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maxNcathy
01-03-2008, 10:59
I had a chance to test my 20F down sleeping bag in a shelter last night in temperatures below 20F while wearing most all of the hiking clothes that I plan to take this March 20..in the Smokys...

When I got to the shelter it was 10pm and -11C with a north wind(6mph) coming into the open side of the shelter.
In the morning when I got up at 7am it was -14C with little wind.
The bag was a Moonstone Lucid 800.
The clothes I wore were:
Dry smartwool med weight socks,
Merino wool cap/touque,
Icebreaker 140 wool T shirt,
Long sleeved coolmax shirt,
Patagonia down sweater,
Precip type jacket with hood,
NFace hiking shorts,
Sylnylon wrap/skirt

Sleeping pad was thermarest equal to prolite 4

Results:
I was warm enough..feet were very good,skirt helped with legs,head always warm,torso just right and only cool when cold air from breathing hole came in too much from time to time,nose was cold at first so I closed the hole to about 11/2 inches in diameter.

Some snow blew in and melted along one side of sleeping bag so by morning it was cooler in that area.

At no time was I cool enough to shiver.

No gloves or balaclava were used last night..my hands stayed warm, my nose was not always toasty.My bandana would have kept my nose warm.
..

The coldest night last spring (when I hiked from March 19 to May 2) for me on the AT was about April 11 with temps at night down to 13F. This was at Cable Gap shelter(elev 2880 at mile 156 just south of Fontana Dam and the Smokys)
I was very good in my 10F rated down bag with less clothes on.

I am not a hot sleeper or a cold sleeper..about medium.

I hope this info will help someone deciding what he/she needs to bring.

Sandalwood

Kirby
01-03-2008, 16:59
I will be carrying a 20 degree sleeping bag, so this information is verye hepful, thank you.

Kirby

maxNcathy
01-03-2008, 18:40
I will be carrying a 20 degree sleeping bag, so this information is verye hepful, thank you.

Kirby

Kirby, you are most welcome. I hope you have a great hike.
Sandalwood

turtle fast
01-03-2008, 22:30
Thanks for the information, I was debating on which of my bags to take. I was going to bring my British Down military bag at 20 degrees, but opted to go with my synthetic zero bag...heavier, but I will be prepared for anything in that bag should it arise..and the weight is not that much more. I can always send for my other bag when it warms up a little. :)

Tinker
01-04-2008, 00:25
Sleeping bag temp. ratings are only a guideline. I was pleased to find out that I can sleep in the open on a windy 9 degree night (dry, no snow) on a 3/8" blue foam pad in my 40 degree (rated) Golite Feather-Lite zipperless bag - weight 1-1/2 lb. long - regular girth).
At first I was wearing my TNF Nuptse down jacket, but just for yucks, took it off to see how I did. With a synthetic hood from an old REI jacket to keep my head warm, and only a polyester long sleeved underwear upper and lower with nylon hiking pants and Smartwool socks, I was able to drowse, not sleep, really, (the pad on a cement walk doesn't make for comfort) for about an hour. I felt my backside getting a little chilled, sleeping on my side, but it's definitely doable (for me - I'm a very warm sleeper).

Always tinkering.:rolleyes:

Tinker
01-04-2008, 00:27
DO try this at home first. In the middle of nowhere is no place to find out your gear won't keep you warm.;)

Bob S
01-04-2008, 01:03
DO try this at home first. In the middle of nowhere is no place to find out your gear won't keep you warm.;)



Iím sure your neighbors will think ďthere goes that crazy guy againĒ as you set up a tarp and sleep outside in the snow on a 10degree night.


Iím sure my neighbors think Iím crazy seeing some of the camping things I do & try in the back yard, It makes me feel good to know Iím not one of the masses that seem to have zero zest for lifeÖ.

Tinker
01-04-2008, 01:56
Give the neighbors a real good show.

Sleep outside without the tarp - bag and pad on snow.

They'll think you died in your backyard. This is something I'm afraid of - waking up to the police prodding me with a nightstick in my own backyard.
That, or snoring in the backyard and having my neighbors call saying there's a wild animal on the other side of the fence.:D
(They might be right.)

turtle fast
01-04-2008, 02:09
I gotta do that!!!! It is 18 degrees here now.....where are my bags...time to have the neighbors think im nuts!!! Ill have to brush some salt off the walk but here I go!!!! thanks for the idea!!! :)

Egads
01-04-2008, 08:06
This is interesting reading. But not all 20* F bags are created equally. I have a 20* bag that starts getting cold around 32* F (TNF Blaze); and I have another 20* bag that keeps me warm into the teens (WM Alpinlite). The lesson here is not to trust someone else's results as YMMV, but to perform your own tests in a front country environment. There is nothing worse than suffering through a looong cold night in back country except to expire due to hypothermia.

BTW, my wife thinks I am crazy for sleeping in the back yard in a hammock whenever a cold front comes in. I hit 18.5* the night before.

Egads

take-a-knee
01-04-2008, 08:43
I just crawled out of my hammock on the back porch awhile back.

Thanks MaxCathy for posting this. I noted your only real "warmies" were the down jacket and the balaclava. This is mainly what boosted your low comfort temp. About a ten degree reduction in comfort rating by wearing typical hiking clothing in these conditions. But, what if you bag has lost loft from repeated nights below freezing ( anytime the temp is well below freezing your insensible persperation can freeze inside the bag)? What if you ran out of food that morning and, due to the weather, couldn't make it to your next resupply? My point is this could be foolhardy to actually plan to do this, it is like planning to use your reserve parachute.

NICKTHEGREEK
01-04-2008, 09:12
I will be carrying a 20 degree sleeping bag, so this information is verye hepful, thank you.

Kirby
Not all 20 deg bags are equal, nor are personal comfort levels the same. The Moonstone Lucid was (no longer in business) a very nice pretty high quality bag.

Tabasco
01-04-2008, 09:34
I have a Marmot Wasatch (semi-rect 20 deg bag) wearing mid-weight capilene top and bottom, with windstopper fleece top and bottom and a fleece hat, sleeping on a thermarest guidelite, I am very comfortable down to 10 degrees without a tent.

With a tent, same setup, I am good to 2 below zero.

Yes, my neighbors think I am NUTS. My wife understands though.

jrwiesz
01-04-2008, 09:49
I just crawled out of my hammock on the back porch awhile back.

My point is this could be foolhardy to actually plan to do this, it is like planning to use your reserve parachute.

She did say "most". Still has the "reserve chute"?:-?

jrwiesz
01-04-2008, 09:52
I have a Marmot Wasatch (semi-rect 20 deg bag)

Do you find yourself using it as a quilt, frequently?:-?

Tabasco
01-04-2008, 10:02
Not so much, I am a very warm sleeper, so if it is going to be much above 50 degrees, I have a Kelty Light Year 45 that I carry.

maxNcathy
01-04-2008, 10:12
I have a Marmot Wasatch (semi-rect 20 deg bag) wearing mid-weight capilene top and bottom, with windstopper fleece top and bottom and a fleece hat, sleeping on a thermarest guidelite, I am very comfortable down to 10 degrees without a tent.

With a tent, same setup, I am good to 2 below zero.

Yes, my neighbors think I am NUTS. My wife understands though.

With a full belly of Tobasco sauce??

hahaha

Tabasco
01-04-2008, 10:35
Don't laugh, a little tabasco in the evening hot chocolate helps ward away the nite chills.

Lone Wolf
01-04-2008, 10:36
tabasco sauce ain't very hot

Blissful
01-04-2008, 12:07
This is interesting reading. But not all 20* F bags are created equally. I have a 20* bag that starts getting cold around 32* F (TNF Blaze); and I have another 20* bag that keeps me warm into the teens (WM Alpinlite). Egads


I've heard others say the Blaze is garbage. But my son used TNF Cats Meow and liked it very much.

scavenger
01-05-2008, 00:34
You really need to test the temperature rating for yourself. I heard some people say the kelty lightyear 25 F isnt really a 25 degree bag but I was perfectly comfortable testing it on a breezy night that went down to 27, and thats with no wind protection and just a closed-cell pad. So check for yourself.

Tinker
01-05-2008, 00:47
I gotta do that!!!! It is 18 degrees here now.....where are my bags...time to have the neighbors think im nuts!!! Ill have to brush some salt off the walk but here I go!!!! thanks for the idea!!! :)

There goes a fine young man!:D

Dirty Harry
01-21-2008, 23:11
Im going to be trying a WM high light 35 degree, with a sea to summit fleece liner, which could possibly bring it down to a 20 degree set up for this 08 thru-hike im mid march. Im little werry about it but, if its a huge though, I can tough it out for a week and change the bag.

Dirty Harry
01-21-2008, 23:13
problem*