Sleeping Bag for survival kit in Airplane?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Narwhal, Dec 1, 2022.

  1. Narwhal

    Narwhal Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    North

    Display name:
    Narwhal
    Does anyone have a good recommendation for a survival kit sleeping bag? It's a Carbon Cub with extended baggage so it has a fair bit of space, but not when you start putting engine covers, stove/preheaters, axes, snowshoes, first aid, etc in it. It's for Alaska so preferably something rated down to -20 F, I guess. Just wondering if someone has experience with a good brand/model that rolls up reasonably compact, is good in pretty low temps, etc.
     
  2. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Alexandria VA

    Display name:
    Brad Z
    I think you're looking for a sleeping bag made out of space blanket material. Something like this from Amazon:

    Zmoon Emergency Sleeping Bag 2 Pack Lightweight Survival Sleeping Bags Thermal Bivy Sack Portable Emergency Blanket for Camping, Hiking, Outdoor, Activities https://a.co/d/4NETiur
     
  3. Dana

    Dana En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    A -20F bag is going to be pretty bulky. Nothing compresses better than down but it has zero warmth if it gets wet... not an issue at 20 below but can be very dangerous near freezing, where synthetic bags are better. I've had good luck with Slumberjack and North Face bags, but there are a lot of good ones (as well as a lot of junk). Those space blankets will keep wind and water off you but that's about it, there's no insulation.
     
    murphey and kyleb like this.
  4. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    1,269
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Display name:
    Challenger1
    I have my 40 year old nylon sleeping bag in my plane from when I was a teenager back packing. It is not hi tech but rolls up in a small package. Then do have 2 of them space age lol aluminum foil looking things/blankets in my survival kit.
     
    MIFlyer likes this.
  5. mandm

    mandm Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2020
    Messages:
    1,022
    Location:
    Chicago

    Display name:
    Michael
    There are emergency bags, although unsure how useful they are, that come in a zip lock bag about half the size of a piece of paper. Also you’ll want a signal mirror, fire starter, knife, seatbelt cutter, comms, waterproof duck tape, properly stored batteries, PLB, etc. Also up to you depending upon your mission. You should be able to fit everything in a waterproof dry bag. Don’t forget some high protein snacks. Feels like Boy Scouts! But we also prepared an emergency bag for going on kayak and sailing trips! Never used anything but good to have.

    Warm sleeping bags from any sports shop, REI, also do not take up that much space, they are probably bigger than your entire emergency supplies kit dry bag, but those are more meant for camping aka longer term.
     
  6. manac

    manac Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    199

    Display name:
    Manac
    Just picked up a cheep 0 Deg two person bag for the 182. Don’t want to die of hyperthermia after surviving a crash. 7lbs and big but that’s the price you pay.
     
  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    8,111
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Display name:
    SoonerAviator
    You could always vacuum-pack the sleeping back and kit to help with space constraints. That's how they ship giant memory foam mattresses so that they fit in a small box.
     
    Gary Ward likes this.
  8. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    1,269
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Display name:
    Challenger1
    FWIW since I have a picture of it...it weighs 11lbs after I added a few items like camping knife, compass, lighters, and other stuff I can't think of. Keep it along with my sleeping back in the aft storage.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    1,269
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Display name:
    Challenger1
    Good idea, my wife does that at home with her off season clothing.
     
  10. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    7,926
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Go to the Wiggy’s store on Old Seward near Dimond. Their bags can be stored compressed indefinitely without losing insulation value. You can use their compression sacks or get them vacuum sealed. Good bags, totally warm even when wet, pretty light, and you can leave them compressed in baggage without harming them. I have two Ultima Thule bags in my winter gear.

    Talk to Mark about increasing the temp rating with a bivy cover. Wiggy sells bivy bags but I chose Hilleberg Bivanoraks instead. More versatile.
    https://www.wiggys.com/
    https://hilleberg.com/eng/shelters/bivanorak/
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
    Narwhal likes this.
  11. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,796
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA

    Display name:
    17
    How can one do this at home?
     
  12. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    1,269
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Display name:
    Challenger1
    Wife uses a vacuum cleaner and special bags she buys somewhere.
     
  13. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    7,926
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Vacuum packing from Wiggy’s make a -20° bag about like a boat seat cushion size and hard as a rock. A good compression sack is a more useful storage method.
     
    bflynn and DavidWhite like this.
  14. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    8,111
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, OK

    Display name:
    SoonerAviator
    They make bags for it that use a home vacuum or shop vac. As @Stewartb mentioned, there are also compression sacks are also an option.
     
  15. Dana

    Dana En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    Most good sleeping bags nowadays come with compression sacks.
     
  16. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    7,926
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Narwhal, look at your engine and wing covers as survival gear. The insulated engine cover to keep you warm and wing covers like a sil tarp to block wind and make a shelter. A couple of trekking poles and some parachute cord are a big help for that. I carry poles with my snowshoes. Plan for the gear that you carry to multi-task.
     
    Narwhal likes this.
  17. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    7,068
    Location:
    Marietta, GA

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    But the fine print tells you the compression sacks are for transit/hiking and to store the bags loose so they don’t become compacted.
     
    Dan Thomas likes this.
  18. Dana

    Dana En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    True. New bags come tightly rolled in the stuff sack, which presumably puts less stress on the fill than randomly shoving it into the sack. You'd need some kind of a mandrel to duplicate that after unrolling it for the first time.
     
  19. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    Messages:
    503

    Display name:
    375Taylor
    Down also shouldn’t be left tightly packed.
     
  20. Narwhal

    Narwhal Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    North

    Display name:
    Narwhal
    Stopped by, out of business except for FFL transfers and textile repairs according to the guy in there working a sewing machine
     
  21. Brad W

    Brad W Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    1,501
    Location:
    NE Florida

    Display name:
    BLW2
  22. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    7,926
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Bummer. I think the main company is still going. Their bags are VERY popular with Alaskan pilots.
     
  23. Brad W

    Brad W Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    1,501
    Location:
    NE Florida

    Display name:
    BLW2
  24. Brad W

    Brad W Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    1,501
    Location:
    NE Florida

    Display name:
    BLW2
    and yeah....I'd go synthetic fr an emergency quilt, in case it gets wet.
     
  25. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    7,926
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Here’s some reading. I used to think it was BS. I have several bags both down and synthetic. My Wiggy bags are too warm for stuff like sheep hunting but for survival or winter camping? They’re the best.

    https://www.wiggys.com/why-lamilite
     
    Narwhal likes this.
  26. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 24, 2022
    Messages:
    1,643
    Location:
    MD

    Display name:
    Pinecone
  27. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,324

    Display name:
    Tim
    That's also how the Air Force packed our down sleeping bag in our survival kit in the F-111.
     
  28. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2021
    Messages:
    2,365

    Display name:
    Albany Tom
    I used to carry a northface down mummy bag in my truck, back before I had portable phones and radios, and before most people heard of northface. I think I bought it from campmor. In a plane, I think I'd pack a down mummy bag and a tiny one person 3 season tent. Something that was self-supporting if at all possible.

    In the truck, I figure I'd have shelter from the wind and rain, and I'd be toasty warm for a while. That's assuming I was stuck from sliding off the road or the truck breaking down. In an airplane, I'd want to add shelter. My limited experience in fall/winter camping in NY tells me to keep the bag a separate thing from something to keep the wind and snow off you, and that a breathable tent is the way to do that. You don't want a buildup of moisture, and a sealed up waterproof bag would do that. I know there was a thing on goretex bivy sacks for a while, but I never bought into that theory...didn't seem all that much lighter for backpacking, and looked to be a lot less comfortable. Anyway, good bag and lightweight tent, maybe 8-10 lbs for both. That, some water, sat phone or PLB, VHF handheld radio, and some orange cloth for a panel marker, the rest of the 'normal survival stuff' and you should be set, if you end up stuck somewhere.
     
  29. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    6,928
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula

    Display name:
    DW
    murphey, Lindberg and Stewartb like this.
  30. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    7,926
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Any of you live in AK? Where you can leave on a 25° day and wake up to a -50° day? There’s a reason AK law requires pilots to carry survival gear.
     
  31. manac

    manac Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    199

    Display name:
    Manac
    That site’s a joke or for prepers.
    Under Signaling No PLB?
    My kit is mostly first aid and some shelter/warmth.
    I only expect to be out there overnight or so with my ADSB track and a PLB.
    I carry my PLB on me, I might be watching my survival gear burn up with my plane.
     
    murphey likes this.
  32. Dana

    Dana En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    I use a bivy sack for backpacking as do all my friends. Lighter and much more compact than a tent, keeps the sleeping bag dry, and you can sleep in places where a tent would be impossible to set up, which could be important in a survival situation. They're very comfortable, you don't have your head inside except in an emergency situation... in good weather you can enjoy sleeping under the stars, in bad weather add a lightweight tarp and it's much more comfortable and flexible than a tent.
     
  33. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 24, 2022
    Messages:
    1,643
    Location:
    MD

    Display name:
    Pinecone
    You would get PLB separately.

    Down in the mountains with a major storm blowing through. You could be out for longer than overnight. Just because they know where you are doesn't mean they can get to you.
     
  34. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    9,540

    Display name:
    Dan Thomas
    That's what I figured. Synthetic insulation can take a set and be pretty much useless when you release it.

    We bought one of those big mattresses that come all sucked down tight in a bag and rolled up and stuffed into another bag and sucked down some more, then stuffed into a box. It took a good 24 hours for it to recover.
     
  35. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    9,540

    Display name:
    Dan Thomas
    Canada has those laws, too. They require survival gear sufficient for all the occupants and relevant to the terrain and season. You can die overnight in the summer; it doesn't have to be down to freezing to get hypothermia.

    A good winter survival course really opens up the eyes to the risks of being forced down and having to cope with the elements.

    Occasionally in the flight school we'd get student showing up for a winter flight in light clothing and tennis shoes. We didn't let them go. They figured that the airplane was heated and they'd be fine; we'd point out that if they're forced down in a farm field one mile from a farmhouse at -20°C and in a 10-kt wind, they were going to die. Period. It was an eye-opener to take some of them outside on a cooler day and go for a walk down to the end of the taxiway and back, half a mile each way, wearing the stuff they wore to the airport. They were prepared for the winter flight the next time.
     
    Narwhal likes this.
  36. Narwhal

    Narwhal Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    North

    Display name:
    Narwhal
    Thanks all, I ended up ordering a 5 lb vacuum sealed 0 degrees F rated bag from Wiggys. For $200 plus $100 for the vacuuming. Not ideal but a reasonable compromise in my view and better than nothing. I'm trying to do a winter survival class this year too!
     
  37. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    9,540

    Display name:
    Dan Thomas
    I did mine in February of 1994, in the Rockies, in the snow. -35°C (-31°F) the first night out, sleeping in a hastily-built lean-to with a fire out front. No wind, thankfully. We had trees to cut the wind, dead stuff to burn and to make the lean-to, live spruce branches for the cover. There are plenty of places in Canada where there are no trees, and it's brutal.
     
  38. Narwhal

    Narwhal Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    North

    Display name:
    Narwhal
    Do you guys have any opinion on the best type of lighter/Firestarter for the survival kit? I'm reading that a basic BIC maxi cigarette type lighter is pretty good, but wouldn't the multi-purpose bic lighters with the long black nozzles for lighting BBQ's/fireplaces be even better? Do those work OK in sub-zero weather? Any safety considerations in terms of aircraft fire hazards?
     
  39. Dana

    Dana En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    Butane lighters don't work great even in moderately cold weather. If you warm it in your hand or pocket you can usually get it to work if it's not too windy. The long ones are too easy to break if thrown in a pack but they make a shorter one, about 5-6" long, that works well.

    For backpacking I usually have three things, a longish Bic, a standard size Bic, and a magnesium firestarter with flint rod for emergencies.
     
  40. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    7,926
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK

    Display name:
    stewartb
    A Blast Match and some Wet Fire cubes or Esbit fire cubes. You can start a fire in a puddle. Go visit Eagle Enterprises next to Alaska Rubber on Old Seward. They specialize in survival gear.