C. Lampert REPORT #2 Mt. Washington Pad
- BACKPACKER GEAR TEST REPORTReport #2 for "Mt. Washington" sleeping padCory LampertDate: May 30, 2001
Field Report No. 1:Length: OvernightLocation: Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness, Crater LakeDate: May 26, 2001Nighttime Temp: 40 degreesWeather Conditions: (During test) Clear, Cool, Light Breeze, no precipitation Some snow on ground, mostly mud, dry dirt/duffTest Area: Backcountry established campsite on lake. Mountains surrounding lake. Elevation 10.076.
Performance:The approach hike was a short 1.8 miles in to a lake with surrounding campsites. Many were in use, as it was Memorial Day weekend. I packed the pad under the top of my Arc'terryx Bora 65 pack and there were no signs of rain, so it remained there until set up.Set-up was easier than my usual Therma-rest huffing and puffing, and I liked being able to quickly pull out the pad and sit on it while resting, without fear of it snagging or becoming deflated. I camped on a flat area with lots of pine needles. It was soft and out of the wind. My Mac Pac tent is a four-season and was quite warm, so I left the venilation doors open, did not put up a rain-fly, and left my sleeping bag unrolled with the rest of my stuff in the tent. I used the pad to cook and read on, and it was much more comfortable than the ground alone.Night fell, and I slept in an open sleeping bag atop the egg-shellside of the pad. I used my clothing as a pillow and was able to fall asleep quickly. As the temperature dropped I zipped my bag and found I had not slipped off of the pad at all. I found I slept comfortably on my back, but could not get comfortable on my side, until I used my sleeping bag as a hip support. I normally sleep on my stomach, but find this is nearly impossible while camping unless conditions are perfect. The pad is excessively long for me. I am 5' 9, but it is still a few inches too long. I appreciate the padding under my knees, and the warmth gained from a full length pad, but I could trim a bit on this pad.In the morning, I noticed no soreness, and felt I had slept well. There were no complaints about the pad, and I feel I could use it and get decent rest. I am a relatively bony/skinny person and found my joints were not as appreciative of the Mt. Washington as my usual pad, but that is to be expected. I still feel that the egg-shell side down could be a legitimate way to sleep on this pad, though I suspect the egg-shell design is to aid in insulation and air flow.My impressions so far of this pad are that: I could learn to live with it. Not in extreme cold, not camping on slickrock, perhaps not on extended trips where shelters are common, but I could use it when decent campspots are assured and weight is an issue.As an aside, dog hair seems magnetically drawn to the pad, though my dog chose to sleep at the bottom of the tent. It washes off easily and it resiliant. I wish it was a bit more packable-though I believe, with practice I could figure out a good system.
The Test Plan:
Next on the board:I will test this pad on an early ascent of a fourteener, possibly Long's Peak, June 28th. Inclement weather can be a major issue and it tends to get pretty chilly that high. Maybe it will rain just so I can really have a worst case! It is also rocky above timberline and campsites are not as plush as this one was. Stayed tuned!
- This pad needs to be tested in a really rough, rocky area-a worst case scenerio!
- It needs to be tested in colder, wetter, more unsavory conditions.
- It needs to be tested on repeat nights--three in a row, perhaps or more to see how I feel over a longer haul.
- It also needs to be tested in a shelter/hard floor/alpine hut/bunkhouse, since I am an avid long-distance hiker and tend to end up sleeping in very random locales.