Thursday, December 27, 2012

A cold night sleeping outside and a snow ride

Over Christmas while up in Fargo I decided to sleep outside to test gear in a safe but really cold place.  It was also nice to get out of the house for a while.

I slept in my REI half Dome tent.  I love this tent.  Cheap, durable, big, and works in a wide range of weather from very hot to very cold.  I didn't know how much to seal up the vents for warmth.  When it is this cold your breath create a frosty interior by morning.  Not a big deal in the back yard but a big deal on a multi day trip.

I also had my Therma Rest Neo Air pad.  It is not insulated but is very warm for what it is, packs very light and small and is the most comfy pad I have used.  I love that little black valve to help adjust the air just right while using it.

For my sleeping bag I used a -40F Western Mountaineering Bison bag my cousin Chip has lent/given to me to use.  Fantastic bag that I am a bit to big and fat to enjoy to its fullest because it is a bit tight.

On night one I put another 30F down bag opened up over the pad as a nice pad/floor covering.  I then opened up the -40 bag and tried to use it quilt style.  I got cold.  The wind and low temps combined to make any opening in the sleeping bag system cold enough to hurt.  At 4:30AM I switched to a zipped up bag and slept warm till 10am.

Night one was windy and the temp droped from about 3F to -7F when I got up the next morning.  Night two was actually colder going from -11 to -13 but the wind was minimal and I started out with the bag zipped up.  I was warm all night.

While trying to confirm the temps for this post I found it surprisingly hard to find temps from a few days ago.  I just found tons of applications for the future weather.  To get the temps from a few days ago I ended up abandoning the app world and using one of my favorite weather web sites.  It is called Weather spark.  Huge amounts of useful data presented in a linear fashion.  Hit the link to see what I mean.

This last pics and video are from a ride I did with Heath about a week ago along the Minnesota River from 35W to the old Cedar bridge where we had some lunch.  It was really fun to ride on the snowy single track and to have lunch at the halfway point.  I love my fat bike and riding in the winter.
 The new studs were not needed on this trail but did an unexpectedly good job of helping me get over a log I thought I would not succeed at riding.
 Here is a crappy 23 second video of Heath riding past me.

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