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follow up from Joni

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JERVEN BAGS?

It is Saturday morning and the following e mail was waiting for me from my friend Joni in Finland.

Wiggy,

I suspect there are couple of reasons for the Norwegian SF to (possibly?) use Snugpak sleeping bags.

One reason is a political one. Norway and UK have very close relations in the fields of military and economic cooperation. It started before WW2 and only strengthened during the Cold War.

Other very probable reason is a product called Jerven bag. The Jerven bag is basically waterproof insulated poncho with camouflage color. The Norwegians use Jerven bag to build makeshift shelters and as a Bivy, and they also use it to enhance the rating of any sleeping bag (Kind of like over bag/bivy). The Jerven bag happens to use Climashield insulation. The waterproof outer shell is not goretex by the way. So basically, they have a chance to enhance the rating of even a subpar sleeping bag. Jerven bags are very common item in the militaries of Scandinavian countries.

I attached a picture of me wearing your Ducksback Alaska range parka shell with L-3 liner. This is excellent multipurpose outdoors jacket. This week it has withstood hailstorm and sleet like a champ in Finnish Lapland 250 km above the arctic circle.

I will have to buy the L-6 liner for the winter.

Yours Truly, Joni

The Jerven bags are given the name because it is the name of the company that made it first. However, the Varusteleka Company also makes one that is far superior. The reason is they use the Climashield and Jerven uses a chopped staple fiberfill.

That aside I researched the product and believe the Scandinavian people involved with dressing their soldiers are as inept as I have seen through out the world. As an example, a commandant in the Norwegian military in 1932 invented the most efficient first layer of clothing ever, fishnet underwear. To the best of my knowledge it was standard issue until I read last year, they now give them close knit polyester garments, the fishnets are available but not standard issue to be worn in winter. So, it is not a surprise to me that they would go with a product that would not work and then they the Norwegian military from what I read were the designers of the Jerven product to compensate for the poor performance of the sleeping bag.

The correct answer to the Scandinavian predicament is to get the Ecotat Freedom Shelter plus the Ultra-Light Freedom Shelter plus 20-degree F sleeping bag. From the first time I saw the Ecotat Freedom Shelter I knew it was the best shelter a soldier could carry and when Dick Haislip the owner of Ecotat designed the sleeping bag to fit in it, I knew that this was the best system a soldier could carry. Early on we made 3000 for the Marine Corps Force Recon and that was it. Over the years the shelter has been a part of survival equipment on all Army aircraft.

The thought of giving a soldier two light weight items is demented thinking. Like the guys who stopped by Friday after a week of hunting and telling me they jus kept the bags unzipped when it was to warm. This configuration probably does not work very well below the freezing point of 32 degrees anyway. The Climashield insulated one is much better but still not as good as a Lamilite/Climashield insulated bag from Wiggy’s.

What the military people do is create something and when they find it does not work the try and correct it but not change what the started with; i.e. the non-functioning sleeping bags in the case of the Norwegians. If my friend Joni is correct that the Norwegians are buying based upon political considerations who is hurt the taxpayers and the soldiers just like here in the USA.

I do get a multitude of requests for me to make a bag that some genius has come up with from various European countries but all I respond with is look at my Super Light FTRSS (meaning with the over bag) and they will be set for any conditions they may encounter. I tell them that the US military has been using this system from Wiggy’s since 1993 and have never had a failure so it is good enough for them.

They are sticklers for wanting what they want so I walk from them and generally they get trash if they get anything.

I could not cut/copy and paste Joni’s pictures unfortunately.

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