-40F at the base of the Eiger? I didn't realize it got that cold there. The temps in Minnesota have been rough this week, -20F in the mornings (Twin Cities) and below zero for the daily high. The temps make for a brisk morning walk with the dog. Oddly enough you get used to the cold. The next +10F day and no wind will feel downright balmy by comparison.
When I'm out in that, I bring my down coat for lounging in. I do the whole wool and fleece thing while moving, with a shell or anorak, but when I stop I tuck into my stay-puff marshmallow man 800 FP down coat. Down coats suck for moving around in, but once I stop, give me stationary comfort. It's also nice to wear to bed as a bit of a sleeping bag extender, and gives me the ability to keep a hood on my head while thrashing around (I'm a sleep thrasher) in a looser bag or a bag done quilt style. (It's no a substitute for a sleeping bag so don't start into that thread
I tried the canadian army version of same one year in hunting camp. didn't like it. I like to thrash and leave my bag a little more open, the hood doesn't do enough for me in the winter, and a parka is dual use.
Phat, you're right about moving in a down coat, far too warm even in really cold weather.
I'd forgotten about the Finbar Hood. I met Brother Finbar (he teaches at a college in Minnesota) at a winter expo some years ago and Ann Bancroft had just used the hood on one of her trips. The hood would make a nice piece of kit for hanging around camp and even wearing inside a bag with the bag's hood closed for extra insulation.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Alan, the hood comes off my big TNF parka, but I don't think I'd want to try sleeping in it.
In really cold weather, the wintertrekkers who are pulling heavy sleds or toboggans seem to be wearing just some fleece or wool with an anorak over it, even in -20C or colder, until they stop. Their goal is to avoid sweating and soaking their clothes from the inside, so to speak. That's why they wear those cotton anoraks-because Goretex won't breathe very well at those temps and sweat won't transpire through the fabric like it will through cotton.
NOTE-I am talking about trekkers who are using cotton shells only in sub zero temps, not cotton for insulation, base layers or for use above freezing as an outer garment (jeans, hoodies, socks, t-shirts, etc.) This is based on my reading on a deep winter camping website, not personal experience. I don't even wear cotton briefs when I go camping in winter.
Edited by TomD (01/19/0907:42 PM)
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
How many firms make a legitmate -40F down bag? Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, ID. Any others? I'm certain there are more, but my guess is these bags have to be few and far between as they are such a niche item.