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Friday, January 29, 2010

Urban Survival Gear - Lightweight Sleeping Bags

As listed in a previous post on recommended items, a lightweight sleeping bag is an essential item for the Urban Survivor's Bug Out Bag. Remember we are talking survival and not camping comfort. If you live in or plan on transiting cold weather climates you are most likely going to require a heavier sleeping bag. The intent of the Bug Out Bag sleeping bag is to provide life saving shelter and not sleeping comfort. During a degraded situation the Urban survivor may most likely be moving during the night time, when it is the coldest, and holing up during the daytime and therefore be able to get away with a smaller, less warmth providing sleeping bag. Besides, unless you plan on humping a 90 lbs rucksack you are going to have to give up some comfort and capabilities in order to achieve mobility, especially if you are on foot which is the worst case scenario.

The two companies, that make or market sleeping bags, and that we have some experience with are Snug Pack and REI. A couple of the sleeping bags that each offer that we think meets the criteria for a lightweight, easily compressed sleeping bag are:

Softie 3 Merlin

This is an 900 gram bag including the compresion stuff sack. Weight with bag is 2.0 lbs. Available in Red, Olive, Desert Tan, or Black color with a full length two way zipper. Rated at approximatley 35 degree F this bag compresses, in the stuff sack, to approximatley 7 x 10 inches. Made in the United Kingdom this bag is filled with a Snug Pack material called Sofite, Reflectaherm. This is bag is a excellent product, well made and in an exceptional small package making it a good item for the Survival Bug Out Bag.

Kelty Galactic +35 Sleeping Bag

The Kelty Galatic Bag is also rated for 35 degrees Fahrenheit and weight tslightly more than the snug pack at 2.5 lbs, compressing into a 7x15 inch configuration.
One advanatge on this bag is that it can be zipped open to use as a blanket or bottom insulation on for two people. It is filled with down, an excellent insulation. This is also a first class product from reputable REI,....well known in the adventure world.

The Urban Survivor would be well equipped with either sleeping bag prepacked into his/her Survival Bug Out Bag.