The issue of which boots to get isn’t yet settled, though I have a plan now (at least). I’m going to purchase both pairs of boots in various sizes and figure out which one I like best, and which one fits best…then send the rest back.
So with that out of the way, the next big purchase is a sleeping bag. This site from REI was pretty key (photo credit), explaining pretty much everything I didn’t know about sleeping bags. I actually went into REI this past weekend to get a sense of the bags and differences between them. Ultimately, I learned what was important: I needed a bag rated for 0-20 degrees, and that was generally in a “Long” size to accommodate my height. I also decided (based on price) to go for synthetic down. As with everything else, these factors narrowed it down to a few dozen options. Putting a price limit on the selection lowered the options even more, down to about a dozen. Ultimately, I chose The North Face Snow Leopard bag.
I’m not a fan of the color…but if I happen to roll down the side of the mountain in my sleep, at least the color will stand out against the snow! But overall, the bag got good reviews from the variety of sites that I checked. It was a good price (though it’s back-ordered through REI), and it’s a brand that I know.
Next, it’s on to a sleeping pad.
But while I was at REI, I decided to take a look at the packs. Now the gear list from NMS recommended the Cilo Gear 60L Worksack– it’s a decent price point (if a little high) and looks nice, but it’s only available online. This means that I can’t try it on for fit or comfort, or play with it to ensure that I like it. As I was puttering around the bags, a nice sales woman offered to help me. Ultimately she “fitted” me for a pack, determining that I should get a “Medium” size. She did this by using a “device” against my back to determine the length and width of my torso. I mean, it wasn’t rocket science but it was certainly something I was unable to do at home. We looked around a bit and found a great Osprey bag, the Aether 60.
It was a brand that I know, a bag that should fit me, and was the right size. Sadly at REI all they had was a large, so I wasn’t able to get it….so now I am looking online. Of course, there are other bags out there as well to consider, so I am still perusing those as well.