Yeti

sleeping in the back country

Ridge Reaper

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Aug 8, 2016
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I have been thinking about this topic for a while. I've been wondering what to sleep in clothes wise on a back country elk hunt in the mid to late season in Montana
 

Mthuntr

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Oct 9, 2009
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In the Sagebrush of SW Montana
Typically I sleep in the same thing I was wearing during the day provided I'm relatively dry. I often swap out socks and underwear. That time of the year, I will have my titanium stove so that'll get fired up so I can dry gear and I'm toasty when I go to bed and can fire it up in the morning to take the chill off.

To combat cold feet I might wear and extra pair of socks and have considered down booties like these http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/sidekick-sleeping-booties/
 
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jtw

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Sep 27, 2014
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I usually wear my base layers unless I'm soaked. If I'm soaked I wear all my clothes as in the night they'll dry out in my bag. I used to pack an extra set of base layers to sleep in but stopped because it was just extra weight I was carrying around.
 

Schaaf

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Aug 14, 2014
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Fort Peck, MT
I usually sleep in some kind of merino wool base layer from during the day. Sometimes just boxers, sometimes fully clothed. I have even slept in my puffy jacket before.
 

glass eye

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Sep 3, 2012
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El Centro, CA
I always sleep naked and the clothes I plan on wearing in the morning I put underneath me to keep them warm. HOWEVER, that has changed since the time I woke up wet. I shined my flashlight to find my tent flooded 2" deep. My wool clothes were soaking wet rather than toasty warm. Eventually I had to wear the wet wool to keep warm because my down bag became worthless. After 40 hours hunkered down in the tent I was becoming hypothermic, and then the cavalry showed up.
 

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NCSU_Lewis

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Jul 31, 2016
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Raleigh, NC
I like to sleep in as little as possible, usually just briefs and socks, hopefully switched out from the day. Going to bed with fresh(ish) and dry clothes has always been nice if you have the availability. Plus I tend to sweat and don't want to sweat through anything major that will keep me warm the following day. However, if it gets colder than your bag, base layers and a beanie will go a long way to help you stay warm.
 

Epfd217

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Feb 26, 2014
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Location
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
All depends on how "warm" or "cold" you sleep. I've done a lot of backcountry camping in all four seasons. Usually when teaching or taking along someone new their biggest complaint is waking up cold. Too often people are cold because they wear TOO MUCH to bed. They sweat, then wake up cold after their sweat has started to cool. Second reason is the clothing they are wearing don't breathe or their awesome base layers are covered by heavy clothes.

It is a change to go to bed wearing only a base layer, especially if you're worried about going to bed with a slight chill, but I can almost guarentee you will warm up fast and will likely be asleep before you even notice.

Weather and your sleep system (bag and pad) will decide what you need to wear. Have a sleeping bag rated to the weather you will experience. If you need to wear your insulation layers to bed, your sleeping bag is not adequate for the weather. Sleeping pads keep you insulated from the ground/snow etc. High loft air mattresses are not as good as low ones unless its a 4-season rated mattress with materials made to insulate. Check the R-value. Higher is better.

With a properly rated bag and pad, you can go to bed in base layers and a light hat in even the coldest weather. They will breathe if you do get hot and they still give that bit of insulation while you're sleeping. SOcks are kind of a wildcard because everyone's feet are different, but I encourage you to try sleeping in less. You will be pleasantly surprised. Very few people tell me they need more than that and those people typically are cold all the time. There are other issues at play there that usually involve circulation or they are just cold. Then you can get creative with things like adding a heat pack to your sleeping bag for a little bump.

Just my experience. Your results may vary.
 

gunney

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Jun 14, 2012
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I sleep in boxers or base layers and like glass eye said I keep my clothes under me. To avoid them getting wet I put them between my down bag and the goretex bivy. Good luck!
 

Aussie_hunter_JD

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Jul 26, 2016
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Australia
Depends how far you're packing in. These days I go further so want less weight. I wear my hunting clothes to bed. In cold climates I just keep an extra pair of thermals for bed.
 

knobbytire

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Aug 11, 2015
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Colorado
I sleep in a "sacred" set of thin long johns, wool socks and a turtle fur hat. The idea is to dry out the sweat and moisture during the day so you have dry clothing to sleep in. I guess if you wear too much then you might sweat and get cold, but if it's cold and you need another layer then you need another layer. I haven't bought into sleeping commando thing.

If it gets real cold then I boil water and pour it in my Nalgene bottle to sleep with. This has taken me down to 10 degrees F with just a 20 degree bag. Of course, there isn't a standards body for sleeping bag insulation, so a 20 degree bag is relative.

One change this year is a hammock with an insulated pad. I lose more heat to the ground since the sleeping bag insulation is compressed. I'm hoping the pad helps. I'll be trying this arrangement while back country hiking.
 

Biggs300

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Nov 17, 2014
Messages
49
For our drop camp and backpacking elk hunts in Southwest CO, I always take 2 sets of merino wool base layers. I alternate between the sets each evening to give them a chance dry and air out. I sleep in a knit cap only if it is really cold. I have a zero degree down bag and a Big Agnes pad. I do sometime use a light weight cot for drop camps.
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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6,215
Location
SW NM
Same here,I switch between merino & capelene on base layers during the hunt.
I usually truck/camp hunt now so some extra gear is OK.
Fall & winter bags,2 sets of raingear,2 merino beanies,extra boxerbriefs & lots of socks.
 

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