RAGBRAI LI July 20 -27, 2024

Reply To: The Need For a Sleeping Bag

Joseph Schlau, April 2, 2022 at 6:25 am

Going back to late December of 2021 there was a discussion on the need for carrying rain gear. The advice ranged from carrying little or none to yes, prepare for the worst. The long time riders, especially those riding on 2 particularly rainy cold days in 1981 and 2014 tended to to lean for preparedness. You may want to read this thread and consider if your planning would be adequate if you were riding on one of these days. My worst camping day on Ragbrai was in 2005 when a powerful storm struck at night. (Sheldon) It soaked a lot of campers. It remained cold, wet, windy the next day. It was nice to have been able to crawl into my mostly still dry sleeping bag and rest the next night.

Helen is correct on the advice for a closed cell pad or air mattress. Tents leak at some point or another. A pad or mattress keeps you off the tent floor. Having a small sponge with you to clean up standing water is helpful.

When sleeping, a majority of body heat is lost by contact with the ground not the air. If the ground is wet, heat loss is accelerated.

Everyone’s tolerance for heat and cold differs. Advice provided, including mine, is advice based on what works for me or them. On a given day, you may spend 6-8 hours peddling. You prepare for pedaling by training. You will also spend about 8 hours in the tent resting for the next day. You said you are a non camper. The best advice I can give is find a tent to use before Ragbrai, Maybe drive to a state campground. Bike during the day and sleep with what you think you will use and see if it works.

If the weather is warm you can always sleep on top of the bag or not use it. If it gets cold, wet, and windy and you didn’t bring the bag then your stuck.

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RAGBRAI L – 2023




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