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  1. #1

    Default Lightweight blanket versus a sleeping bag in spring/summer

    Hello everyone - I'm a long-time reader, this is my first post...

    Some buddies and I are planning a trip in the end of May for an area of the AT in N.C. - We're planning to pack light and travel 15 miles/day for 4 days.

    In the past, we have always hiked in the early spring, when temperatures are around 30-40 at night. However, with it being late spring, I'd like to leave the mummy bag at home.

    Does anyone have suggestions for alternatives to a sleeping bag? Initial research has shown space blankets and fleece blankets. I'm leaning towards fleece, but wondering if that will not provide enough warmth.

  2. #2
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    I would stick with an ultralight bag or look at down quilts. I've tried backpacking with a military poncho liner and I froze my butt off. I guess that's why they sent us old Marines to the tropics

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    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    go with a down quilt. my summer one is 16 oz. similar to this quilt, but mine is DIY
    taken mine down to 32 degrees.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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    My fleece quilt stays home until late June through mid-August. After that, I watch the weather carefully before deciding.

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    ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Another vote for a light down quilt.

    I use a 40 down bag in summer and almost always have it unzipped to my feet, using it as a quilt.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

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    Ever hear of Ray Jardine? He prefers a quilt.

    Some consider him a wacko while others revere him as an ultralight genius. I take the "agnostic" view for most of his ideas.

    http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Quilt-Kit/index.htm
    Last edited by Spokes; 05-07-2012 at 17:53.

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    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    my DIY is this bag with the zipper and pad sleeve cut off. did all sewing by hand. got it on clearance for $140 years ago.
    check out hammock top quilts also. they work fine on the ground.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  8. #8
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    Our family uses 20oz fleece blankets we buy for about $20 on Ebay as our primary layer all year long. To this we add a 7 ounce silk liner that we figure gives us a 5 degree "bump" in our temperature. With this combo, we are good so long as the temps inside our tarp/tent or outside if in a shelter will be above 50 degrees. If it's going to be down to the 40's we'll zip bags together for extra warmth. Fwiw, in the winter we add an extra fleece blanket on top and zip our bags together. This setup is good down to 25 degrees. It also keeps my 7 year old from rolling out of the tent, taking the blanket with him

    I've toyed with the space (emergency) blanket idea but found that it's difficult to DIY because it doesn't breath and to work best it should be up against your skin. Perhaps others have had more success...

    If you're handy with a sewing machine (or incredibly patient with needle and thread) you can make a DIY quilt that will keep you comfy in the spring. There are several plans available on the internet. I plan to make two to replace the primary layer in the summer and secondary layer in the winter. Best of luck on your hike.

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    One of those fleece "sleeping bags" or blankets will be heavier and more bulky than a summer sleeping bag (like a high quality WM bag) or a synthetic or down quilt. I use a Montbell down bag liner opened up as a quilt in warmer weather. It is less than 15 ounces and packs amazingly small.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions! I wouldn't mind a DIY project, which sounds awesome. I read some articles online about building quilts after reading everyone's suggestions. However, we're leaving in a little less than 2 weeks, so I don't have the time to tackle such a project right now.

    I ended up buying a Marmot 45* goose down bag from Campmor - It was on sale, and looks to have good reviews as a summer/late spring bag. The specs look pretty decent for the price.

    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___46662

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    ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason_mac01 View Post
    I ended up buying a Marmot 45* goose down bag from Campmor - It was on sale, and looks to have good reviews as a summer/late spring bag. The specs look pretty decent for the price.

    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___46662
    Not exactly light weight (over 2 pounds) but that will do. I hope it has a full-length zipper so you can use it in quilt mode.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  12. #12

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    I was thinking about doing this, but like previously mentioned by daddytwosticks, the fleece sleeping bag weighs as much as my old worn out 30 degree synthetic kelty, which is now more like a 45 bag. I'm thinking about cutting the zipper off...

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