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OTdarters
09-25-2008, 17:26
Could one expect to do the entire trail with a 30 degree bag?
I have a 30 degree bag that I'm very comfortable with and would like to use, so long as it won't get to cold.

Thinker
09-25-2008, 18:21
I used a 30* the entire way this year, Started in March, ended in early September. There may be a few cold days at the beginning, but grin and bear it and you'll come out ok. Good luck to you!

BookBurner
09-25-2008, 18:24
Rainsuits, extra clothes, and especially gloves and a hat can really extend the bag's rating on those especially cold nights.

Lone Wolf
09-25-2008, 18:25
Could one expect to do the entire trail with a 30 degree bag?
I have a 30 degree bag that I'm very comfortable with and would like to use, so long as it won't get to cold.

if you sleep in a tent it's totally doable

Yahtzee
09-25-2008, 19:43
Could one expect to do the entire trail with a 30 degree bag?
I have a 30 degree bag that I'm very comfortable with and would like to use, so long as it won't get to cold.

Shouldn't be a problem. If you get cold, put on your clothes before slipping in the bag.

Blissful
09-25-2008, 19:48
I'd be somewhere else if the temp drops to single digits which it certainly can in March (we hit 8 degrees in mid March, but we were in Franlkin then). You're taking a risk, IMO. After April 15 should be safe though.

max patch
09-25-2008, 19:54
You'll (probably) freeze your azz off.

old school
09-25-2008, 20:25
If I was to it again I would start with a 0 degree bag...man it gets cold out there

Thinker
09-25-2008, 20:31
I hit single digit temps several times in the beginning with my 30* bag and was fine with some extra layers on. It all depends on how warm or cold of a sleeper you are. It can be done and it can be done comfortably.

rafe
09-25-2008, 20:37
30 degree bag.... probably OK if you're starting after mid-March or so. You'll have a few cold nights but you'll survive. Helps to have an extra layer or two for those situations. In summer, the bag will be too hot, unless you can unzip it and use it as a quilt.

Haiku
09-26-2008, 03:10
I started on the first of March, and used the Marmot Hydrogen - 30 bag. I was extremely cold for a couple of nights, but for the most part I was fine. I didn't have much in the way of extra clothes, so I shivered for a few nights. In the mid-Atlantic states and southern New England I wished I had much lighter bag - it was miserable! Especially in NJ-MA when the mosquitoes were out and I had to choose between zipping up the bag and sweating or leaving it open and getting eaten alive. Either get a lighter bag or get a good bug bivy!

If you have money to spare, get a 15 bag to start, and then switch to a 30 after Pearisburg (don't listen to anyone who says to switch after Damascus; wait until Pearisburg, believe me). Otherwise you'll be fine as long as you have a few extra clothes to wear in the bag, or someone who doesn't mind you snuggling against for the cold nights.

Haiku.

Pokey2006
09-26-2008, 04:22
I'm cold just thinking about it...

Egads
09-26-2008, 05:20
Depends on your tolerance to cold. I sure as hell wouldn't do it.

dmb658
10-07-2008, 00:15
it will get cold. i would take a 15 or a 20 degree

neo
10-07-2008, 08:00
if you sleep in a tent it's totally doable



:pyep,shelter are for babies and candy-ss hikers:cool:neo

Ziggy Trek
10-07-2008, 09:06
Experiment over night this winter. See what works for you. There are too many variables to get accurate advice on this.
January through February I only take a 30 degree bag because I am already carrying extra layers of clothing. Can't recall ever having a problem (even in blustery cold). Yet others with me have brought their Zeros along and were miserably cold.
It's extremely difficult to define "warm sleeper" vs. "cold sleeper". What does a 30 degree rating mean between ten different makes of bags and their users?

Grampie
10-07-2008, 09:15
Well, if you already have a 30 degree bag and not a lot of cash to spend, take it. You will probably have some uncomfortable nights but you will survive O.K.
I did my thru with a 20 degree baq. started mid April. Had some cold nights, one was 8 degrees, and I was still cold.
Just another hardship of a thru-hike that you have to learn to deal with.

burger
10-07-2008, 10:00
Besides wearing extra clothes to bed, you can also extend your bag's temperature range with a liner (like this (http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/22) silk liner) or a lightweight bivy sack/sleeping bag cover (like this (http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/tentdetail.cfm/EQ3000) one).

buz
10-07-2008, 11:00
Don't know where u live, but if you are planning for next year, practice sleep this winter in known temps that will challenge the bag. That way you will know what you need if it gets really cold early in the hike, or if it isn't workable, period. Layers will help, but I would doubt any 30 degree bag would work if a night is say 10, even with layers. Depends when you are planning on starting as to how many of those nights you would see also.

Bigglesworth
10-07-2008, 17:28
Could one expect to do the entire trail with a 30 degree bag?
I have a 30 degree bag that I'm very comfortable with and would like to use, so long as it won't get to cold.

I think you need warmer. I switched from a 20 degree synthetic (older bag) to a 15 degree down, and it made a huge comfort difference for me. Hefty investment, but wouldn't trade it in for anything. If you don't want to spend the money to switch, how about a silk liner for your 30 degree bag, then you can send one or the other home in the summer?

ChinMusic
10-07-2008, 18:03
Don't know where u live, but if you are planning for next year, practice sleep this winter in known temps that will challenge the bag. That way you will know what you need if it gets really cold early in the hike, or if it isn't workable, period.
This is a good idea but has some flaws.

At home you would not have a physical day behind you and your caloric needs are fulfilled.

On the trail, it is common for you to be in caloric deficit.

I find that I can tolerate a significantly lower temperature in my back yard than I can on the trial.....maybe a 10-degree difference.

YMMV

Jim Adams
10-07-2008, 18:16
used a 20* in 1990...was cold 3 nights.
used a 0* in 2002 and was fine but did have single digits 6 nights.
switched to a 32* at Atkins in 2002 and back to the 0* at Glencliff...all was fine.
Treated Mule for hypothermia x3 in 1990 with his 32* bag.

Weather is just too variable in the Appalachians to know for sure. If you take a small, tight tent (ie: fairly wind proof) so that your body heat will warm it up, then you can probably get by COMFORTABLY with the 32* if it is a true 32* for YOU.
If you are in the shelters or under a tarp or in a tarptent...you will probably be cold on a fair number of nights till you're past the Grayson Highlands and N.E., especially the Whites could be real cold.
Still, too variable to tell....you could roast all thru with a 40* or you could freeze ALL thru with a 20*.
Take LW's advice....get the Campmor 20* and use it from Springer to Adkins...your 32* from Adkins to Harpers Ferry....a light 50* down off of ebay for $20 from H.F. to Conn. ...32* from Conn. to Glencliff and 20* from Glencliff to Katahdin............
or just use the 20* the entire trip.

geek

Jim Adams
10-07-2008, 18:17
This is a good idea but has some flaws.

At home you would not have a physical day behind you and your caloric needs are fulfilled.

On the trail, it is common for you to be in caloric deficit.

I find that I can tolerate a significantly lower temperature in my back yard than I can on the trial.....maybe a 10-degree difference.

YMMV

VERY TRUE! and I'm fairly well naturally insulated!:D

geek

bobbyw
10-08-2008, 21:41
I plan on taking a 35 degree and a 10 dollar walmart fleece bag liner. the liner will certainly add a little weight, but nothing to fret about since most of my other gear is light. then when it warms up and everyone else is sweating in their bags a few weeks later i'm going to leave it for someone to pickup at a shelter. a fleece liner will add (USUALLY) 10 degrees to your bag.

take-a-knee
10-08-2008, 21:49
I plan on taking a 35 degree and a 10 dollar walmart fleece bag liner. the liner will certainly add a little weight, but nothing to fret about since most of my other gear is light. then when it warms up and everyone else is sweating in their bags a few weeks later i'm going to leave it for someone to pickup at a shelter. a fleece liner will add (USUALLY) 10 degrees to your bag.

The fleece liner is heavy an not very warm, not to mention bulky. I'd go with a warm hooded jacket and army field pant liners (8-9 oz) to plus up your bag. Of course the bag has to be large enough to accomodate that clothing.

Jim Adams
10-08-2008, 21:56
The fleece liner is heavy an not very warm, not to mention bulky. I'd go with a warm hooded jacket and army field pant liners (8-9 oz) to plus up your bag. Of course the bag has to be large enough to accomodate that clothing.
very true and please don't leave things at shelters...put it in a hiker box somewhere.:eek:

geek

weary
10-08-2008, 22:13
I used a 45 degree sleeping bag liner between April 13 and Oct. 16. in 1993 and never had any problems. But I carried a down jacket and insulated underwear early and late -- and slept in them.

Weary

Datto
10-11-2008, 18:24
One thing you might consider is taking your 30*F sleeping bag but also carry a 4 oz mylar emergency sleeping bag. That saved my sanity on my AT thru-hike for several nights when a 20*F sleeping bag didn't cut it and I'd run into a blizzard in Maine.

With the mylar sleeping bag, if you run into an ultra cold night with your 30*F sleeping bag you put hot water into your water bottles, put the mylar sleeping bag inside your 30*F sleeping bag and climb into the mylar sleeping bag with the hot water bottles. That's also a way to dry out a soaked sleeping bag since the water vapor stays inside the mylar sleeping bag with clammy but warm you while the heat from the hot water bottles causes the water in your wet sleeping bag to evaporate over time.

Note you'll want the mylar sleeping bag type ($10 retail cost each or so), not the mylar blanket type.

There are also some mylar sleeping bags on the market that are sturdier -- Adventure somebody has a $14 orange mylar sleeping bag that I've used that holds up better than the standard $10 mylar sleeping bags from the Space company.

I am so glad I hadn't sent that Space mylar sleeping bag home from Monson, Maine with all the other stuff I'd sent home to make room for more food.

Datto