Hi Everyone,
    As I have said in the past, the info from the folks who publish Backpacker Magazine is very helpful. Below is a link about sleeping bags. The hard part is that there are so many choices, and often the trade off is that the lighter something is the more it costs. I use a 15 degree bag all year long. I sleep cold, but in the summer the bag might just be a little cover over a part of me, but it gives me the option to climb inside on a cold night.
    More info about Clair Tappan - be prepared for a rustic lodge experience - there is nothing fancy about this place, and it serves as the perfect setting to get us in the mood to be out backpacking. The lodge manager assigns the beds based on the other groups he has there at the time, so we may be using mens and womens dormitories. There are some rooms called cubicles, and they are VERY small - a bunk bed with a narrow aisle. It's possible that we will be assigned to the cubicles. Shared bathrooms are down the hall, so bring shorts and a t-shirt to walk around in the halls in. You will be hiking your gear from the parking area to the lodge up a lot of steps or over a dirt road, so keeping it light helps. When we are out on the trail we can leave our extra stuff at the lodge, and if you bring a small padlock, you can lock up valuables in lockers.
    Reports from the Donner summit region still include lots of snow! We moved the trip later this year compared to last year, but it still looks like we could find a lot of snow. Last year Don and I developed an alternate route because of snow, and this year it is very possible that we will have to do the same. No matter where we go, you will still see gorgeous scenery and learn a lot!
    I am attaching a food preference form to cover the foods that I am preparing for you while we are out on the trail. Be sure to get it back to me, especially if you have foods that you won't eat! Keep hiking and getting ready for our trip. I am heading out on a backpack next Tuesday until June 15, so I will get back to you with answers to any questions that may arise as soon as I can!

434 258-1750 (home and cell)

See: Gear Guide 2011: Sleeping Bags & Pad at www.backpacker.com

last updated 5 June 2011