A large part of my desire for this trip was to test my clothing and sleep systems for cold weather camping. I wanted to wear as few layers as possible to see how warm I would be. Sitting around for hours in the mid 20s wasn't too bad for me with just a couple extra layers. On top, I wore a polyester base layer, a fleece mid layer and fleece jacket. I wore two layers of gloves, which included a lightweight "driving" glove and a leather work-type glove. On my head, I found a Polartec balaclava to be plenty. For bottoms, I wore nylon boxer briefs, lightweight merino wool long underwear and fairly heavy nylon hiking pants. I probably could have used an extra or warmer bottom layer, but I wasn't extremely cold. I wore two pair of medium weight wool blend socks and my feet were a bit chilly. I think my feet are the layer I need to put the most thought into for extending the temperature range of my wardrobe. I never put on my down puffy or second hat. I think with a warmer bottom layer and a down puffy, I can extend my tolerance down to single digit temperatures.
By the time I was ready to crawl in my sleeping bag, the bag and pad were frigid. As soon as I got down to my base layers and slid into the bag, I knew it would take awhile to warm up. After about an hour, I was no longer cold except for my feet. I managed to sleep fine and wasn't cold, but I was not toasty either. According to accuweather.com, the low was about 22 degrees F, so I put the limit of my 10 degree Zpacks sleeping bag at 20 degrees for me with a single base layer. I didn't go to bed warm or do any of the extras, such as a hot water bottle or eating right before bed, that are advised to help keep you warm during cold weather camping.
|Lost Canyon trail|
After breakfast and packing up, we hiked the Lost Canyon trail, which is a pretty nice and fairly easy trail. It's only about three miles or so and passes by Stephens' Falls and the old Stephens' farmstead.Amber even stopped complaining long enough to call some ice formations pretty and to sit and stare into the canyon for several minutes.
This definitely wasn't our most fun camping trip, but I learned some things to help me prepare for cold weather camping and hope to begin stretching my overnight outdoor outings to all four seasons.