So I am not going to get any dirt time in the next few weeks as life is busy happening and keeping me in and around the house. However last night it was supposed to get down to 40 degrees and I wanted to test myself a little bit. I have found its always better to test gear at the house and not do it in the woods the first time that way if it fails you are not out in the middle of no where.
Anyway to the challenge I gave myself 5 minutes to set up a shelter and sleeping area. First I grabbed my reusable space blanket and laid it out. Next I grabbed my self inflating sleeping pad and let it do its thing. I dug out my MMS Black Bag in the Gortex Bivi and dropped it down. Finally I pulled out my USGI poncho and set up a low to the ground style hooch. I have not used the poncho in this set up before but have seen other people do it and have wanted to try it out.
Was I successful well it took me 6 minutes to get everything staked down and tied up but it was close. With some more practice I think it would go much faster. The setup kept me warm all night although I now realize I have lots and lots of rocks in my backyard just under the grass. I did find that the poncho is almost to small for me to fit in I come in at 5 foot 11 inches and anyone taller than me will have problems with this setup. Also a minor inconvenience was that the poncho kept slapping my forehead in the night until I pulled the bivi cover over my face. It got down to 35 degrees last night and I was warm and toasty in the setup.
All in all it was great to get out last night even if it was only in the backyard. It also showed me its time to start doing a lot of back yard camping with the kiddo to get him used to sleeping outside. There is just such a joy to waking up after a crisp cool night outside even if its in your own back yard.
On the flip side It showed me how easy it is to carry fairly minimal gear and still be able to set up a good sleep system. I left it set up in the yard because its supposed to rain this weekend and I want to test the setup in the rain. I will let you guys know how that works out.