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marc's experience

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MARC TOLD ME THE FOLLOWING STORY JUST THE OTHER DAY SO I ASKED HIM TO WRITE ITUP AND I WOULD PUT IN ON THE WEN SITE.

Marc Taylor

October 10, 2019

Walking the Talk

Attempt to Fail my WET Wiggy’s Sleeping Bag

In July of 2005, with the blessing of Jerry Wigutow of Wiggy’s, Inc. I opened

“Wiggy’s Alaska”, the Alaska retail location for the inventory of Wiggy’s products.

Alaska adventurers and professionals had a hunger for the insulating qualities that only Wiggy’s’ Lamilite provides, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to break from the corporate world and open a small business.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me give you some back story…

In the late ‘80s, as a Marine Sniper at 2nd Marine Division, I was handed one

of the first Wiggy’s sleeping bags. A friend of mine who was a Regimental Scout had ordered the bag for his personal use. He loaned it to me for a field operation and I found it to be much lighter and warmer than the bags we were issued at the time, which were extremely heavy and not very warm for their weight. Before I could order one for myself, I was whisked away to be an instructor at the Scout / Sniper School at 2nd Marine Division, so I would not have much use for a new bag any time soon.

Fast-forward nearly twenty years and I found myself living and hunting in

Alaska. I ordered a purple Super Light for my Alaska hunts and found it perfect in every way for the Alaska experience.

A couple years after the Alaska retail location was opened, I lightened up a

couple of the popular models of Wiggy bags for the mountain hunters of Alaska.

WALKING THE TALK !1

Appropriately, I named the first one the “Mountain Hunter”. There was some

debate as to the temperature rating of the bag, and I felt it was firmly a 25-degree F bag and carried it on many mountain hunts, being a Dahl sheep and mountain goat hunter. Many were sold to customers of my store and the bag was really taking off with the Alaska backpacking and hunting crowd.

The internet forums, being very popular with consumers, were great places to

go to review and promote products, and I’m sure it failed quite a few as well, so as a small business owner I decided to “walk the talk” that our Wiggy’s bags not only worked, but worked when they were soaking-wet… even in the dead of winter!

I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own, and document it online

for the internet crowd to judge for themselves.

My wife and I went to a local trail system and pulled a pulk with a small

amount of overnight gear to a not-so-remote location to conduct the experiment. We were close enough to my auto in case things went horribly wrong. Forecast: clear skies and 10 degrees F.

She would sleep in my purple Super Light 0-degree bag and I would sleep in

my much lighter Mountain Hunter. I would attempt to FAIL my lighter bag, WET, at 10-degrees F, with clothing that accompanies me on all my fall hunts: Wiggy’s Leg Jackets, Booties and Barren Ground Jacket.

Honestly, I was more nervous about my wife’s overnight experience in the 0-

degree bag than I was about what I was to experience. I had spent many nights in the cold in the purple bag, and I felt it would be bomb-proof. She was the

unknown. Women tend to sleep a little cooler, as they generally do not possess the heat-producing muscle mass that men do.

We arrived mid-afternoon, set up a lightweight shelter-tarp and went for a

stroll. We then ate a freeze-dried dinner and made a small fire to sit by until tired enough to go to bed. The days are very short in January, and the nights are long.

WALKING THE TALK !2

Our “spartan” quarters for the night.

I wet and filled my bag with two quarts of warm water from the packable

stove, and it froze almost immediately. My wife would sleep in lightweight long underwear and I would sleep in the Wiggy’s gear that I mentioned earlier, because it is always on my hunts, and my bag was being challenged by the lower temperature than its rating, and the fact that it would be wet and frozen when I climbed in.

WALKING THE TALK !3

My frozen bag before turning in.

We lay awake chatting for quite a while, basically, it was me deciding whether

or not she would be okay going through with this. Before long, I heard her “lady snoring,” and I was toasty-warm, so I checked the temperature in my bag on a small thermometer I had attached to my zipper. It was 80-degrees F in my bag. 80-degrees F in my bag, after one hour.

WALKING THE TALK !4

We slept through the entire night, waking in the dark at 7:00 a.m. I simply

could not sleep anymore, so we packed by headlamp and pulled our load back to the car.

I had no real reason to ask my wife how she slept. I’m sure I’d have heard

about it if she had not. I slept soundly and warm enough to wake up in a dry

Wiggy bag with a sheen of frost on the outer shell. All the water that I had poured in had vanished and the Lamilite insulation worked exactly as I had been telling my customers it would.

This experiment did many things for me, most importantly was to ensure me

confidence in the gear I was selling. However, a second important lesson was

revealed: The backpacking crowd has feverishly been seeking the perfect

lightweight alternative to down bags, as they do NOT work when wet. The fact

that I always travel with Wiggy clothing in my backpack allows me to carry less

sleeping bag, because I will be augmenting the insulation provided by my sleeping bag with the insulation, of the same Lamilite construction, that I am wearing!

My sleeping bag is of not much worth to me unless I am in it. My Lamilite-insulated garments allow me to be warm outside of my bag as well as ensuring that I will be warm inside my bag, even when things go wrong and I must get into a wet bag or be wet within the bag!

Over the years since this 2007 experiment, I have sold literally thousands of

Wiggy’s garments and sleeping bags. I do use Wiggy’s clothing and sleeping

bags because I sell them… I sell them because I have used them and continue to do so!

I have Walked the Talk.

A TESTIMONIAL

Wiggy……...When hiking overnight etc., I only carry a "fly sheet" ( along with my Wiggy bag) anyway when waking in the morning I didn't even realize it had rained and sticking my head out as me and my bag were bone dry ….on de-camping I just gave my bag a shaking for any surface water and off I went dry as a bone...so the guy who says your bags leak or something , is an idiot to say the least...I was RCAF and we had some clowns as well as the USMC....

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