Four season tents? Are they necessary?
I have two primary questions.
1. For a NOBO thru hike is a four season tent necessary as you get into the northern states or should I just plan on a three season for the whole trip and just wear extra insulation at night. ( I tend to be a warm sleeper)
2. Should I look for a natural down or synthetic fiber sleeping bag? I know that natural down may be slightly warmer and thus allows me to get a lighter bag but i do have my concerns about drying out natural down when it gets wet.
Also for both questions what brands would you suggest?
1. No. A 4 season tent is for snow load, spin drift and reducing drafts. If the last one is a concern, get an ultralight bivy or wrap some breathable fabric around your bag.
2. Why would it get wet? It certainly shouldn't get wet while in your pack. It can get moist from your sweat condensing at night, but that's easy to get rid of. The first way is to air it out while you're hiking. If that's not an option, and you face a string of moist days, then you can dry it out while sleeping in it by sleeping in trash bags. That will trap your moisture inside the plastic bags, and your body heat will drive the moisture out of the insulation.
What brand you choose depends on how much you want to spend and how light you want your bag to be.
Are you open to using a backpacking quilt? A backpacking quilt can be lighter, more compact and less expensive than comparable sleeping bags.
a 4 season tent is absolutely unnecessary - - a good 3 season tent like an MSR Hubba will do just fine in a little snow and wind. Provided you carefully protect it and keep it dry at all times, a down bag is probably superior - - if you want to give yourself a margin of error (condensation, blowing rain, a spilled pot of tea, etc.) - - a synthetic bag will have a little more bulk but will generally take a little more abuse.
Just wanted to point out that if you're hiking NOBO like most thrus starting some time in March, your concerns for cold weather preparation should really be focused on the South when you're hiking in the winter.
Im not familiar with backpacking quilts care to fill me in? I can obviously make an educated guess as to what they are but I have not used them before.
My 4 season tarp works great, in winter I leave the bug net home.
dont need a four season tent and i prefer down better warmth to weight ratio
^^ Thanks Snowleopard.
Enlightened Equipment has the best deal around for a down quilt. The Revelation X.
The easiest way to imagine a backpacking quilt is to take a normal sleeping bag, unzip it to just below the knees, lay on the ground, put your feet in the footbox and pull the sleeping bag over you. Tuck the edges under your body if it's cold.
A backpacking quilt is like that, but optimized further. It eliminates some of the unnecessary fabric that normally gets squished under your body. That insulation doesn't do any good when it's flat like that. It's your pad that keeps your underside warm.
I normally recommend Enlightened Equipment for the following reasons:
1. Great deal. The Revelation X is the best deal around. The more expensive quilts use lighter fabrics, but still good prices for what they are.
2. I have an Enlightened Equipment quilt
3. They have Karo baffles, which allow you to manually shift down from anywhere in the quilt to anywhere else in the quilt. This means if you have cold feet or a cold torso, you can shift down to where you need it most. If it's a warm night, you can try to shift the down from the center area to the edges.
4. The footbox and be opened completely like a blanket or closed like a mummy sleeping bag, and anywhere in between. This allows you to be comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.
5. Quilts are so light and compact that you can go with a generous width and a warmer quilt than you really need, but still have a sleeping system that's lighter than a sleeping bag. A generous width makes it easier to reduce drafts on cold nights even if you move around a lot while you sleep, and the baffle system means you can move down from those tucked parts of the quilt to areas of the quilt where they'll help keep you warm.
The big thing you have to consider is that you'll need a way to keep your head warm. I favor the Ray Jardine bomber hat. It's incredibly light and warm. It's warmer than any of my wool or synthetic beanies or balaclavas. Unfortunately you have to make it yourself.
leaftye and Snowleaopard; Thanks for recommending and providing info about these quilts. They definitely have me intrigued and I'll be doing more research on them. I appreciate the help.
Nemo may be coming out with a quilt that uses down that has some kind of water resistant treatment. It's extra insurance, but you have to try really hard to really wet out down if the shell has a decent DWR treatment. My Golite quilt takes a long time to soak when I was it. I have to work hard and long to wet the down even when I'm completely submerging the quilt. I spent a night a shelter that either leaked or misted horribly. I stayed warm under my quilt even though the shell was covered with water. The only problem I've had is sweat condensing in the insulation. That dries pretty quick though.
++ New Posts ++