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Sleeping Gear The Sleeping Gear forum is for the discussion of sleeping gear (bags, mats, quilts...).


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  #1  
Old 08-16-2006, 08:42 PM
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Moondust Moondust is offline
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Backpack: ULA
Sleeping Gear: Exped Downmat 9/JRB High Sierra Sniveller
 
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Cold Legs

I am having a problem with my legs getting cold when I'm sleeping (or trying to). I can't sleep when my legs are cold or if my joints ache, so I really need to solve this problem.

I have a BA Zirkel (20 degrees) mummy bag, a BA Insulated Air Core (no leaks so far) and I am in a BA Sarvis SL1 tent. On my first overnight trip, the coldest temps were probably high 40's or low 50's and I was only wearing a tshirt when I slept. My calves got cold and crampy.

This last weekend I took along leg warmers and long underwear and wore both of them. On top I wore long underwear and a Possumdown vest and a hat. I also put a space blanket under the lower half of the IAC. The lowest temp was 35 degrees. Once I woke up and my ankle that I semi-sprained a few months ago was cold and aching big time. It almost felt like cold air had been blowing on it. Another time my knee was cold and hurting. And my calves were still a bit cold and crampy. My upper body was TOO warm and I ended up taking off the vest and putting it on top of the sleeping bag over my legs. That may have helped a little. At home, the legwarmers are too warm to wear at night so I was sure they would do the trick. Wrong!

I can't afford much more weight. I'm already carrying what most would consider extra weight with the BA setup, because my back won't tolerate any other type of pad. In fact I had to experiment with the IAC a lot until I got it right. I still can't lie down for more than 6 to 7 hours without back muscle pain, but that's enough. Any suggestions for warmer legs appreciated!

Alice
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2006, 08:52 PM
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mugs mugs is offline
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Backpack: ULA Circuit
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I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you have some circulation problems. Could be co-joined with the back issues as well. The set up you have is what I would consider for a below freezing temp range so I would say that the problem has to do with the body more than the sleep system. I would say get yourself checked out. Just my 0.2c
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2006, 09:10 PM
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big_load big_load is offline
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Have you been tested for Lyme disease?
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2006, 09:47 PM
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hoosierdaddy hoosierdaddy is offline
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I would agree with the others in that the cold leg problem is not related to your gear (Your sleep systems sound fine!) or a need for additional layering. It sounds circulatory or perhaps nerve related in nature. Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2006, 07:07 PM
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DirttimeDude DirttimeDude is offline
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Well Im no doc ...

But as you get older (dont know how old you are)you do feel the cold easier...or better or..

Now dont take this wrong..Ya know those big macho pro foot ball players? Well to keep warm they wear :::: pantyhose:::: I also know a few backpackers who do this as well...I even tried it once...It will keep ya warm..

It just dawned on me you are female type person..!!. duhh so pantyhose is ok with you ...hehehe...try it on your treks..

I had some small of the back issues...Never in my life have I had any physical probs then bam ..
So I took some physical therapy ...in 2 weeks of exercises my small of the back pain was almost gone...These are exercises that we wouldnt do in a regular workout..

Mine was nerve related but this program relived my pain a whole bunch...

Seems that its the real active peeps who end up with bone and nerve etc damage and sometimes it cathes us at diferent times in our lives..

I sure would check it out..

Dude >>>yer6<<<
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2006, 08:58 PM
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Moondust Moondust is offline
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Thanks for all the thoughts. I am 51 and female, in pretty good shape except that I do have normal wear and tear issues and I'm sure I have arthritis in a lot of my joints including knees and elbows (glucosamine has helped tremendously). It runs in my family. Mother, aunts and uncles all had knee and hip replacements at various ages. I don't think circulation is a problem as my hands and feet are usually warm. I think age contributes to my calf muscles cramping when they get cool. My calf muscles are quite large and I don't move around much when I sleep, so they are pretty much resting without movement on the cool air mattress for hours. If I was younger I might think Lyme disease was causing the joint problems, but unfortunately xrays are pretty conclusive for some level of osteoarthritic changes. I have been tested for Valley Fever (negative).

What I'm thinking is that maybe I was not very careful to fluff up my sleeping bag properly on the lower part. I also wonder whether an air mattress inherently tends to suck heat out of muscles, more so than foam or a closed cell pad. I was thinking of putting my freezerbag cozy under my calves and seeing if that helps.

Alice
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2006, 09:38 PM
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big_load big_load is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondust
I also wonder whether an air mattress inherently tends to suck heat out of muscles, more so than foam or a closed cell pad.

I'm 47 and also use a Big Agnes pad. I've certainly noticed that it isn't as warm as a Thermarest, but when I feel cold, it is more uniform over my body. If anything, my legs are less sensitive to cold than my torso, except for my feet, which are happy with wool socks on. I have permanent knee damage as well (fortunately not arthritic yet). While I have some pain at the end of the day, it is not connected with cold in any way.

My wife is prone to feeling cold at night, mainly because she doesn't eat or drink enough, but that doesn't sound like your problem either, because it isn't as localized. She does wear down booties if temps below freezing are expected.

Anyway, I hope you find a solution that keeps you on the trail.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2006, 07:31 AM
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chicote chicote is offline
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You could get Mont•Bell thermawrap pants. They weigh little and would be localized to your legs. I have a pair and they are very toasty. You could also do the winter boiled water in the bottle trick and put that in your bag between your legs to heat up those major arteries. And to reiterate the standard make sure you eat and hydrate well before sleep time and it wouldn't hurt to do a couple of jumping jacks to build up your core temp before you get into your bag. HTH my .02
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2006, 12:58 PM
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Moondust Moondust is offline
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Backpack: ULA
Sleeping Gear: Exped Downmat 9/JRB High Sierra Sniveller
 
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Posts: 14
Thanks!! Those sound like super ideas. What kind of bottles is it safe to put boiling water into? Right now I carry a Platypus 2 liter bladder and two regular 24 oz water bottles from the grocery store. If they won't work, what will?

Thanks again

I have been looking at the Warmlite bag with integrated Down Air Mattress. If anything will keep me warm, that will! But it looks like it weighs and costs quite a bit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chicote
You could get Mont•Bell thermawrap pants. They weigh little and would be localized to your legs. I have a pair and they are very toasty. You could also do the winter boiled water in the bottle trick and put that in your bag between your legs to heat up those major arteries. And to reiterate the standard make sure you eat and hydrate well before sleep time and it wouldn't hurt to do a couple of jumping jacks to build up your core temp before you get into your bag. HTH my .02
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2006, 03:19 AM
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Ogg Ogg is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: California
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Try this. Just before bed, poor boiling water into a water bottle that can take boiling water. I've used a hard lexan bottle and softer polyethelene bottle, similar to Nalgenes, both worked fine. I'm not sure about the thin, bottled-water bottles. Wrap the hot bottle in a pack towel and put it in a ziplock bag. Put the whole thing in the bottom of your sleeping bag.
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