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The Butterfly Cocoon

Today we picked up our sleeping bags for Marathon des Sables at our sponsor Chillout Travel Centre. After having gone through a number of different brands and models, we’ve chosen to go with Western Mountaineering’s ExtremeLite Series. Apart from the weight and stuff size (how small you can stuff it), the most important aspect of the bags is in what kind of temperature you can safely sleep. Despite daily temperatures of 40°C+, at night it can drop to around 0°C meaning you need a bag to keep you warm and comfy. The farther we run and the more exhausted we get during the week, the more difficult it will be to keep warm during the colder hours of the night. As Jakob can attest, I had a particularly nasty time coping with shivers when we arrived at the check points during Trail du Verdon’s night-time running last summer. We were wet and our jerseys were soaked through, making it difficult to keep warm despite changing to a dry top at every stop. Jakob coped with this a lot better than me, and it took a good 30 minutes after every stop before I’d worked up the heat again. In the Sahara, it can paradoxically be the ability to keep warm during the night than can be the difference between finishing the race and a DNF.

Tutankhamon

Tutankhamon

Jakob has chosen Western Mountaineering’s HighLite bag, a purple goose down bag weighing only 455 g and with a temperature rating of 2°C. I, on the other hand, will go with their SummerLite bag, a magnificent red bag that at 525 g is a bit heavier than the HighLite, but has a temperature rating of 0°C. I don’t have as much insulating fat as Jakob and am thus more vulnerable to the lower temperatures… Huge kudos to Chillout, by the way, for acquiring the bags for us in record time!

Western Mountaineering's SummerLite Sleeping Cocoon

Western Mountaineering’s SummerLite Sleeping Cocoon

And the running? 17 k today, including 30 minutes of hill training, finishing in 1:32:00. Meaning a grand total of 7,4 hours and 68 km this week. Working slowly to accumulate those kilometres. Stay tuned! And don’t forget to visit our donating site!

Stuff size = this is how small we can pack it.

Stuff size = this is how small we can pack it.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clarification: To give Jakob a sporting chance I chose to add a few extra kilos through a series of carefully planned 5 course Michelin star dinners.

    3 March, 2013

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