Two weeks ago during the cold snap I decided to test some gear. I called a buddy and decided to camp overnight in the Tillamook forest. In town, the temps at night were hovering around 12 degrees and up in the mountains it was about 0-6. While I could have made it easy on myself and brought a 0 degree bag, I left it behind in favor of testing my Marmot Pounder Plus 25 degree bag. I also brought my Esee Junglas for some cold weather testing. We headed out about 3pm. I was wearing Smartwool light weight long johns, light weight pants and a REI wool zip up med weight jacket. My buddy had on 2 pairs of poly long johns, sweatshirt, jacket. The bulk of the initial time we were getting wood, finding pitch wood, setting up shelters. I was comfortable, and didn't get overheated. Standing around tho I needed to be around the fire for sure. Didn't really expect snow since we hadn't had rain in a couple weeks. Oh well... Getting a bit deeper, dang should have brought more gear... Our View - We had about 45 minutes before dark. We selected a gravel landing, just for the view really. Not the ideal place if we were serious about staying warm. It also limited our tarp configurations. Couple of issues with this site selection. The gravel landing was very hard to stake our tarps, but it was a good improv test. Also, the way I wanted to set my tarp wasn't really possible, because I didn't have a couple trees to setup my ridge line to reflect / trap heat so we just improvised with what we had. Not an ideal shelter to trap heat at all, but just went with it for the night to see how I would react. My buddies tarp setup, we basically did the same thing. He had a Bivi, REI zero degree bag, full length theromorest with a 10x10 siltarp, and ground cloth. His main goal was to find pitchwood and get a fire going without matches, not test the limits of his bag. He spent the last 1/2 hr until dark finding pitchwood to get our fire started. He told me that he was frustrated and wanted to give up looking. But kept looking cause in his head he heard my voice saying "You don't have a choice, your family is freezing, you can't fail!" I got a kick out of that when he told me. I would have said that exactly to him, lol. After about an hour we had a bit of wood collected. We did bring a large limb saw, but the wood was so hard and frozen it was like sawing through ice and wood. We made the decision to just walk about and kick up lumps in the snow (quicker, less work) and found quite a bit of dead wood just laying around. We made a sort of a wall of wood on both sides like a tunnel to help create a pocket of heat. By now it was about 10pm maybe 8 degrees. Our tarp stakes were sticking to our hands, anything metal really. My Junglas split wood like a champ. But holding the blade wouldn't be possible with bare hands if you wanted to keep your skin attatched. My setup, a Bivi, 25 degree Marmot Pounder plus, 3/4 length .5 inch guide mat (older model by thermorest) no ground cloth 10x10 siltarp. Out getting more wood. Getting some dinner started. My Pocket Rocket fuel canister failed at these temps. Even warming it by the fire for 15 minutes didn't help. We spent the rest of the evening hydrating, collecting more snow to melt and filling our water bottles. I usually do not like cooking by the fire just because of the residue left on the Ti pot but we had no choice. My buddy had an MRE which after he used the heater for his meal he placed under his arms for an hour or so, great idea! I had Mountain House spaghetti (tasty, lot of meat). We headed to bed about 12am, I was up 5 times during the night feeding the fire. I really didn't sleep that much. Never really do the first night out, but I was cold. Not shivering cold, but cold enough to keep moving my feet around in my bag all night. I went to bed in my long johns, light pants and 1 layer of wool socks and hat. I had the bivi closed except for about 8 inches (I could really feel the draft) and my bag cinched closed. Now I have to pee, great. Where's my pee bottle (guys in mummy bags can relate) damn forgot it. I have one arm outside my bag reaching for my pot (improvise, adapt, overcome). Now I sorta regret drinking all of that water. 4 times during the night I made the treacherous journey with an open pot through my mummy bag. Never spilled a drop, whew! About 5am we got this party started. Warm Oatmeal, loaded up the fire with the rest of our wood. I probably slept an hour at most, but didn't feel like it. My buddy was up every hour or so, but snoring within 5 minutes of hitting his bag. Things that I learned from this trip. Don't depend on fancy stoves, fuel, etc in cold weather fire is king. It's also a lot of work collecting wood, done this many many times and know this. Look around for wood, don't think you need to process everything (saw, axe, etc) sometimes whats under your feet will work just fine. Also, keep gloves away from the fire, one of mine got pretty scorched by the fire. NightVision worked perfect in near zero degree weather. A pot packed full of snow will give you about 2 inches of water when melted. I dressed about right for our outting. I never felt the need for a jacket because of the fire, just two layers of wool were just fine. Coyotes can be annoying. Poachers even go out in very cold weather. We heard 3 loud magnum rifle rounds go off around 11pm. In case you are interested here's another outing with same friend in absolutely horrible conditions with hardly any gear. We had 2-3 inches of rain. Lots of fun, after we got back. http://www.northwestfirearms.com/pr...e-night-out-tillamook-forest-review-pics.html I guess that's about it.