Homer's Travels: Saga Of The Sleeping Bag

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saga Of The Sleeping Bag

One of the items on my Christmas list this year was a lightweight, compact sleeping bag.  I've been looking for one since ... July 2009 when I used my prize winnings to buy some things for my planned Camino.  Back then I went to Cabelas and purchased an Eureka Cheyenne sleeping bag,  Soon afterward I had buyers remorse.  The bag was too heavy and bulky so I returned it.  I left Cabellas without a sleeping bag.

For my 2011 Camino I chose to use a sleeping bag liner as a sleeping bag.  It worked well but, in some albergues, it was not warm enough and I had some chilly, sleepless nights.  I decided to fix this problem for my 2013 Camino.  Going back to Cabellas I found a relatively cheap, very compact, and very light Eureka Hoback sleeping bag.  It's only good down to 60°F (15°C) but, with my bag liner, it should be fine down to 50°F ( 10°C).  It weighs about 1 lb 3 oz (0.54 kg) and packs down to 7" x 5" (10 x 12 cm).

So I put the Eureka Hoback on my Christmas list.  I specified the make (Eureka), model (Hoback), and size (Regular).  Unfortunately I did not specify the temperature because I didn't think it would be necessary.  I did not foresee the ordeal the Wife would go through.

The ordeal.  It started last Thursday in the parking lot of the Wife's school.  She was getting her billfold out of her car trunk when a gust of wind closed the trunk lid on her head ... hard (It was still hurting four days later).

She got in her car and, distracted by the cranial throbbing, turned right instead of left.  After driving a while the pavement turned to dirt and the Wife realized that she'd turned the wrong way.  She made a right thinking the interstate was north of her.  The interstate turns southwest as it leaves Omaha so it was, in fact, south of her.

Realizing this mistake the Wife turned right on Pacific and, one more turn later, made a complete circle around her school.  She gets on the interstate knowing that you could see Cabelas from the interstate.  She headed west.   Cabelas was east (I am surprised actually ... I would have guessed west as well).  Before she knew it she passed the last Omaha exit, realized her mistake, and had to drive to the next town (Gretna) before she could get off the freeway.

She exited the interstate.  It was almost 2:00 PM and had not eaten lunch yet.  Being hungry and frustrated, the Wife pulled into the drive-thru line at a McDonald's.  She opened her wallet, reached in for the $20 bill inside and ... tore it in half when she tried to pull it out.  She left the drive-thru line even more frustrated and still hungry.

She got back on the interstate and made it to Cabelas.  It had taken her over an hour to make, what should have been, a ten minute drive from school.  She went in and, not finding what I was asking for, asked a helpful Cabela's person.  He looked it up on the inventory and found one.  When the Wife saw that the sleeping bag was only rated to 60°F she said "This can't be right."  The Cabela guy assured her that this was the only Eureka Hoback they had.  The Wife insisted that it couldn't be right.  After discussing what I was going to use it for, the Cabela guy suggested an ... Eureka Cheyenne.  Not wanting to leave the store empty handed after her ordeal, she bought it ... and a Snickers bar for lunch.

Yesterday I returned the Cheyenne and bought a Hoback ... which was now priced 36% off.  I guess it all worked out and we got a funny story to boot.


  1. poor wife...I can emphathize about driving the wrong way...sounds like me.

  2. I think you should take the Wife out to dinner to celebrate that she made it home in one (slightly beat up) piece. Someplace nice. With delicious desserts.

  3. Mom: We all have those moments.

    Miss McC: New Years Eve - Reservation already made!

  4. Homer, so sorry about the wife incident.

    I purchased the Hoback for my wife and we will be doing Camino Portugal April 16th. Looks like average temps are 64/50. We also will have cocoon silk liners and each have our light weight down jackets, I think I'll be pleasantly warm but do worry about my wife she does run cooler than me. What did you and your wife think of the Hobacks?


    1. Paul, I ended up not using a sleeping bag on the Camino (and haven't even used my Hoback even once). I carried a sleeping bag liner, base layer bottoms, and a merino wool half-zip. If it was cold and the albergues didn't have blankets (most do) I wore the base layer and half zip in my liner and was nice and warm. I also wore my half-zip when walking around town in the evening if it was cool so it got duel use. Buen Camino!