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Gator 65
11-11-2008, 22:07
I have a Northface 35 deg. bag that I hope to use when I start a NOBO the last week of Feb. 2009. do I need a better rated bag at that time of the year or will layered clothing suffice for cold nights with that 35 deg. bag?

Egads
11-11-2008, 22:10
I think you're gonna freeze your tail in that bag. It could be dangerous at worst and uncomfortable at best.

mts4602
11-11-2008, 22:12
Yes, that will not be enough. Temps will be in the single digits at times. March is one of the snowiest times of the year in smokies. I would have at least a 15 or 20 degree bag.

KG4FAM
11-11-2008, 22:14
35 deg is more like a bag for an April start. I have run into snow in April in Georgia and May in the GSMNP. You probably want to get a better bag for Feb.

Lyle
11-11-2008, 22:16
I think you'll find the general consensus is that a 35* bag can be made to work with the proper shelter, extra clothing and experience. Mind you, I did not say it would be recommended. Most, myself included, would advise you get at least a 15* or 20* bag and still plan to use some extra clothing. Personally, for a Feb. start I would probably go with either a 15* or 0* bag if I wanted to be pretty sure of comfortable nights. Can pretty much guarantee that you will be miserably cold with a 35* bag some nights, probably many nights that early.

35* bag plus extra clothes and experience: Will you survive? Probably. Will you sleep? Probably not every night.

Gator 65
11-11-2008, 22:17
Enough said. You won't have to tell me twice. I can always change back later in the year to the 35 deg. bag. Thanks for the advice

ChinMusic
11-11-2008, 23:18
I sleep fairly warm but was a bit uncomfortable in my 30 this weekend with temps in the upper 20s (winds were nasty). No way would I try a 35 in Feb unless I was prepared to pull off the trail and wait out the cold spells, which might be most of the month......

Get a good 15, and even then, layers will make some nights more bearable.

Blissful
11-11-2008, 23:25
At least a 15 degree bag and again, take a liner. You'll get single digit nights.

Save the 35 for May.

smaaax
11-12-2008, 10:12
I started out with a 20* bag on Feb 16 this year, and it wasn't enough. Bought a WM 10* and it worked great.

My coldest night was 13, and it could have been worse.

hopefulhiker
11-12-2008, 10:14
Twenty degree bag with liner, long underwear and a dry down jacket...

The Solemates
11-12-2008, 18:06
with that kinda start date, id take my 5 deg bag. you'll have nights in single digits and maybe nights below 0

leeki pole
11-12-2008, 18:36
Zero degree bag, no doubt. You can always unzip a bit. It gets chilly up there. But I'm a cold sleeper. I'd much rather be sweating than freezing.

bigcranky
11-13-2008, 16:17
I take my 5-F bag in Feb and March, then switch out for my 30-F. But I have the section-hiker's advantage of reliable weather forecasts -- a thru-hiker needs to be prepared for wildly variable temperatures through April.