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Old 8 Jun 2005
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Sleeping bag for Central & S America?

MattB and I are off next week to Los Angeles, where we will bike down to Beunos Aires over a period of 4 - 6 months and we could do with a bit of advice on the necessity for sleeping bags, particularly through Mexico and C America.

Very rough Dates:
July - Mexico
August - Central America
September - Columbia / Ecudor
October/November - Peru / Bolivia /Chile
December - Argentina

We plan to camp on the odd occasion we can't find suitable lodgings or if it's an unmissable spot.

I have the option of getting my girlfriend to bring out our sleeping bags in Costa Rica, before we enter S America - Would that be best in preparation for the Andes.

We are both taking cotton liners. We both have 3/4 Season sleeping bags that we 'could' take from the start.

Any advice on average nightime temperatures over this period would be really useful.


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Old 9 Jun 2005
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Location: Taupo, New Zealand
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Not averages but nightime extremes experienced while camping on my trip:

Min: -25
Max: +30

Both in Argentina; there would be a hotter max if Brasil was included... There's a big ol' thread regarding down vs. synthetic so I won't give a recommendation but just my experience: I used a a Fairydown down bag of the tapered, full-zip type, rated to -15, with a silk sleep sheet and Thermarest Ultralite. They worked an absolute charm for about 70 nights outdoors in NA, CA & SA. I'm a fairly hot sleeper and wore thermal underwear only once - neither cold nor heat was a problem. I'd take the same gear again.

Up in the Andes it is cold. Deserts are cold at night. Southern Argentina is more wet & windy than cold. I had a three season MSR Zoid II tent but would lean towards a Hilleberg Ekto four season next time - more sweating in the tropical heat, but better in the mountains.

Good luck,
James Courtier
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Old 14 Jun 2005
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Cheers JC,

Thanks for the info, particularly on temperatures.

I think I'll take my sleeping bag from the start and have the complete package.


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Old 14 Jun 2005
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I just came back from south america and I had a "Snowshoe" from The North Face. It is quite good, since it is made of synthetic fibre and therefore also good in rainy times, when others do not work anymore. I also jused it to sleep on 5100m and had no problem. But do not forget a bag to reduce the volume of the sleeping bag. However, I also took a light silk sleeping bag with me for extrem cold or also warmer times. the drawback of synthetic fibre is taht those sleeping bags are alsways heavier than the others (down)
Hope I could help you
www.moto-adventure.ch - just THE page about touring Europe and South america by bike!
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Old 16 Jun 2005
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We`re heading down thru Mexico and on to Central and South america and are just about to trade in our sleeping bags. I have a 3 season synthetic bag and my husband has a 1 season, very bad planning! We are getting Northface down bags which go down to 0 Farenheit, which we hope will be fine for the rest of our trip. In Basaseachi and in the canyons (the top of the canyons, def not the bottom!) it was very cold at nights and this was May-June.
We`ll be ditching our lighter weight bags in Oaxaca in about 2 weeks time if anyone is in the neighbourhood and needs them...
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Old 20 Jun 2005
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It can be very cold in the Andes, especially on the Salt Lakes. Its not so much the cold air but rather the cold ground that takes away the bodys heat. I have a good sleeping bag and matress but I had to wear my complete motorbike gear while camping on the Salar Grandes in Argenina.
So I would rather take a warmer sleeping bag than a thinner one.

Greetings Patrick
Riding home the crazy way: Germany to Newfoundland
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