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[pct-l] Re: Gear Tradeoff -- Tents versus Sleeping Bags

>> I'd like to hear of anyone using a down bag and tarp in a week's worth of
straight, incessant rain in the north Cascades (common) that were able to
stay comfortable and warm throughout while picking up camp and hiking
everyday.  I'm sure one of you anal-lite-weight-engineer-types may have
(uncommon) but I'd wager most PCT'ers don't have the patience to withstand
such conditions with such equipment. <<


I guess you've been sleeping too much lately to see the advances in
technology that have come out in the last few years. I don't know maybe too
little backpacking packing in recent years.  The old Down vs. Synthetics
argument is as dead as a doornail. Even in soggy wet environments like here
in the PNW.

Granted you've got to be careful in your selection of down bags. Especially
concerning the shell of the bag. However, with advances in shell materials,
it's pretty easy to get a down bag that virtually immune from the effects of
condensation. Epic, PTFE and Pertex sleeping bag shells all shed
condensation like water off a ducks back.

I've had my condensation drenched tarp literally laying on my sleeping bag
from the waist down all night. In the morning the down within the bag was
still dry and fluffy. In fact my down bag was the driest piece of gear I had
when entering town.

Being comfortable is a different issue. Mostly it's simply a state of mind.
Still being comfortable in a tarp is relatively easy. The key is keeping the
ground cloth as dry as possible. Something that's not difficult if you lay
it out after the tarp is up and put it away before you take down the tarp. I
found that if my ground cloth, pad and sleeping bag are reasonably dry I can
still sleep well regardless of the conditions.