Disclaimer: Diabetic friends, use care when doing anything that can elevate your body temperature such as exercise, a jacuzzi, sauna, or a very warm sleeping bag. I did see a significant blood sugar lowering during the night (the best my insulin has worked in months!). An increase in body temperature may cause blood vessels to enlarge, accelerating insulin consumption and potentially resulting in a hypoglycemic event. It’s not a bad idea to keep some sugar, water, and a testing kit nearby when you camp. — VT
Hello and welcome to the blog! Today is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Jenny and Duke were in the house sleeping in 70 degree comfort last night. I opted to sleep in the van… with a new sleeping bag to test out for the coming foul weather.
Background… A short time back Sis and I were discussing work trekking and winter camping. I suggested a cold weather sleeping bag for a Christmas present (we come up with gift ideas for each other). Little did I know she had already thought along the same lines. After our conversation late in the week, Sis ordered this high quality sleeping bag and it was already on the doorstep by Saturday afternoon. That’s quick!
The new Teton 0 Degree Mammoth sleeping bag is just that … a mammoth! It’s approximately 62 inches wide and about 94 inches long. The Teton arrived in a compression bag, neatly rolled up and all but impossible to extricate. If it ever must be put back in the sack, there is a video recommending a “cramming” procedure. It’s no easy feat. But I had a different idea. When the cold weather is over, I’ll store the sleeping bag in the closet of the home base. The compression bag (complete with drawstring) will work perfectly for storing dirty laundry when camping at home or for work.
The sleeping bag is very roomy and spacious. I like the size because it is wide enough to stuff between the bed and wall of the van. The brushed cotton flannel lining is very soft and warm. Up until now I was sleeping in a fleece jacket and sweat pants. Not any more. With this cozy bag, it is possible to snooze in just an undergarment… and with no drafts!
The construction of the “mammoth” was very well-planned. It contains a poly fiber fill. Offset seams help keep the fill evenly distributed. Another cool feature is the addition of draft tubes – extra padding around the zippers and head areas to seal out drafts if the bag is not zipped together.
The zipper system is robust and flexible. There are three zippers in total, one for each side and one for the bottom. If you get too hot, you just unzip a little. The entire bag can be zipped apart to form two individual comforters. For those who don’t mind being close, the bag is large enough to fit two people. While most reviewers agreed that the Teton Mammoth is quite large, one reviewer disagreed and stated that it’s just big enough for two people and will work until his wife gets too fat. LMAO on that one…
Laundering is not the easiest task for this sleeping bag but it will not be necessary very often. The instructions recommend hand washing. If the two halves were unzipped and separated, the cleaning task would be accomplished a lot easier. Since the van is pretty clean and the bag will only be used for cold weather, I do not anticipate laundering until this spring.
The next step was to try the bag and simulate work camping at home. Instead of using propane I plugged in the electric heater and set it to low… not enough heat to be comfortable under normal conditions. I tried various temperatures and came up with some interesting observations. The temp inside is always warmer than outside — I guess this Fred Flintstone physique puts out a lot of heat! Here is an unscientific list of indoor temperatures and observations about the sleeping bag.
50 degrees – Roasting like a Thanksgiving turkey.
45 degrees – Serving temperature for the turkey – not burning up but a bit warm.
40 degrees – Comfortably toasty – a bit warm but perfect for a sip of hot cider and a good book.
35 degrees – More comfortable – definitely relaxing. Dozed off twice at 37 degrees.
30 degrees – Heavenly – more comfortable than the bed in the house. Perfect!
At first the bag was warmer than expected but then I remembered that this is a zero degree bag. Don’t expect to snooze inside it during 50 or 60 degree weather. But it is an amazing solution for winter camping and does offer some adjustments to accommodate temperatures. I’m thrilled with this gift and give the Teton Mammoth 0 degree sleeping bag a healthy five stars out of five… even with that small compression bag for storage.
That’s about it for now… With the Thanksgiving holiday, the week is chopped up a bit. There IS an upcoming camping trip before long to trout country. There will be some good food and pictures and hopefully some tasty fish. No campground electricity is needed with this new bag. 🙂
Take care and thanks for visiting. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Camping!
Brad, Jenny, and DJ
Jones County, Iowa