Gear: That time a simple down blanket saved the night

Gear: That time a simple down blanket saved the night

Setting out to ski a big objective during spring ski mountaineering season almost never goes exactly as planned. At least not in my experience. When long approaches, inconsistent snow, occasional alpine camping, volatile mountain weather, warm days, cold nights, couloir climbing and steep descents come together, even the most well-thought-out adventures are bound to go awry. Thankfully, most times it’s only a minor detail that drifts off course and the objective remains attainable. Those mishaps also allow backcountry skiers to creatively find solutions, many times by using the gear at their disposal. It allowed me to test out a product that’s not, generally speaking, the most exciting topic to write about: Blankets.

Picture this: You’re about one-and-a-half miles from the Willis Gulch trailhead near Twin Lakes, Colorado with a mountain of gear strapped to your pack, including your skis and ski boots. You’ve got about four-and-half miles to go ’til you’re at your final destination. You stop to take off a layer and swing your pack off your back and onto the side of the trail. Suddenly, you hear a noise behind you. It sounds like twigs breaking and leaves rustling. That’s when you look at your pack and realize the sleeping bag you thought was securely fastened to the outside of your pack is careening down the hillside into the dark nothingness of the Colorado night. Besides the flooding feeling of stupidity, a sense of dread falls over you knowing that temperatures will be in the low-30s that night and you’re planning on camping at or around treeline. That’s exactly the course of events that took place for me last weekend.

Rumpl Down Puffy Blanket

The Rumpl Down Puff blanket. Photo courtesy of Rumpl

Luckily, stuffed deep within the confines of my bag was the Rumpl Down Puffy—a compressible, insulated blanket. At 11:45 p.m., once we had laid down to rest at our camp spot near treeline, and without the warmth and comfort of my sleeping bag, the Down Puffy proved to be an adequate replacement—i.e. I didn’t freeze and was awarded at least several short bursts of much-needed shuteye before the 5:30 a.m. alarm clock blared. With the exception of my feet, which I covered via the arms of my jacket, I was able to rest on my insulated sleeping pad and engulf myself in the blanket, whose 600 fill sustainably sourced duck down and weather-resistant 20-D Ripstop shell protected me from any invading moisture and the plummeting overnight temperatures. Was it still uncomfortably chilly? Yes. Did I wear my insulated mid-layer to sleep for added warmth? Yes, but I take solace in the fact that it would’ve been quite the bitterly cold night without the Down Puffy. My ski partner wasn’t so lucky, as he managed to forget his sleeping pad entirely, and cold from the snow underneath the three-season tent was enough to keep him up all night. We still managed to complete our objective the next morning, a ski descent of the Hopeful Couloir on 13,933-foot Mount Hope. Like I said, no adventure goes exactly to plan.

Rumpl down puffy camping

The early morning view from the tent, Rumpl Down Puffy and all.

The Rumpl Down Puffy isn’t made for snow camping, per say, but its insulated build and compressibility (down to a size of six inches by six inches) is an awesome option for long distance travel, aprés lounging or warm weather backpacking. As an added bonus, the blanket’s treated down feathers make it machine washable.

Down Puffy

Rumpl | $199
    • 600 fill sustainably sourced down
    • Typically comfortable to 40°F (~4°C)
    • Highly compressible (Approx. 6”x6”)
    • Weather-resistant 20D Ripstop shell
    • Quick-drying treated feathers
    • Weighs 1.2 lbs (540g)
  • [su_button url=”https://www.gorumpl.com/products/down-puffy” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#006699″ size=”5″ radius=”5″]Buy Now[/su_button]


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