By: Josh @rawtrails
Winter adventures in the deserts of Southern Utah sound like a warm alternative to the snowy peaks of the Wasatch front. Fact of the matter is that most Utahans or ski bums are coming for “the greatest snow on earth” and to experience the fresh powder of our many ski resorts. I’ve found that while the mountains are bustling with pow worshipers, there is no better place to escape the winter blues than the deserts of southern Utah. In the winter, a few hours drive south from Salt Lake City you can find the remoteness that only the brave are willing to face. The harsh cold of winter is felt just as severely in the remote stretches of the state, which surprisingly enough, are often higher in elevation than the Salt Lake Valley. The elevated deserts mean that although the landscape is dry, the nights are frigid enough to where warm gear becomes a necessity.
The last thing we want to face is being trapped indoors without the ability to get outside. Cabin fever is a real thing folks, but there is an easy way to avoid it. With a proper gear set up, the great thing is that our weekend getaways don’t have to stop when the weather drops below freezing. Surviving cold nights isn’t the concern here, but rather making it an enjoyable experience where you can sleep soundly and stay warm. Rarely do we get our camping setup right the first time, and the same goes with a winter setup. The key is to layer appropriately (with your merino wool base, down jackets, and with however many pairs of pants and socks you’re willing to stack). However, with more experience and the right gear you are able to fine tune your camping setup to have an enjoyable experience in the solitude of the desert.
The Teton Sports Tracker 5º Sleeping Bag is perfect for those cold nights under the stars. When your extremities are most likely to experience the cold first, this sleeping bag provides extra fill in the foot box along with a snug design to help trap in the warm air. In comparison to down sleeping bags I’ve used in the past, this synthetic fill seems to have more substance to the bag and made for a more comfortable night of rest. With a temperature rating of 5ºF, this bag is the perfect solution to your cold night problems. I also recommend pairing with your sleeping bag a comfortable sleeping bag liner, which will not only add additional warmth and comfort, but it will also help to preserve the life of your gear.
- Temperature Rating: 5º-40ºF nights
- Quality Level: 4 / 5 stars
- Comfort Level: 5 / 5 stars
About the Author:
Josh (@rawtrails) is an avid outdoorsman that lives for the weekend. His youthful spirit is ignited by exploring new terrain wherever he goes. Most weekends are filled with canyoneering expeditions throughout the Colorado Plateau, but he loves the logistics of piecing together trips involving multiple activities (backpacking, pack rafting, etc) to access remote locations deep in the backcountry.