sleeping bags: to rent or not to rent, that is the question

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sleeping bags: to rent or not to rent, that is the question

Postby traveller13 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:13 am

Ok... have been reading stuff on this site about sleeping bags on the Inca Trail.... I do know that we can rent, hopefully warm, bags in Cuzco (I already have a liner for it) AND that it is better to get the extra pad for comfort.....However, I have read that at times the bags have not been cleaned from the previous trek... is this the exception or the rule? I sure hate to think of spending $ to bring my own bag (plus the extra packing space) for those four days....for those of you who have done the trail... some dirt on the outside of the bag I really don't mind THAT much, but bedbugs , no thanks!... any advice? Thanks...
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Postby little_miss_sunshine » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:51 am

Hiya,
I've read the same things and took my own bag for the same reasons (I'm not a clean freak but.. eek!) However, the ones our group got were fine, everyone was pleasantly surprised, and I felt silly for being so worried.
If you are concerned, I'd mention this to your guide beforehand, and ask to see the bags before you go. Even if that's not possible, I'm sure they will be careful to get you a good one (they really are very accommodating!) and if you express your concerns, you should be fine. It's only a few nights anyway - and you will be so tired you probably won't care very much when push comes to shove.
happy trails!
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Postby Bea09 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:59 am

I brought a sleeping bag liner with me (basically just a sheet folded in two and sewn together - you can also buy them at MEC) which made sleeping in a rental bag no problem. However, the bags our group were given were in great condition (practically new) so it wouldn't have been a big deal either way.
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Postby silent_diva » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:47 pm

I did the trek in June 2004. My rented sleeping bag was in good clean condition as well. I brought a sleepsack (sheet folded in half and sewn) and used that for additional warmth rather than protection from cooties:)
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Postby ballu » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:09 am

Don't just grab a sleeping bag and head up to pay...take it out of the bag first and get a good look at it. There were a bunch of bags out for us to choose from. If you pick one that looks dirty, grab another. None of the ones I saw looked dirty though. I also had a sleep sheet.
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Postby jooles » Thu May 03, 2007 3:24 pm

anyone know if the sleeping bags for hire for the Bolivian salt flats are warm enough , I go in July ( bound to be warm then........)
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Postby Pirate » Thu May 03, 2007 5:44 pm

A couple of years ago I did the Inca Trail hike and rented a sleeping bag. The bag was dirty and damp, it had just been used. On this hike you do not have to worry about carrying your sleeping bag, the porters do that and I found it not too cold being in a tent. A few months ago I did the Bolivia trip that includes the salt flats. This time I took my own sleeping bag and I'm glad I did. Much colder than the Inca Trail hike. You are often at a higher altitude than in Peru and sleep often in adobe buildings with no heat, and also very windy. It gets cold. With the altitude I did not feel well, my muscles ached and I had the chills so at night it was nice to climb into a warm down filled sleeping bag. Both trips were great experiences though.

Hope this helps . . . Joe.
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Postby Dawna » Thu May 03, 2007 11:34 pm

Anyone have a specific preference of bag? Mummy bag or rectangle bag?Natural or Synthetic? I've never used a mummy bag and I have no idea how comfortable they are. I tend to move a little when I sleep, but I'm not flailing.

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Postby little_miss_sunshine » Fri May 04, 2007 2:53 pm

Hi Dawna,
there are pros & cons to each of course- personally, I find that I feel a little constricted in a mummy bag even though I'm not a big person... for me it's all about being able to move your legs around.

I think natural v. synthetic is a whole other discussion - I'd start with a camping supply store and ask questions - I think they differ in terms of weight (feathers are heavier?) and of course allergies can play a part (feathers! achoo!), and possibly a synthetic bag may dry more quickly?

Why not start off a post in the Travel Tips section? :)
happy trails!
lms
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Postby Dawna » Fri May 04, 2007 11:41 pm

Thanks miss sunshine. I took your advice and posted a new topic. i am definately interested in hearing everyones input.

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Postby yuenkay » Wed May 09, 2007 1:37 am

I just came back from the Inca Trail in late Apr 2007. I brought my own compact down sleeping bag and I"m glad I did, since I also used it at the Lake Titicaca homestay. However, if you don't have your own *light-weight* sleeping bag that is rated to at least -4C you should rent one there. Keep in mind you can only bring 7kg of stuff in the provided duffle bag, and that really isn't a lot. A couple of people brought their own bag that was too bulky and too heavy and I think they would have been better off if they rented.

I highly recommend renting the ThermaRest which is an inflated mattress (which also comes out of the 7kg limit) It gives MUCH better insulation from the cold ground than the free foam mattress.

The rental bags (rated to -10C) and the Thermarest are both US$10 each.

Oh, and I learned one trick to help keep your feet warm. At dinner, pour some of the hot water into a plastic water bottle and keep the bottle at your feet in the sleeping bag! It REALLY helps!!!!
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Inca Trail: Hike, Bike, Raft Sleeping Bags $30

Postby Woody » Thu May 24, 2007 9:45 pm

Trip: May 2007

Luckily I brought my own, but some of the people in our group who intended to rent (thinking the price was $10US) were quite upset at having to pay $30US for the rental for the two week trip.

Secondly, if you bring your own make sure it isn't bulky. This will ensure you can fit your clothes and other necessities in the bags provided by GAP for the hike and the raft....
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sleeping bags

Postby hullabaloo » Fri May 25, 2007 2:12 am

did inca trail last month - rented a sleep bag and it was fine. most of our group (10+ people) also rented and i wasn't aware of any issues/probs they had. personally cant understand why you'd go travelling with a sleeping bag if you're only (may) going to use it for 3nts. rent one and save yourself luggage space.

warmth not an issue but comfort was. definitely use the thermarest mat! likely you'll be sleeping on bare ground for 2nts at least on the trail.
Osborne, one-nil!
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Postby ballu » Fri May 25, 2007 8:46 am

Woody: I'm not sure why someone would need to rent a sleeping bag for 2 weeks if they're just doing the Inca Trail...can you explain?

Everyone in our group rented a bag. None of us had a problem. We all rented it only for the 3 nights on the trail.
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sleeping bag rental

Postby vebrinda » Sun May 27, 2007 11:10 pm

just got back from Peru today... hiked the Inca Trail and used a rented sleeping bag and the standard GAP issue mat. Both were fine for the 3 nights I used them. The sleeping bag was clean and warm, and the mat was quite sufficient. only one person in our group of 15 rented the thermarest, and no one complained of comfort issues.

We had some rain on the trail, and even that did not cause problems with rented bags or standard mats. The entire experience was incredible, and it was great not having to lug a sleeping bag around the remaining 18 days of our trek.

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