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andsoshewalks
10-23-2016, 12:22
So I'm looking to start the end of february/early march. I am aware that this will result in me inevitably facing a lot of cold weather and snow, so i'm trying to plan for this. I have a 20 degree EE quilt on the way right now and i'm going to combine that with a sleeping bag liner, i was just wondering what else i should plan to bring.. i'm trying to stay lightweight but i also don't want to freeze my butt off.. will what i have be enough or should i look into something else?

nsherry61
10-23-2016, 12:28
Need more info. . . I'd recommend you bring a coat hat and gloves also, maybe a shelter? ;-)

nsherry61
10-23-2016, 12:29
More on point for your post, what are you bringing as a coat and other insulation that could compliment your quilt?

andsoshewalks
10-23-2016, 12:34
More on point for your post, what are you bringing as a coat and other insulation that could compliment your quilt?

i have an underarmour long sleeve shirt, along with a


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andsoshewalks
10-23-2016, 12:38
More on point for your post, what are you bringing as a coat and other insulation that could compliment your quilt?

whoops, that last post sent early;
i have an underarmour long sleeve shirt as a base layer, followed by a thinner fleece lined long sleeve shirt, and, because im trying to avoid dropping more money on a jacket, i was just going to use a regular crewneck sweatshirt as my top layer at night. for pants i just have a fleece lined pair of leggings


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Cheyou
10-23-2016, 12:56
https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/home/

cheep price but ok down garments . Or thrift shop . Being cold is not fun . Could b very cold.

thom

Cheyou
10-23-2016, 13:02
Not a fan of bag liners for warmth. How about army pants and jacket liner?
http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/446754/military-surplus-m-65-trouser-liner-nylon?cm_mmc=pf_ci_google-_-Military%20Surplus%20-%20Clothing-_-Military%20Surplus-_-446754&gclid=CISk5OWz8c8CFcRahgods88MJQ

thom

egilbe
10-23-2016, 13:06
20 degree quilt for females is more like 30 degrees and thats including wearing a baselayer to sleep in. You are going to freeze unless you beef up your clothing.

Kookork
10-23-2016, 13:10
what shelter(tent, hammock) are you using? Early starters should be cautious about the shelter more than regular starters. A good and warm sleep is vital for a long distance hike. An optimum shelter could make or break the hike.

dudeijuststarted
10-23-2016, 14:00
whoops, that last post sent early;
i have an underarmour long sleeve shirt as a base layer, followed by a thinner fleece lined long sleeve shirt, and, because im trying to avoid dropping more money on a jacket, i was just going to use a regular crewneck sweatshirt as my top layer at night. for pants i just have a fleece lined pair of leggings
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in the words of Regan MacNeil, "you're going to die up there."

nsherry61
10-23-2016, 14:14
in the words of Regan MacNeil, "you're going to die up there."
I beg to differ. I'd suggest, you'll have some miserable nights and wish you brought warmer gear. You will probably survive, albeit miserably, with only a 20 degree quilt and sweatshirt. . . assuming you have good warm headgear and handgear and footgear. You also might well be driven off the trail by cold weather, which would be too bad.

Now, for full disclosure, I've never been on the southern AT, so I'm guessing from what I read about that. Weather is expected to often be around freezing at night with cold nights and wind chill bringing it down at least into the teens if not single digits occasionally, depending on where you camp.

The most important thing you can do is play around with your gear and see how it handles slightly below freezing weather for you.

If I were in that kind of shoulder season situation with a 20 degree quilt as my primary sleep insulation, I would figure I'd be okay down to freezing as long as I had very warm socks, warm gloves/mittens, and a warm head covering (more than just a stocking cap). I would be unhappy unless, in addition to the above (actually instead of the sweatshirt), I had my mid-weight puffy jacket with a hood or an equivalent replacement.

Venchka
10-23-2016, 15:04
Pardon my bluntness. I'm old and cranky.
You aren't alone. Most people don't know enough about geography and meteorology to know how to prepare for what you're proposing.
To put it bluntly, if you have to ask the questions you don't have a clue.
Post #10 applies. Don't get killed.
Do your own homework. Don't ask strangers on the internet to do your preparation for you.
Things to consider:
Find Just Bill's lengthy explanation on early start sleep systems. Posted in the last week.
R-5 minimum insulation between you and the ground.
If you insist on using half a sleeping bag (quilt), be prepared to supply the other half of the bag in the form of a full covering of wool head to toe, down jacket with hood & maybe down booties.
It's finally starting to cool down. Test your gear in the cold, teens or lower, before starting.
Carry a proper cold weather stove and sleep with one or two quarts of hot water.
I was at a football game in Boone, NC (elev. 3,400+ feet) night before last. 48 degrees, 40+ mph winds, steady mist/drizzle/rain. The kind of weather that is lethal. The kind of weather that is common on the AT until May or perhaps June.
Be dry. Be warm. Be safe.
Wayne


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Venchka
10-23-2016, 15:11
Just Bill answers your question. Note his view of liners.

Sleeping Bag Liner Question

I got a PM that I have gotten a few times, so thought I'd share it and my response with everyone to both answer the question and let us discuss it openly.



"Planning my 2017 thru and was going to buy a moderately rated bag but high quality Sea to summit bag and use a bag liner for the first part of my hike as I plan to start early March.

That being said do you think my idea is completely dumb?"



I will say though that using a bag liner can have some advantage in keeping your primary bag (especially down) clean. Though it will do little more than add a few degrees for a silk weight liner.

I will also say that a VBL (vapor barrier liner) can have some interesting and great properties- but that's another topic.



So: To this point (which I once thought was a good one)- Can a Sea to Summit liner extend the temp rating for a spring start?

I would call it a dumb idea... though only because I once had the same brilliant idea before and have since not only tried it out- but learned more of the science/common sense behind why it's a dumb idea.



We've all come to agree (generally) that the Sea to Summit liners are (being generous) rated at least double their actual performance in the field. That's probably enough to discount them, but I do better understand why they end up this way since getting into sleeping gear commercially. Let's look at the main example:https://www.rei.com/product/797114/sea-to-summit-thermolite-reactor-extreme-mummy-bag-liner



The STS Thermolite Extreme claims up to 25* of warmth added to a bag at 14 ounces.

For most of us... we get the liner and it doesn't work as advertised and we call it a day.

For some of us... we look a bit harder and see it's basically a sack made out of long underwear material (silk to thermal weight depending on the model).



We then may realize that a pair of long underwear weighs about the same as that liner... or that we'd rather carry a puffy (vest/jacket, down/synthetic) and that that does more for us per ounce than the liner ever would.

And we can wear it outside our sleeping bags.



You also might look around and realize that you could buy an ultra high quality down bag that is less than 14 ounces.

Or you could look at that SUL synthetic quilt you made for the summer time that only weighs 12 ounces and realize you could simply carry that and pile it onto your shoulder season bag and that it legitimately does add 20+ degrees to your sleep system. Compare either of them "face to face" in your hand and you'll wonder how you ever thought that a liner could equal the warmth of an actual summer weight quilt/bag.



If you wanted to nerd out a bit: you'd get into the CLO values as this is synthetic insulation- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clothing_insulation

You might see that EN ratings call a pair of midweight thermals (pants and bottom) along with socks and a matching hat (beanie) are ALREADY included in the rating system as being worn by the user.

You might also note that these layers add about .5 CLO or 3* to the system as a whole. So even a thermal weight layer adds at best 1 CLO or about 5* F depending on the testing method.



If say you were bothered by this problem and looked into it a bit more (like say you were making sleeping bags for SUL/Speed hikers)...



So you might wonder how it's physically possible that you could even attempt to call this product as adding 25* of warmth.

You'd try to find a value for Thermolite and realize it's a bit tricky to find out.

https://thermolite.com/en/Technologies-and-Innovations/THERMOLITE-PRO-Technologies/DUAL-LAYER



An old BPL thread lists the CLO value as high as .598 fabrics. https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/42340/

Thermolite's page lists them as 25-30% higher than denim. Denim is generously about .3 CLO, so that would put you at .39 CLO if being generous again.



Even if you give them .598 CLO per 100GSM (grams per square meter or 3 oz/yard) sample, that's a bit lower than Thinsulate 100GSM insulation which posts about .79 CLO total.

This is at best (when combined with other layers and getting a boost as a liner) a 5* bump at 1CLO.



Climbashield Apex is .82 CLO per ounce. So an equivalent 100GSM is 2.46 CLO or roughly 45* (EE rates their 1.64 CLO Apex Prodigy at 50*)

Primaloft Gold is .93 CLO per ounce. So an equivalent 100GSM is 2.79 CLO or roughly 42* (EE rates their 3.28 CLO Apex Prodigy at 40*)



You would need 4-5 layers of thermolite to equal the same insulation value in CLO as either of these products.



So nerd story short...

1- It seems physically impossible for the STS liners to ever achieve anything close to the ratings they claim- even cut in half as we used to say.

2-Further when you consider the weight of the liner itself, you could do better with either a puffy jacket or an extra sleeping bag.

3-Recent innovations and some effort by many folks (Enlightened Equipment especially) have helped to show that a 45* bag laid over any other bag will add roughly 25* of warmth to a sleep system.

(I'm finding that with my personal gear... that it is safer to take about 5* off their formula)



So yar- the Sea to summit liners for warmth are dumb.

1- bring a puffy jacket you can sleep in or better yet lay over your sleeping bag to stretch it.

2- bring a summer weight quilt for roughly the same weight to achieve that level of bump in temps to your sleep system.

3- if buying new- bumping up the temp rating of your base bag (and/or using a quilt) will weigh far less than adding a liner. In a quality down bag, you're typically talking 4 ounces or less of down to jump 10-15* in rating... much less weight than any option.



Now besides the fact I plan to sell them... I prefer the quilt as there is a way to convert it to an acceptable camp puffy in combo with my wind shell... so I get the best of both.



Though for the AT spring starter specifically- I think that a quality 20* mummy bag and a summer weight synthetic quilt are the far better/cheaper system overall.

Use both at the start and have the protection of a good mummy bag in truly cold temps with a synthetic quilt over the top to protect the down layer.

As it warms up a bit- send home the summer quilt and carry the mummy. As you hit VA and things warm up, swap out for your summer quilt and then reverse that as you approach August and/or the whites.



Two bags total covering your whole trip. 20* down mummy and a 45-50* summer quilt puts you at around zero at the start of your trip for about the price of one really good zero degree down piece.





PS... I'd be pretty skeptical of the Sea to Summit Spark series too.

http://www.seatosummit.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NEW_SB_Data_chart_9_16_FINAL.pdf

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ewhiteblaze%2Enet% 2Fforum%2Fshowpost%2Ephp%3Fp%3D2099042 &share_tid=121385&share_fid=24664&share_type=t&share_pid=2099042


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Uncle Pecos
10-23-2016, 15:20
Feb 22 start here and had similar questions. Good info here! Cheers!

Puddlefish
10-23-2016, 15:23
I don't hike in the winter, but I sure wouldn't plan on going lightweight. Maybe plan on going heavyweight and sending home layers and heavier equipment as you proceed? I started mid April, with a 30 degree bag and a 40 degree quilt, and a nice tent that could be pitched low to the ground to limit air circulation. I got all the way through the southern mountains before I mailed home the sleeping bag in late May. Even then I used a down puffy jacket some nights with the quilt.

February. Keep your 20 degree quilt, but also get a sleeping bag that fits under it to limit drafts if happen to fidget whatsoever at night. Get your gear, practice over the winter on your back porch, or in your car with the windows down, or anywhere you can quickly recover safely.

nsherry61
10-23-2016, 17:10
Clearly I have too much time on my hands today.


Pardon my bluntness. I'm old and cranky. . .
Me too.


. . . You aren't alone. Most people don't know enough . . .
To true, including about 30% of the posters on these forum.:bse


. . . To put it bluntly, if you have to ask the questions you don't have a clue. . .
Along with many of the other people both answering questions on these forums and frankly, successfully hiking the AT.
I strongly disagree that having to ask questions means a poster doesn't have a clue. That's just a jerk statement!


. . . Do your own homework. Don't ask strangers on the internet to do your preparation for you. . .
Sorry, my poor cranky forum friend, I call bull. andsoshewalks is doing her "own homework" by asking "experts", many of whom contribute to these forums. Now, if she can just get some experts to answer she'll be doing pretty well. She'll be able to evaluate the group input, consider things she didn't think of on her own, and hopefully make good decisions based on broader group knowledge. Venchka, if you're cranky about people asking for advice from a novice perspective, go be cranky somewhere else.


. . . Find Just Bill's lengthy explanation on early start sleep systems. Posted in the last week. . .
Great advice. See there are good things to be found by doing your homework here.


. . . R-5 minimum insulation between you and the ground. . .
Another great piece of advice.


. . . If you insist on using half a sleeping bag (quilt), be prepared to supply the other half of the bag in the form of a full covering of wool head to toe, down jacket with hood & maybe down booties. . .
An arrogant and ill informed, unnecessary and derogatory, comment.
I would suggest that a well made quilt is every bit as warm and comfortable as an equivalently rated bag with the exception of headgear. Make sure you have good headgear. Some people don't like wool and/or down. There are many good alternatives like the fleece you have suggested that you already own. Also, I don't do the down booty thing even though I am down with booty. :datz Good super warm socks, fleece socks or the like are quite effective for many of us.


. . . It's finally starting to cool down. Test your gear in the cold, teens or lower, before starting. . .
More good advice.


. . . Carry a proper cold weather stove and sleep with one or two quarts of hot water. . .
What is a proper cold weather stove? We're not talking about -20 degrees here. I can think of a lot of ways to stay warm that don't include carrying enough extra fuel to heat two quarts of water every night just to stay warm. But, I think Venchka is getting at a couple good points here. If it is colder than your gear works well for on a night now and again, hot water bottles can help you make it through the night much more comfortably (and/or alive). And, some stoves in the hands of some people are problematic in temperatures near and below freezing, so make sure your stove works in your hands down to the temperatures you are likely to encounter on your trip.

Your two most important tools are knowledge and physical fitness. With enough of those two things, which take time and effort, but weigh nothing, you can either figure out a solution to just about any problem you encounter, and/or you can hike out, off the trail to safety.

andsoshewalks
10-23-2016, 17:22
Pardon my bluntness. I'm old and cranky.
You aren't alone. Most people don't know enough about geography and meteorology to know how to prepare for what you're proposing.
To put it bluntly, if you have to ask the questions you don't have a clue.
Post #10 applies. Don't get killed.
Do your own homework. Don't ask strangers on the internet to do your preparation for you.
Things to consider:
Find Just Bill's lengthy explanation on early start sleep systems. Posted in the last week.
R-5 minimum insulation between you and the ground.
If you insist on using half a sleeping bag (quilt), be prepared to supply the other half of the bag in the form of a full covering of wool head to toe, down jacket with hood & maybe down booties.
It's finally starting to cool down. Test your gear in the cold, teens or lower, before starting.
Carry a proper cold weather stove and sleep with one or two quarts of hot water.
I was at a football game in Boone, NC (elev. 3,400+ feet) night before last. 48 degrees, 40+ mph winds, steady mist/drizzle/rain. The kind of weather that is lethal. The kind of weather that is common on the AT until May or perhaps June.
Be dry. Be warm. Be safe.
Wayne


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thanks for the input, and pardon MY bluntness, but the point of this forum is being able to ask questions when desired. and you're right, i don't have a clue, that's why i asked the question. i've got 4+ months to go before i'm on the trail and as far as i'm concerned, me asking that question IS doing some homework. and i'm asking these "strangers" for helpful suggestions, not to plan my whole trip.

egilbe
10-23-2016, 17:24
I have an EE quilt, get the hoodlum and booties that EE sells. They only weigh a few ounces and they are pretty toasty.

andsoshewalks
10-23-2016, 17:26
Clearly I have too much time on my hands today.


Me too.


To true, including about 30% of the posters on these forum.:bse


Along with many of the other people both answering questions on these forums and frankly, successfully hiking the AT.
I strongly disagree that having to ask questions means a poster doesn't have a clue. That's just a jerk statement!


Sorry, my poor cranky forum friend, I call bull. andsoshewalks is doing her "own homework" by asking "experts", many of whom contribute to these forums. Now, if she can just get some experts to answer she'll be doing pretty well. She'll be able to evaluate the group input, consider things she didn't think of on her own, and hopefully make good decisions based on broader group knowledge. Venchka, if you're cranky about people asking for advice from a novice perspective, go be cranky somewhere else.


Great advice. See there are good things to be found by doing your homework here.


Another great piece of advice.


An arrogant and ill informed, unnecessary and derogatory, comment.
I would suggest that a well made quilt is every bit as warm and comfortable as an equivalently rated bag with the exception of headgear. Make sure you have good headgear. Some people don't like wool and/or down. There are many good alternatives like the fleece you have suggested that you already own. Also, I don't do the down booty thing even though I am down with booty. :datz Good super warm socks, fleece socks or the like are quite effective for many of us.


More good advice.


What is a proper cold weather stove? We're not talking about -20 degrees here. I can think of a lot of ways to stay warm that don't include carrying enough extra fuel to heat two quarts of water every night just to stay warm. But, I think Venchka is getting at a couple good points here. If it is colder than your gear works well for on a night now and again, hot water bottles can help you make it through the night much more comfortably (and/or alive). And, some stoves in the hands of some people are problematic in temperatures near and below freezing, so make sure your stove works in your hands down to the temperatures you are likely to encounter on your trip.

Your two most important tools are knowledge and physical fitness. With enough of those two things, which take time and effort, but weigh nothing, you can either figure out a solution to just about any problem you encounter, and/or you can hike out, off the trail to safety.

thank you, this was really helpful and a LOT more encouraging than that other comment


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Kc Fiedler
10-23-2016, 17:35
Wow, everyone get off the OP's case. This person came here looking for advice, not to be attacked and told she has no chance. This is ridiculous.

OP, I sent you a message to try to help.

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Venchka
10-23-2016, 17:55
All the best to you.
I guess I'm the Clueless One.
Let us know how it goes at TrailJournals.
Wayne


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Deacon
10-23-2016, 18:00
thanks for the input, and pardon MY bluntness, but the point of this forum is being able to ask questions when desired. and you're right, i don't have a clue, that's why i asked the question. i've got 4+ months to go before i'm on the trail and as far as i'm concerned, me asking that question IS doing some homework. and i'm asking these "strangers" for helpful suggestions, not to plan my whole trip.

Just so you are confident in your clothes and sleep system, try it out in your backyard through this winter. Try it out on damp nights and cold and windy nights. If it fails for a particular condition, you can always run into the house. Take the advice given above, then test it. You'll start out next spring confident in your kit.

saltysack
10-23-2016, 18:19
add a warm down jacket and pants or similar..IMO a liner is a waste, yep I've tried one. I also have an 20* EE enigma and would definitely add more cloths! I recently used mine in Co...under mid 20's with layers I was cool. I sleep cold as most females do also.
My latest set up...
Solong6 tent
Montbell UL Down parka
Houdini wind jacket
Or helium rain jacket
Cap 4 top
Cap 3 bottoms
Wind pants
Heavy wool socks.
All worn inside EE Enigma 20*. I've spent several cold wet azz nights on southern AT in Feb and March....I'll be doing a winter section and will also bring my 45* JRB quilt to layer over the 20* EE....don't screw up from the start get a down or similar WARM parka with a hood!!! Will eventually get down booties... have fun stay warm!


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MuddyWaters
10-23-2016, 18:22
Theres no simple answer.
Theres a lot of possibilities to make different gear work, by supplementing with other gear.

None of these involve a cheap "liner"

I consider my 20f quilt alone down to about 30f
I have used it to single digits in conjunction with a 40f quilt, and that would be my suggestion. You will need a lighter one for most of trail anyway.

You need a hell of a hood too, the light ones arent good past 20-25.

Or could supplement with down jacket, pants, booties

Best sleep option....western mountaineering versalite imo.

Daytime gear whole different story.

Cheyou
10-23-2016, 18:55
This is what works well
https://support.enlightenedequipment.com/hc/en-us/articles/218158868-Quilt-Layering

dudeijuststarted
10-23-2016, 20:32
I beg to differ.....Now, for full disclosure, I've never been on the southern AT.....I would be unhappy unless, in addition to the above (actually instead of the sweatshirt), I had my mid-weight puffy jacket with a hood or an equivalent replacement.

I have and it can kill you, not to mention camp would be absolutely brutal. Beg to differ not to send people into 20 degree weather at 4000 foot elevation (effectively 8 degrees) with a cotton sweatshirt as their outer layer. This person needs clear concise guidance before heading out there. Here's some:

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/layering-basics.html

Old Hiker
10-23-2016, 20:40
I have an EE quilt, get the hoodlum and booties that EE sells. They only weigh a few ounces and they are pretty toasty.

I have an EE quilt - Revelation 20*. Will be in the "For Sale" section soon.

Started 29 FEB '16. Had a Thermarest Ridgerest and a Klymit Static V2 under me. Had the hoodlum, top and bottom thermals (mid-weight), socks, booties, hand/foot warmers going, and a military poncho liner. FROZE MY BUTT OFF. I tried every configuration, with/without the straps, taco, just over me, whatever. Anytime the temp got into the low 40s, I froze.

As well, check out the washing instructions. Hand wash only. I didn't - I assumed front loader. This would make it very difficult (in my opinion) to keep it clean. For full disclosure, I bit the bullet and washed it in a front-loader with no problems. One time. Period.

Had a Jacks'R'Better 40* quilt and the poncho liner for the mid-states which worked fairly well, but was still cool at times.

Should have done it sooner and eventually went back to a 20* sleeping bag after Hanover and never looked back. Had a Marmot Trestle 30* that got to me too late, so I bought an EMS Mountain Light 20* which worked very well.

Sleeping bags for me for now on.

Sarcasm the elf
10-23-2016, 20:54
Personally I am a fan of using a military surplus ponch liner to add warmth to my bag when needed, they are relatively light, relatively cheap and amazingly comfortable.

They make several versions of them that I have seen from $15-$50 and generally the more expensive they are the warmer they are.

Here is an example of one for reference or just google "woobie liner" to find a lot more.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/us-military-surplus-poncho-liner?a=372697&pm2d=CSE-SPG-15-PLA&utm_medium=PLA&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=CI&gclid=CPKO-o6c8s8CFQckhgodMroHmA

The only downside is that when people see mine they assume that I served and then I have to tell them that I'm just a civilian who appreciates a good deal on functional gear. :o

egilbe
10-23-2016, 21:00
I have an EE quilt - Revelation 20*. Will be in the "For Sale" section soon.

Started 29 FEB '16. Had a Thermarest Ridgerest and a Klymit Static V2 under me. Had the hoodlum, top and bottom thermals (mid-weight), socks, booties, hand/foot warmers going, and a military poncho liner. FROZE MY BUTT OFF. I tried every configuration, with/without the straps, taco, just over me, whatever. Anytime the temp got into the low 40s, I froze.

As well, check out the washing instructions. Hand wash only. I didn't - I assumed front loader. This would make it very difficult (in my opinion) to keep it clean. For full disclosure, I bit the bullet and washed it in a front-loader with no problems. One time. Period.

Had a Jacks'R'Better 40* quilt and the poncho liner for the mid-states which worked fairly well, but was still cool at times.

Should have done it sooner and eventually went back to a 20* sleeping bag after Hanover and never looked back. Had a Marmot Trestle 30* that got to me too late, so I bought an EMS Mountain Light 20* which worked very well.

Sleeping bags for me for now on.

Mine's a 20* and I've had it down to 15* wearing a down puffy. It was cool, but not cold. Interesting that people have different experiences with the same gear.

Slo-go'en
10-23-2016, 22:36
Ditch the crew neck sweatshirt (is it cotton?) and invest in a decent down puffy, like something from Mont Bell. It will be money well spent.

I'm guessing a 20* quilt, even augmented, will be really marginal for more then a few nights through March. Especially if it's damp, as it often is. But, you'll live. One thing which helps a lot is a buff or fleece neck gaiter and a good hat. If you know it's going to be really cold, make sure your in your tent.

Worse comes to worse, put on the down puffy and open up a chemical hand warmer packet.

Venchka
10-24-2016, 00:05
Best sleep option....western mountaineering versalite imo.

Daytime gear whole different story.
After owning 2 Western Mountaineering bags, I couldn't agree more. In fact, I would trade my Antelope and Alpinlite for the Versalite.
I put my WM bags on an Xtherm Large. Perfect sleep system for me.
Wayne


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andsoshewalks
10-24-2016, 00:11
I suppose it's worth mentioning that I don't use down. I've noticed a lot of y'all address both outer layers and other sleeping bags to use, what do each of you consider more important, a decent outer layer or more layers for the sleeping bag?


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saltysack
10-24-2016, 06:18
[QUOTE=andsoshewalks;2100021]I suppose it's worth mentioning that I don't use down. I've noticed a lot of y'all address both outer layers and other sleeping bags to use, what do each of you consider more important, a decent outer layer or more layers for the sleeping bag?



You need sleep dedicated base layers but several items such as wind jacket and or rain shell can be also used as sleep wear along with a synthetic puffy. Ideally you wear all your cloths.....take only what you need.....usually I only remove my compression under wear and base layer t shirt that I hiked in...the rest is put back on over my DRY base layer....this can be a crap shoot during winter months where teens are likely temps with precipitation...if your against using down make sure your pack is large enough to hold the heavier far less compressible items...

egilbe
10-24-2016, 09:50
I suppose it's worth mentioning that I don't use down. I've noticed a lot of y'all address both outer layers and other sleeping bags to use, what do each of you consider more important, a decent outer layer or more layers for the sleeping bag?


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So your EE Quilt is synthetic, too? You are better off getting a sleep system that meets the expected low temps. Your outwear layers are for those nights when you have unexpected low temps. You can buy a military surplus patrol bag for ~$60 or ~$70. When the nights get too cold, you can use that as extra warmth. Ditch it when it warms up and keep the quilt.

Kc Fiedler
10-24-2016, 10:07
So I'm looking to start the end of february/early march. I am aware that this will result in me inevitably facing a lot of cold weather and snow, so i'm trying to plan for this. I have a 20 degree EE quilt on the way right now and i'm going to combine that with a sleeping bag liner, i was just wondering what else i should plan to bring.. i'm trying to stay lightweight but i also don't want to freeze my butt off.. will what i have be enough or should i look into something else?

As most have pointed out, the devil is in the details here. You're going to need to research your butt off and test your system before hitting the trail.

With that said, however, I think it's totally reasonable for you to learn how to keep yourself warm, safe, and happy before your early start.

I agree with many that your 20 degree quilt probably won't cut it. Closed cell foam pad and inflatable pad together *should* be enough to keep you insulated from the ground but be sure to test this before going out.

You may be well served to pick up a second 40 degree quilt and sleep inside both of them at the beginning of your hike. You can always swap them out later as you need more or less sleeping insulation throughout the months. I highly doubt your sleeping bag liner will help much or at all (as many have said).

Personally, I gauge my sleep system by also factoring in all of my clothing. If I sleep on my pad(s), wear every piece of clothing I have (including rain gear), and curl up inside my sleeping bag / quilt(s)... can I sleep through a night in record low conditions for the area / time I am planning to hike? If the answer is yes (and I test it to be sure) then I'm good to go. This is how I approach validating my personal sleep system - perhaps this will be helpful to you.

By building a good layering system that will keep me warm enough in camp and cool / dry enough when hiking we can combine that with our sleep system to gain huge warmth "rating" boosts at night. Of course it's also important to pick your campsite well - avoid open and windy areas, etc. There are many aspects which factor in to optimizing efficiency and warmth in winter conditions.

To answer your original question, I think you should test that 20 degree EE quilt with your layering clothing system in conditions which mimic trail conditions for that time / location and then you'll know whether or not it'll work. Ideally you'd test it somewhere safe (campground with easy access to your car or back yard) so that if you find it's dangerously lacking in warmth to the point where you need to escape to better shelter and warmth then you can do so in a controlled environment. I suspect you could probably get away with the 20 degree quilt and a beefy layering system but you might be pushing it temperature-wise.

Test, refine, experiment, improve, make it work for you before you hit the trail and get yourself in a potentially dangerous situation and you'll know whether or not it works.

Slo-go'en
10-24-2016, 13:54
I suppose it's worth mentioning that I don't use down. I've noticed a lot of y'all address both outer layers and other sleeping bags to use, what do each of you consider more important, a decent outer layer or more layers for the sleeping bag?

Um, both. You need to stay warm both in and out of your bag.

The problem with not using down is you have more bulk and more weight so you'll also need a bigger and heavier pack.

If the reason you don't use down is expense and not some ethical or allergic reason, you'd be much better off waiting a month and start in April. The weather will be milder and your 20* quilt will be fine most of the time instead of just some of the time. You also won't have to deal with frozen boots, water bottles and all the bad weather which drive people into extended town stays.

nsherry61
10-24-2016, 14:36
Two thoughts:
1) There seems to be an unjustifiably strong bias against synthetic puffy insulation going on. Yeah, high end down is lighter and more compressible than synthetics. But, if one compares the lower end, more affordably priced downs (500-650 fill power) with some of the higher end synthetics (Primaloft for example), the synthetics perform nearly equally for compression and weight, while doing better with moisture and price, but worse for longevity.

You gotta pick your poison.

2) Another point about down vs. synthetics. Many people have found themselves to be allergic to down. Don't believe your experience on this one. If you have been allergic to down in the past, you have probably been in contact with older down/feather products, not the newer and especially the water resistant down products. The newer downs are much, MUCH, cleaner than the older downs. Allergies are almost always to the down dust and or mites, not the down itself. I stuck a new down bag over the head of a woman last year that was so highly allergic to down she figured that after two breaths she would be fighting her allergy symptoms for the next two hours. She stayed in the bag for 5 minutes with NO ALLERGIC RESPONSE. My wife is also "allergic to down" but has done fine under my newer down sleeping bags.

I challenge everyone that reads this, that is "allergic to down" to go to their nearest outfitter and stick their head into a new down bag with water repellent down in it and come back and report if they have any allergic reaction. I'm genuinely curious if there are exceptions to the "new DWR down is essentially hypoallergenic" theory and if so, how frequently people actually have problems.

Finally, to clarify sleeping vs standing insulation, if it isn't already abundantly clear.
- Imagine the coldest situation you might get yourself into. Make sure your sleeping bag plus all your clothing combined will keep you safe at that temperature.
- Then, imagine the coldest you expect to experience on your trip and make sure you have enough cloths to function around camp.
- Then imagine the coldest you expect to experience on your trip, and make sure you sleeping bag plus all your clothing will keep you reasonably comfortable.

In this scenario, your clothing choices plus your expected weather dictate your sleeping insulation, not the other way around. And as such, you will be carrying the smallest amount (lightest and least bulky load) of insulation reasonable for your trip.

Have fun working it all out!

Another Kevin
10-24-2016, 18:15
I imagine that the weather for an early start in Georgia is similar to the "shoulder season" weather around here. (Georgia doesn't get "deep winter.".) So I imagine that I'd start with my "shoulder season" kit, which would still probably include the second sleeping pad (or at least the car sunshade), the 20 bag (no need for the 0 one), baselayer, balaclava, tuque, fleece jacket and pants, sock liners and wool socks, glove liners and mitts. BUT I'M A BIG GUY, AND I SLEEP FAIRLY WARM. I'd imagine that most women, particularly lightweights, might need heavier gear than mine to be reasonably comfortable. I'm good with the gear I described until well down into the teens F, particularly if I'm in my tent. Shelters are colder unless someone's tending a fire well into the night.

saltysack
10-24-2016, 19:24
I use only a large xtherm during winter but curious if and how much a car sun shade really does when using a high R value pad like the xtherm.....I actually pulled a car sun shade out of my neighbors trash a few weeks back......work carrying? Yea I understand pads leak or pop so is it mainly back up insurance?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sandy of PA
10-24-2016, 19:31
After Georgia comes the Smokys, that is where you will need to be ready for the cold due to elevation.

egilbe
10-24-2016, 19:59
I use only a large xtherm during winter but curious if and how much a car sun shade really does when using a high R value pad like the xtherm.....I actually pulled a car sun shade out of my neighbors trash a few weeks back......work carrying? Yea I understand pads leak or pop so is it mainly back up insurance?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I'm pretty sure those car sunshades are only R1 or something low like that. 1/2" thick foam pad is R2.


After Georgia comes the Smokys, that is where you will need to be ready for the cold due to elevation.

still sub freezing temps in April. Can snow in May.

MuddyWaters
10-24-2016, 20:27
I imagine that the weather for an early start in Georgia is similar to the "shoulder season" weather around here. (Georgia doesn't get "deep winter.".)

Id suggest that they do, but only for 2-4 days at a time, a few times per winter, followed by rapid warming to normal again. Most hikers ride these days out in town, which is easy enough when you know they are coming.

Fredt4
10-28-2016, 14:04
"Along with many of the other people both answering questions on these forums and frankly, successfully hiking the AT.
I strongly disagree that having to ask questions means a poster doesn't have a clue. That's just a jerk statement!"

I agree with the Jerk asking is for fools, but it's better to be a fool and ask. Try out your solution before it's a requirement and you'll be in a good position. 20 seems sufficient to me but I've tried it and know it works for me. Will it work for you? As noted Georgia weather varies, some times it's very cold and a couple of days later it's not so cold or even relatively warm. I started on April 2ND 2011 and remember it was very cold when I was in the Smokies just past Clingmans Road. A week earlier it wasn't that cold.

rafe
10-28-2016, 17:23
Expect major variations in temperature. Expect cold rain. Suggestion: keep a subset of clothing that is vigilantly kept dry and worn only at camp (never while hiking.) That's your fallback for those really miserable times. You don't need a fire to stay safe, you need a tent (or other shelter) a dry sleeping bag and those never-wet layers. Hat and gloves goes without saying.

Hikingjim
10-28-2016, 17:59
that quilt is fine. You just need to find how much you need to add to it to stay warm. Do some testing
Personally, I would recommend adding a light weight summer sleeping bag under it and not a liner
And I would bring a down puffy for evenings and sleep. It can be a costco one or something if you want it cheap... they have 700 fp duck down ones very cheap and they're not that heavy.
Good sleeping pad for sure!

The good part about having multiple items is that you can send home some of your extra warm stuff once you get past the cold... and your ee 20 on its own will serve you well at that point

George
10-29-2016, 15:06
So I'm looking to start the end of february/early march. I am aware that this will result in me inevitably facing a lot of cold weather and snow, so i'm trying to plan for this. I have a 20 degree EE quilt on the way right now and i'm going to combine that with a sleeping bag liner, i was just wondering what else i should plan to bring.. i'm trying to stay lightweight but i also don't want to freeze my butt off.. will what i have be enough or should i look into something else?

try to spend a couple of nights out at 10F to test your setup, if you are comfortable at that temp, you will be alive 15 degrees less - so fine for end of Feb start

Oslohiker
10-30-2016, 06:50
So I'm looking to start the end of february/early march. I am aware that this will result in me inevitably facing a lot of cold weather and snow, so i'm trying to plan for this. I have a 20 degree EE quilt on the way right now and i'm going to combine that with a sleeping bag liner, i was just wondering what else i should plan to bring.. i'm trying to stay lightweight but i also don't want to freeze my butt off.. will what i have be enough or should i look into something else?

What you first off all need (my assumption), is winter hiking training. I would never dream about going into a forum and say "Hey, I got some water bottles and an umbrella, what other equipment do I need to cross the Sahara?". Yes, other peoples suggestions on equipment are good, but you have to build up experience and adjust your equipment, and have a open mind. First of all, light weight and winter hiking do not go together. Going light and with wrong equipment is how it gets dangerous, and people die or have to be rescued. If you have the right experience and are equipped, winter hiking is really safe, enjoyable, and even have it's advantages.

l0ngterm
10-30-2016, 08:56
Personally, I think Merino Wool base layers are much better at keeping me warm than synthetics. I like the Icebreaker 200g and 260 g pants and shirts.

jeffmeh
10-30-2016, 10:06
Here's a gear list from a 2012 February start. The specific items are less important than the strategy, which has already been stated above: Wearing every piece of clothing with the sleep system should enable survival under the worst case scenario, and provide comfort under reasonably expected scenarios. Note the two pads, the dedicated sleeping gear, the 20F quilt, gloves and overmitts, goretex socks, microspikes, etc. There are also some luxury items that could certainly be omitted, and this gear was for a relatively large man, so tends to weigh more than equivalents for someone smaller.

You will sleep much warmer in a tent than in an open shelter. You should know your best points of egress to lower elevations and civilization, particularly when you are traversing a range at elevation, so that means when you hit the Smokies you should have maps rather than just expecting to follow the white blazes.

It is definitely achievable with some good preparation and decision-making in the field. Good luck.





Qty
Item
Weight (oz.)
Weight (lbs.)
Link


Big Three








1
ULA Circuit
36.00

http://www.ula-equipment.com/circuit.asp



3
Trash Compactor Bag
7.50





1
Tarptent Rainbow w/ Liners
38.00

http://www.tarptent.com/rainbow.html



1
Warbonnet Top Quilt, Long, 3-season
24.10

http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/topquilt.php



1
Exped Synmat UL7 Med
15.20

http://www.exped.com/exped/web/exped_homepage_na.nsf/0/48E15F320AFDC7EDC125767E00705EC7?opendocument



1
Dyneema Cord (100 ft, 0.12 lbs per 100 ft)
1.90

http://www.samsonrope.com/index.cfm?ind=13&app=27&rope=168&inst=1



1
Polycro Sheet
1.50





1
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Pad 1/8"
2.60
7.93
http://gossamergear.com/sleeping/1-8.html


Cook System








1
Penny Stove
2.60

http://www.acaircraft.com/pennystove/home.htm



1
Grease Pot
3.80

http://www.stancometal.com/products.asp



1
GSI Rehydrate Lexan Spoon
0.40

http://dealer.gsioutdoors.com/detail.aspx?q=rehydrate+spoon&p=70416&lu=%2fsearch.aspx%3fq%3drehydrate%2bspoon%26&c=6&



1
TrailCooking Minimalist Cozy
1.20

http://www.trailcooking.com/store/minimalist-cozy



1
Pro Bear Bag System
3.20

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=79



1
Fuel bottle
0.10





1
Mug
0.80





8
Freezer bags
1.60
0.86



Water System








1
Platypus 2l Water Tank
2.70

http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus/filtration-and-storage/platy-water-tank/product



2
Water bottles
0.30





1
Aqua-Mira Kit
1.30
0.27
http://gossamergear.com/etc/hydration/aquamira-water-treatment-105.html


Clothing








1
Bug Head Net
5.00

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=66



1
eVent Rain Mitts
1.00

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=51



1
eVent Gaiters
1.70

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=114



1
PossumDown Gloves
1.60

http://www.sheepskinstore.co.nz/en/cp/Gloves



1
Kahtoola MicroSpikes
16.80

http://www.kahtoola.com/microspikes.php



1
Polypropylene Balaclava
1.00

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AN62RC



1
Black Rock Down Hat
0.90

http://www.blackrockgear.com/



2
Ibex Woolies Bottom
12.00

http://www.ibexwear.com/shop/product/1952/8100/mens-woolies-bottom



1
Ibex Woolies Crew Long Top
6.20

http://www.ibexwear.com/shop/product/1947/8990/mens-woolies-crew



1
Stoic Merino 200 Crew Long Top
9.50

http://www.backcountry.com/stoic-merino-200-crew-long-sleeve-mens



2
Underwear - Stoic Merino Boxer Briefs
9.80

http://www.backcountry.com/stoic-merino-boxer-brief-mens



1
Rain Chaps
2.20

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=77



1
Packa
12.50

http://www.thepacka.com/



1
Patagonia Houdini Jacket
4.30

http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/patagonia-mens-houdini-full-zip-jacket?p=24017-0-614



2
Socks
8.00

http://darntough.com/hike-trek-1405.html



1
Goretex Socks
2.90

http://www.rockyboots.com/Product-Details/4636/1600FQ0008013/Rocky-13''-GORE-TEX-Socks/?mm_campaign=d62669ea9895c8ce1f6232236234fab7&mm_keyword=%7Bkeyword%7D&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Shopping&utm_campaign=Inventory%20Marketing&cvsfa=3128&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=383031332d4d3131304d572d52



1
Convertible pants
13.50

http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10970353



1
Down Jacket
6.50

http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=70&p_id=2301344



1
Shammy
1.60





1
Bandana
1.00





1
Crocs
15.80
8.36











Tools








1
Leatherman Squirt PS4
1.90

http://www.leatherman.com/product/squirt_ps4



2
Mini-Bic lighter
0.80





2
Mini Cuben Ditty Bags
0.23

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=171



1
Headlamp
2.50

http://www.rei.com/product/793268/petzl-zipka-plus-2-led-headlamp



1
Blackberry
5.70





1
Charger Battery
5.00

http://www.seidioonline.com/charging-vault-usb-wall-charger-portable-battery-p/pbpt22.htm



1
Compass
0.50





1
Maps/Guide
8.70





1
Duct tape
3.50





1
ID/Cash/Credit Card
2.00





1
Book
5.40
2.26











Hygiene


11.90
0.74




1
Toothbrush






1
Toothpaste






1
Sun block







Bug dope







TP






1
Sanitizer







Camp soap






1
Powder







Vitamins






1
Chap stick













First Aid


4.50
0.28




1
Needle






1
Floss






1
Ibuprofen






1
Immodium






1
Cold Meds






1
Antibiotic ointment






3
Gauze Pads (4x4)






8
Band-aids






1
Blister treatment













Worn or Carried








1
Underwear - Ibex Woolies Boxer Briefs
2.80

http://shop.ibex.com/Apparel/Mens-Boxers/Woolies-Boxer



1
Shorts
3.20





1
Stoic Merino 150 Crew Long Top
7.90

http://www.backcountry.com/stoic-merino-crew-shirt-long-sleeve-mens



1
Socks
4.00

http://darntough.com/hike-trek-1405.html




Merrell Moab Ventilator Trail Shoes
30.00

http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/12006M/0/Mens/Moab-Ventilator?dimensions=0



1
Poles
17.40

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/trekking-poles/distance-fl-trekking-pole



1
Buff
1.40

http://www.buffusa.com/buffusa/collections/12



1
Sunglasses
1.00
4.23



















Consumables









Water (2l)
70.55






Food (5 days)
160.00






Fuel (5 days)
12.00
15.16



















Total Weight


641.48
40.09



Base Weight


331.23
20.70



Base + Consumables


573.78
35.86