14 June 2017
John Lucas tests out K-Way Gear on a trip to Lesotho and discovers why the K-Way Kilimanjaro Thermashift 3 sleeping bag is essential for freezing conditions.
The SA Snow Report Twitter feed is going mad as I type the final email confirming our travel plans to Lesotho. The news says it’s the most snow recorded since the 60s. So we’re planning to camp in the highlands for a week or two instead of viewing stars at Kubu Island in Botswana.
From airport to border post, the Land Rover is going strong carrying its precious cargo: a over-enthusiastic group of expedition buddies who have criss-crossed Africa together, and some amazing new cold weather gear from Cape Union Mart.
Our route will take us around the outskirts of Lesotho along the escarpment. We'll be following gravel tracks, tracking rivers and crossing some snow covered mountain tops. From roads carved out of snow half a meter deep, to roaring waterfalls and crystal clear rivers, we explore this mountain kingdom by Land Rover and on foot with the assistance of some local guides.
Lesotho is truly a gem of the African continent. Eventually we find a secluded spot to camp for the night by following the gravel tracks. I walk to the local herdsman and in broken Sotho and some sign language I greet him and ask permission to sleep one night.
The following morning, we find a translator and thank him properly for the evening. Before you know it, we’re having the most amazing conversation about how times have changed in this valley. The herdsman is 71 years old. He's named “long legs”, and puts us all to shame walking up and down the steep slopes.
The next evening, we offload all the fire wood we bought from South Africa. We pitch our K-Way Panorama Tents around, or I should say, almost inside the fire. As the moon rises, the snow capped mountains around us light up. Our breath becomes visible in the moonlight alongside the smoke of the fire.
The cold seems to be working against us and this mad idea of camping in Lesotho seems to be just that: pure madness. With the fire drawing its last breath, we head for the warmth our K-Way Kilimanjaro Thermashift 3 sleeping bags.
It seems as if the cold air has even affected our Intex blow-up mattresses. Sometime in the night one of our expedition members fights with his and eventually has to re-inflate it. I assist but quickly find myself exchanging my Drake down jacket for an Eiger as we shiver, waiting for the compressor to do its job at 2 am.
The next morning, we find ourselves iced in. The K-Way Panorama tents are frozen, but there's no water inside our tents and our sleeping bags are perfectly dry.
This is definitely the deciding factor any adventurer needs to take into consideration when choosing a sleeping bag. Staying dry truly ensures a good night’s rest. It also helps to keep all your other valuables in a dry and usable condition.
As a team and a group of friends, we have been able to see and experience many great places in Africa, but never have we been so pleased to be able to sleep in down sleeping bags at -10 degrees C.
I have slept in sleeping bags in the sub-Antarctic, across southern Africa, and now at -10 degrees in the Lesotho highlands. I am pleased to be able to recommend the K-Way KilimanjaroThermashift 3 sleeping bag.
Well done to team K-Way on another amazing product. It's one I will definitely keep on hand for any future expeditions fueled by madness.