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Bassline
10-08-2005, 18:06
Hey guys, I did a 1200 mile or so section hike this year. It was supposed to be a thru-hike, but things happened that cause me to have to get off. Such is life. The good news is that I have the opportunity to get back out there next year and finish what I started. I have a 30 degree Mountain Hardwear Synthetic Sleeping bag. It has taken a beating, but I am doing this on a budged, and I would much rather have more money to spend on the trail than a shiny new Western Mountaineering sleeping bag (I gotta keep telling myself that). I also have a full set of light weight and midweight poly-pro thermal underwear set, a tech tee, a fleece, a rain jacket (marmot precip) and REI ultralight Rain Pants. I have a light fleece at the moment too. That, combnined witha pair of shorts, a skirt, a hat and gloves are all my hiking clothes. I use a combination of them at different times...

Now, to questions...

It was a cold year this year, and my sleeping bag isnt getting any warmer. I want to do my best not to hvae to replace it, and at the same time, I want to stay warm. I did not stay warm this year like I would have liked to. I am looking for a fix, some items that would set me back no more than 150 dollars. Maybe something like a Puffball Jacket to replace the fleece, or a down vest. Money and weight are the big issues though. Any advice? Also,feel free to ask questions as I narrow this list down. I know this is a bit more complicated than it needs to be. It is all good.

Bassline

Alligator
10-08-2005, 19:38
What are your future plans? When/where do you plan on hiking?

Bassline
10-08-2005, 21:05
Gotcha, I knew I forgot that. I am going from PA to ME starting probably in late May, after Trail Days.

Alligator
10-08-2005, 21:42
Late May leaves you hiking June, July, and August, the hottest hiking months. May I boil down the dilemma some? You either want a nice new down bag;) or a warm piece of outerwear (preferably down) to get you through? Either down piece will cost you.

I don't know enough though about summertime lows in the Whites to give you a fair answer. However, how warm do you think your sleeping bag is now? I am unwilling to push my bags temp. rating more than 10F through supplemental clothes.

Blue Jay
10-08-2005, 22:08
Gotcha, I knew I forgot that. I am going from PA to ME starting probably in late May, after Trail Days.

I think you've got a shot. I would plan to slack the Presidentials or wait for very good weather. No way I'd sleep up there, even in the dungeon, with a 30 degree bag. Make sure you have a good head lamp so you can night hike if you get too cold.

titanium_hiker
10-08-2005, 22:09
sleeping bag liner?

titanium

Kerosene
10-08-2005, 23:36
sleeping bag liner?You would have to go with a fleece liner to add any appreciable warmth, and they're quite bulky and heavy. Silk liners only weigh 6 oz., but they're primarily to keep the bag itself clean. Silk liners only add perhaps 5 degrees of warmth, if that, although they can effectively shut out some of the cold air when it's too warm to fully zip up.

Frosty
10-09-2005, 09:56
I have a 30 degree Mountain Hardwear Synthetic Sleeping bag. It has taken a beating, Don't know much about this bag, but ofter the temp ratings of bags are not exactly spot on. Also, a synthetic bag that has taken a beating has likely lost a good bit of insulating properties.

I had this same problem with a Kelty bag, and bought a Western Mountaineering 30* bag because I heard that they were a true 30*.

Someone mentioned liners. I used a cloth liner once, and will buy a silk liner to supllement the WM bag. Cloth ones tear easily. DOn't kow about silk. But a silk liner is akin to wearing a set of silk underwear, so it will help out some.

Also consider an emergency bivy for thos extra cold nights.

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=99840

This is one. It says tough and reusable, and it is, sort of. You have to be gentle with it. If you are hard on equipment (not there is anything wrong with that) this isn't for you. But if you can take care of it, it will go a long ways on those cold nights. Do open the foot vent, though, even if it still seem cold. You don't want to wake up wet and clammy.

The other thing I have use are chemical heat pads. Buy the toe pads. There have sticky strips that stick to your socks. Stick one one each foot before you slide into your bag.

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=11266

Remember to pack out the used warmers.

In real cold weather camping, when I carry nalgenes instead of gator ade bottles, I somtimes fill a pair of quart Nalgenes with boiling water, slip them into socks, and put one at my feet, and one near my belly. Don't try this with gator ade or soda bottles, though.

The Will
10-09-2005, 12:20
Bassline,

I would suggest shopping the sale pages of the many gear distributers for a good sleeping bag at a reduced price. Companies such as Mountain Gear, Sierra Trading Post, Campmor, etc., frequently have close out items that are worth a look.

Bassline
10-09-2005, 20:52
Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback so far. I have heard some great responses. Let me narrow it down a little more. I really want to get rid of the fleece. It is a bit bulkier and heavier than some other things I could use. As far as the sleepin bag is concerned. it is a 1st Dimension sleep bag and it has a cool-max liner in it. I am aware that these bags eventually lose a lot of their ability to maintain loft. That is just the nature of sleeping bags, especially synthetic ones. I have a coolmax liner for it. I would look into vapor barriers, especially concidering it is a synthetic bag, so it will be less of a pain to dry. I have never used one before. As far as getting a down jacket is concerned, it would be very warm, but would it be good enough to be able to hike in it? Would I need to buy something like a patagonia puffball jacket in conjunction with it as a way to layer better? As far as getting a new sleeping bag. In all honesty, I would much rather just buy more/better clothes, and throw them on during the colder nights. I mean, I will be ending the trail in early to mid August, so I will see cold nights, but I will definently have it easier than October finishers. Oh well, I am rambling on, I hope that helps you help me a little more. Gear is a tricky subject. All tidbits appreciated.

SGT Rock
10-09-2005, 20:55
Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback so far. I have heard some great responses. Let me narrow it down a little more. I really want to get rid of the fleece. It is a bit bulkier and heavier than some other things I could use. As far as the sleepin bag is concerned. it is a 1st Dimension sleep bag and it has a cool-max liner in it. I am aware that these bags eventually lose a lot of their ability to maintain loft. That is just the nature of sleeping bags, especially synthetic ones. I have a coolmax liner for it. I would look into vapor barriers, especially concidering it is a synthetic bag, so it will be less of a pain to dry. I have never used one before. As far as getting a down jacket is concerned, it would be very warm, but would it be good enough to be able to hike in it? Would I need to buy something like a patagonia puffball jacket in conjunction with it as a way to layer better? As far as getting a new sleeping bag. In all honesty, I would much rather just buy more/better clothes, and throw them on during the colder nights. I mean, I will be ending the trail in early to mid August, so I will see cold nights, but I will definently have it easier than October finishers. Oh well, I am rambling on, I hope that helps you help me a little more. Gear is a tricky subject. All tidbits appreciated.
If you want to reduce bulk for the same amount of loft and warmth look at things like the Patagonia Puffball jacket which uses compressable loft. Another good and cheap way to stay warm is to get a field jacket liner. loft for loft with a similar thickness fleece you will have less weight and better compression from the $10 liner.

Alligator
10-09-2005, 21:05
There's some good information in this jackets thread
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7338

Vapor barrier liners work best at temperatures below freezing.

Do you have circulation problems or are very thin? I hike warm, and will hike down to about 40F in just a long sleeve and shorts, but most everyone I have ever spoken with does not hike with a piece of warm outerware in the summer. It would have to be god-awful cold before I hiked in a down jacket.

Bassline
10-10-2005, 22:42
If you want to reduce bulk for the same amount of loft and warmth look at things like the Patagonia Puffball jacket which uses compressable loft. Another good and cheap way to stay warm is to get a field jacket liner. loft for loft with a similar thickness fleece you will have less weight and better compression from the $10 liner.
Thanks SGT Rock, you comfirmed what I wanted to hear. I actually went to Neels Gap's outfitter today, and I talked to Winton. He showed off some of the new jackets that are similar to the puffball jacket. Moonstone's, and Mont-bell's. After talking it over with him, that Moonstone jacket is looking pretty tempting. I think it would keep me warmer than the field jacket liner, but I am going to look into that before I spend 140 dollars. Big price difference! It is all good.

Bassline

Just Jeff
10-10-2005, 23:27
In real cold weather camping, when I carry nalgenes instead of gator ade bottles, I somtimes fill a pair of quart Nalgenes with boiling water, slip them into socks, and put one at my feet, and one near my belly. Don't try this with gator ade or soda bottles, though.
I do this with soda bottles and it works fine. The bottles bend a bit, but I haven't had one fail yet. Just use this trick only when it's cold, and get a new bottle when you get to town, and this alone might get you through if you're only worried about a few cold nights.

You could also look into getting a small quilt to use either inside or on top of your bag. A .8" primaloft quilt from thru-hiker would be cake to make for really cheap (guessing about $40 in materials), and you could wrap up in it around camp, too.

Or even make a poncho out of it. When it's cold, put your rain jacket on over the poncho and you get lots of loft inside. (An example here: http://www.geocities.com/jwj32542/JRBWorn.html)

smokymtnsteve
10-11-2005, 00:34
until a bottle breaks and leaks then ur ****ed

Uncle Silly
10-12-2005, 17:04
Someone mentioned liners. I used a cloth liner once, and will buy a silk liner to supllement the WM bag. Cloth ones tear easily. DOn't kow about silk. But a silk liner is akin to wearing a set of silk underwear, so it will help out some.
I picked up a 4oz silk liner to supplement my WM bag during my hike this summer. After 1100 miles it's in excellent condition. After mid-June I was too hot in the WM bag so I switched it out for a down quilt ... the quilt+silk combination was perfect for a variety of summer and autumn temperatures. As someone else mentioned, if you're rough on your equipment, the silk liner might not survive.

Wolf - 23000
10-14-2005, 16:22
Bassline,



I would suggest contacting Mountain Hardwear before doing anything. Ask them if they would be willing to refill your current sleeping bag free or for a small fee. Many companies are very willing to help out AT hikers as a good PR policy.



A 30 degree I would be sweating bid time during the summer months. Something many hikers donít relies is if they sleep with their sleeping bag inside out every other day they will stay warmer. It gives your bag a chance to breathe more and rid itself of your body natural sweat vs. collecting moister inside.


Wolf

Bassline
10-14-2005, 17:28
Bassline,



I would suggest contacting Mountain Hardwear before doing anything. Ask them if they would be willing to refill your current sleeping bag free or for a small fee. Many companies are very willing to help out AT hikers as a good PR policy.



A 30 degree I would be sweating bid time during the summer months. Something many hikers donít relies is if they sleep with their sleeping bag inside out every other day they will stay warmer. It gives your bag a chance to breathe more and rid itself of your body natural sweat vs. collecting moister inside.


Wolf
Good advice Wolf. I wish I would have heard that last weekend. I was up at the outfitter at Neel's Gap, and I ran into the Mountain Hardwear gear rep!!! I think I am going to keep my sleeping bag though, and buy something along the lines of a Patagonia Puffball Jacket. I was impressed by a similar one that Moonstone put out. Regardless, calling MH may be a part of the plan. The bottom line is that I dont want to spend too much money, I understand that most of my hiking will be in warmer weather, and when I get up north, I dont want to freeze. Thanks again Wolf. It is all good.

Bassline

Frosty
10-14-2005, 17:44
until a bottle breaks and leaks then ur ****edYeah, I wouldn't put boiling water into anything but a Nalgene.

TwoForty
10-14-2005, 17:52
If you want to drop abround $120 or so, you can simply pick up the Campmor Down 20degree Mummy bag.

Just Jeff
10-14-2005, 18:48
Nalgene also makes a soft-sided bottle that isn't quite as heavy as the hard ones. Still heavier than a soda bottle, but it's more durable so you might feel more comfortable putting boiling water into that without carrying a 5 oz hard bottle.

Doctari
10-15-2005, 00:02
I agree that a bag that has "taken a beating" is much less warm. My 30 deg bag in 98 actually kept me warm (with some moderate wt wool clothing) to a recorded 17 deg one night. Now, after quite a few nights in use, it struggles to keep me warm at 35(ish) I admit to being older, but my heat needs are less at 51 than they were at 44 sooooo.

To add heat to my bag, I sometimes use a "space blanket" as a inside my tent ground cover, this SEEMS to add about 10 - 12 degrees warmth, at least to me. Don't use it as a cover, it will keep moisture in & wet your bag more, therby reducing it's effectivness.

Doctari.

smokymtnsteve
10-15-2005, 00:41
always put on "new dry"socks at night. damp socks even ones that "feel" dry will make your feet cold,

the same for your long johns cept it ain't your feet that will feel cold :eek: .

I use a3/4 long closed cell foam sleeping pad, this leaves my feet off the pad ..so I put my pack under my feet for insulation. insulating your self from direct heat loss to the ground will make U much warmer,

wear a hat at night, don't frezze your brain.