snow, so I pack a mummy bag (an extra sweater, hat and bandanna for the neck area), Gerber folding sport saw small handaxe , katadyn hand pump filter, and 2 litres of tap water..the pump's alot easier to haul than several gallons of water. The poncho, and nylon paracordare for an expediant shelter. have to build real simple shelter on site( wickiup or debris hut, snow trench or cave). in the warmer months I ditch the mummy and pack one of the a lightweight fleece zip up bags I can add leaf litter for more insulation..

    Thanks: keep posting we all learn by hashing things out... keeps me grounded anyway
     
  6. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Since you'll have somebody with you, huddling up under a poncho will keep you quite warm. You'll not be getting much sleep anyway until you get wherever it is your going to.

    I'd say don't worry about the bag or try one like Melbo talked about that folds up so small.
     
  7. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Oh yeah, best answer??

    Load it up walk out of the house down the block to the woods and spend a night, you'll learn alot fast. Wear a warm hat and KNOW the warning signs of hypothermia before you go. Let somebody know where you'll be.Take a cell phone and/or a friend....Throwing yourself in with both feet could be dangerous for some folks( those with the "NO FEAR" stickies inthe back window)
     
  8. sci

    sci Monkey+++

    Thanks for posting the information on hypothermia, Tango!

    I certainly know that I can't just put together a BOB and hope that I can use it; only recently have I come to learn that I must rely on my knowledge, and I have been doing as much as possible to learn more. I just wanted to see whether or not most people think a sleeping bag is an essential part of a BOB.

    Plus, aren't the guys who have the "No Fear" stickers usually high school kids? :D
     
  9. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Yeah, no offense meant,( but you got my meaning) I had just realized the danger of telling some one i didn't know anything about to go spend a night in the November woods with some schtuff of his choosing.....)
     
  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Get a brass backpacking candle lantern it puts a surprising amount of heat out under a poncho for one operson.
    My ultimate Oh crap I'm lost w/broken leg, suns going down , I',m lost and injured after chasing shoeshoe hares with the.22 plan:
    find a tree,sit down with the poncho /tarp insulate the butt and feet, light the candle lantern underneath the poncho, eat something fatty, add Any additional clothes from the daypack. tough it out.TIL first light...
     
  11. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Sounds like good adice to 'test' it out as well as plot according to environs. Hope it works out for you. There are things I have tested that I'm still undecided about. Then again that's me. Haha.

    Oh, and who's raggin' on my No Fear stickers? I'll have you know my moped looks quite 'dangerous' with 'em on there. :D
     
  12. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Sorryfer raggin on your sticky man, I was just trying to make sure the guy didn't wrecklessly jump into a potentially lethal situation using merely bravado, no backup plan or proper gear. Sometimes a little fear( or at least healthy respect) makes you think.
     
  13. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I would have to say that the short anwser is that if it is NEEDED depends primairly on climate and skill/experience as well as other gear.

    If you are in northern Canada in mid Janurary and a novice to cold weather camping, then I would say it was absolutely escential. On the other hand if you have spent half your life camping includeing in cold weather and done so with as little as possible learning to use what is at hand rather than what you brought and are in the southern US at low elevation then it would be nothing more than added weight for the sake of added comfort.

    If you are haveing to hump a pack in a SHTF situation though then good rest would be important to keep up your alertness, stamina, strength, moral and imunities. So some kind of pad might be rather helpful especialy in rockey terain and the sleeping bag provides this as well as warmth.

    While it may not be absolutely escential before tossing it out all together I would try some alternatives like a high end one like melbo mentioned or for a poor boy fix maybe a fleece bag with the emergency blankets added. Better yet might be trying to come up with ways to not have to haul all your gear on your back. Maybe as a back up to reagular vehicles (cars, trucks etc.) think about a 4 wheeler or dirt bikes with a small trailer that can be hooked behind it or even mountian bikes with trailers, if nothing else just the ones used to put the kids in to pull them along. Even with a pedled bike you will be able to cover 3-4 times the distance in the same time with less effort and that 80-100 lbs of gear will fit easily into a small trailer. With an ATV and a trailer even the size of the ones used behind lawn mowers you could carry at least twice the gear along with another 20 gallons or so of gas which would give you a range of say at least 500 miles or more before you would have to come up with more fuel or resort to humping a pack. Another advantage to the ATVs or bikes (motorized or pedal) would be the fact that you would have a LOT better chance of outrunning those on foot rather than haveing to stand and fight if they arent shooting at you.

    So while you COULD IMO do without the sleeping bag as long as you have the know how and have learned and practiced it before hand, my choice would be to try to keep it and find better means of transportation to elimenate the problem.
     
  14. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    I've slept out more than a few nights with a poncho and poncho liner and I put the limit at about 45 or 50 degrees to get much sleep. Much colder than that will be a cold, sleepless night. I would try to carry the bag during the coldest four or five months. Try to tie or strap the bag under your ruck, sometimes a shelf helps on an ALICE frame.
     
  15. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Don't forget that you can always bring along a drag bag, or that litter thing that the Indians used to use. Though you would leave drag marks so if you didn't want to be followed then that wouldn't work. Though what about a couple wheels on the back end of it? Might work. Sort of like a trailer that you can pull without wearing yourself out. Light and quiet and you could easily leave it when you need to scout ahead. Just a thought.
     
  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    A deer carrier or garden cart would fill the bill for something like that and could be an option for being able to take along more of the gear for the treck as well as for setting things up once you get where you are going if it is not a pre prepaired place.
     
  17. stimpy117

    stimpy117 Monkey+++

  18. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    There was a guy who crossed either the mojave or sahara on foot with a backpack that had a wheel off the back( he caried galons of water). I'm trying to find a pic now....the indians and trappers called it a "travois" seems they are still used for dogs basically a frame with or without a wheel you pull behind yourself, you could drop the "trailer" if you needed to.
     
  19. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    That's what I was thinking of. You guys are on the ball. Haha. So it seems that it is a reasonably good thing that you could use to haul stuff. I'll have to make me one when the time comes as I don't have a vehicle and will definitely be on foot. I think maybe a couple of wheels will be good on it. Save a lot of headache in my mind.
     
  20. sci

    sci Monkey+++

    So, if it has wheels, isn't it technically one of these? http://www.cecilw.com/photo/albums/misc/3670_wagon.sized.jpg ;)
     
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