"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Goal #3: 12 Nights in the Bag

Some years ago when I had a subscription the Backpacker magazine I read about the term "bag nights", a term to describe the number of nights you slept in your sleeping bag.  People would write in saying things like "last month I had five bag nights" or "last year I had 35 bag nights".  It all sounded so great to me and I thought that I would love to be a bag night person.  Fast forward to the present day and I have probably logged less than ten in the past five years.  The idea of sleeping outside (camping style not homeless style) really appeals to me so this year I decided to challenge myself to log 12bag nights.  One night each month should be easy, right?  The challenge won't happen that way though because I don't have the gear to camp in cold weather and have no plans to buy it because as the temperature rating goes down the price goes up, up , up.  I am more of a Walmart/Target camping supply shopper unless I can find a sweet deal somewhere.

The number 12 came up because I knew that there were already a few nights on the schedule (see below) so it had to be more than was already planned otherwise there would be no challenge and since it was 2012 it seemed right.  Plus I didn't want to pick a number that was unattainable and 12 seemed like a fair amount.

My old tent and Chuck's old legs
So here is the breakdown so far for 2012:

  • 3nights on the KATY trail (May)
  • 2nights during the MR340 (Jul-Aug)
  • 1night during the Berryman AR (Sept)
That is six nights accounted for, so that only leaves 6more nights for me to get out into the wild.  Should be a piece of cake.
For the sake of clarity I should point out that in my book at least, sleeping in an actual sleeping bag is not a prerequisite to logging a bag night.  My requirements are flexible depending on the situation.  During the MR340 for example we won't be "camping" but we will be out in nature on the Missouri river for up to 88hours (fingers crossed that we finish sooner) so that has to count for something. Not to mention the 34hours Team POW/MIA spent wandering around the woods at last years Berryman Adventure, that has to count as one night.  It is not yet decided if sleeping in a tent in the backyard will count though.

Bottom line is this, I have never found the time spend time outdoors the way I want to and this year things are going to be different.

Thus the telling of the goals was concluded.

Leave a comment below and share some of your goals for the new year!


  1. Sounds like a good goal Patrick. I would probably wimp out for convenience unless I planned them all ahead of time.

  2. I am really looking forward to this one!

  3. Wow, my old legs made it into one of the most read blogs in the country!

  4. Great plan. Hopefully I'll get to join you guys for the Katy ride.

    Goals for the new year...ummm...make it through Double Chubb without dying and before the cutoff. And not come in last at a mountain bike race.