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Overnight gear

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cowboyfan, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Cowboyfan

    Cowboyfan

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    I'm going to be doing heaps canyon in a week, this will be the first overnight canyon I've done and would like advice on what is needed as far as bivy gear for this. I would like to be able to sleep and not up all night freezing but don't really want to have a pack full of sleeping gear along with ropes and such. Are sleeping bags necessary or what is the norm? Thanks for any advice
  2. Scott Byington

    Scott Byington

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    Questions to ask yourself when sleeping in the canyon:
    Do you sleep hot or cold?
    After having spent a few unwanted cold nights myself, I would rather carry an extra pound than sleep poorly.
    (A warm night sleep will help with mental acuity and keep you alert from doing something silly.)
    There are cost efficient equivalents all over the world wide web
    https://www.rei.com/product/894947/rei-co-op-helio-down-45-sleeping-bag (I have an older version that I believe is a little lighter in weight) (or equivalent)
    https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/117587/smartwool-striped-hike-medium-crew-socks (or equivalent)
    https://www.rei.com/product/104308/rei-co-op-lightweight-base-layer-bottoms-mens (or equivalent)
    https://www.rei.com/product/104305/rei-co-op-lightweight-base-layer-long-sleeve-crew-top-mens (or equivalent)
    https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/123871/smartwool-nts-micro-150-gloves(or equivalent)
    https://www.rei.com/product/784560/smartwool-balaclava(or equivalent)
    https://www.rei.com/product/832336/sol-escape-bivy
    I like wool products because even when wet there are insulating properties at work.
    I’m only using REI as an example since it’s work approved.
    I can fit it all in a med dry bag like this:
    https://www.backcountry.com/alps-mountaineering-dry-sack?skid=ALM001X-BL-S&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6ZHJ5IGJhZzoxOjQwOmRyeSBiYWc=
    I’ve tried to cut corners and leave something behind, 1 time I ended up sleeping in a Honeybucket in a thunderstorm; another time ended up waking up every hour, perhaps its Murphy’s law. The trips I haven’t cut corners everything seems to work just fine and I didn’t end up needing all the gear.
    Moral of the story, better to have and not need; than not have and need.
    (p.s. If you have to end up spooning, choose wisely: big spoon vs. little spoon.)
    Ram and Sandstone Addiction like this.
  3. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I would take a very light weight sleeping bag. Trying to sleep in a wetsuit is absolutely aweful.
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  4. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I don't think that rule applies to places like Heaps Canyon, especially on an overnight trip. Taking more than you need can lead to some serious problems. Take what you need, but no more.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    If you need it, and don't have it, then you don't need it.

    It is hard to assemble a proper superlight sleeping kit from your normal gear. Easier if you have a bunch of money to spend. I have done the bivy many different ways, including unplanned, and have reached these conclusions:

    1. Sleeping bag. 1-1/4 lb down bag can be plenty warm. The same weight in clothing is considerably less effective for sleeping in.

    2. NeoAir Pad. Can make do with wetsuit plus the foam from inside your pack (pack itself under the feet), but with the Neo Air (12 to 18 oz) I can actually sleep quite well.

    3. Rain Gear: if you are tempted to pack rain gear, you are planning on the wrong canyon.

    4. Mosquito Net: usually not a problem IN the canyon; awful up on the West Rim, possible in Phantom Valley. Bringing a little bit of bug dope is a good idea.

    5. Balaclava (or other warm hat): your best warmth to weight ratio. Imlay balaclava also provides substantial mosquito protection.

    6. Food/Cooking: Yes. Fires are not allowed, and please do not sneak one. A very small stove can provide enough hot water for your evening meal. I don't need a hot breakfast, but I do like a Chai Tea in the morning. Get your food kit as small as possible. If bringing a commercial dehydrated meal, transfer into your own ziplocs - the foil package is HEAVY!!

    7. Pajamas: well, how about lounging gear. I usually bring a set of treated polyester underwear (thin, light) to lounge in and to sleep in. Pretty much the only "warm clothing" in my kit, especially this time of year.

    For these and pretty much all canyons, Carrying unnecessary gear is really a bad idea. After Heaps, what hurts most is often the upper back and shoulders, from pulling the pack up and over the many many obstacles. Given the toasty temperatures, this is a great time to do a Heaps overnight... well, except that we are having Thunderstorms pretty much every day.

    Tom
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  6. Scott Byington

    Scott Byington

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    Watch "Princess Vespa's Hairdryer from Spaceballs" on YouTube


    Take only what you need to survive.

    Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
  7. Cowboyfan

    Cowboyfan

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    Thank you all for the great advice, I will try to pack minimal as possible (with a 300' rope in my pack that is). Sounds like I need a lighter sleeping bag for sure.
    Ram likes this.
  8. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green

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    Have you guys considered doing it in 1 long day? How many are in your group? Why are you opting for the overnight? A 2 or 3 am start from Lava Point doesn't sound appealing on paper but sounds way better than lugging a 300' plus overnight gear through countless swims. I understand and respect if you want error on the side of caution but figured I'd pose the question.
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  9. Cowboyfan

    Cowboyfan

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    4 of us in our group, we were going to do 1 day but figured it would be better to play it safe and have 2. Don't want to be caught doing the final series after dark, we will be doing top down from west rim trail.
  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Especially in Flash Flood season, I prefer the one day version. But... hard to say. Advantage of the two day version is that you do not need to hurry, except as to staying warm. Can crank out the final narrows on Day 2 and get to the final rappel sequence before the afternoon T-Storms hit.

    At the end, if you see webbing on the logs to the left, please remove and carry out. Remove the temptation. That is not the way to go.

    Also perhaps good to note: looks like Heaps flashed last week, which means some of the anchors might have gotten blasted. Please go prepared to re-web a substantial number of anchors. 50 feet of webbing would not be too much.

    Tom
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  11. ScottM

    ScottM Looking for a canyon, you got one?

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    Cowboyfan, we just did Heaps on the 29th and crashed at the Crossroads overnight. My recommendation would be to take no more than you can fit within a 6.4L drykeg. For me, that was an OR Helium Bivvy, very light sleeping back (think typical liner) and a Klymit Static V. WIthin the liner I slept in a cotton 1/4 zip and skivvies. The drykeg was pivotal as I didn't want to risk my sleeping items getting wet - albeit most items listed above wouldn't absorb too much moisture.

    Yes, it does add additional weight, but we found the overnighter it to be a more enjoyable experience vs. feeling rushed through on our first Heaps trip.
    Plus, with the monsoon season, sleeping overnight allows for an earlier final rappel sequence and a better chance to avoid the afternoon storms.

    One thing I will mention, the canyon was full of water which meant the heavier pack could come off your back and be floated through the narrows sections. Some areas do require tossing to get over log jams or other obstacles.

    I'm not a fan of carrying the extra weight to prepare for a planned overnighter, however, in this case it did make the adventure more enjoyable. Having done Imlay (full) several times I would avoid any non-emergency overnight plans for that canyon. Heaps, however, factoring in the monsoon season and the current canyon conditions, it becomes more appreciable.
  12. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Classic!!

    (Disclaimer, never done Heaps.) Did an overnight full Imlay in September a few years back. Lesson learned: The SOL emergency bivy bag (non-breathable kind) is a bad bad idea. Did a decent job with providing warmth, however it comes with its own monsoon (condensation). Got soaked and it never rained a drop that night...thankfully there was no lightning.

    I like hammock sleeping when going lightweight, while others do not. I wished for one that night... though based on Tom's sage advice, I didn't need it!
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  13. Scott Byington

    Scott Byington

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    :help:

    My perspective was: "better to have and not need; than not have and need, with the * of (p.s. If you have to end up spooning, choose wisely: big spoon vs. little spoon.)
    By no means am I saying bring the kitchen sink.

    Tom's perspective was: "If you need it, and don't have it, then you don't need it."
    (I'm presuming he didn't intend to say leave everything behind and you will survive, correct me if I'm wrong???)

    Kuenn's response was: "I like hammock sleeping when going lightweight, while others do not. I wished for one that night... though based on Tom's sage advice, I didn't need it!"

    Scott M response was: "I'm not a fan of carrying the extra weight to prepare for a planned overnighter, however, in this case it did make the adventure more enjoyable"

    Where is the line drawn on creature comforts need vs. want?
    For example my light sleeping bag is the REI Co-op Travel Down +45 Sleeping Bag - Regular (older version, weighs in about 25 oz);
    Technically I could survive with out it, (sadly I have before); but the experience with it than without was more enjoyable.
    Now I could swap out the 600+ down bag that I paid $80, and take a 700 FP or 850 FP and save 4 oz (I'll pay $180-$200; unless I can find it used).

    But where do you drawn the line?
    I don't believe Tom's list was all the different than mine, please correct me where I'm off?

    Perhaps, (I can learn from those more experienced than I) what gear is considered unnecessary?:help::help::help:
  14. ScottM

    ScottM Looking for a canyon, you got one?

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    Personal preference, but I would say a stove is unnecessary for 1 nights stay. Plenty of other options within similar weight of dehydrated foods, which don't require hot water. Good news is, you consume it and the weight is no longer of concern. Again, all personal preference.
  15. Cowboyfan

    Cowboyfan

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    Is there trees at phantom valley after 2nd rap? Wondering if hammocks would be a light weight option.
  16. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    You could probably find places to set them up but you'll still need insulation in a hammock.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. ScottM

    ScottM Looking for a canyon, you got one?

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    Curious, why are you targeting the Phantom Valley vs. the crossroads? Sure, you avoid having to traverse through the Phantom Narrows (getting wet) on the first day, but that does make the second day 3+ hours longer. The crossroads is really an ideal bivy location if you can find a surefire way to keep your soft goods dry (i.e. drykeg).
  18. Cowboyfan

    Cowboyfan

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    None of us have ever done heaps, I assumed from what I have read best place to bivy is before water so no chance of sleeping gear getting wet.
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  19. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Having done Heaps a couple of times as an overnighter, I'd shoot for the crossroads area. Otherwise, just get an earlier start and do it in a day.

    I trade some comfort for a smaller, lighter pack. A silk bag and a BD bivy sack (like their current Twilight - breathable and water resistant) would be enough if the night time temp's aren't too chilly.

    For when its colder, I bump up to:

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5009-397/Emperor-Penguin-Windstopper-Overbag

    Or

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5042-108/Amulet-Ultralight-Overbag

    Otherwise, my Marmot Atom weighs a pound and is pretty darn warm from just above freezing. Packs down to the size of a one liter bottle. Needs to stay dry though. Keg is sweet for keeping stuff dry.

    Nano air is nice, and, pull out the pad from your backpack, and, also sleep on your wetsuit.

    If you're not sleeping in all of your clothes, you brought too much stuff.

    Like Tom mentioned, a greek dessert hat is key for keeping me warm. Best weight to warmth ratio for any item, IMHO.
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  20. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Ram likes this.
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