View Full Version : Sleeping bags
I'm planning a 3-1-04 starting date for my thru-hike, I have most of my gear but I need a sleeping bag. I HATE mummy bags, I have been leaning towards a 45 degree tapered down bag with a liner for cold weather, I plan on tenting most nights and figure with my fleece, hat, bag, liner, and sleeping pad I should be OK. Is this folly?
I tend to like a warmer bag myself 0 - 32 range plus I carry fleece thermals for those not so spring like days.... but thats what it takes to keep me warm down to about 0....
for a 3/1 start Id be prepared for a lot colder then 45.
I hate mummy too, no place to move my big feet. they do make tapered and rectangle bags in down rated to 0 but they arent as efficient and tend to weigh a small bit more.
The most importnat thing you can get is a silk sleeping bag liner. It will add a degree or two sure but it is all the other reasons why you want it. It is so lovely against your skin that crawling into it at night will be something to look forward to.
You will be able to your bag somewhat clean. Washing the liner is easy and can just go in with your wash each time you hit a town.
It will allow you to sleep au-natural in sitations that are to warm to sleep in your sleeping bag.:banana Why well for one many of us normally sleep like that ...but most of all it will allow any chaffing to dry off each night!!
There is almost no weight in one. Remeber you will have to deal heat more than cold on a NOBO hike.
I think a 45 degree bag is way to light for a March 1st start. Use that bag after Mount Rogers. I wouldn't take less than a 20 degree bag and would even then expect that I might catch a few nights where it would be cold enough to require wearing everything I had to stay warm. You ARE in the mountains and it is cooler at altitude. It is common for the weather to be fine in nearby cities while it is freezing cold with howling winds and snow in the mountains. For a 20 degree or lower bag, you might want to rethink your attitude about mummy bags. They are lighter, pack smaller and are warmer (your body doesn't have to heat as much space).
I would say there is NO way you will stay warm in a 45 degree bag with a march 1 start. We have -2 degrees one night in the smokeys. You should be prepared to make it through a night like that with whatever you carry until damascus (some will say you should be prepared for it until after Mt roger's, but I would say since Mt rogers is so close after damascus, watch the weather and make a decision there. Don't send ALL you winter gear home in damascus, but you might be able to switch bags there).
Now, some people are warm sleepers, but if you don't know for sure that you can take that, then I wouldn't take the chance. We tried out the bags we were hoping to take one night in MA when it was 10 degrees, and they didn't cut it at all! You might want to try sleeping out one night this winter in the bag you want to take.
We had 0 degree bags, and were glad we did. However, the next time we go we are going to use Western Mountaineering Ultralight bags. They are rated to 25, but they are conservatively rated (about the only bag that I know of that is). I would wave off anyone thinking about a Feathered Friends. They are overrated in my opinion. I bought one for my wife, and it is just way too cool, and the down is not really fluffy like the WM.
Yeah, thats what I figured, I guess I will borrow a friends crappy mummy bag and try it out in warm weather, get used to it and then invest in a decent down mummy, iwas hoping to use one bag the whole trip, money is not a major issue but I'm unfortunatly not made of the stuff. Thank you everyone for your input and advice. I'm sure that I will be asking other inane questions as the months go by. The 3-1 start date is not written in stone either, I have a wedding to go to on 9-18 and was hoping to be able to finish by then or do a bit of a flip flop in the mid atlantic to make it. Thanks again
I'm an advocate of 2 bags. One cold weather bag, and a second warm weather bag (like your 40 degree bag) for after Memorial Day and north of Mt. Rodgers.
In 2001 I carried a 20 degree bag from Harper's Ferry north and was way too hot except in the Whites.
I thoroughly enjoyed the mummy bag because it keeps my body warm from head to toe and I get especially cold fast so its ideal.