Okay simple strategy has come to mind with a little testing already performed but I'm still not sure what I was seeing or what I should be thinking.
I had been using a sauna suit for the VB over my long johns. I bought it for trying to stay warm while freediving, figuring if the water can't get to me than anything I have on underneath will stay dry and keep me warm. It didn't stay dry even with the addition of duct tape around the elastic bands on the wrists, ankles, neck and waist.
Yesterday as I went to take it off I noticed a tear in it, not surprising, around one of the armpits. I taped it up during the day and then when I went to put on the pants last night to head outside again I notice a rip in the butt area that I missed earlier. I said the heck with and decided to do things a little lighter weight(at least a little less weight I would have to carry on my back when hiking). I decided to go with long johns top and bottom. Next on the bottom I put my Gore-Tex pants(yes, not a true VB but it has the water repellancy/proofness to it) and then I put on the sweatpants. On top I did more or less the same thing only in a different order. I put on the sweatshirt followed by the Gore-Tex jacket. The pants are shells but the jacket is much more a jacket than a shell, it probably weighs close to one pound alone.
After dropping my car off at the repair shop this morning I took the hour walk home with nothing more than a the long john top and the jacket on and I stayed reasonably comfortable. I was a bit chilly but on the trail it's exactly the way I would want to be given the forecast and the time of day.
Last night was a rather weird night to say the least. Yesterday had been mostly sunny all day long. It did cloud over in the evening but cleared back out by daybreak. The temperature at 8:30PM was -1 to -2. By 11:30PM(when I went to bed) it was 6 above. By the time I woke up this morning it was back down to around zero. Like I said, a weird night.
When I woke up this morning the idea of taping the plastic trash bag around the mouth opening on the sleeping bag worked fantastic. The only moisture I could find anywhere was on the sleeping pad inside the sleeping bag. It was wet from where I ended up breathing inside the sleeping bag instead of out into the open air. It's still a problem I need to find a solution to. I'm trying to avoid carrying a lot of extra clothing...I wouldn't be wearing, or carrying a pillow with me to keep the head high enough that I will always breath out the hole in the bag versus part/most of the breath(at times) staying in the sleeping bag.
The real strange thing came from what I noticed and didn't notice otherwise. My shoulder were chilled, not flat out cold like they have been previously at the same temperature/maybe a bit colder. Sunday night when it was -8 I didn't have any trouble at all with the shoulders, last night I was noticing them. Otherwise the rest of my body was fine.
After I got in the house I went to change clothes and I noticed that everything was dry. The long johns, top or bottom, tend to get a little damp from insenisble perspiration overnight, not last night. The sleeping bag was dry as well, even the sweatsuit was dry.
I think you can see where I'm going with this, kinda like Billy's questions in Drying Out part 2.
What was the reason for the chilled shoulders and more importantly where did the moisture go.
Do you want VB or breathable material? Dumb question...I realize you want the VB. How does the difference between VB and breathable all come into play on keeping you warm and dry overnight. I can see what I did last night being really sweet...their is no cold chill about to hit you when you go to take off extra layers of wet underclothes, if their is no wet underclothes to take off on a nice cold morning. Where was I losing the moisture but not realizing I was losing the moisture. How much of a difference would I normally see between where the sweatshirt was placed, under or over the jacket? I'm still a little stumped why I had chilled shoulders this morning but I didn't yesterday morning when it was much colder.
So far this is the one thing that makes me ask the biggest and the most questions of anything I have seen thus far. Too much confusion. Definitely I'm going to think this concept through some more but I know I'm ignorant in plenty of regards...last night proved it.