Dropped into the remote wilderness.
Isolated, with only the barest essentials.
How long would you survive?
Thankfully, it's not something most of us have to think about—unless you're really, really bad at trip planning… or the zombie apocalypse finally happens—but it's definitely a question that 10 intrepid survivalists must ask themselves every season as they embark on the wild (literally) ride that is the HISTORY® Channel's hit survival series "Alone."
The show recently completed its ninth season, with contestants doing their best to out-survive one another in a remote corner of the Canadian wilderness and ultimately take home the $500,000 prize. And because we love all things outdoors here at TETON Sports, you can bet we were among the millions of viewers tuning in to see how each new episode unfolded. So just imagine our excitement when we spotted contestant Jessie Krebs tucked into a TETON Sports sleeping bag while keeping an ear out for the bear that was lurking around her shelter that night.
While our bags absolutely will not protect you from bears (be smart, folks; follow these bear safety tips), they will provide a warm and ultra-comfy place to sleep when you want to catch a few Z's under the stars. And with the weather getting colder, choosing the right sleeping bag for your next outdoor adventure is even more important.
HOW TO SELECT A COLD-WEATHER SLEEPING BAG
To make sure you pick the right bag for your fall and winter camping adventures, look for the comfort rating and not the extreme rating. Many TETON Sports bags have a photo in the slide reel describing the extreme, limit, and comfort ratings, but a good rule of thumb is to choose a sleeping bag rated 20 to 30 degrees less than the lowest temperature you expect to encounter. So, if the coldest you expect to sleep is 10 degrees, choose a -10° or -20° bag, depending on how hot or cold you sleep. Keep in mind, too, that sleeping bag ratings assume you're using an insulated pad as well as wearing top and bottom base layers and a hat.
Next, you'll want to look at the materials: the shell (outer layer), lining (inner layer), and fill (what's in between), as well as additional features such as added zipper and shoulder baffles, which keep the insulating fill in place to prevent cold spots; draft collars, which help prevent heat from escaping the bag while you sleep; and multi-layer construction. A cinchable hood can also help keep you warm and toasty when camping during the colder months.
Traditional canvas sleeping bags are a popular choice because of their rugged durability, warmth, and water resistance. Mummy-style bags are also a great pick for cold weather, since their snug shape cuts down on empty air inside the bag—plus they're typically lighter and more compact.
DON'T FORGET YOUR SLEEPING PAD AND LINER
More than just a comfortable cushion beneath your sleeping bag, sleeping pads provide an additional layer of insulation between your body and the cold ground. This goes a long way toward helping you preserve heat when sleeping outdoors. Likewise, a sleeping bag liner, which is like a sheet for the inside of your sleeping bag, can add about 10 degrees of warmth to your bag.
However you adventure this season, from the back of your van to deep in the backcountry, TETON Sports has the gear you need to stay warm and comfortable in the outdoors. (Just don't forget those bear safety tips!)