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jungleland1972
11-11-2018, 15:26
So I am planning on my first cold weather hike (Maryland section of the AT in December). I decided to test some of my gear last night by tenting in my backyard in 35 degree weather and I am glad I did. I left my gear in my backpack outside a few hours (didnt want to start artificially warm). I tried to simulate a hike, took a long walk at sunset then went straight to my gear in the yard and setup the tent, sleeping bag and pad. I also changed in the tent to thermal underwear and new socks. All was good the first hour and I went to sleep, even though it was only atound 7:30. By 10:00, I was really cold (mostly my feet and upper torso). The cold really surprised me as there was no wind. I had not heated a water bottle for my bag or used any of those hand warmer packets. I also slipped off my pad a few time. I think for my next attempt I will move my sleeping pad to inside of my bag and maybe use those hand warmers. Any other ideas?


Kelty 2 person tent
https://www.amazon.com/Kelty-Salida-Camping-Backpacking-Tent/dp/B00NFCFO0Q/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1541963593&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=kelty+2+person+tent&psc=1

Teton mummy bag (5 degrees)
https://www.amazon.com/TETON-SPORTS-1037-Lightweight-Backpacking/dp/B00DDP3DZ8/ref=sr_1_11?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1541963552&sr=1-11&keywords=teton+sleeping+bag

Klymit insulated sleeping pad:
https://www.amazon.com/Klymit-Insulated-Backpacking-Camping-Sleeping/dp/B00ANRW7DI/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1541963468&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=klymit+insulated+static+v&psc=1

egilbe
11-11-2018, 15:30
SLEEP WARM: Survival rated sleeping bag; Comfort rated 20-30 degrees higher; As you know you will sleep warmer if you use a camp pad, wear a hat, stay hydrated, wear socks, and fluff your sleeping bag before you go to bed to restore its loft

That's your problem. No wonder you were cold.

egilbe
11-11-2018, 15:31
It's a 30 degree bag.

jungleland1972
11-11-2018, 15:32
I had a 5 degree bag in 35 degree weather so I thought it would be enough. I deffinatly should have worn a hat.

jungleland1972
11-11-2018, 15:34
Crap, it is a 30 degree bag. For some reason it says 5 degrees on thw outside of it.

jungleland1972
11-11-2018, 15:37
Time to find a much better suited bag that wont break the bank.

soumodeler
11-11-2018, 16:03
Most bags are advertised with their lower limit rating, not comfort rating. If the bag is EN rated, you can find those numbers pretty easily in the description.

I sleep cold, so I always use a bag with a comfort rating lower than what I need. For example, if it is expected to be 20, I want a 10 degree comfort rating.

I would recommend not cutting corners on the sleeping bag if you can. A cold night's sleep isn't worth the little bit you save. I started with a Kelty Cosmic bag, which was a joke, it was nowhere near it's claimed ratings, comfort or otherwise. I then moved to an REI Igneo bag, which was pretty good, but still not truly rated. I finally ended up with Western Mountaineering. A lot more expensive, but I trust it to keep me warm. I will never look back now.

MuddyWaters
11-11-2018, 18:37
I wouldnt call 35 cold.
Thats really fall AT, and summer sierra/colorado. Nothing special. Real rated bag/quilt and xlite pad is it. Good items here and you wont need any other crap. Nor should you want to deal with hot water bottle, etc unless your gear is unsuitable

Dogwood
11-11-2018, 18:41
down booties, core warmth(vest, etc)

jungleland1972
11-11-2018, 18:48
Anyone use Alps bags? They have 0 degree bags for a decent price but there are not alot of reviews on them.

Time Zone
11-11-2018, 19:11
First, kudos to you for doing backyard testing. It's really smart to do so, and I should do more of it than I do.

Next, remember that the small print is never good news - as quoted in 2nd post above. : "SLEEP WARM: Survival rated sleeping bag; Comfort rated 20-30 degrees higher; As you know you will sleep warmer if you use a camp pad, wear a hat, stay hydrated, wear socks, and fluff your sleeping bag before you go to bed to restore its loft".
Thus, it's a 25-35 degree bag for comfort rating. Even that 25-35F rating has many assumptions behind it - it's not clear what they are, but if you don't meet them, you still may be cold at 35F. One is surely a good insulating pad underneath, which, by the numbers, I would think you had.

Many bags now use an EN rating, referring to EN 13537, a European standard that is pretty specific in terms of assumptions. It's a scientific approach, but the science is in its infancy. It probably needs much refinement. Anyway, there are 4 temp ratings, but two get most of the attention in the marketplace for bags. From Wikip:

Lower Limit — the temperature at which a standard male can sleep for eight hours in a curled position without waking.
and
Comfort — the temperature at which a standard female can expect to sleep comfortably in a relaxed position.

Now, it turns out, many of us aren't "standard" either by age, height, weight, etc. And some of us just plain sleep colder than others. That's what backyard testing is for. So even if these were EN-rated (and there's no indication they used the EN standard), it still might only help you determine relativities between bags. [BTW, my adjustment factor of low ratings is +20 degrees F. So a bag rated lower limit of 20F gets the nod for 40F-60F conditions.]

Did you find the Klymit pad warm enough? I was thinking of getting one - R4.4, but that's another metric that is even less standardized than EN ratings! I had the uninsulated one briefly, but found it was up to 4" shorter than advertised! Not good, as I am 6'1". I didn't try another to see if it was an anomaly, but the insulated one appeals to me since it should be warm, not likely to be crinkly, and a lot less expensive than Neoairs. Currently I use CCF, which I actually rather like, except for the bulk.

Last thought - I've done some digging in tech papers on this stuff, and while it's hard for a layperson to interpret this stuff with great confidence (I'm no Richard Nisley), I felt I could take away some general notions. One was that it appears, from their testing, your total insulating value is about 60% bag, 30% pad, and 10% clothes worn in the bag. That's a real general average across down and synthetic bags of varying insulating quality, pads going in half-inch increments from (none) to 2.5" (note, they used only self-inflators), and clothing (either none, thermal u/w, or thermal fleece).

So clothing in the bag wasn't a huge part of the total, but it was significant. Within the clothing category, thermal fleece insulation contributed over 2.5x as much to insulating value as thermal u/w. I know I sleep well in fleece PJ pants at home, so I may try using those on the trail (they're not heavier, but they are bulkier, unfortunately). Another factor was that self-inflating pads made most of their contribution (to insulation, not necessarily comfort) in the first 1" of thickness. After that, insulating value still goes up with more thickness, but usually at a decreasing rate. Again, IDK if that applies to air pads or CCF.

Didn't get a great sense of the differences between their good bags and weak ones, but at around a 60% contribution, it's probably wise to get the best bag you can afford and will carry/use. Next, get at least an average insulating pad, and try sleeping in thermal fleece. My experience at home suggests to me that fleece will make more of a difference to my overall comfort than the study suggests, but we'll see.

Time Zone
11-11-2018, 19:20
Anyone use Alps bags? They have 0 degree bags for a decent price but there are not alot of reviews on them.
REI Garage had a 0F rated (i.e., 20F-40F for me) Alps Zenith bag that looked like a deal, but IIRC it's listed as being only 80" long in regular. That's very likely to be too short for me, based on the lengths of other bags I know and how I fit in them. So depending on your height, you may need a long. I would probably need a long in THAT bag if I was over 5'10" but who knows.

It's only 600fp down but 33 ounces of it makes up a fair bit for the modest lofting power.

Slo-go'en
11-11-2018, 19:54
Don't try to put the pad inside the bag. If you roll off, try letting a little air out so you make more of depression in the matt.

If there is enough extra space in the bag that the pad could fit, that could be part of the problem. If the bag is real loose around you, there is extra dead air space to heat. This is where a liner can help. A two person tent isn't quite as warm as a one person tent for the same reason. Too much air trapped inside.

The hand warmer packets can help. Have some snacks ready for the middle of the night (maybe in mouse proof plastic box, even in winter).

Ideally you want a warmer sleeping bag, but you can fudge enough things to make the 30 degree work to it's lower limit. But 35 is still going to be about the limit if you want a reasonable amount of sleep through the night.

Starchild
11-11-2018, 20:45
Get that hot water bottle, put it in a sock, and into the bag.

Before you sleep close up everything, zip everything, (and put on warm and dry clothes before).

For your conditions I would recommend a 15-20F bag, it gives a lot of versatility.

When it is just way too F-N cold and one needs just some heat for sanity and a chance to get to sleep, and one has a dependable self igniting isobutain stove that is stable. Well I have ignited it inside the tent, for about a minute or so after which time the tent is much warmer, and then I put it out. The warmth 'shot' does give one the break one needs to get to sleep. Caution is needed in abundance here, but it did work for me.

Time Zone
11-11-2018, 21:02
Just a guess, but you may a bag EN comfort rated for 10F for Maryland in December. Even 0F for a lower limit may not be enough, if you're unlucky with a cold snap. I've seen 15F in NC's Piedmont in December so I'd guess Maryland could be just as tough. I believe that the conventional wisdom is that below 20F down is strongly advised for backpackers, the weight and bulk advantage over synthetic makes such a difference. I'm not sure if that's based on lower limit bag ratings or actual outside temps, but in some places it clearly referred to bag ratings. For your trip, I would think a quality down bag would be of great benefit, weight and bulk-wise.

For other uses, however, the synth bag may work OK, such as car camping. For instance if you have a Costco down throw, you could drape it over the bag (even doubling it up by folding lengthwise). I've found it makes a nice difference, probably adds 5-10 degrees for me when used as a single layer. Does add a pound though, to an already beefy bag. But if you're car camping that does not matter much.

RangerZ
11-11-2018, 21:09
All of the above (except maybe the stove in the tent) plus:

Some light exercise before you get in the sleeping bag to get blood moving
Clothes inside the bag to take up space
CCF and/or reflectix under inflatable pad to increase R value
Buff or balaclava to warm neck
Hiking jacket as second footbox

I have a liner. I took it on a section hike at the end of October. I think it does provide some warmth but I’m not sure it’s worth the aggravation of getting into/out of it, especially in the middle of the night. The jury is still out on it. Works okay at home for watching tv.

I took hand warmers but didn’t need them in the sleeping bag. I did use them in the AM inside my sleeve cuffs then in the palms of my gloves to warm my fingers. Handwarmers, gloves and rain mitts kept my fingers toasty in a cold rain.

Protect what shouldn’t freeze - filter, iPhone, meds - the sleeping bag could get crowded.

YMMV :banana

HooKooDooKu
11-11-2018, 21:31
Crap, it is a 30 degree bag. For some reason it says 5 degrees on thw outside of it.
That's starting to make sense... because while I ALWAYS sleep in a hat any time temperatures fall below 50, 35 degrees in a 5 degree bag should have let you sleep comfortably in shorts and tshirt.

However, to me, 35 degrees is NOT "cold weather" camping... that's just typical October weather in the higher elevations of GSMNP (lower elevations over a typical Veteran's Day weekend... but this year things got below freezing.
In any case, my point is that if you plan to hike in December, you really need to be ready for below freezing conditions.

So if you're looking for a

Time Zone
11-11-2018, 21:57
BTW, I have a couple Snugpak synthetic bags, and their EN comfort rating is only 9 degrees (F) above their EN lower limit rating.

A comfort rating 20-30 degrees higher than the "top line number" used to market the bag strikes me as a comparison against either the EN extreme limit, or as being based on some unknown (and dubious) rating standard.

LIhikers
11-11-2018, 22:26
I've heard it said that for cold weather you should have a pad with an R rating of at least 5, yours is only 4.4.
Add a foam pad underneath yours to provide extra insulation plus if your inflatable goes flat at least you'll have something.

jungleland1972
11-11-2018, 22:43
Thanks all. I am definately going to get a warmer bag and will dress warmer next time. I am worried about adding another pad as the real estate in my pack is getting tight but if my next test goes South I will probably have to go in that direction.

Traffic Jam
11-11-2018, 22:52
Thanks all. I am definately going to get a warmer bag and will dress warmer next time. I am worried about adding another pad as the real estate in my pack is getting tight but if my next test goes South I will probably have to go in that direction.
One of my bad habits is to burrow down in my bag when it’s cold, totally covering my face and head. Breathing into my bag then creates vapor, contributing to feeling colder. So then I’ll stick my head out to ventilate and get cold again. I’ve tried a buff around my face but it gets wet. I’d like to try a balaclava but think it would feel constrictive and be panic-inducing. Maybe a scarf?

HooKooDooKu
11-11-2018, 23:35
I've heard it said that for cold weather you should have a pad with an R rating of at least 5, yours is only 4.4.
Add a foam pad underneath yours to provide extra insulation plus if your inflatable goes flat at least you'll have something.
I only use a NeoAir Xlite that only has an R rating of 3.2. With a warm enough bag, I find that to be good enough for my cold weather camping... but then I generally consider 32 degrees to be my lower limit.

For those that NEED a higher R value, the NeoAir XTherm has an R rating of 5.7.

Dogwood
11-12-2018, 00:13
Crap, it is a 30 degree bag. For some reason it says 5 degrees on thw outside of it.


That's marketing. What they are trying to do is divert your attention from realizing it's actually a very heavy 3.75 lbs - a whopping 60 oz - 25-35* bag.

Time to find a much better suited bag that wont break the bank.

Do what you want but I wouldn't mess with very cheap winter bags for MD AT night timed temps that can get into single digits. For summer AT temps there's more forgiveness in choosing a cheap bag. When you assume you're getting a 5* bag to build your sleep system around only to eventually realize you're cold at 35* in no wind inside a tent that's a wide temp swing most cant make up.

BTW I don't see anywhere independently certified EN temp ratings. The language sounds vague which makes me question everything advertised.

I went through the same thing buying an Alps bag for a family member and in buying a supposed 20* Slumber Jack(shart). NOT what were advertised.

Crossup
11-12-2018, 00:21
Without knowing more, it sounds to me like your bag isnt a good design. I use a Nemo Disco, but many bags have the same setup: a "hoodie" style drawstring closure at the top, an insulated chest flap which can be either inside or outside and can be positioned to cover your throat, block any air entry into the bag top and can be moved aside to vent some.
Some Nemos(Disco for example) also have zippered vent slots in the bag body which allow heat loss without air entry. The venting zips are really nice because one can dress to be comfortable for falling asleep with them open then if you wake up cold, close them and make up for the inevitable mid sleep cool off. While touting the Nemos, I should also mention they have a waterproof footbox with extra insulation(bag is down but the extra is synthetic) and being a spoon shaped bag between mummy and rectangular it has a fair amount of room without having so much air inside you get cool areas.

One of my bad habits is to burrow down in my bag when it’s cold, totally covering my face and head. Breathing into my bag then creates vapor, contributing to feeling colder. So then I’ll stick my head out to ventilate and get cold again. I’ve tried a buff around my face but it gets wet. I’d like to try a balaclava but think it would feel constrictive and be panic-inducing. Maybe a scarf?

Feral Bill
11-12-2018, 00:22
One of my bad habits is to burrow down in my bag when it’s cold, totally covering my face and head. Breathing into my bag then creates vapor, contributing to feeling colder. So then I’ll stick my head out to ventilate and get cold again. I’ve tried a buff around my face but it gets wet. I’d like to try a balaclava but think it would feel constrictive and be panic-inducing. Maybe a scarf? With a mummy bag you should be able to have everything but your nose covered. I've slept that way in -35
degrees F. Slept quite well, too. I was a lot younger then, though.

futureatwalker
11-12-2018, 04:02
I've been doing a camping-trip-a-month for the past year, as a challenge, with my teenage son.

OK, the weather is different here in Scotland than the US East Coast, but as anyone who has been in the Scottish Highland will confirm: it can get pretty raw out (wind + rain + cold).

What I've found that works well, without having to invest in a full winter bag, is to put a summer bag inside a three season bag. I use a 40 degree Kelty down bag inside a 20 degree North Face bag.

I know, I know, the three season bag will compress the insulation of the inner bag you say. But in practice, it doesn't to a great extent, and the combination is definitely sufficiently warm to get me to the low 20s.

Also, warm wool socks are really helpful for keeping your feet warm in the bag.

If it's really cold, I sometimes wear a Helly Hansen light balaclava to bed. It's their usual material - so isn't too heavy - but definitely helps to keep my head warm.

A good sleeping pads helps a great deal. I use a neo-air xtherm.

Best of luck!

MuddyWaters
11-12-2018, 05:48
One of my bad habits is to burrow down in my bag when itís cold, totally covering my face and head. Breathing into my bag then creates vapor, contributing to feeling colder. So then Iíll stick my head out to ventilate and get cold again. Iíve tried a buff around my face but it gets wet. Iíd like to try a balaclava but think it would feel constrictive and be panic-inducing. Maybe a scarf?

Or a snorkel?

If rest of body is warm enough, nose mouth stays warm by association, even exposed thru mummy hole. Feet too.

But, fleece over mouth/ nose works

Cheyou
11-12-2018, 05:56
I’ll b testing this week on the NPT . Going 0į FF Snowbunting.
Thom

T.S.Kobzol
11-12-2018, 09:11
Lots of good responses here. So, yeah, the bag is the number one issue right now that you should resolve. Then I would carry a second foam mattress (Ridgerest). It is not heavy but takes up bulk on the outside of the backpack but it doubles as a good insulated seat during snack breaks etc... A foam mattress will add to the much needed insulation from the cold ground. Use it on the top of Your inflatable mattress.

Yes, be well fed when you go to bed - your body needs energy to produce heat. I would not drink liquids excessively because your body will need to use energy to warm up the liquids inside you. That is why we sometimes wake up colder right before we HAVE to pee.

Fill your nalgene bottle with hot liquid. It doesnít just have to be water. It could be tea you will drink in the morning. :-) The sock on the bottle is a nice move, especially if it is the socks you had on and if the socks needed to dry.

Realize that a sleeping bag is not warm without you inside it. I may be stating the obvious here but it is Your body that is producing the warmth and it is the sleeping bag that is trapping the heat to create a warm environment around You.

Yes put your clothes inside of the sleeping bag but only clothes that feel warm to touch like fleece or wool...not your shell jacket or shell pants ... :-) again this is probably remedial information ;-)

If it is freaking cold I use a vbl liner but I have this old school handmade liner that is awesome and I donít honestly know if the new liners that are sold feel good against your skin.

Utilize everything around you as insulation. So even though you might not put the shell pants and shell jacket with you inside of your sleeping bag you can use them to put under the mattress or between the two mattresses to add to your insulation. Use your backpack under your feet to increase the insulation. Use the boots under the mattress in your head area to create elevation that simulates a pillow as well as adds to insulation and marginally keeps the boots warmer when you need to get into them in the morning.

Donít use a tent that has a lot of ventilation like most summer tents have ... tons of mesh and space for the air to move through. In the winter you are probably best with a tent without any windows or mesh. A double wall tent will be warmer than single wall (for comparison if they have the same indoor volume), but many winter tents are single wall... basically double wall increases the insulation between You and the cold.

Choose Your campsite carefully. Stay away from tent platforms that could have wind fly under the platform and chill You from below. Stay away from breezy spots, stay away from camping next to a brook (refrigerator effect). If You are in multi elevation campsite, pick middle elevation (cold goes to the bottom). If You have snow around You and you can manipulate it safely (donít get your clothes wet) then pile it up around you for an insulating barrier.

Use a hat and neck warmer and gloves when you start sleeping ... if you get too hot you can remove them later.

In theory you can carry a small candle to warm up the inside of the tent...I donít know...I do it sometimes...for me itís mostly psychological but use common sense when you do it...fires and lack of oxygen precaution are in order.

Last resort when suffering comes up in the middle of the night and you have already done all that you can ... lay on your belly, hands on your crotch...this elevates your body from the ground more...it is uncomfortable but it doest help if You are tired and need to sleep. Otherwise - pack up and get moving even if it is at night - movement warms You up. Move to safety, or move to kill time before it (hopefully) warms up as the sun comes out.

In closing - kudos for testing in your backyard. This is the best way to understand what works for You and what does not.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Pastor Bryon
11-12-2018, 09:25
All good stuff here.

My feet were the last piece of the puzzle for me. I've got a pair of Goosefeet Gear down booties, for almost no weight and space they are fantastic in my experience.

Five Tango
11-12-2018, 10:05
We broke camp Friday morning at Dockery Lake and hiked a ways in drizzle for about 6 hours before finding a good spot to hang our hammocks.I did not want to eat in my dry night clothes and was in a world of hurry to get out of wet and damp hiking clothes after dinner as the temp was dropping noticeably and I was getting seriously chilled.(does it really matter what the temp is?Everybody has a different cold tolerance anyway)

The very instant the warm dry wool sleep clothes covered my torso it was like flipping a light switch from uncomfortable to comfortable.Always have warm dry sleep clothes handy and keep your down items dry.I double bag mine.

And in cold weather I eat my share of hot Ramen and cold Spam Singles and chocolate for dessert.

Slo-go'en
11-12-2018, 10:34
From T.S.Kobzol:



Realize that a sleeping bag is not warm without you inside it. I may be stating the obvious here but it is Your body that is producing the warmth and it is the sleeping bag that is trapping the heat to create a warm environment around You.

Which is why sometimes wearing too many clothes is not helpful, you really don't get to heat up the bag very well.



Don’t use a tent that has a lot of ventilation like most summer tents have ... tons of mesh and space for the air to move through. In the winter you are probably best with a tent without any windows or mesh.

Winter is when a Bivy sack instead of a tent is really useful. So long as you don't have to worry about rain.



Otherwise - pack up and get moving even if it is at night - movement warms You up. Move to safety, or move to kill time before it (hopefully) warms up as the sun comes out.

I spent a night freezing my butt off in the Roan High knob shelter. It got a lot colder then I was equipped for. Spent a good part of the night doing isometrics inside the bag to stay warm. As soon as it started to get light I said the heck with this, packed up and ran down the side of the mountain as fast as I could. It was a good 2.5 miles before I was warm enough to stop and eat breakfast!

Venchka
11-12-2018, 10:42
A few key words about a sleep system.
EN testing becomes unreliable below 20 F.
Top loft. Thickness of insulation in the upper half of a sleeping bag. Good luck finding that information on a sleeping bag label. 3Ē is a good compromise for 3.5 season use and low temperatures in the teens to single digits. Those temperatures happened earlier this year in Upper East Texas.
I own two base layer weight balaclavas, one silk and one synthetic. Worth their weight in gold. I also have wool and fleece skull caps that are worn over the balaclavas if needed.
Then comes the full body synthetic and or wool sleeping clothing.
CCF pad BETWEEN the sleeping bag and air mattress. Look it up here at WhiteBlaze.
All mummy bags are not sized equally. The internal dimensions vary from skin tight to wide body jumbo jet. Choose accordingly.
Western Mountaineering & Feathered Friends produce conservative rated quality bags.
Search Backpacking Light for a chart of loft versus low temperatures. In my limited experience itís accurate for me.
Enjoy the Winter!
Wayne

Ashepabst
11-12-2018, 10:56
One of my bad habits is to burrow down in my bag when it’s cold, totally covering my face and head. Breathing into my bag then creates vapor, contributing to feeling colder. So then I’ll stick my head out to ventilate and get cold again. I’ve tried a buff around my face but it gets wet. I’d like to try a balaclava but think it would feel constrictive and be panic-inducing. Maybe a scarf?

try a down hood (zpacks and one of those hammock gear companies both make one). they're a little pricey, but make a big difference in my comfort for cold weather sleeping for someone who can't stand being zipped-up in a mummy bag.

RangerZ
11-12-2018, 13:46
All of the above (except maybe the stove in the tent) plus:

Some light exercise before you get in the sleeping bag to get blood moving
Clothes inside the bag to take up space
CCF and/or reflectix under inflatable pad to increase R value
Buff or balaclava to warm neck
Hiking jacket as second footbox

I have a liner. I took it on a section hike at the end of October. I think it does provide some warmth but Iím not sure itís worth the aggravation of getting into/out of it, especially in the middle of the night. The jury is still out on it. Works okay at home for watching tv.

I took hand warmers but didnít need them in the sleeping bag. I did use them in the AM inside my sleeve cuffs then in the palms of my gloves to warm my fingers. Handwarmers, gloves and rain mitts kept my fingers toasty in a cold rain.

Protect what shouldnít freeze - filter, iPhone, meds - the sleeping bag could get crowded.

YMMV :banana


I have ave a friend who advocates hand warmers in the sleeping bag. If there is any residual warmth in the AM, he then puts them in his boots to warm them up.

Gambit McCrae
11-12-2018, 15:46
Great examples of ya get what ya pay for. I use an Exped down mat coupled with a 5* western mountaineering sleeping bag. Never cold even in single digits. Another good solution to add some warmth is to take your down jacket and use if as stuffing inside your bag. I had to do this every night on my 115 mile trip I just finished in PA. I was also skirting the line of not being prepared in order to save weight. I brought my montbell 15* bag and although it only got into the 30's at night, I was cold in it. Coupled with my OR down jacket I was comfortable.

Traffic Jam
11-12-2018, 17:28
Good tips, y’all.

Traffic Jam
11-12-2018, 17:30
Great examples of ya get what ya pay for. I use an Exped down mat coupled with a 5* western mountaineering sleeping bag. Never cold even in single digits. Another good solution to add some warmth is to take your down jacket and use if as stuffing inside your bag. I had to do this every night on my 115 mile trip I just finished in PA. I was also skirting the line of not being prepared in order to save weight. I brought my montbell 15* bag and although it only got into the 30's at night, I was cold in it. Coupled with my OR down jacket I was comfortable.

Do you have the WM Antelope? Like many people before me, I’m struggling to choose between an Antelope with overfill and a Versalite with overfill.

Venchka
11-12-2018, 20:01
I have an Antelope. I donít get out in cold weather enough to appreciate it. I should fix that.
So far, the Alpinlite has been fine for me down to an observed 15 F in my backyard. I wasnít paying attention to the forecast and missed 12 F and 6 F nights. The 6 degree night would have been perfect for the Antelope.
Truth be known, if I could do it over, the Versalite would be fine for my needs.
Wayne

Traffic Jam
11-12-2018, 20:10
I have an Antelope. I don’t get out in cold weather enough to appreciate it. I should fix that.
So far, the Alpinlite has been fine for me down to an observed 15 F in my backyard. I wasn’t paying attention to the forecast and missed 12 F and 6 F nights. The 6 degree night would have been perfect for the Antelope.
Truth be known, if I could do it over, the Versalite would be fine for my needs.
Wayne
I pulled the trigger and bought the Antelope. Hopefully, as a cold-sleeping female, it will keep me warm to 15*. Can’t wait to try it out.

wordstew
11-12-2018, 20:29
Underground quilts 20 degree Bandit paired with a Therma-rest pad and Proton blanket can get me into the 20s fairly comfortably.
I would also recommend trying a Boston S hand warmer

Venchka
11-13-2018, 02:28
I pulled the trigger and bought the Antelope. Hopefully, as a cold-sleeping female, it will keep me warm to 15*. Can’t wait to try it out.
Use the collar and hood to keep all the warm air.
Have fun!
Wayne

MuddyWaters
11-13-2018, 10:41
Do you have the WM Antelope? Like many people before me, Iím struggling to choose between an Antelope with overfill and a Versalite with overfill.

Versalite is my winter bag, when temp is under 20 ish it comes along. Unless im just playing with stacking quilts.

With down clothing, i wouldnt hesitate to take it to 0.

Bianchi Veloce
11-14-2018, 04:36
To keep my bag on my pad, I use two Sea-to-Summit straps around my pad and bag. I tightened them loose enough to be comfortable and to keep the pad and bag together. One strap near the hallow of the knee, and the second one at the waist area. https://www.rei.com/product/813688/sea-to-summit-hook-release-38-accessory-straps-package-of-2

jungleland1972
11-16-2018, 16:46
Thats a good idea to use straps.
I just ordered a Hyke & Byke Eolus 0 degree bag so that should keep me much warmer.

Venchka
11-16-2018, 18:14
Thats a good idea to use straps.
I just ordered a Hyke & Byke Eolus 0 degree bag so that should keep me much warmer.
Let us know how this bag works between 0 & 15 degrees.
Wayne

jungleland1972
11-16-2018, 18:40
Let us know how this bag works between 0 & 15 degrees.
Wayne

It's unlikely to be that cold but I will let everyone know how it goes. Probably do a test run next weekend.

RockDoc
11-17-2018, 00:57
The rating on a bag is the temp at which you will suffer. You need a 15 degree bag if you want to be warm at 30. Ask me how I know...
Also, what are your thermals? Merino wool head to toe is our go to sleeping clothes for cold. Include a balaclava and wear it while you sleep. Icebreaker is nice stuff.

Venchka
11-17-2018, 02:02
It's unlikely to be that cold but I will let everyone know how it goes. Probably do a test run next weekend.
You said you bought a 0 F degree bag.
Iím skeptical without real world testing. I test my stuff. So far my 20F bag has worked well at 15F. Iím sad to say that I wasnít paying attention to the forecast and missed a 12-6-15 degree weekend. Iím paying closer attention this year.
Wayne

wordstew
12-10-2018, 17:07
Just buy a S-Boston hand warmer...You get about 18 hrs of 160 degree warmth from one of these... put it inside your sleeping socks then throw it into the foot of your bag before you get into it to preheat your socks and the bag. Once in the warm bag/quilt put on those toasty warm socks then for safety put the hand warmer outside your sleeping bag or quilt perhaps in your sneakers to dry them out. you could put those sneakers under the head or foot of your pad which may add additional warmth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E7c887EoG8

zelph
12-10-2018, 17:48
https://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gifhttps://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gif

Shug has tons of cold weather experience, watch some of his videos for some top notch ideas:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ9XVH1KmFo


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saLAcH11l0Q


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2289&v=Pu4pGlzI6Gg

https://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gifhttps://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gif

jungleland1972
12-10-2018, 20:53
https://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gifhttps://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gif

Shug has tons of cold weather experience, watch some of his videos for some top notch ideas:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ9XVH1KmFo


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saLAcH11l0Q


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2289&v=Pu4pGlzI6Gg

https://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gifhttps://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gif

Zelph, thanks for the links, those videos were really good. I tested my gear (Hyke & Byke zero degree down bag) in my backyard at about 30 degrees and was a bit cold but not freezing. With better sleep clothes and some hand warmers I should be good to go. I think the most challenging thing may be trying to get warm prior to getting in the tent for the night.

Feral Bill
12-10-2018, 21:07
Zelph, thanks for the links, those videos were really good. I tested my gear (Hyke & Byke zero degree down bag) in my backyard at about 30 degrees and was a bit cold but not freezing. With better sleep clothes and some hand warmers I should be good to go. I think the most challenging thing may be trying to get warm prior to getting in the tent for the night. Hot drinks and sugary foods. If not hypothermic you should warm up in little time. Have fun!

zelph
12-10-2018, 23:10
https://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gifhttps://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gif

jungleland1972, have you tested your 0* degree bag yet? In the above video it shows Shug wrapping an extra jacket around the bottom of his bag to be sure to keep his feet warm. He also uses Possum down socks for sleeping. And he keeps his head wraped up good also to get a good nights sleep. He said he slept about 12 hours that night.

4425944260

jungleland1972
12-11-2018, 10:54
https://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gifhttps://i.postimg.cc/rFkdpmrs/animated-christmas-line-image-0142.gif

jungleland1972, have you tested your 0* degree bag yet? In the above video it shows Shug wrapping an extra jacket around the bottom of his bag to be sure to keep his feet warm. He also uses Possum down socks for sleeping. And he keeps his head wraped up good also to get a good nights sleep. He said he slept about 12 hours that night.

4425944260

Yep, I posted above but I did test it in my backyard at about 30 degrees and was a bit cold but not freezing. With better sleep clothes and some hand warmers I should be good to go.

CalebJ
12-11-2018, 10:58
The rating on a bag is the temp at which you will suffer. You need a 15 degree bag if you want to be warm at 30. Ask me how I know...

This isn't true with the better brands. Among others, Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering in particular stand out as using very reasonable temp ratings.

Traffic Jam
01-21-2019, 13:10
Tested my WM Antelope to 16* and stayed warm but I still need to work on keeping my face warm. I’m used to the BA Roxy Ann that stays in place while I rotate inside of it. Thinkin this bag is going to require a new strategy and have to rotate with me so I can keep the hood cinched.

Tickled pink...have no doubt that it can handle down to 10*, maybe less.

Time Zone
01-21-2019, 14:49
This isn't true with the better brands. Among others, Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering in particular stand out as using very reasonable temp ratings.
It is true for most brands, however, and especially true of those using EN ratings, since the EN "Lower" rating is the one most often prominently advertised, to give the impression that a bag of a surprisingly low weight, bulk, and price, will keep you warm down to the indicated degree. That, of course, is not what an EN Lower rating means, but that is the initial impression (at least) of advertising copy. The harsh reality is that a heavier, bulkier, more expensive bag is needed to keep you warm at the indicated temperature. For MOST brands.

It's wonderful that WM and FF etc. over-deliver, but their non-use of a standard reference makes comparisons more difficult, not to mention undercutting consistency and objectivity. For instance if I know EN (lower) of 20F means I'm good to 40F, and I want a similarly warm WM bag, do I buy a 40F WM bag? 35F? 45F? Who knows.

Will they always over-deliver, or when the business passes on to another owner, might they start cutting back on the margin in their own ratings? And how would we know?

Time Zone
01-21-2019, 14:50
Tested my WM Antelope to 16* and stayed warm but I still need to work on keeping my face warm. I’m used to the BA Roxy Ann that stays in place while I rotate inside of it. Thinkin this bag is going to require a new strategy and have to rotate with me so I can keep the hood cinched.

Tickled pink...have no doubt that it can handle down to 10*, maybe less.
Kudos!

Out of curiosity, what was your pad and sleepwear, if you don't mind sharing with the rest of the class? :D
Seems that knowing the full sleep system is helpful in putting it into context.

martinb
01-21-2019, 15:07
The rating on a bag is the temp at which you will suffer. You need a 15 degree bag if you want to be warm at 30. Ask me how I know...
Also, what are your thermals? Merino wool head to toe is our go to sleeping clothes for cold. Include a balaclava and wear it while you sleep. Icebreaker is nice stuff.

This hasn't been the case for me. I've had the same 30 degree mont bell bag for 15 years. It keeps me warm right down to the rating paired with an insulated exped pad. Also, some people are cold sleepers so the ratings may not be accurate for them. I've also found that, with age, I'm losing a bit of cold tolerance so I sleep with full merino underwear on if the temps dip below 35.

Traffic Jam
01-21-2019, 15:16
How detailed do you want? :D

Sleeping pads:
z-lite sol
thermarest prolite plus short

(dang it...just realized I forgot to layer them with the prolite on bottom and z-lite in the middle, something I want to try)

Clothing:
Patagonia baselayer pants (don’t know what style)
thin fleece pullover (maybe 100 wt but seems thinner cuz it’s old)
neck buff
sparkly blue hand-knitted merino wool hat :)
lightweight merino wool socks

Dogwood
01-21-2019, 15:17
Plus if you prepared for the conditions you will be in, it is much more bearable

I like variety for all hikes to stay more engaged and grateful.

A big part is being grateful for conditions rather than getting negative, and then, working with them.

For winter, consider slowing down, not so much because the conditions mean we physically must but to be more grateful for the lesser experienced scenic winter perspectives when backpacking or hiking. For me, I appreciate the crunching of snow underfoot, paying greater attention to breathing, finding and identifying animal tracks, winter plant identification, predicting winter weather through cloud studies/wind/barometric pressure, frozen waterfalls and rocky streams, the shortcuts provided when ice is safe enough to cross rather than going around water, the way ice and snow accumulates, the different animals and how animals behave differently, etc. I appreciate the greater solitude and perhaps an AT shelter all to myself or sharing it with a few other hardy winter souls.


Change diet to more fats and more warmed foods. Consider carefully how you're approaching mornings as they can influence the entire day. I like to start days off differently depending on conditions and personal temperament. For morning winter eats I like to bring along different foods based on morning inclinations, - no cook Bobo's Oatmeal bar, ProBar, or Cashew Macro bar dipped in a high fat nut or seed butter with perhaps dry roasted caramel or chocolate covered coconut strips. add in the options to go warmed meal with oatmeal or millet or dehydrated quinoa as a base with flax seed oil or full fat powered coconut milk with nuts and seeds and their butters with dried fruits. Morning beverages I add in to be heated something I never do on warmer trips. These different early-mid morning food approaches parlay into how I further approach the morning's activities. Get up and go while eating or within an hr or two and then eat "cold" or heat a b'fast meal...it all works. All the b'fasts are made to also be consumed at any other time doing away with a rigid 3 squares a day approach.

Prepping for a winter hike I re-habituate to cold and wind and walking in sleet and snow. I'll winter I'll mountain bike or peddle a gravel bike. Windows at home are opened. I sleep outside pre hike bivying if conditions allow. Tipi Walter sleeps outside even in winter which is one aspect of why he probably has a wider temp comfort zone. This is the physiological and psychological conditioning discussed in detail for thru hikers. Those same principles can be applied to winter outings.

One problem for folks not going out in winter is they spend too much time inside enclosed tents or indoors pre hike hovering over a thermostat or under blankets on the bed or couch and scurry quickly to their vehicles in the cold mornings. No wonder not as a many that could enjoy winter aspects like winter backpacking and hiking choose not to.