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  1. #1
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    sleeping bag and mat for bikepacking colorado trail

    looking to replace my old and bulky sleeping bag. i will be doing colorado trail next summer\fall, thats the main reason getting new bag. not sure what temperature rating to go for but i dont need 4 season one. this is the candidate so far. but again not sure if it is going to be warm enough if i need to camp up high. the weight is very decent. and $150 is abot max i am willing to spend. also suggestion for pad for reasonable price would be appreciated. i have been using basic foam pad up until now.

  2. #2
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    My bag I used was rated to 30 degrees but I also had a down sweater and some
    fleece pants in case I got cold. I think the bag you had listed should be fine. I used a
    hammock so no help on a pad for you. You might check out the bikepacking fourm
    here and see what others say there and also check out bikepacking.net for some
    good suggestions. I would for sure get a good compression bag and what are your
    plans for weather protection when sleeping.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    looking to replace my old and bulky sleeping bag. i will be doing colorado trail next summer\fall, thats the main reason getting new bag. not sure what temperature rating to go for but i dont need 4 season one. this is the candidate so far. but again not sure if it is going to be warm enough if i need to camp up high. the weight is very decent. and $150 is abot max i am willing to spend. also suggestion for pad for reasonable price would be appreciated. i have been using basic foam pad up until now.
    That looks like a nice bag and great weight though I'd probably want down for the smaller packing ability.

    Marmot 20°F Flathead Down Sleeping Bag - 600 Fill Power, Mummy

    This bag is a little bit more, but a 30% off coupon (or more) will put you below $150.00. It's well reviewed as well.

    Don't rule out Sierra Trading Post. I saved 45% on my last order by signing up for their email newsletters before Christmas and got a coupon code I applied. Nothing like $70 Vasque hikers and $6.00 Smartwool socks!
    Niner Bikes employee. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Niner-...3652275?ref=ts
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  4. #4
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    Synthetic bags never pack very small, so I think you might find that an issue.

    This is an awesome bag if you want something small and light. It packs to about the size of a nalgene bottle, if not smaller. It's a bottom-less bag design, so it packs super small for it's warmth. But you will need to use it with a good pad. 700 fill down.

    Amazon.com: Thermarest Haven 20 Sleep System, Large: Sports & Outdoors

    Here's another, cheaper down bag, but it's only 550 fill, so it won't pack as small.
    Amazon.com: Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag: Sports & Outdoors

    As for sleeping pads.... don't skimp here as you can loose a lot of heat via your sleeping pad.

    I really like this one. It's expensive, but very light and packs very small for what it does. I camped out the other week in -2f on the snow and it kept me acceptably warm.

    Amazon.com: Thermarest Neo-Air Xtherm Sleeping Pad, Reflex Gray, Large: Sports & Outdoors

    This is another cheaper option that should also work OK down to 30-40 or so.

    Amazon.com: Thermarest Prolite Plus Sleeping Mattress (Regular): Sports & Outdoors

    What are you going to use for a bivy/tent?

    A few suggestions...

    USGI Bivy. You can find them for $40. They are awesome! Gore Tex bivy for $40, what's not to like (besides the camo)!!?

    Amazon.com: US Military Surplus Bivy Sleeping Bag Cover Gore Tex: Sports & Outdoors

    UBER Bivy. Much larger bivy than the USGI, but similar weight/pack size. Obviously more expensive.

    MilesGear - Uber Bivy

    Some random thing's I've learned about ground insulation.

    (1) Snow is warmer than frozen ground.
    (2) Under a (live) pine tree is a good place to camp - the pine needles provide insulation and the tree provides shelter from the wind/snow/rain.

    (3) If you're desperate, use pine branches under your sleeping pad for extra insulation.
    (4) Camping on rocks will be cold.
    (5) Don't use your breath to inflate sleeping pads in cold weather. The moister in your breath can freeze and reduce the insulation of your sleeping pad.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  5. #5
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    Also... +1 for Sierra Trading Post! I've also seen nice down bags go for $150-200 on steep and cheap. But they go quick.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  6. #6
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    Re: sleeping bag and mat for bikepacking colorado trail

    I picked up a kelty cosmic down 20 degree bag for 119 dollars on amazon. I also have a Klymit Insulated Static V full size air mattress for $70. They have great reviews and I far prefer it over the Thermarest rest one that I had previously purchased. The Thermarest was far more expensive and it sounded like sleeping on huge bag of cellophane. Way too noisy for me.

    My Kelty is about 2.5 pounds, good enough for three seasons with the insulated matt. Packs down really small and so does the air mattress.

  7. #7
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    great tips. more to think about. as for shelter, i have been borrowing friends backpacking tent for over two years. it is 2 person tent, probably over 4 pounds. little bulky just for me bikepacking, which is 90% of time. i might finally get my own shelter for this trip. I like the USGI bivy. is it to be used with some sort of tarp cover or just by itself? as for hammocks, dont you get cold easier?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    I like the USGI bivy. is it to be used with some sort of tarp cover or just by itself?
    It's all gore tex so you can put it straight on the ground. It's a pretty thick material so I doubt you'll have any issues. But if you want a cheap ground cover, you can just cut some Tyvek HomeWrap (home depot) to size.

    The USGI bivy covers you 100% when you close it down, but it would be more comfortable to have a tarp above you if there was a chance of rain. Your breath contains a lot of moisture which will cause a build up of condensation inside the bivy if you sleep with it enclosed over your head. Also there is no room to spare inside the USGI bivy once you've got a down sleeping bag and air pad inside it. If you're over 6'2" and 190lb, I'd look elsewhere.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  9. #9
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    Exped Synmat UL 7. Awesome. I can't help you on the bag, you're setting the price too low. Pony up, and get something from Western Mountaineering or Nunatak. Cheap, for a bag that lasts 25 years, and keeps it's temp rating. Unlike a synthetic bag.

  10. #10
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    OP is asking for a worthwhile bag for $150 max and a reasonable priced pad and some of you point him to +$300 sleeping bags and an air mattress for $165. HUH?

    Look, I realize the best equipment comes at a premium cost but there a A LOT of folks out there not wishing to drop that kinda coin for whatever reason. There are less expensive alternatives that will still provide the needed comfort and size requirements. No, you can't sleep with them directly on the snow pack at the top of an Alaskan peak in winter...but for the lower 48 they will easily get you through 3 seasons at a low cost.

    OP take a look at the review sections of REI and Amazon on the Kelty Cosmic Down and see for yourself if it's something that will work for you at the price range. Ya, it's only 550 fill, but I'm sure it wasn't all that long ago that 600 or so was 'elite' fill power. Yes, it packs bigger than a 900 fill of the same rating but it still packs small enough for many...and will be just as warm for the given rating.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    <snip>

    OP take a look at the review sections of REI and Amazon on the Kelty Cosmic Down and see for yourself if it's something that will work for you at the price range. Ya, it's only 550 fill, but I'm sure it wasn't all that long ago that 600 or so was 'elite' fill power. Yes, it packs bigger than a 900 fill of the same rating but it still packs small enough for many...and will be just as warm for the given rating.
    The thing with that bag is that you're really not getting much weight advantage (Kelty: 2lb 11oz, TNF: 2lb 12oz) *or* compressability advantage. IMO if the OP sleeps "warm" and/or plans on having some warm clothing layers he can get by with a higher temp rating and a *much* lower weight bag. At the price-point...

    And depending how far into the "fall" this trip is planned, he might be able to do a 40* bag. Although if he's planning on mid/late September that's probably going to be a bit of a gamble.

  12. #12
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    Re: sleeping bag and mat for bikepacking colorado trail

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    The thing with that bag is that you're really not getting much weight advantage (Kelty: 2lb 11oz, TNF: 2lb 12oz) *or* compressability advantage. IMO if the OP sleeps "warm" and/or plans on having some warm clothing layers he can get by with a higher temp rating and a *much* lower weight bag. At the price-point...

    And depending how far into the "fall" this trip is planned, he might be able to do a 40* bag. Although if he's planning on mid/late September that's probably going to be a bit of a gamble.
    I agree. There are options in the op's price point.

  13. #13
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    If you do the CT in the summertime (which you should) and you're not too tall you can go with this dude for under a c note:
    Deuter Dreamlite 500 Review | Active Gear Review
    Could supplement with a liner or light down jacket.

    I personally went with this one since I'm a little taller. I hope to do the CT one day, and this is what I'd be using:
    REI Halo +40 Sleeping Bag - Long - Special Buy - Free Shipping at REI-OUTLET.com
    When I bought it was on sale for $131.
    The correct number of bikes one should own is N+1, where N is the number of bikes currently owned.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hirschmj View Post
    If you do the CT in the summertime (which you should) and you're not too tall you can go with this dude for under a c note:
    Deuter Dreamlite 500 Review | Active Gear Review
    Could supplement with a liner or light down jacket.

    I personally went with this one since I'm a little taller. I hope to do the CT one day, and this is what I'd be using:
    REI Halo +40 Sleeping Bag - Long - Special Buy - Free Shipping at REI-OUTLET.com
    When I bought it was on sale for $131.
    As someone noted earlier - one of the big advantages of the down option is that down will last DECADES longer than the synthetic filled bag. It is simply a far-superior fill material (unless you get it wet) with regards to loft, weight, and durability. So if you're expecting to keep your sleeping bag for the long term - go down.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    As someone noted earlier - one of the big advantages of the down option is that down will last DECADES longer than the synthetic filled bag. It is simply a far-superior fill material (unless you get it wet) with regards to loft, weight, and durability. So if you're expecting to keep your sleeping bag for the long term - go down.
    Fair point, I am no expert but I have read the same online.

    The REI bag I linked is goose down, the Deuter is synthetic.
    The correct number of bikes one should own is N+1, where N is the number of bikes currently owned.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hirschmj View Post
    Fair point, I am no expert but I have read the same online.

    The REI bag I linked is goose down, the Deuter is synthetic.
    I've owned a number of synthetic bags (actually had one of the early Cats Meow's from TNF in the early 90's) - they all simply flatten out quite rapidly and by the end of 5 years are generally "clapped out"...

    I have two REI down bags (a -20F and 0F) from the mid-90's which, while they have lost *some* of their insulating loft, are still very functional sleeping bags.

  17. #17
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    I know these are are a bit above your price range but I am huge fan of quilts and prefer them vs a mummy bag. Take a looks at Jacks R Better and you dont have to use these for hammocks.. I own their summer quilt that would be equal to a 40 degree bag then the 3 season quilt equal to a 20 degree bag. In the winter time I can combine the two and go down to 0 degrees.

    They are lighter, more comfortable, and very pack-able compared to the mummy options you have been looking at. Truthfully I could never imagine myself lugging a 2+ pound synthetic bag on the CT.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    ... an air mattress for $165. HUH?
    Guess you missed that I also linked to a cheaper pad and a VERY cheap bivy and tarp/ground cover. Which would likely offset the cost of a warmer and more comfortable/packable pad & sleeping bag.

    IMHO depending on when and who (if anyone) the OP's going with, a warmer bag/pad is good insurance.

    While I've never bike packed the CT, I live along it and have camped at KP more times than I can remember.
    Even my TNF 15 deg 800 fill down bag can get cold in summer.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  19. #19
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    if the tent is a little heavy and you have some spare cash (which you might not), you might look into Kammocks instead of a tent. they pack incredibly small & weigh almost nothing. they keep you off the ground and are really comfy. just a thought.

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  20. #20
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    Re: sleeping bag and mat for bikepacking colorado trail

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    Guess you missed that I also linked to a cheaper pad and a VERY cheap bivy and tarp/ground cover. .
    I did. I'm not trying to be combative, just trying to be helpful. My apologies.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson44 View Post
    if the tent is a little heavy and you have some spare cash (which you might not), you might look into Kammocks instead of a tent. they pack incredibly small & weigh almost nothing. they keep you off the ground and are really comfy. just a thought.
    Just out of curiosity - what do you do when you camp above treeline with one of those?

  22. #22
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    I've used a Lafuma Warm'n Light 800 for the last three years (paid about $100). It's a 650-fill down bag rated to 30 deg F. I've used it both with a Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping pad (paid about $50) and without the pad but in a SOL Escape Bivvy (paid about $40).

    Lafuma Warm'n Light 800 Sleeping Bag: 30 Degree Down | Backcountry.com

    I don't see it for sale anymore but I'm sure there are similar euro-trash offerings on the market. Most reviews of these cheep down bags say that they don't come anywhere near to their claimed comfort temps. I would agree. Still, even though it insulates more like a 50 deg F bag, it is probably OK to do the CT in July-to-August time period, especially if you're in a tent or bivvy. I've been chilled a few times but I'm skinny (125 lbs) and tend to run cold.

    I would point out that you need a bag this small (6 x 10 in.) or so if you want to put your sleeping bag in your saddlebag. If you go with what you originally proposed (6.5 x 21 in.) you're not going to have any option but to put it in a sling/handlebar bag, which is fine as long as you plan to use that much space for your sleeping bag.

    I've completely dropped the sleeping pad from my set-up. I don't think it's worth the space or weight. I just look around for a nice soft spot.

  23. #23
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    There's a whole lotta sleeping pads and a few down sleeping bags on steep and cheap right now.

    Daily Deals - Discount Outdoor Clothing & Gear | Steep & Cheap
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    I did. I'm not trying to be combative, just trying to be helpful. My apologies.
    No worries
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  25. #25
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    nice, looking through the stuff on S&C, i am thinking going for phantom 32 sleeping bag. packs pretty small. i have also spoke with my friend an we might be doing ct together. we are talking either getting 2 person tent or each of us getting solo tent. i am more leaning towards me getting 2 person tent, as i can use it for backpacking with my wife too. the one i like from the site is north face flint 2. if we do this in august, do i need pad at all? i know it could be bumpy night but for warmth, do i need it?

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    If getting a two person tent, take a look at tarptents, such as the double rainbow. Less than $300, packs small and weighs only 2 1/2 lbs.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    nice, looking through the stuff on S&C, i am thinking going for phantom 32 sleeping bag. packs pretty small. i have also spoke with my friend an we might be doing ct together. we are talking either getting 2 person tent or each of us getting solo tent. i am more leaning towards me getting 2 person tent, as i can use it for backpacking with my wife too. the one i like from the site is north face flint 2. if we do this in august, do i need pad at all? i know it could be bumpy night but for warmth, do i need it?
    That is a nice bag at a great price.

    You'll want a sleeping pad as the down compresses underneath you and provides almost zero insulation.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    ... You'll want a sleeping pad as the down compresses underneath you and provides almost zero insulation.
    I agree. Some kind of sleeping pad is really important, especially if you're pushing the envelope getting the lightest bag you think will be adequate. I've gotten cold way up high even in summer with a light bag.

    One idea, old school ultra-light packers used to use those windshield shades, the ones that are silvery mylar and roll up. It's not much, but it's something. Which is better than nothing.
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  29. #29
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    Re: sleeping bag and mat for bikepacking colorado trail

    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    nice, looking through the stuff on S&C, i am thinking going for phantom 32 sleeping bag.
    That should be a nice bag. The ultra lamina 32 is also popular with some of the Phoenix riders (so I've read)who like to use a bivy, and prefer a synthetic bag so they don't have to worry about the condensation. Either way looks like good prices on solid bags.

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    looked closely on specs for phantom 32 and recommended user ht for long is 5'8". are these suggested numbers what i should go by? i am 6'2".

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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    looked closely on specs for phantom 32 and recommended user ht for long is 5'8". are these suggested numbers what i should go by? i am 6'2".
    They have a long that's for up to 5'11", but that is probably still too short, especially if you're a back sleeper. FWIW they are listed as a women's bag. If you click on the specs, it gives you specific measurements, including girth etc.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

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    ok i see, oh well.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    nice, looking through the stuff on S&C, i am thinking going for phantom 32 sleeping bag. packs pretty small. i have also spoke with my friend an we might be doing ct together. we are talking either getting 2 person tent or each of us getting solo tent. i am more leaning towards me getting 2 person tent, as i can use it for backpacking with my wife too. the one i like from the site is north face flint 2. if we do this in august, do i need pad at all? i know it could be bumpy night but for warmth, do i need it?
    I've got that bag - it's super light and *really* tiny when stuffed. I use it for 3-season backpacking here in Colorado.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    ok i see, oh well.
    There were a few 600 fill down bags, but IIRC they're about the same price as the Keltly.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

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    sleeping bag and mat for bikepacking colorado trail

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    As someone noted earlier - one of the big advantages of the down option is that down will last DECADES longer than the synthetic filled bag. It is simply a far-superior fill material (unless you get it wet) with regards to loft, weight, and durability. So if you're expecting to keep your sleeping bag for the long term - go down.
    For proof of this, simply seek out a synthetic goose next time you are out and about. Take a close look at how f-ing miserable they are. Down FTW every time. I have a down jacket for most activities:

    Grilling down
    Crapping down
    Night riding down
    Street drinking down
    Lovemaking down
    Etc, etc

  36. #36
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    I have a Marmot 1 person tent I was going to sell on eBay but haven't gotten around to it. It's a Marmot Eos 1P, pretty small and light.

    I like my Exped mat, packs small but isn't crazy light.

  37. #37
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    I'm gonna echo what others have mentioned, go for a down bag and a decent pad. I am particular to Marmot sleeping bags. Their QC is amazing, and I won't buy anything else. I also like Thermarest pads.

    A bivy is super light and easy to pack but I've gone back to a light weight tent for the room and what I would call general outdoor livability. I think TNF and Marmot make good stuff. My tent is a Sierra Designs and I've had it for years.

    In the stove space I only have experience with MSR, the international whisperlite. Had that thing nearly 20 years. It always always always works.

    You can go light on a bag and consider sleeping in a down jacket or stuffing it in the bottom of your bag if wearing is too much. Also consider a Nalgene water bottle full of boiling hot water @ your sleeping feet. Works wonders.

    Another thing to consider is a vapor barrier bag. It's a light weight bag that you get into and goes inside your sleeping bag and keeps your body heat (and moisture) from getting your down bag wet. They aren't cheap, however.

    There is a direct cost/lightweight relationship with most outdoor gear. Since you're on a bike you can make some sacrifices as you're not hauling on your back, or headed into the deep backcountry and if it all turns to hell you can just head home or to town...

    Alpine climbers have a laundry list of tricks and gear they use to stay comfy. That said, most spend quite a bit of coin on this stuff. You might get some ideas from them, or PM me, and I'll see if I can help.

    Don't be afraid of prowling CL for some of this stuff. Good deals are out there, and if you're unsure, fire up a post. You'll get responses.

  38. #38
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    Inexpensive, light, durable. Pick any two.

    For lightweight solo backpacking or bikepacking I have a Marmot Hydrogen down bag. It's super light and stuffs down to the size of a football. I have one of the light thermarest pads. It's light, packs small and insulates well but I have to be careful about what I put it on, it's not heavy duty by any means. I've tried bivy sacks and tarps but have come back to a tent. I have a Big Agnes Cooper ridge solo tent. It's light and simple, but very dry in foul weather. You can pitch it with just the rain fly if you aren't concerned about bugs. Like the pad, with the tent, you trade off some durability for lightweight and packability. It needs care as to where you pitch it. Having some sort of ground cloth is recommended.

  39. #39
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    i have been lurking in some backpacking forums, especially ultra light backpacking and got some good ideas on equipment. some of the shelters dirt cheap weighting only 5-6 oz sound intriguing, but would have to test that first on just single night trip. i am still looking for a good price on decent sleeping bag and mat, checking websites every day.

  40. #40
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    All this gear talk is gettin me excited for backpacking season.

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