Winter sleeping bag rating for western Cape

Hi all,

Hope you could help. I’m looking to get a winter sleeping bag and I was wondering on what rating to get the bag in. I would like to to do more wild camping and cave sleep overs in the western cape cederberg to jonkershoek area.
At the moment I’m considering a -7 to -9°C /15° to 20°F bag.
I’m male and a warm sleeper. I know that I need to upgrade my sleeping pad as well. But will the -7 to -9 be to warm?

Thank you all in advance for your time and advice.

Too warm is better than too cold. If you are too warm, just unzip it a bit. I haven’t done much in Cederberg and have never been to Jonkershoek - but I’ve been using a -7C bag in the Drakensberg for years and it is generally fine, even in winter. There has been the odd occasion when I’ve taken my -14C bag instead, but usually only when a cold front just went over and it will be abnormally cold and snowy.

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I’ve done quite a few winter hikes in the Cederberg, some in proper storms, sleeping in a cave, and I’ve always been fine with a sleeping bag with a comfort rating of -3ºC (don’t pay attention to the transition or extreme ratings). However, as @Ghaznavid said, too warm is preferable to too cold.

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Thank you appreciate the feedback

Hi Marcel,

As far as I’m aware, unfortunately there aren’t any options for wild camping in Cape Nature, or SanParks managed Nature Reserves. Best to contact them for accomodation options.

Enjoy the wild,

Thank you Ian.

There are some areas, with access through the MCSA and Cederberg that is allowed and some private farms that gives access for camping.



Yes, with the MCSA they are huts, and one needs to be a member & pay per night for the hut, keys, etc. Hence not wild camping.
Yes, the farms may well have access to camping, yet still not wild camping (as in the UK, USA), where I have had excellent hikes, wild camping.
For sleeping bags, have a look at Nature Hike South Africa.

Just to clarify, Cape Nature has three wilderness areas (Cederberg Wilderness Area, Boosmansbos and Groot Winterhoek) where wildcamping is allowed after obtaining permits with CN. There are also wildcamping options within the MCSA properties but best to check specific properties and rules on access and permits etc on their website.

Hope this helps,


In UK wild camping is illegal - in Cederberg, and Matroosbergberg wild camping is permitted in sone areas but you must pay the conservation fee.

The problem with the right winter sleeping bag for the WC is you won’t use it much
My -13 has been stellar, but mostly used in Kalahari winter.

You need to also look into thermal ground mats they make more of a difference

Hi Graham,

Wild camping is legal in the UK (no permits needed either) I’ve done so with my UK friends in Snowdonia, the Lake District, Dartmoor, etc. It is only on private land where one needs the land owners permission, much like here.