Pete Elliott winter camping in the Grampians

Sleep System Used: Minimus sleeping bag + Alpine Ultra Jacket + Filler Bag + Alpine Ultra Halfbag   
Full System Sleep Rating: -11°C


Mountaineering in the Grampians, Scotland

Our MD, Peter Elliott, has been wild-camping in Scotland’s Grampian Mountains. With temperatures in the tent getting down to -4°C, the trip was a good test of a Sleep System designed for well below freezing.

Pete took a summer sleeping bag rated for +5°C ( the Minimus) and a winter down jacket (the Alpine Ultra). All he needed to add for this winter mountain trip was a Filler bag and an Alpine Ultra Half bag.

This set him up with a Sleep System that could cope with temperatures down to -11°C. 

We'll let Pete take over the story here:


"We wild-camped at the base of Ben Alder. Temperatures remained well below freezing with snow between 2 inches and 2 feet deep. A steady breeze of around 8 mph gave a severe wind-chill.

Arriving an hour before dusk, we had time to pitch, sort and brew up before the darkness and severe wind-chill made us to retreat to the tent.

Sitting inside, the Alpine Ultra Jacket and Halfbag did a good job of keeping me comfortable whilst making several brews and cooking a meal. Not as comfortable as down trousers and socks, but I was happy how the system kept me warm.

We retreated into our full sleeping bags at around 9:00pm. A couple of thoughts immediately came from my choice of Sleep System:

  • A Halfbag is definitely not as easy as down trousers for getting in and out of a sleeping bag and, of-course, not as convenient for wearing around camp. But a half bag for a planned bivi is lighter and more compact than down trousers and down socks.
  • The combination of Filler and Halfbag with a down jacket definitely requires enough space to achieve full lofting. For example, if you were using the loftier Yukon clothing, you would need a wide main bag and Filler.
  • The summer-weight ground insulation mat (a Thermarest NeoAir Xlite) was not warm enough for full winter camping. These conditions really require two mats or one four season mat."

See other Sleep System recommendations for UK winter camps.