Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sleep In A Bag?

Carl here.  Let’s talk sleeping bags.  You need some sort of sleeping bag when you go tent camping.  Unless of course you’re Lucas McCain (“The Rifleman”), and you sleep on the hard ground with only a moth eaten thin blanket protecting you from the harsh elements; only to let a cold little rattle snake crawl under your blanket and onto your nice warm chest, and then must stay completely still for over 12 hours, while you wait for your son Mark, Marshal Micah Torrance and one ornery bushwhacker to figure out a way to save you from a one bite horrific death.  I love “The Rifleman.” …..not him....the show!  Anyway, back to sleeping bags.

You have three choices here: new, used and borrowed.  You could buy a sleeping bag at a garage sale…. but buying a sleeping bag at a garage sale just isn’t a good idea. You never know what took place in that sleeping bag besides sleeping. Do bodily fluids come to mind? I can think of five types without even referencing a CSI episode. No amount of washing will ever get those nasty bodily fluids out of that sleeping bag……. or your mind for that matter! 

You could borrow a sleeping bag, but who would lend you one.  Sleeping bags are like underwear, they aren’t meant to be shared…..that bodily fluid thing again.
So your best bet is to spend some money and go shopping for a new sleeping bag.  How difficult could that be you say?  I figured they would make two types, a pink one for girls and a blue one for boys.  I never realized how hard it would be to select just the right one.  Sleeping bags have degrees associated with them.  Not college degrees, but degrees Fahrenheit.  They are rated anywhere between +40 degrees down to -40 degrees.  This is called the temperature comfort zone.  Comfort zone, at -40 degrees, maybe for an Eskimo Pie.  You would think the lower the temperature rating the better the bag would be, not true.  Using a -40 degree bag on an 80 degree day will make you wish you were that Eskimo Pie.
Ever see those sleeping bags that look like a cross between King Tut’s coffin and the Michelin Tire Man, they’re called mummy sleeping bags.  I know I’m not planning on sleeping that long.  How would you like to go to sleep in one of those bags and wake up 2000 years later in some museum display, not me!
You would think a sleeping bag would be made out of some kind of natural fiber like cotton.  NOT… that’s old and cheapskate school.  Let’s go high tech… how about a Polarguard Continuous Filament within a Super Wicking Polyester Liner, complemented with a sleeping pad made from .25” polyethylene laminated to convoluted what-cha-ma-call-it foam.  Now if George Washington would have had these high tech sleeping bags for all his men, maybe that “Crossing the Delaware” thing wouldn't be such a big deal.

If you’re like me, forget all the mumbo gumbo and buy the cheapest one on sale.  One old school cotton sleeping bag to go, please!

Camping fun with Carl signing out.