THE COLDEST MOMENT IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
It was COLD maybe 7 degrees with a negative something degree windchill. I don’t remember.
I just remember I was nestled up in both our sleeping bags shivering inside our tent at basecamp.
Richard successfully boiled a pot of snow, poured it into two large trail meal packets, ziplocked them up as TIGHTLY as he could, and brought them ~boiling hot~ into our tent.
He then inserted each of our meals inside each of our sleeping bags…
It makes sense right? Use the heat of the packets to heat up our bags so they’d be warm, and we’d be warm, and our food would still be warm when we climbed in for dinner.
It was such a gorgeous night so we decided to enjoy a short trek while our food cooled a bit.
Upon arrival back to our little yellow tent, I frolicked giddily up to the door (forgetting about our meals snug inside), and impulsively superman dove inside like I was sliding in to second base!
We had a tiny one man tent with two sleeping bags laying side by side, so there was only ONE spot I could land.
I heard a POW POW below me and laid there motionless as if I’d actually been shot.
The realization of what I had just done paralyzed me in the moment…
yep, you guessed it.
Both of our meals, in all of their chunky soup glory, exploded under the impact of my body, and now painted the inside walls of our sleeping bags.
OUR SLEEPING BAGS.
Only the single most important source of warmth for us here in the wilderness of the Rockies.
All we could do at this point was take our soupy sleeping bags out into the snow, turn them inside out, and shake them.
Almost immediately the food contents turned to ice.
All we had left for nourishment now was a small packet of precooked noodles so Richard had to start the boiling snow for water process all over again a second time.
(Sidenote. Boiling snow: it’s really not as easy as it sounds when you consider you have no flat surfaces, everything is soft snow, the wind is blowing and it hurts to take your gloves off for too long, causing very limited dexterity)
Finally, we ate the bland noodles and drank the (gag me) noodle water for warmth, and got ready to tuck in for the night.
Now attempting sleep in my human Chicken Teriyaki Hot Pocket, formally known as my sleeping bag, I realized the frozen sauce that had sopped into the insulation was melting with my body heat, making it even harder to retain warmth.
☝THIS, MY FRIENDS,
✋IS THE PART OF THE STORY WHERE I MET THE COLDEST MOMENT I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
The outside temperature was dropping. My body temperature was dropping too. It was like the little shivers had upgraded to full blown, involuntary convulsions, and I just KNEW I would not be able to warm up.
So what’s the right thing to do in this dire situation? Complain to Richard of course!
“Babe. Babe. BAAAABE. WAKE UP.”
“I need you to come in here with me. I’m FREEZING”
(Still salty about the salty explosion) “You’re fiiiiine. I can’t fit in there with you. Go to sleep.”
“I can’t go to sleep, you HAVE to come over here and get in my bag with me…” (getting more elevated now).. “Richard I’m not going to make it, I’m too cold!!”
I legitimately have never felt a cold in my bones like this before. I don’t know how to explain it. I've had a lot of cold (very cold) camping experiences!
But this felt different to me.
This felt dangerous to me.
Finally I resorted to pure, unabashed BEGGING.
“Richard. I’m really going to die tonight. You HAVE TO HELP ME!! I NEED your body warmth!!!”
Panicking and crying icicles now.
He (who is related to the Abominable Snowman, honestly, unfazed by the cold) reluctantly shimmied out of his Chicken and Wild Rice flavored sleeping bag.
No words whatsoever.
Just heads out into the snow.
“Dang it! That’s it! He’s left me here to DIE alone!! Call my mama tell her I love ‘er!!”
(actual footage of Richard leaving me in the tent)
In reality, he went outside to boil snow for a THIRD TIME.
He carefully fills up 2 Nalgene water bottles with boiling water, tightens the lids, tosses one down at my feet, and hands over the other (wrapped in extra clothes) to hug at my chest.
“You’ll be fine.” He barely grunts out, sleepily. “Unless of course you figure out a way to pop those too.” (wah waaaaah).
Kiss on the cheek.
Back in his bag and fast asleep... ...before I could even start complaining about how unbelievably hot I was now.
The heated Nalgene bottles didn't have an 'on' or 'off' switch. Or differential heat settings. (hint hint see below)**
The boiled water bottle trick did a fantastic job of warming up my sleeping bag initially, but once I was warm, I only got warmer. There was no comfortable in between.
bottles in = too hot
bottles out = too cold
So yea, I was no longer freezing to death, 💁 which obviously was a good thing,
but I still couldn’t sleep with the inconsistent temperatures and concern that the bottles may leak.
So I got desperate and choked down some Nyquil with the boiled noodle water after the realization that I would never summit the next day without at least a tiny wink of sleep.
This was one of many trips that catapulted us into the realization that if we wanted gear that we could completely rely on for
✅dependable WARMTH in the wild
we would have to make it for ourselves.
Being WARM in the chilly outdoors only makes camping MORE ENJOYABLE. Because NOBODY’S too cool to be warm in the wild.
I don’t care who you are, or how tough you may be, feeling WARM when you're cold is only a GOOD thing!
Sometimes even NECESSARY for SURVIVAL, (or just to keep your significant other happy in the woods 💁)
Richard and I were cold weather camping ALL THE TIME, pulling various ‘tricks of the trade’ in attempts to keep warm in our former collection of “cold weather rated camping gear”
All the while with the common understanding that ‘you’re just gonna get cold and you get through it.’
We don’t want you to “just get through” the cold nights using dangerous "tricks" for warmth that can backfire on you.
We want you to sleep through the cold nights HAPPY, WARM, SAFE and WELL RESTED.
Our Warmth Line Up makes
”just getting through the cold" a thing of the past
See one that suits your style? Click it to learn more!
Sierra Madre is the sound of a revolution in the outdoor world. Whereas other corporate conglomerates are figuring out which colors to push next year, Sierra Madre is creating real innovations that empower you in the wild!
That's why Sir Richard Branson (possibly one of the most adventurous people on the planet) backed Sierra Madre. He believes in disrupting the status quo with the best product and service and was thrilled to partner with Sierra Madre.
Sierra Madre gear was created to maximize your time in the wild, the Nubé Air Tent brings protection and convenience to a new level and our Ninox and Pares Camping Hammocks insure the best pressure free sleep you can imagine in the wild. We also created gear to keep you warm while you're in the wild, like our 5in1 Puffle Adventure Blanket and our top line Inferno System.
No matter where adventure takes you, we've got your back.
Our founder, Richard Rhett, created Sierra Madre because of two epic gear failures he experienced in the wild. Both left him stranded and completely ruined his adventures. As a Mechanical Engineer turned Entrepreneur. After over 10 years of building gear, Richard has held fast to our two pillars of our gear design, 1) solve problems, and look good doing it 2) over build it with hyper quality.
“Sleeping in the wild should be restful and enjoyable, when you're not worried about getting wet or cold - it's so much easier to feel at peace in the wild”. Being comfortable, protected, and warm in the wild helps you feel at peace... Feels like home. "That's what it's all about."
My name is Jim Aexfor and I am from Minnesota. I recently returned from a trip with a friend to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota.
I have a Kammok hammock setup while my friend has your Nubé setup he purchased early this year.
During our trip we encountered a bad storm with 50+ mph winds. During the storm my Glider hammock shelter ripped in half. This happened on day 2 of our weeklong adventure. My friend's Nubé shelter withstood the winds and we ended up adding my hammock above his in the shelter so I had a place to sleep out of the rain. We had another night of rain later on in the trip and had to do the same.
I had to let you know how awesome your product is and what a trip-saver is was for us. Otherwise, the trip would have been pretty miserable for me.
I will be shouting from the mountaintops about the quality of your product and will be advising my relatives and friends to check into your products. Ever since I started hammock camping many of my relatives and friends have become interested in this great outdoor experience.
I will be selling my hammock and investing the money into one of your setups. I am a teacher and a volunteer EMT so during the upcoming winter months I will be saving up to purchase the entire Nubé system.
Thank you so much for your incredible products that saved our trip!
“I work for REI in the camping department and I also teach wilderness skills for the outdoor school. I have had plenty of experience with other camping gear but not until I tried sierra madre I was never satisfied. Sierra madre has worked the kinks out with their incredible innovation!” — Robert
We strive for sustainability in our product design and excellent working conditions in every factory we partner with. We believe that every human has value and if people are taken care of, then they will take care of our planet.
We also believe that quality drinking water shouldn’t be a luxury. As part of our 1 for Clean Water Promise each piece of gear contributes one year of clean water to a person who desperately needs it. Together, we can end the water crisis.
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