Friday, April 25, 2014

Yosemite Weekend - Part 1

The weather has gotten colder overnight. We were hoping to be able to drive to Yosemite without having to drive in snow. That is looking more and more like wishful thinking. The high's during the day are also going to be colder than the lows we've been having here at home at night.

They are saying that there could be as much as eight inches of snow on the ground by the time the storm finishes on Saturday. There are two ways to look at it. You could say, that sounds cold and wet and project from there that you are going to be miserable and cold and it won't be any fun. Or... you could say, that sounds like there may not be as many people as are normally there and the views with the snow on the trees and cliffs ought to be spectacular! 

I am bringing my camera and we should be able to go to many places in the park without encountering mobs of people or long lines. It'll be colder than we are used to but if we prepare as if we are going to the snow it shouldn't be that cold. The coldest part will be at night. It'll give me a chance to test my 40 degree sleeping bag. It seems to me that this will be a pretty good test.

When I hike the JMT this summer I am planning on bringing a ZPacks 40 degree sleeping bag. I am going to combine that with a Cocoon Silk mummy liner. One of the things that I have always found to be very uncomfortable with nylon sleeping bags was trying to sleeping with my skin touching nylon. It feels slimy and sticky, especially if you are less than clean. I hate waking up with my face laying on nylon fabric. I normally sleep in a Smartwool micro-weight base layer so most of my body is isolated from the nylon.

I discovered Cocoon's silk mummy liner's and have greatly increased my comfort in sleeping. Silk, being a natural fiber, is strong, warm, and durable. It adds warmth to my sleep system. Not only that it keeps my body separated from my bag, reducing my need to wash my sleeping bag, while washing the mummy liner is easy and it dries very fast.

Smartwool mirco-weight merino wool is another natural fiber, as a natural fiber it also doesn't absorb odors and is extremely durable. It is as comfortable a cotton, but unlike cotton, it keeps you warm when it gets wet. Not that I want to get wet when I am sleeping. I like the base layer combo so much that I have two sets. One for sleeping in, and the other for wearing during the day.

It will be interesting to see if a 40 degree bag combined with a silk mummy liner and my Smartwool base layer will keep me warm enough. Fortunately, since we a car camping I have a number of fall-back options the best one being that I can cuddle with Kelli. We'll be on the road in a few hours. Right now, though, I am going to Starbucks to get a mocha; one of the benefits of living in civilization.

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