Prepare for cold nights. This week someone asked me, what’s the most important thing I should pack for my trip. Without hesitation, I said the right gear to keep me warm. However, I wasn’t just talking about staying warm on the bike, since I have cold weather riding almost down to a science. Instead, what has me worried the most is staying warm at night.
Most nights I will be sleeping outside in a tent on an air mattress. While the organizer recommends that I bring a sleeping bag rated for 0°, the problem with his recommendation is that there are no standards for rating sleeping bags. In many cases, sleeping bag manufacturers greatly inflate their ratings. Many times, the sleeping bag rating only means that, hopefully, you should survive at the rated temperature. It does not mean that you will be warm and comfortable.
I only hope that my trusted 25° rated down sleeping bag will do the trick. Perhaps I will still pack a pair of wooly pajamas just in case. Does anybody know where I can get a pair of Dr. Denton’s?
Tip: Never sleep in your riding clothes. Change into dry clothes before jumping in the sack. You can’t stay warm in clothes that are damp from perspiration.
Tip: The coldest time of day is sometime just after dawn.
Tip: Consider a sleeping bag liner to extend the temperature rating of your sleeping bag. Also, they are required in youth hostels.
In the end, I decided to pack a sleeping bag liner to extend the temperature rating of my sleeping bag and polypropylene long underwear for night ware, just in case I need them to stay warm.