I woke with a start in the middle of the night to pitch-blackness. My heart was pounding like an out-of-control jackhammer. I pushed my way out of my sleeping bag, gasping for oxygen, and then — slammed with a wall of -8 °C air — dove back in. In that moment, it occurred to me that I probably shouldn’t have rented a sleeping bag. Why didn’t I spend the cash and buy a proper down-filled bag before I left on this trip? Then other questions flooded my brain: What had I been thinking? Why on earth was I doing this?

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