SAR sleep system advice

WhiskeyMaker

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
61
Location
Cody, WY
I am putting together a my ready pack for the Search and Rescue team and would like some input. The pack needs to be ready to go all the time, so all of my hunting and backpacking equipment is out. I live in NW Wyoming and terrain varies from rolling hills and sagebrush, mountain areas with lots of pine, to swampy areas in the Beartooths (lots of mosquitoes).

My current setup is a heat reflective tarp, cheap REI bivy (not the most breathable), and synthetic blanket. I have several clothing layers that I would put on or take off depending on temperatures.

I would like some advice on a better set up. I just need something where I can get some sleep or get out of a storm. Everything will be semi-compressed and in my pack at all times.

Requirements:
1) Economical: We have to provide our own gear and hopefully it will just sit in my ready pack 99% of the time.
2) Versatile: There is a lot of different environments.
3) Light Weight: Depending on the scenario, we may have to take lots of extra equipment.
4) Simple: Easy set up and take down for more efficient use of time searching.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
 

beefman

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May 24, 2016
Messages
545
Location
CO
My 24 pack has a different sleep system depending on season. For warmer months my system is basically the same as yours. You didn't mention what kind of pad you're hauling. I took an old Thermarest Z-Rest and cut it in half (since I'm not planning on staying the night generally, I don't want the extra bulk of the whole thing). This is a good option because the Z-Rest doubles as a splint, support in the Stokes Litter, etc.

For winter I carry a 2 person bothy bag and an old down sleeping bag. In addition to a heavy baffled down jacket and down pants. This has worked out well for the most part, except when a subject needs my extra layers but its survival mode at that point.

My experience with SAR is that its not uncommon to sit and wait for hours throughout the night. So having a dynamic system capable of getting you through most situations (notice I didn't say comfortably) is paramount. But like everything in the backcountry, its a matter of balancing what you need with what you want to carry.
 

bounds

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Jul 5, 2012
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390
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Pineywoods - Cleveland, TX
Less expensive stuff can easily be had from Mountainsmith, Kelty, etc and their stuff has improved a lot since backcountry travel has gained popularity.

My biggest suggestion would be to reach out directly to whichever company you're going to buy from. I bet almost all of them have discount programs for SAR personnel.
 

oldgoat

Senior Member
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Mar 5, 2015
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1,509
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Arvada, CO
Sounds like a Kifaru woobie or doobie with a good bivy might be your ticket.
Just saw on Kifaru Insiders Facebook they have a woobie with a zipper now, would be like a 40° bag, Apex insulation though which is supposed to maintain virtually all its R- Value soaking wet even.
 

ssssnake529

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Oct 9, 2016
Messages
313
Location
Utah
Your biggest challenge is that the sleeping system has to be stored in a compressed state. This will pretty much ruin any sleeping bag or quilt that has down or synthetic insulation. You may want to look into a Blizzard bag: The Blizzard Bag Survival Sleeping Bag Bivvy - YouTube

It can stay compressed for years and not be impaired. The insulation in it does not come from down or synthetic fill. It works on the same principle as the Thermarest XTherm mattress; dead air space trapped between reflective baffles. If I was putting together a super light system that I needed to be able to store for long periods, that would provide shelter and warmth in emergency situations, I would have a Gatewood Cape tarp/cape for protection from rain; a Blizzard bag to sleep in, and a Thermarest XTherm mattress to sleep on. These items, when combined with your normal seasonal clothes and a puffy jacket, should get you through most situations. Total weight is about 3.25 pounds.

Premium Emergency Blizzard Survival Tube Shelter Reflexcell-Gofastandlight.com

NeoAir Xtherm | Inflatable Camping Air Mattress | Therm-a-Rest

Gatewood Cape - Six Moon Designs
 
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WhiskeyMaker

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Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
61
Location
Cody, WY
Thanks guys. I currently have a uninsulated klymit pad in my pack. I have z-lite sitting in the garage that may get repurposed.

I have a Kifaru Doobie Express, but I didn't want to keep it stored in my pack. It is also apart of my hunting set up.

I haven't heard of Six Moon Designs. It looks like they have some good stuff on their website. I also like the Blizzard Survival stuff. It looks multipurpose for SAR scenarios. Thanks.
 

Beendare

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May 6, 2014
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In Traffic
Yeah, you never want an uninsulated pad IMO.

You can get something with floor and bug mesh like a HS Tarptent or other that is a palace and under 3#.

I would have everything in you pack ready to go except your bag ...stored in a loose sack next to everything. Heck it only takes 3 min to put you bag in a compression sack and go.
 

406

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
406
Back when I needed a 24 hr kit, I kept my bag (old rei synthetic) out of the pack. I used a big laundry bag, dropped the pack in, then the sleeping bag. Kept it uncompressed, took 2 minutes max to shove in my pack (no stuff sack, rides better imo.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

Kevin_t

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Dec 2, 2012
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576
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Colorado
For SAR work, I would take a very versatile setup that you are ok sleeping on the edge of mountain on. Maybe a light tarp, or Bivy, or a Syn bag or possibly a Down bag with a Gore shell and tarp. From my gear, the later is what I would choose, because I have them available.
 
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