Initially, I thought I would start with a discussion of our cold weather needs. As you can tell from the weather post, (http://oausa.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=125&t=1821) we will be camping at elevations between 6000 and 7000 feet. Although there is no way to know precisely what the weather will be, it would be wise to be prepared for very cold conditions, and this could well include night time temps below freezing. We can go into a longer discussion of specific needs later, but I want to mention one of the very most important items that you can carry, besides a very good sleeping bag, and that is a good ground pad. The best sleeping bag will not keep you warm if you do not have some insulation between you and the ground.
I have opted for a comfort item that is on every trip I take - a good quality air mattress. Sleeping on hard ground (without even considering the cold) for a week-end trip is one thing, but it is just not acceptable for a 10 day trip like ours. Only one company, to my knowledge, makes a very heavy duty mattress - AeroBed. From their website:
They make two sizes, twin and queen. One note of caution----you will still need some form of insulation between the ground and the air mattress.AeroBed Extreme Endura Bed Puncture & Weather Resistant Air Mattress. World's Strongest Air Mattress! The new AeroBed Endura Bed was built with the serious outdoor enthusiast in mind. It will withstand extreme temperatures and the most rustic outdoor environments.
For adequate comfort at night and in the early morning, I recommend the following:
1. A good quality 4 season sleeping bag or you can use two or three regular bags, each put inside one another, (like layering);
2. A good ground pad that is at least as wide as the bag(s) you intend to use. Good wool blankets can work here as well. For those interested, we have found a source for some excellent 5 pound extra heavy wool blankets, at a very reasonable price;
3. A tent heater for use ONLY before bedtime and when you wake up in the morning;
4. Depending on the quality of your bag(s), good thermal underwear.
I am sure that I have left out some other important items, so please post 'em up!!