Winter Camping Trip II

Went back to Lake Tahoe area for another winter camping trip, this time by myself.  All I can say it it was an experience.

First, it took 20 hours to get there.  Google Maps apparently doesn’t notify you of slowdown in excess of three hours.  Next time I’ll just turn around, this the purpose of this trip was to test out sleeping the bed of the truck, under the tonneau cover.

Verdict: Only sleep under a tonneau cover if you have no other options.

Yes, it provides you 100% wind protection and a good deal of physical security, but it is largely unpleasant.  You have less than a foot clearance over your face.  Getting dressed to step out into the cold is difficult as well.

The weather was 25F during the day and 15 at night.

I realized when I woke up that while I could open the locking mechanism to the DiamondBack HD tonneau cover I have from the inside easily, if the outside lock were to freeze, I would be stuck.  That would be bad.

Since there are several places you must sleep in your truck, such as California Sno-Parks, I’m researching my next best options.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom Down Hooded Jacket

Super warm down jacket.

Update: This thing is crazy hot.  I put it on to go for a walk in 50F weather and within five minutes I was sweating.  There is absolutely no reason to wear this above 40F, maybe even 30F.

In retrospect, I would have been better off with the lighter version of this to wear over my Nano-Air, but oh well.  Now I just have to swap them as I get warmer or colder.

Outdoor Research Bolin Jacket


  • AscentShell™ 3L
  • 100% nylon 20D ripstop with 100% polyester backer Upper: AscentShell™ 3L
  • 100% nylon 70D plain weave with 100% polyester backer


So this jacket is sized rather strangely.  It’s arm length is good, but it’s even tighter than the Nano-Air around the gut.  It’s an XL, but every other XL I own is far larger.  If this wasn’t 75% off, I would return it.  I’ll just see if I can lose a few pounds to fit in it better.

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS

My wife bought this insulation layer jacket to go along with the rain shell posted below.


  • Very stretchy
  • Active Fit. Trim, close to body fit
  • Hydrophobic 800-fill down
  • Weight: 14.8 oz / 420 g


So far she’s only worn it a few times.  I’ll return with an update.

Update: She wears it every day and so far so good.  Keeps her warm, not too delicate, perfect body-hugging fit.

Black Diamond Women’s Liquid Point GTX Shell

So my wife just bought this.  It’s rained every day since.  So far so good.  I know a few days doesn’t make a solid review, but we’ll see after a few downpours.

Basic technical data:

  • GORE-TEX Paclite 2.5L
  • 75d plain-weave face
  • DWR finish (125gsm, 100% polyester)
  • Two-way armpit zip vents
  • Weight : 350 g (12.3 oz)


It fits nicely over her Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS jack.