Cold Weather Sleeping Bags

For cold weather camping, even in quite extreme conditions, you don’t need to spend the big bucks on the latest hi-tech sleeping bag.  I have slept outside, under the stars--no tent, no fire, no shelter--at minus 30 degrees F. in two $20 sleeping bags, one stuffed inside the other. 

Stay away from cloth bags--cotton retains moisture, which is then difficult to thaw and dry.  Bags with a nylon shell and lining basically shed water and are much easier to dry if they do get damp.  In the morning you can open them up, and, after a short time, shake most of the frozen moisture off. 

You do get what you pay for, though, and a high-quality sleeping bag is worth the investment if you are going to get some use out of it.  Here is a great one:   http://www.rei.com/product/795779

Whichever course you take, try your bag out in the back yard before your trip--no matter how much you’ve spent.  I’ve been deep in the bush on bitterly cold nights with folks who really, really wish they would have done that.