Hey kid, wanna buy a sleeping bag?

The temps in Yellowstone over Christmas will be around 5 Fahrenheit for highs and -10 Fahrenheit for lows. That’s about -23 Celsius for my Canadian friends. My bag is rated for 0 Fahrenheit or -18 Celsius, so I’m off the mark a bit. It’s all in your mind though, right?

In another lifetime, I recall the owner of a surplus store trying to sell me a sleeping bag she claimed was so warm – “you can put raw eggs and bacon in at sunset and have a fully cooked breakfast by morning.” There was also a large hole in the bag which she claimed was from “heavy combat use.” I guess that was code for “campfire spark.”

Fortunately for her, I was a kid with birthday money, burning pockets and a dream – plus, I needed a sleeping bag for an upcoming camping trip and I wasn’t leaving the store without one. After a little negotiating, I bought the bag and even had a little money left over to piss away on something else.

After using the bag for the first time, I can honestly say it was the equivalent of an old moth eaten towel. I literally froze. As an extra kick in the nuts, the duct tape that I had used to put over the “heavy combat use” had come off during the night, and whenever I moved, it looked like a whales blowhole, shooting feathers all over my tent. It looked like my grandmas henhouse by morning. I guess I was the rooster.

So this brings me to my newly acquired and thoroughly researched -18 degree Nemo bag. I’m hoping to find consolation in this one, even it the temps hit the dreaded -20 mark. And what’s a little frostbite?

Hunter S. Thompson nailed it when he said- “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”


Author: Neil

When you're young, you don't have any experience - you're charged up, but you're out of control. And if you're old and you're not charged up, then all you have is memories. But if you're charged and stimulated by what's going on around you, and you also have experience, you know what to appreciate and what to pass by -Neil Young.

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