Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

Sierra Designs Ultra Light Sleeping Bags

Post by:  Jake
7/27/11

Looking to trim some weight off your gear for your next backpacking trip?  Look no further.  The Sierra Designs Vapor 15 is the perfect sleeping bag for spring, summer, and early fall in the Rockies.  At 1lb. 15oz. the 850-down fill bag is super cozy, and packs down to nearly nothing.  Sierra Designs has been making sleeping bags, tents, clothing, and packs for over 45 years and their experience is perfected in the Vapor 15 bag. 

Pros: Crazy light weight; Super comfortable; Extremely packable.

Cons:  1/2 length zipper to save weight makes regulating temperature on hot nights a bit difficult; fairly expensive at $420 but if you’re getting 1 nice and expensive piece of gear, this is worth considering;  It’s down so keep it dry or else.

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Our Next Adventure

Post by:  Jake
6/4/11

Following the triathlon, we keep getting asked the question, “So what’s your next adventure going to be?”  Well here it is… drum roll please… Ultra Light and Fast hike deep into one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.  At about 1.5-million acres, “The Bob” has more miles of trail than most people hike in a lifetime.  The Bob is home to one of the most completely preserved mountain ecosystems in the world.  When people hear the word “wilderness” The Bob is the picture that comes into their minds, jagged peaks, crystal clear alpine lakes, plummeting waterfalls, meadows packed with wildflowers, deep glaciated river valleys, and towering old growth forests.

The trip–57 miles in 2-days, 1-night. 12 miles on mountain bikes to the wilderness boundary, then 45-miles on foot.  We’ll be biking in near Gibson Reservoir near Choteau, MT, then taking the Moose Creek drainage to the Chinese Wall.  We’ll hike about 3 miles along the wall and take the South Fork of the Sun River trail back to our bikes. 

For gear, we’ll be going Ultra-Light, so only the essentials.  We’ll try to keep our TOTAL (including water) pack weight below 15-pounds.  Because we’ll be packing so light, we can use Gore-Tex trail running shoes instead of bulky, heavy backpacking boots.  The trail is fairly gentle and well traveled by horses, so it’s nice and wide and not overgrown.  We should certainly be able to cover the 22.5 miles on foot each day.  How is it possible to carry everything we need in under 15 lbs?  Well, Here’s our packing list:

 *Nylon Tarp  5 oz. (that’s right, no tent.)

Sierra Designs Vapor 15 Sleeping bag;  31 oz x 2

Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite pad; 14 oz x 2

* First aid kit: 8 oz

Go-Lite backpack 30 liter 15 oz x 2

Change of socks: 2 oz x 2

extra clothes (rain gear and fleece): 48 oz x 2

* AquaMira Water Purification: 1 oz.

* Garmin E-Trex Vista gps 8 oz.

map: 1 oz x 2

Brunton Compass 2 oz x 2

PureBot water bottles = 8 oz x 2

water .5 gal = 67 oz. x 2

Counter Assault Bear Spray: 10 oz x 2

* Cordage Rope: 4 oz

headlamp/batteries 4 oz x 2

*matches: 1 oz

*Primus Express Stove 2.9 oz

*Primus 1 liter titanium pot 4.4 oz

Food, energy bars and freeze dried. 16 oz x 2

Total weight for 2 people: 469 oz or 29.3 lbs.  split in 1/2 = 14.65 lbs. each.

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