Begin...The Rest is Easy

@unicornsandrainbows thanks for all the recs, I already bought a jacket that does not at all fit your description but am going to get a nice sleeping bag. Will tag you with some options. Probably need another base layer and a few more wool socks too!

Hoping this jacket will be warm enough and provide utility in other avenues because I honestly don’t want to camp in this level of cold very often lol

@Bagsy what happened? Just too much life?

45 min peloton @ 187 watts (3 watt PR?)

Ride went:
12 min warmup,

2 rounds:
5 min z4, 2 min z1 cooldown.
2 min z5, 1 min z2 recovery
2 min z5, 1 min z2 recovery
2 min z5, 2 min z1 (only 1 min for round 2)

Kicked my ass, HR went high early and never recovered, it dropped during the recovery/cooldown sections but not enough for it to not spike again. Legs were a bit sore but no actual pain, happy about that. Overall, good ride, going higher intensity is a different beast, will see more of it over the next few weeks.


Quick back session

Reverse hyper: 50 x 12, 70 x 12, 90 x 10
Lat pulldown (medium neutral): 110,130,150 x 10

Hammer db curl: 25 3 x 10
Db row: 60,75,90,110 x 8

Ez preacher curl: 50 3 x 10

Focused on slow movement and solid contractions for a lot of this, had a solid pump. Might do a bit of extra work, body is feeling better today than it has in 10 or so days, which is encouraging.

Partner is taking her first round of boards this afternoon, she’s been working her ass off for 2 years, is very intelligent, and has spent the last 6 weeks studying 60+ hours a week. She’s still nervous but I’m confident in her!


Looks nice, I totally understand not wanting to invest a ton of money for a rare occasion. Marmot makes some good stuff and 3 in 1s are super handy.

Please do! I finally got a nice bag and have loved it.

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This one seems like it would probably work and is pretty cheap!

Slightly more spendy but seems like a good brand

@unicornsandrainbows thanks for the help!


Holy shit, I’ve fallen into a world of socks, there are so many socks.

I feel like I want crew cut, wool, and medium to heavy weight socks? Have you ever used a compression recovery sock? Not sure I would need it, I doubt we do that much hiking but it seems like a cool thing if it works.

Any favorite brands in this realm?

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I would personally pick the Mountain Hardware, especially if you will continue to use it.
By the specs, it sounds like it is double the bag for less than $100 more. Also, the MT Hardware has YKK zippers, zippers matter a ton with sleeping bags and tents. There are so many things to snag and I have never had a YKK fall of a track.
A 30deg bag is barely better than a nice blanket, they just keep cold air out more effectively. 15 is a good in between temperature rating.
For instance, my current bag is a 15deg, I have had it down to 5 with a fleece liner, a base layer, socks, and a hoodie. (I run very cold though, anything less than 70deg and I need a hoodie) I have also had it up to 50deg overnight, no layers and partially unzipped.

On the sock question, go with REI brand or something similar. Smartwools are great, but unless you snag some on sale, they are crazy expensive. Just get the highest content of Merino wool you can find, the higher the synthetic material in them, the less warm and more stinky they will be.


Yep, just not happening logistically or mentally. Saving some money doesn’t suck though.

Also, @unicornsandrainbows is giving you great tips. Merino wool is life-changing for so many reasons! It’s worth the investment.


Awesome, thanks for all the help! I ordered one pair of Darn Tough socks but I’ll probably a few other pairs too, glad to know they don’t all have to be 20+ dollars! I now am subscribed to lol

I have a reasonably nice (30 degree) sleeping bag currently, at least reasonably nice as car camping goes, hoping the upgrade is worth it! I run hot so I imagine I could survive with a warmer rating but would prefer not to “survive”.


Peloton 45 min @ 180 watts

HR was 157 on average. First ride of this program was 165 watts at 161 BPM, so pretty substantial progress. CV still limiting factor by a long shot, which is great because it seems to be turning around to quickly.

Plan is to hit some legs tomorrow


I used this page as reference when I figured out my own clothing awhile back.

It’s really the same basic idea as what @unicornsandrainbows had above.

Polypropylene or wool base layer next to the skin to wick moisture away. Insulation layers in between. Thinner outer layer to keep out wind, rain, and provide any durability you need.

That page has a guide at the bottom of which layers to use when.

As far as socks I like Darn Tough.

For camping you should also look into having some sort of ground pad. Air or foam. Lots of heat lost out of the bottom of a sleeping bag. It doesn’t insulate well on the bottom because it gets compressed, and then heat is conducted to the ground a lot easier.

A wool cap goes a long ways too.

Brand wise, in general. Our stuff is mostly marmot, mountain hardwear, outdoor research, sherpa. We don’t own any Columbia stuff but friends do and are happy with it.


Thanks for the advice and the link, I’ll check out what I currently have and see what they recommend. Definitely need another base layer or two.

End of cut update:

Started at 260.6 two months ago and ended this morning at 252.8, goal was low 250s so I’m calling it a success. Still not exactly where I want to be in terms of leanness but it’s getting there.

Activity levels have been high, 13k step average for August, with a couple of hours of riding a week and a couple hours of lifting (and a couple hours of Winnie tug/wrestling). Plan to keep the levels high with the next phase which will be 2 months of roughly maintenance (+- a few lbs). Steps might drop as I try to increase lifting volume but that’s fine.

Legs this afternoon


Did one set of split squats yesterday and gave up, just a lackluster day on all fronts.

Abduction: 70, 90 x 15, 130, 150 x 10
Adduction:70, 90 x 15, 110, 130 x 10

Pullups: 3 x 7, 1 x 3
SSB: bar x 10, 145 2 x 5, 235 x 5, 285 x 5, 325 x 3, 345 x 3, 375 x 3, 235 x 15 (f***)
Hack RDLs: 140, 230, 320, 410 x 10

Had a bit more in me but am going to ride the peloton for an hour tomorrow and didn’t want to be entirely miserable. Legs were already a bit sore going into this, so I’m not sure I really averted the crisis but I think it will be less bad. 375 didn’t feel great, not a lot of pop in the legs but it wasn’t that hard either. The backoff set was though, I think I’m going to do a @boilerman and start adding these in to every squat workout. I’m don’t really want to do more work at high intensities, so I might as well hit some widowmakers.

Pullups are feeling great, will probably do a session with weighted ones this coming week.



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Man, legs were too sore for the amount of work I did yesterday but got the ride in anyway.

Peloton 60 min @ 178 (2 watt PR)

Endurance ride in zones 2/3, HR was 156, which isn’t bad for the effort. Got some friends coming over this afternoon, will have some beers and grill a bunch of food, should be a good time. Will hit shoulders tomorrow.



Treadmill walk 25ish min

OHP: bar, 95, 115 x 10, 135 3 x 7
Chins (neutral, supinated): 2 x 8, + 40 2 x 5
Lateral raises: 25 3 x 10

Facepulls: 80 2 x 15
Tri pulldown: 60 x 15, 80 x 10
Ss Tri overhead: 60 x 12, 80 x 10

Got some more volume in for shoulders felt good, pull-ups were pretty solid. Drank quite a bit of beer, had a few smokes, and ate a bunch of junk but didn’t go fully off the rails. Been putting down a town of solid food today, should be well fueled for the week.


For what it’s worth, I’ve had a Mountain Hardware 0 degree bag for 12 years and it is still awesome. I also have a Kelty 30 degree bag that cost significantly less and it’s pretty darn good too. Both have been used LOTS - in tents, bivvying and in the back of a 4-runner. I’ve sweat in the 0 degree bag - it’s super warm and hasn’t lost any of its heating power over the years.

I totally second @LoRez’s rec of getting a sleeping pad - that’ll help both with warmth and comfort.

Another thing to make sure you’ve got is a GOOD pair of gloves. When you’re hands get cold - everything gets hard.


Hmmmm too many comments to make :wink:


Thanks for weighing in! I have a nice pair of outdoor research gloves, about the only thing I won’t need to buy haha.

Peloton 45 min @ 192 watts (5 watt PR)

This was my first “power zone max” ride, took me to really high intensity levels with super low intensity breaks. HR got up to 188, average was 163. Real work. Flat on my back currently. Somehow this was 3 bpm lower than my previous best ride. Legs were a bit sore going in but didn’t hold me back, CV limited me but it’s definitely getting better.


Got some back and bis in this morning

Low row (close, neutral): 80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180 x 8
Reverse Hyper: 50 3 x 15
Pullups: 4, 6
Preacher Row (ez bar): 50 3 x 10
Lat pulldown (medium, neutral): 80 x 15, 100 x 12, 120 x 10

super set, 3 sets
Rope hammer curl: 70 x 8
Straight arm pulldowns: 70 x 12

Slept like absolute trash (1030-1am, 530-700) last night and managed to eat about a metric tonne of nonsense in the middle of the night. Also watched All Quite on the Western Front (2022), which was utterly depressing but well done, I enjoyed watching it in German, reminded me how many cognates there are between English, German, and Swedish.

Lats got smoked by this, feel like they’re blowing up recently, maybe its just because i’m less fat so they are sticking out further but it’s nice either way. Not much else on the agenda today, that ride yesterday took quite a bit out of me but might try to do some core/stretching/yoga later on.


Tomorrow got a pretty tough 45 min effort on the peloton and I bought a ticket for standing room (right in front of the stage) for the Bruce Springsteen concert in Syracuse for tomorrow night. Definitely could’ve gone cheaper but I’ve wanted to see him for awhile and the price wasn’t too outrageous. Anyway, will have to slam the day together to get everything done but it will be worth it, hopefully.