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Tron-Life
04-13-2014, 17:12
I'm headed to do a week long section hike in VA. I know it is going to rain at least 2 of those days with the lowest temperature at about 23 degrees on Tuesday night. I'm having a hard time choosing which sleeping bag to bring; either my new down quilt, rated at 35 degrees which weighs 1lb 8oz and measures 10'' length by 7'' width, or my synthetic sleeping bag, also rated at 35, weights 2lbs and measures 14'' length by 7''.

Two things are troubling me; one, the down is a quilt and doesn't quite wrap around me, but is lighter, warmer to the touch, and less constrictive, two, the synthetic is larger, heavier, and more constrictive, but won't fail if it gets wet, also the quilting for it is more uniform with no dead spots.

I have used down bags before for extended trips with no problems, even in the rain, but I'm feeling a bit paranoid because of how low the temp will get that second rainy night. I'm deeply interested to here which bag you choose and why, because I'm really torn over here.

Tron-Life
04-13-2014, 17:14
here's a link to the weather forecast for Tuesday night:
http://www.weather.com/weather/wxdetail2/USVA0204

Rocket Jones
04-13-2014, 17:32
Are you tenting? Tarp? Shelter?

Tron-Life
04-13-2014, 17:59
I'm tarping it for sure.

No Directions
04-13-2014, 18:02
I would seriously consider a hammock. With a good tarp there is no way you will get wet. Although I am new at hammocking it is by far the best night of sleep I have had in the woods.

ChinMusic
04-13-2014, 18:09
It only took 5 posts this time.

I would take the down and a good down jacket if it's really going to get to 23

Tron-Life
04-13-2014, 18:16
It only took 5 posts this time.

I would take the down and a good down jacket if it's really going to get to 23

Good advise. I'm really considering if I need both my insulated jacket and my fleece; it seems to be overkill, but with the low temperatures...
My jacket is about 14oz which really hurts but it might me necessary this time.

No Directions
04-13-2014, 18:17
It only took 5 posts this time.

I would take the down and a good down jacket if it's really going to get to 23
Lol. Hey, I spend more nights in a tent but I swear the ground gets harder every year I get older.

MuddyWaters
04-13-2014, 18:21
It will be 22 in Damascus. At what elevation are you planning to camp? You might be in the teens.
You might need both.

Tron-Life
04-13-2014, 20:06
Yeah, I'm taking both plus the down quilt. I'm off now to the bus and on my way to the trail!
Thanks for responding to my last minute panic post. I'll be sure to write a trip report so everyone can find out how everything worked out.

Best Wishes,
G

Tron-Life
04-15-2014, 08:08
OK. Quick update. I just survived my first night on the trail, and what a night it was. Firstly, I forgot my puffy jacket which is a bit distressing given how cold it is going to get. It rained pretty good last night and is still doing now; that's why I'm in here typing this!
I didn't pitch my tarp very well and it wasn't quite low enough to keep out all the rain which cause water to pool by my feet -- I must be out of practice. The foot end of the quilt got a little wet, but with some periodic wiping down with my bandana, it stayed respectably dry.
my feelings about the quilt are somewhat mixed: on the one hand, its light and warm, but on the other, its a little small width wise for my large self which made sleeping warm a bit of a challenge. If I left any gap in coverage, I would quickly get cold; so cold in fact, that I had to put on all my cloths except for my fleece which, again, is worrying because of tonights low projected temperature. Putting on so many clothes was counter productive because it caused me to sweat and get damp -- if it were colder, I would have been in trouble, and it was only in the upper to mid forties last night.

For tonight, I will either stay in the shelter, which is probably going to be packed, or when tarping, pitch way lower and pay more attention to the wind direction; there was alot of airflow coming through here last night for sure, but I was to lazy to re pitch which was foolish.
Just wanted to keep you guys up to date.

Pray for me,
G

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Venchka
04-15-2014, 11:32
The wind will make things worse. Lots of wind. The system approaching you, or wrapped around you, went through Houston, TX yesterday like a freight train. Boone, NC is getting the wind, rain, wind, snow, wind now.
And some folks think that tents and sleeping bags are too heavy. Bah! Humbug!
Too bad about your down jacket. Shakes his head.
Be warm. Be safe. The wind has a habit of finding anything loose or dead overhead and dropping it on the ground.

Wayne

HikerMom58
04-15-2014, 15:45
This weather is NUTS... stay safe. I'm saying a prayer for you Tron-Life. Stay in touch.

Tron-Life
04-21-2014, 21:15
OK. Sorry for being melodramatic but I'm back in town and doing fine. I slept a bit cold a few of those nights but overall my down quilt performed admirably given the low temperatures. One night it got below 20 degrees. I was in a shelter though with a fire and eight bodies to help keep me warm. Thanks everyone for your concern. It was a great week out there for sure. Next time I might try bringing a 20 degree bag/quilt instead. I liked the quilt but if I let myself get uncovered by moving around too much I instantly became very cold. In this way the quilt was actually more restrictive then a bag which is a shame. It is pretty warm overall considering the weight. If I was slimmer the quilt would have been fine. On the really cold nights I slept with a hot water bottle which worked very well. Again thanks for your concern and prayers.

Best wishes
G

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Malto
04-21-2014, 21:18
A bivy with your quilt will solve several of your issues, Temperature, rain splatter and wind.

Venchka
04-21-2014, 22:06
I thought that quilts had straps under your sleeping to keep the sides of quilt around you?
You read my mind. Knowing the forecast, my answer to your original question: To 20 degree quilt that you did not buy.
Tarp, Bivy, quilt? Sounds like a tent and bag solution to me.

Wayne


Sent from somewhere around here.

Tron-Life
04-22-2014, 00:13
What I really need is to pitch my tarp better and maybe get a longer one. I used to use a Navy for my knees down but at that point with a tarp a bivy and a bug net I might as well get a tent which I won't do because of the expense of ultralight tents. I'm also rather attached to the tarping experience. Overall I stayed pretty warm travel light and stayed dry so I'm satisfied. Only thing is to think about whether or not to quilt or bag. Like I said having to stay so still and always worrying about staying covered was annoying but you can't beat the weight savings and simplicity of a down blanket. All I need to do is maybe get a warmer quilt and lose some damn weight!

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Tron-Life
04-22-2014, 00:16
Damn auto type made me insert navy instead of bivy so understand that's what I meant.

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Tron-Life
04-22-2014, 00:25
A bivy with your quilt will solve several of your issues, Temperature, rain splatter and wind.

The real problem I have with bivies is the condensation which always gets me as I sweat alot. I was reading walking with spring by Earl Shaffer and he mentions using a gunny sack to cover his feet. Maybe I could make a tyvek sack to cover my feet and shins but a longer tarp will work just as well.


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daddytwosticks
04-22-2014, 07:09
I don't use a quilt in colder weather because of the problems you noted. Give me my WM Megalite! In the summer, I use an older model Montbell Thermal Sheet (lightweight down sleeping bag liner) opened up as a quilt. I think it weighs 14 ounces. :)

Venchka
04-22-2014, 08:18
Like I was saying...
From Enlightened Equipment:

ATTACHMENTSEvery Enlightened Equipment top quilt comes with two sets of straps to secure your quilt the way you prefer. Hammock sleepers and those not moving around much can leave off the straps entirely, and those who want a tight fit can use the standard elastic straps, which can pull the quilt tight to you and attach behind your back. The second set is our specially designed pad straps, which are used to attach your quilt directly to your pad. More information on the pad straps can be found here. (https://store-japp2.mybigcommerce.com/blog/quilts-102-pad-straps/)

However, I would have a hard time forking over $500 for a hood less, zipper less, draft collar less 20 wannabe sleeping device when I could have my pick of 20 sleeping bags from Feathered Friends or Western Mountaineering for less to slightly more money. I am reminded of The Emporer's New Clothes (http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html).

Tron-Life-I'm glad you had a good trip and learned a thing or three for future trips. Have fun!

Wayne

MuddyWaters
04-24-2014, 21:47
Like I was saying...
From Enlightened Equipment:


However, I would have a hard time forking over $500 for a hood less, zipper less, draft collar less 20 wannabe sleeping device when I could have my pick of 20 sleeping bags from Feathered Friends or Western Mountaineering for less to slightly more money. I am reminded of The Emporer's New Clothes (http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html).

Tron-Life-I'm glad you had a good trip and learned a thing or three for future trips. Have fun!

Wayne


I prefer quilts due to freedom of movement. Being able to rotate your head or roll to the side in a quilt with a hood is divine compared to the restriction of a mummy bag.
cold drafts do get annoying for sure compared to snug warmth of a sealed up bag though.

Paying $$$ is for the light weight, not top performance.

q-tip
04-25-2014, 10:53
I am curious, howdid the hot water bottle work??, Did you wrap it in something???? I sleep really cold, and use a WM Alpinlite with overfill, but still get cold in the 20's. Your thoughts???????

Venchka
04-25-2014, 16:58
I am curious, howdid the hot water bottle work??, Did you wrap it in something???? I sleep really cold, and use a WM Alpinlite with overfill, but still get cold in the 20's. Your thoughts???????

Interesting. Adding note of caution next to Alpinlite on my shopping list. Thanks!

Wayne

Theosus
04-26-2014, 09:31
I know someone else mentioned it but hammocks are where quilts really shine. Because the hammock wraps around you a bit, it's not hard to maintain coverage and lack of a gap. The underquilt serves as your back, and the top quilt goes over you and tucks in on the sides. I've slept down to 25 degrees and been warm in my underwear. I've slept at 40 degrees and sweated so much I had to keep opening the sides up on purpose.
I know some people like quilts on the ground, but try one in a hammock!

Tron-Life
04-28-2014, 17:46
I am curious, howdid the hot water bottle work??, Did you wrap it in something???? I sleep really cold, and use a WM Alpinlite with overfill, but still get cold in the 20's. Your thoughts???????
For the hot water bottle, I took a full litre bottle of water, boiled about 60% of it in my pot, and poured the hot water back into the bottle with the remaining 40% cool water; this way, the water won't be too hot. I also put the bottle in sock. I used two of these warm bottles with one put down my pant leg behind my calf, and the other under my fleece between my upper groin and stomach, all under my clothes. This was a bit awkward but it's better than sleeping cold or carrying heavier stuff. Not making the bottles too hot is key as, in the long run, this can make you colder when they lose all their heat. You need to experiment to get it just right. Also, too much heat will make you sweat and, like a fire, only warm one side of you.with the two, one low and in the back, and the other mid range and in the front, you will stay uniformly warm and comfy. wrapping the bottle in a sock is really thin insulation, so if you can, wrap it with extra underwear or clothes for optimal heat retention and radiation/conduction.

Tron-Life
04-28-2014, 18:06
I should say I put the warm water bottles under my clothes but not directly on to my skin, but rather next to my base layer. It seems like a small point but it makes alot of difference. I a sleeping bag I would tuck the leg bottle in my pant regardless but the other I would hold outside of my clothes. Some people just like to keep the bottle under their feet and sort of "stand" on top of it if that makes sense.

Pringles
04-30-2014, 18:52
Tron-Life, you said in an earlier post that you wouldn't consider a tent because of the cost of ultralight tents. I bought a Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout Solo Tent from Antigravity Gear a year or two ago. The specs say it weighs 34 oz., which I think is pretty close to correct, and it costs $125. You have to use poles (or you can buy extra tent poles), but it's a nice little tent and has kept me dry in rain. I understand if you want to use a tarp, but you said that light tents are expensive, so I wanted to mention this in case you really would consider a tent if the price were right. The mesh really keeps out skeeters, too. :-)

Wise Old Owl
04-30-2014, 19:36
The real problem I have with bivies is the condensation which always gets me as I sweat alot. I was reading walking with spring by Earl Shaffer and he mentions using a gunny sack to cover his feet. Maybe I could make a tyvek sack to cover my feet and shins but a longer tarp will work just as well.


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a 20 gallon disposable kitchen trash bag would work and serves dual purpose

Tron-Life
05-03-2014, 15:38
a 20 gallon disposable kitchen trash bag would work and serves dual purpose

Great idea! I perfer solution likes this where I use something I already have rather than buy something new. I would potentially use a tent but I can't see myself ditching my tarp which weighs about 9oz and packs down to nothing. I also use my tarp as a rain cape which adds to its utility. To carry a tent I would have to use a larger pack, mine is currently 50 liters, and carry a full rain jacket which further complicates things. In the north east with all the trees and dense forest, pitching a tarp is easy; on the other hand, above the tree line or in the desert, having a free standing structure to protect you from wind and rain is attractive but I would need a tent, possibly a tarp tent, that is less then 2lbs, packs extremely small, and has limited amounts of poles so I can pack it easily. For now, I'll stick with my tarp till I find something that would make switching worthwhile. I'll be hiking from High Point to Mt Washington this summer so finding something fully contained could be good, but on my attempt at the same trip a few years ago, I only had bug problems while I was hiking not in my tarp which is the same one I have now.

ScareBear
05-03-2014, 19:27
I can't imagine tarping at 32 degrees with wind and rain and a down bag. But, each to their own. For an extra pound or two, you can have a tent with a bathtub floor, waterproof fly and plenty of bug screen ventilation. Unless you are completely cash-strapped, it seems ounce-wise and pound-foolish. You dress for the weather, don't you? Why wouldn't you shelter for the weather? We just did a short section hike on the AT and were camping near Hogpen Gap when the horrible storms hit Monday. While waiting for our ride at Hogpen, we met hikers whose tarping was epic fail in the storm. Our driver had to fetch folks from Fontana early that morning because...."either their tarps failed and they and their gear were soaked or like this one guy...he didn't know how to set the fly above his hammock and the damn thing filled up with water". Tarps and down bags....seems oxymoronic...

theoilman
05-03-2014, 19:47
You must be a super midget: to be able to use a quilt only 10 inches by 7 inches or a bag only 14 inches by 7 inches! To be so small they sure are heavy!

ScareBear
05-03-2014, 19:47
Great idea! I perfer solution likes this where I use something I already have rather than buy something new. I would potentially use a tent but I can't see myself ditching my tarp which weighs about 9oz and packs down to nothing. I also use my tarp as a rain cape which adds to its utility. To carry a tent I would have to use a larger pack, mine is currently 50 liters, and carry a full rain jacket which further complicates things. In the north east with all the trees and dense forest, pitching a tarp is easy; on the other hand, above the tree line or in the desert, having a free standing structure to protect you from wind and rain is attractive but I would need a tent, possibly a tarp tent, that is less then 2lbs, packs extremely small, and has limited amounts of poles so I can pack it easily. For now, I'll stick with my tarp till I find something that would make switching worthwhile. I'll be hiking from High Point to Mt Washington this summer so finding something fully contained could be good, but on my attempt at the same trip a few years ago, I only had bug problems while I was hiking not in my tarp which is the same one I have now.

If your pack is 50L, why in the world can't your strap your tent onto your pack, either horizontally on top or bottom, or vertically in the center of the pack? Why can't you pack the tent body and strap the poles vertically to the center of your pack? A 50L pack is pretty darn large. My trailpartner hikes with a Gregory Sage 55 in small which is only 50L and she can strap all kinds of gear to the outside of the pack, including a full-sized closed-cell sleeping pad, tent, etc...I can fit my TNF Flint2 tent INSIDE my 62L pack, poles and all. And that is a big, heavy(4.5 pounds) beast with long poles. I can't imagine you up on Mt. Washington anytime of year in a tarp at night. Have you actually been on Mt. Washington before? Have you been in the Whites before? Mt. Washington is not to be toyed with, anytime of year. IMHO tarping Mt. Washington is toying with her. YMMV....

Venchka
05-03-2014, 20:46
TT Notch or Contrail. 27 ounces. 16x3.5 packed. I have pockets on packs that would hold either one. 18 ounces for full protection.
Sleep well.

Wayne


Sent from somewhere around here.

MuddyWaters
05-03-2014, 23:44
I can't imagine tarping at 32 degrees with wind and rain and a down bag. But, each to their own. For an extra pound or two, you can have a tent with a bathtub floor, waterproof fly and plenty of bug screen ventilation. Unless you are completely cash-strapped, it seems ounce-wise and pound-foolish. You dress for the weather, don't you? Why wouldn't you shelter for the weather? We just did a short section hike on the AT and were camping near Hogpen Gap when the horrible storms hit Monday. While waiting for our ride at Hogpen, we met hikers whose tarping was epic fail in the storm. Our driver had to fetch folks from Fontana early that morning because...."either their tarps failed and they and their gear were soaked or like this one guy...he didn't know how to set the fly above his hammock and the damn thing filled up with water". Tarps and down bags....seems oxymoronic...

Most of the people I have seen totally soaked and being taken off the trail, had ...tents.
Fortunately, GA in the spring is convenient for learning mistakes, with frequent road crossings and shuttle services.

Lots of people lack the how to knowledge, and experience , until they learn the hard way. But they do eventualy learn.

Wise Old Owl
05-04-2014, 02:38
I can't imagine tarping at 32 degrees with wind and rain and a down bag. But, each to their own. For an extra pound or two, you can have a tent with a bathtub floor, waterproof fly and plenty of bug screen ventilation. Unless you are completely cash-strapped, it seems ounce-wise and pound-foolish. You dress for the weather, don't you? Why wouldn't you shelter for the weather? We just did a short section hike on the AT and were camping near Hogpen Gap when the horrible storms hit Monday. While waiting for our ride at Hogpen, we met hikers whose tarping was epic fail in the storm. Our driver had to fetch folks from Fontana early that morning because...."either their tarps failed and they and their gear were soaked or like this one guy...he didn't know how to set the fly above his hammock and the damn thing filled up with water". Tarps and down bags....seems oxymoronic...

Serious I went to William Fremd High - You can test your gear in the backyard in any condition. I have hiked in the woods in the windy city. Test your gear! Ounce wise - yea get it on... find what is comfortable in your world.

ScareBear
05-04-2014, 04:53
Most of the people I have seen totally soaked and being taken off the trail, had ...tents.
Fortunately, GA in the spring is convenient for learning mistakes, with frequent road crossings and shuttle services.

Lots of people lack the how to knowledge, and experience , until they learn the hard way. But they do eventualy learn.

I agree wholeheartedly with your last paragraph. Hike Georgia in March if this is the first backpacking trip in the mountains. In ten days, your gear, and you, will get a proper shakedown. IF you make it to Unicoi Gap in under 8 days and you and your gear are intact and happy, then congratulations. If not, then perhaps you need to seriously rethink your gear, your physical conditioning and your experience level. There is a reason the vast majority of thru-hikers who quit, do so before they ever make it out of Georgia. And, flopping your section hiking to get the Whites and Mt. Washington out of the way early may not be the best idea, if you've never been in harsh mountain conditions. Your comfort level after getting through Georgia is a good indication of your readiness to tackle the tough ones. If Georgia kicked your butt so bad you have self-doubts instead of self-confidence, stay out of the Whites until you get some more experience and self-confidence. Just my observations of blind ambition causing serious problems when there isn't proper gear or experience. But, isn't that the hallmark of the AT in March and April? It would almost be funny if it were not so sad and potentially tragic...

Plus, over the years, I have seen many, many tent failures. These are almost always due to poor staking and guying techniques. Sometimes it is due to pole failure or fabric failure, but these seem to be in a very small minority. And, sometimes it is due to incredibly foolish site selection. It just seems so much easier for a non-floored tarp to fail in high winds. What is keeping the tarp from becoming a sail in a high winds? This poster doesn't have a hex or pyramid tarp, just some lightweight thing that he uses as a cagoule as an alternative use. These are the tarps I see sailing and failing. And, Mt. Washington is probably one of the worst places on the entire 2200 miles of the AT to test your tarping skills on a really dangerous mountain for the first time.

jeffmeh
05-04-2014, 11:16
One can tarp comfortably in the Whites with appropriate skills, during the snow unlikely season (there is a potential for snow all year, although pretty unlikely in the height of the summer). I used to do it frequently. That said, with the well-designed tarp tent options from Tarptent, Six Moon Designs, Lightheart Gear, Zpacks, and the like, I no longer see the appeal of a tarp. The tarp tent also gives you bug proofing, for little weight penalty over a tarp and bug net or bivy.

Tron-Life
05-04-2014, 13:41
If your pack is 50L, why in the world can't your strap your tent onto your pack, either horizontally on top or bottom, or vertically in the center of the pack? Why can't you pack the tent body and strap the poles vertically to the center of your pack? A 50L pack is pretty darn large. My trailpartner hikes with a Gregory Sage 55 in small which is only 50L and she can strap all kinds of gear to the outside of the pack, including a full-sized closed-cell sleeping pad, tent, etc...I can fit my TNF Flint2 tent INSIDE my 62L pack, poles and all. And that is a big, heavy(4.5 pounds) beast with long poles. I can't imagine you up on Mt. Washington anytime of year in a tarp at night. Have you actually been on Mt. Washington before? Have you been in the Whites before? Mt. Washington is not to be toyed with, anytime of year. IMHO tarping Mt. Washington is toying with her. YMMV....
I don't like strapping anything to the outside of my pack as it can make moving through tight spots more awkward and it gives thrones or branches something to get caught on. All those things you mention, the therm a-rest etc., I keep in my pack which is how I prefer it. Though if the tent packs small enough, I could probably make room for it, but I would have to add dedicated rain coat as well because of the loss of the tarp for that function.

Your points about the Whites and Mt Washington are well taken, that's why I'm even entertaining the thought of using a tent in the first place. I've used a tarp for years and have used it in very wet conditions in the pacific northwest and in the Adirondacks upstate. I spent many nights in the high peaks region using only a blue tarp. That being said, I do understand that those were areas with different levels of challenge weather wise with neither being especially challenging to a tarp due to there usually being excellent wind cover in the way of surrounding mountains/hills and lots of trees. Still, I could imagine someone, not necessarily me, being able tarp above the tree line, perhaps using a closed A-frame with one side down. High Point to Mt Washington is 533 miles and only the last 60 or so will be in Franconia ridge and the presidential range and you need to stay in the huts for that section anyway so overall I don't think that taking a tarp will really matter till you got to that point. I understand how crazy the weather can be up in that area and in high mountains in general. A few years ago we spent some time in the Whites and tried to climb Mt Washington from the AT approach as a day hike and had to turn back because of the wind and gathering clouds. I was able to make it down safely cause I wasn't carrying much but on a longer trip through the range having a free standing shelter to escape the elements would be handy to say the least.

I was looking at the TT notch and was really impressed. If I was gong to get a tent this is what I would get. I really like how simple it is and how it integrates your trekking poles and how it can be set up in different ways which allow for more openness and ventilation. The notch is pretty light at 27 oz which probably doesn't weigh much less than a tarp setup if you include the stakes, cordage, bugnet, and groundsheet. I was also looking at the TT Sublite but it looks like it protects less against strong rain and is more cramped. I kinda suspect that the notch is a little small as well but I will probably get it at some point anyway, if just to have as a back up to be mailed out if I want to switch.

Still, I really like tarping because it forces you to really think about where and how you set up. You need to get of the trail and walk around in the bushes more, you need to think about the wind, you need to think about tree and rocks and elevation in a new way, you need to interact and think about your surroundings in a new and more profound way. All these things I mention make being outdoors alot more fun and rewarding which is why tarping holds so much appeal for me. I can see though, that certain areas might call for something different.

I'm curious if anyone has any experience using a tarp in the Whites or similar areas or just how your experience finding shelter through that area was tent, tarp, hut or whatever.

Miner
05-04-2014, 14:05
I have no issues using a quilt in the 20's or even high teens. Been in rain and snow in cold temperatures. The complaint I saw mentioned is that the width of the quilt seems to be too narrow. Plenty of cottage quilt makers offer more then 1 width and length so a user can customize it to fit their body and sleep habits.

I hiked the Whites part of the AT SOBO in late September of 2012 with a tarp and lived and would use one again. I didn't use any of the huts since some were closed and I didn't want to set my schedule around them. I did stop at some for soap/bread during the day though. Though I don't know anyone who would actually try to camp on top of Mt. Washington considering how exposed the area is. I camped downhill from Madison Hut my first night and then camped at Nauman Campsite the next night. I generally tried to camp in groves of trees or behind boulders. But I also do that out west in the higher elevations.

Tron-Life
05-04-2014, 14:32
I have no issues using a quilt in the 20's or even high teens. Been in rain and snow in cold temperatures. The complaint I saw mentioned is that the width of the quilt seems to be too narrow. Plenty of cottage quilt makers offer more then 1 width and length so a user can customize it to fit their body and sleep habits.

I hiked the Whites part of the AT SOBO in late September of 2012 with a tarp and lived and would use one again. I didn't use any of the huts since some were closed and I didn't want to set my schedule around them. I did stop at some for soap/bread during the day though. Though I don't know anyone who would actually try to camp on top of Mt. Washington considering how exposed the area is. I camped downhill from Madison Hut my first night and then camped at Nauman Campsite the next night. I generally tried to camp in groves of trees or behind boulders. But I also do that out west in the higher elevations.

Nice. Glad to hear you made it through with a tarp.

Tron-Life
05-04-2014, 15:10
One can tarp comfortably in the Whites with appropriate skills, during the snow unlikely season (there is a potential for snow all year, although pretty unlikely in the height of the summer). I used to do it frequently. That said, with the well-designed tarp tent options from Tarptent, Six Moon Designs, Lightheart Gear, Zpacks, and the like, I no longer see the appeal of a tarp. The tarp tent also gives you bug proofing, for little weight penalty over a tarp and bug net or bivy.

Six Moons has some great looking tarp-tents. The Wild Oasis looks especially promising. Has anyone used this one before? What I like about these tarp-tents is that they are in fact simpler than a standard tarp and aren't as dependent on whats around you; all you need is adequate wind cover which gives you alot more flexibility.

jeffmeh
05-04-2014, 20:15
More on tarping in the Whites. For the summer, where you are likely to camp, it is really pretty easy if you know what you are doing. Certainly with tent platforms it is easier still.

I wouldn't hesitate to take one again in the summer, as long as I expected to be camping at high enough elevation to not have to worry much about the bugs. In many cases, the temperature drops low enough, or the wind picks up high enough that they are not an issue.