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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 26, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Searched and read a couple threads about sleeping pads but couldn't find quite what I was looking for thus new thread..

For sleeping on snow (winter/early spring camping), what is your sleeping pad(s) system? Last time I did so with just a closed cell foam (thermarest z-lite, R value 2.6) I got cold through the ground (0 degree bag fyi)

A single "4 season" air pad like a thermarest x-therm (R value 5.7) or exped downmat 7 (R 5.9)?

Or use both a closed cell foam pad and a "3 season" air pad?

Other thoughts/ideas?


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By Paul-B
Mar 26, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
I use my 4 season thermarest (Prolite 4, older model now), and my 0 degree bag. I am usually bivying, so I have my bivy sac around that. If I think it is going to be a cold night, I will often heat a liter of water to boiling in my jetboil, pour it into a liter nalgene and throw it at my feet. You'd be surprised how long that thing will put out heat....usually works for me until around 3 AM. Additional benefit, you've already got a liter of water melted for morning, or if you're thirsty in the middle of the night.

I have really been wanting to try the exped down mat.

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By CBW
Mar 26, 2013
The single best solution is adding a layer of "foil backed bubble wrap" under an air based pad for comfort. Retaining your heat is all about reducing the conductive heat loss. With this system you can use a lighter sleeping bag. I use a 0F bag on glacier based trips, and have used this at camps at 8000 meters. "Double bubble foil wrap"
Cut the material a little bit longer and wider than your pad. On a peak like Denali, bring enough of these pads to completely cover the floor of the tent. You will be shocked by how much warmer and more comfortable your tent will be. And this stuff is light and versatile.

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By ParkerKempf
From atlanta, GA
Mar 26, 2013
sweet belay on El Cap Spire, Salathe Wall El Capitan
if either of you are interested, I have an exped downmat 9 L that is ridiculously awesome for cold weather camping, its just a little to big for me...$100
PM me for more info/pics

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By J1.
From Boulder, Colorado
Mar 26, 2013
Towliee
Survivorman style!! Actually, does help.. I still use sleeping bag , bivy sac, and foam pad.. Whatever you can do to get yourself some space between the surface of the snow..
Never Summers corn camp..
Never Summers corn camp..

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By Raul P
Mar 26, 2013
Stella!
I would buy that downmat 9 for $100. My fiance uses the dm 7 and is (was) a ridiculously cold sleeper before she got the new pad, now she's comfortable down to 5 degrees on frozen ground no problem. The downmats are worth the weight/price, they are crazy comfortable and even warmer. The warmer thermarest would be warm enough, but the downmat would be more comfortable and way more durable.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 26, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
CBW: I am going to check that foil bubble wrap out. Sounds like a great thing to add below my pad in the winter. I usually use my thermarest prolite 4, with a simple closed cell foam pad below. If it's cold outside I will put my DAS parka under my feet where the thermarest doesn't go. I use a 0 degree Marmot Never Summer membrain and I love it. Since getting that 0 degree bag I have yet to get cold at night.

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By randy88fj62
Mar 26, 2013
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades
Andrew,
For winter camping I usually bring two pads. I have a thermarest neoair 4 season air mat and a standard closed cell foam mat. Between those two pads, my 20 deg down bag, and wearing my down jacket to bed I stay warm to around 0 deg.

I have not camped below zero so I cannot comment on anything colder.

CBW,
That sounds like a great trick to reduce bulk. I like the idea of covering the entire tent floor. Might have to look into that.

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Mar 26, 2013
Stabby
The Leave No Trace crowd frowns upon using boughs; which makes it A-OK in my book!

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By GLD
Mar 26, 2013
I've recently became a big believer of sleeping on my rope if I brought it. I had only once used it before in an unplanned bivy and it wasn't a nice night-but that also had lots to do with no sleeping bag etc.

Anyway, recently one of my inflatable pads didn't inflate and I used it again and was so warm. I now plan on using the rope and a small foam pad, if you're carrying it you might as well use it!

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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 26, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Thanks for all the input. I think I will try my older model thermarest air pad along with my closed cell foam.

CBW - I will definitely have to look into that foil wrap.

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Mar 26, 2013
Gear
+1 for the Hot water heater insulation.... the thin foil bubble wrap. Super cheap in any decent hardware store and you can cut it to fit the size of the pad. Also works to sit in the snow, cut a separate small piece for a seat.

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By shotgunnelson
Mar 26, 2013
I always bring two mats as well. Thermarest and blue foam pad. With my negative thirty bag and a hot water bottle I have bivied in neg 25 and been comfy. I always do push ups before going to bed and put something to snack on at night to keep the body generating heat.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 26, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Good call with the heat-boosting snack! Maybe something spicy right before bed?

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By shotgunnelson
Mar 27, 2013
Usually those Costco muffins that have a stupid amount of calories. I try to keep the spicy food to a minimum when I am sleeping in a big Dutch oven.

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By Milestone
From Raleigh, nc
Mar 27, 2013
I've had good luck with a cheep foam sled. Most are big enough to keep your core off the ground, you can use it to haul your pack, you can get them for $15 and I mean its a sled.

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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Mar 27, 2013
Stairway to Heaven
Andrew Mayer wrote:
Thanks for all the input. I think I will try my older model thermarest air pad along with my closed cell foam.


Another advantage of this system is that it gives you a back-up if your Thermarest springs a leak.

If you want to save some bulk and a few ounces, instead of regular blue foam you could try a foam pad made from Evazote, e.g. prolitegear.com/prolite-gear-e...

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By David Pneuman
From Western, CO
Mar 29, 2013
The Mylar Bubble wrap is the ticket along with an insulated air mattress. I also cut out a piece about 12" X 24", folded it in half and duct taped the sides to make a pocket. Stick a Freeze Dried meal in it, add water, seal, then fold the top of the bubble wrap pouch over and it stays piping hot even below zero while it's hydrating.

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By Jace Mullen
From Oceanside, Ca
Mar 30, 2013
Mike Lane wrote:
The Leave No Trace crowd frowns upon using boughs; which makes it A-OK in my book!


You're shitting me, right?

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By John D
Mar 30, 2013
For spring, usually my 4 season thermarest works for me, though after sleeping on snow for 16 days in teens weather with a 25 degree bag, I did upgrade to a full length instead of a 3/4 length.

In the dead of winter, I usually use a ridge rest and a therma-rest combination.

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By saltlick
From gym
Mar 30, 2013
Tree-bouldering near Mt. Tam
if you're pad-stacking, place your foam mat on top for better warmth-retention. I found myself quite a bit warmer when I stacked my z-lite atop my 2nd gen NeoAir (compared to the other way 'round) whilst snow-camping.
Having recently upgraded to the X-Therm, however, I can't imagine ever needing a second pad; though I'll likely pick up some mylar bubbly for camp-sitting...

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By Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Mar 31, 2013
Tour Ronde North Face
Just came back from a Sierra ski traverse.

Slept 4 nights on the snow with a NeoAir XTherm.

Have to make sure your snow bed is reasonably level, otherwise you slide around a lot.

Otherwise, no issues at all.

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By Nick Votto
Mar 31, 2013
Bolton, VT
I use a Z Rest with a Thermarest Prolite 3 (short) on top....works perfect and its super light.

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By Febs
Jun 18, 2014
Guys... sorry to resume this thread but when you - or most of you - talk about sleeping on the snow is the usage of a tent assumed or not?

I am asking because I am just packing to sleep on the snow (on a glacier) and I have a z-lite. I also have an inflatable pad which I could carry, but I am really trying to be as lightweight as possible.

I am also carrying a tent. So, the OP that felt cold using the z-lite on the snow... did you use it on the very snow itself (and so perhaps I can be fine with only the z-lite in the tent) or that was in a tent and you still was cold?

Many thanks!

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 18, 2014
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.
Essentially I think yes, depending on what the inflatable pad is I might just take that, which is usually what I do. I have friends who are fine with the z-lites but I like a little more comfort and warmth.

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By Max Forbes
From Burlington, VT
Jun 19, 2014
Big agnes Q-qore, 5.1 R value. You really need a pad with an R value of above 4 in the winter to be reasonably insulated in your sleeping bag.

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