Shopping for Camping Gear on the Cheap – Worth It? #1

So occasionally I get these ideas (Ok..it’s often I get these ideas) to see how I acquire a nice product, but save some cash while doing so.

Take this for example.  I’ve been thinking about getting a pack-able down sleeping bag that would work in cool weather (30-50F).  The problem is I’m not so sure I’d like to spend $150 to $500 for something I’m going to only use a couple times a year.  So I start looking around online and found something that seems a little too good to be true.  It’s advertised as a Autumn Adult Outdoor  Envelope Duck Down Sleeping bag.  Ok, I’m intrigued.  The brand is AndesMountain and it had free shipping from China.  It was a 1/4 the cost of several I looked at and it says it has 12.3 ounces of white duck down fill.  Hmmm, not sure how to gauge that part, but I’m still looking.  Well it did arrive all safe and sound and I am VERY impressed!  Overall the weight is 1 pound 13 ounces and that’s when it’s packed down in it’s little stuff sack.  It’s put together very well, has a nice feel to it, and looks like it would fluff up nice.  The zipper works great and the bag packs easily back into it’s stuff sack.  If anything it will be a great top quilt or something to use during weather that’s not too cold or for just hanging around the campfire.  The sleeping bag is rectangle which I like and it also has a cord that allows the top to be cinched down around your head if needed.  There are also two loops at the foot where it can be hung up to dry if needed.  I’m very impressed and look forward to using my new bag on a trip I have planned in October.  I’ll be bringing a separate bag…just in case the temps get too chilly!

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Road Testing Our New Sleeping Bags – Chilly Experiment!

Tonight is the night. I finally broke down and purchased some new sleeping bags for camping. Our ‘wally world’ bags have served us well but are 12 years old, inefficient and worth the $20 we paid for them when we got them. They are not the type of bags someone would take on a hiking trip since they are heavy and don’t keep you warm unless its summer.
The new bags I got for us are from Sierra Trading Post and are Mountainsmith Redcloud 20’s. (If you sign up with my Sierra Trading Post link you can save $10!) This will be our first night out in mummy bags and add to that the weather is supposed to be quite chilly. Here’s the forecast for tonight in central Alabama.

Conditions for tonight”s Mountainsmith road test!

Our accommodations for tonight will be our 8 year old Sir Edmund Hillary Tent (Sears) and two sleeping bag pads.  The documentation for this tent states that it will accommodate up to 4-6 people, but honestly I’m not sure how well that many people would fit in the tent unless it’s two adults and four children under the age of 6!  The view from the tent is of our picturesque surroundings (aka our back yard) and the resident wildlife (aka squirrels and the occasional bird).

Fingers crossed that I’m not running inside at 2am for the warmth of my bed!  Hubby laughs at me since he’s used to camping in snow…this southern girl may be in for an awaking tonight!

Stay tuned!