View Full Version : Down Bag decision

White Chocolate
03-13-2006, 11:23
I'm set to roll out at the end of March in Ga. I'm trying to decide between my 30 degree 850 fill down bag and my 15 degree down bag. I would obviously add a insulating jacket, socks, and hat to make the former work. I'm thinking the 15 degree will be overkill considering my other gear that I can use to boost temp. rating. Has anyone set out in late March for a thruhike and only used a 30-35 degree bag?

Old Spice
03-13-2006, 15:42
I'm starting April 5th with a 35 degree Westy. I have an emrgency bivvy that doubles as a ground cloth and is wind proof while adding about five or ten degrees to my bag. Between this, and sleeping in silk pj's with a balaclava and jacket, I think I'll be fine. You can also get an insulating pad (8.95 2 oz) from Gossamer gear which is used under your sleeping pad for more insulation.

shades of blue
03-13-2006, 15:59
Ga/NC can have cold weather and snow even up to mid/late April (I live in NC). Many people hold on to their cold weather gear until Pearisburg....or somewhere short of there in VA. Do you sleep cold or hot? I sleep cold, so I like having the extra protection. Also, your sleeping bag is your last line of defense against hypothermia. Just something to think about. Happy hiking and good luck!

03-13-2006, 17:20
Totally agree. I'd make sure that you have slept in 20 degree weather with your proposed combinations to see if you can deal with it.

03-13-2006, 17:32
I started on March 15th with a 30 degree bag. I did fine. I also had a polypro liner which was great. I would really recommend going with a 30 degree WM bag, unless you sleep particularly cold. It is all good.


03-13-2006, 17:49
A good night's sleep can do wonders for healing a tired body or a weary mind. I knew people who carried their zero degree bags the whole way and said it was worth every extra ounce, because they slept better.

If switching bags is an option, start with the heavier, warmer bag, unless you are counting every gram.

If you go with the lighter bag (and even if you don't), consider eating some protein right when you climb in the sack. The slow-burn fuel will keep you warm longer into the night than a bedtime snack of carbs. And the hat is a good idea for either bag, also.

03-14-2006, 10:14
Some of the best advice that I heeded was to keep my cold weather gear until after Mt. Rodgers.

03-14-2006, 12:42
My 0 degree bag stays with me till Damascus. Then I get my 45 degree bag. Never had trouble after that.

03-14-2006, 15:36
I started March 20th with a 15* bag and was happy I had it, especially those nights it dipped well below freezing around Springer and the Smokeys.