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Screech
12-26-2008, 22:19
I did ME-VA on the AT this year and used a pretty heavy weight sleeping bag since I was sobo and heading out pretty late in the year.

I have started reading up and preparing for a better planned hike than I did on the AT(I did like 3 hours planning for it) and I want to get my gear budget sorted out early.

So what degree sleeping bags should I be looking at and if I need multiples to mail the two around could you give me advice there.

I plan on leaving in mid April.

Also, how necessary is an ice axe really. Its 100 bucks and 8 pounds I dont feel like carrying pointlessly.

Ive ordered Yogis book and the Southern Cali guide from my local outfitter and currently only have access to the Northern Cali/Oregon & Washington guides and kinda need to get my gear and budget together ASAP.

Thanks.

garlic08
12-26-2008, 23:51
A 20 degree down bag worked the whole trail for me.

Ice axe was optional for me, but I have lots of snow experience. I did fine with just one trekking pole. But my wife needed one. She used the Cassin Ghost, about 7 oz and less than $70, as I remember.

Screech
12-27-2008, 01:03
A 20 degree bag the whole time? Didnt you boil in the warm sections?

Also I was under the impression it could get quite cold at some points, 20 was really enough for you? I sleep cold so when a lot of people are using 20s for comfort I have to go for the 0 bag.But even with a 20 I would think that could get awful hot in warmer weather.

I made an embarrassing math mistake. I converted grams to pounds instead of to ounces, so the ice axe I was loooking out came to 8 pounds instead of 8 ounces derf. That ends the debate a lot faster, i might spring for an axe.

wandering_bob
12-27-2008, 18:41
I've been section hiking the PCT for 15 years. I use a Western Mountainieering Hooded Aspen (now renamed the Sycamore MF). It is a 25 down bag, but being semi-rectangular rather than a mummy and having 2 zippers, it can readily be converted from a traditional bag into a fully open quilt or anything inbetween.

WM bags are expensive but well woryj the cost. Their quality is superb.

neighbor dave
12-27-2008, 19:08
:-?i used a 15* bag. i sleep warm too. never zipped it up, just used it like a blanket. i'd use the same bag again without a second thought:welcome

garlic08
12-27-2008, 20:33
A 20 degree bag the whole time? Didnt you boil in the warm sections?

Also I was under the impression it could get quite cold at some points, 20 was really enough for you?

I sure don't remember any really hot nights, not humid anyway. During the summer I shake the down out of the top of the bag, around to the bottom, so it's less insulation. Works fine.

The coldest time on the trip for me was June in the Sierra, and it rarely got down in the 20s, maybe once woke up to a deep freeze. I think most hikers use a 20F bag with no problems.

Screech
12-28-2008, 17:52
Thanks guys, I was under the impression that it was going to be a much warmer hike in some parts. Thats good though, I would prefer cold if given the choice between 2 temperature extremes.

double d
12-28-2008, 18:03
Take a look at Campmor's 20 degree bag (550 Down insulation). Great price, if your about 5'10 or taller, you might want to get the bag in a long.

Screech
12-28-2008, 18:05
I am 6'4" so it makes all my sleeping bag purchases tricky.

buz
12-29-2008, 16:26
We have that campmor 20 in a long, and I am only 6' 1", but it has plenty of room in it. Campmor is also excellent on return policies, so if it doesn't fit, postage back, and you are given a refund. Nice value bags.

Geo.
12-30-2008, 06:04
Also, how necessary is an ice axe really. Its 100 bucks and 8 pounds I dont feel like carrying pointlessly.


I took an ice axe for the Sierra Nevada section and would take one again. Came into use in an unplanned slide on one occasion and was also used to cut some steps on Forester.
You might not need it, but just my opinion that your better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. ;)
(was also useful while I had it for digging latrine holes!)

chris
01-07-2009, 17:46
I am 6'4" so it makes all my sleeping bag purchases tricky.

So am I. I used a WM Highlight (Long) on the PCT and it fits perfectly. I used WM Ultralight on other western trails and it is the same size and girth.

By the way, the ice axe will do you no good if you don't know how to use it. It does make photos a lot cooler, though. I'd take one for the Sierras if I hiked again and 8 oz is not very much to haul. Even the heavier ones from BD are not much more than a pound.

A-Train
01-07-2009, 17:59
Thanks guys, I was under the impression that it was going to be a much warmer hike in some parts. Thats good though, I would prefer cold if given the choice between 2 temperature extremes.

It can get warmer in the summer. I remember some sweaty nights in northern Cali (around Burney/Belden/Dunsmuir area) however most of that was the result of sleeping around 2000-4000 feet in July. If you sleep high it will be cooler (and prettier). In general it was very cool/cold almost the entire trail. The desert nights are cold, The Sierras very cold and suprisingly nough Oregon in August was very chilly. Of course Washington in September will be cold (and wet).

an old 20 degree WM Ultralite and a liner did it for this whimpy hiker.

Dont Panic
02-18-2009, 22:48
I used the Golite 20 degree quilt and would use it again. It's a bit thin compared to other 20 degree bags, but with some strategic layer I was always warm enough.

Don't Panic - PCT 2008

julian
02-27-2009, 04:29
I used the Golite 20 degree quilt and would use it again. It's a bit thin compared to other 20 degree bags, but with some strategic layer I was always warm enough.

Don't Panic - PCT 2008

I'm glad to finally hear about someone other than Skurka who used the Ultra20 on the PCT. I recently switched out my synthetic MH bag for the golite quilt and having never used a quilt before, I've been a little nervous about how it will perform on my thru starting in a few months.

RickD
02-27-2009, 12:01
Is everyone out there using silk liners for their quilts / sleeping bags? Just curious.

Sly
02-27-2009, 13:07
Thanks guys, I was under the impression that it was going to be a much warmer hike in some parts. Thats good though, I would prefer cold if given the choice between 2 temperature extremes.

During the days it's usually warm. Night can, and do, get cold.

bulldog49
02-27-2009, 15:04
One general word of advice I would give on sleeping bags is that this is the single most important piece of gear you will carry. It is one item I would not let price influence my choice. Go with a top quality bag.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
02-27-2009, 18:20
I don't know about the entire PCT, but I've done the JMT many times, usually in early season. It gets down to freezing at night, sometimes below if the weather is bad or you camp high near or on the passes.

I've used a 15 degree North Face "Superlight" - old model, but it's pretty well made, weights about 3 pounds and is rather comfortable. Has the full length zipper you need to turn it into a blanket.

Last summer in the JMT, I only zipped it up once, at 12400ft elevation when it was perhaps 25 degrees outside the tent. Rest of the trip it was too warm, however, that was between July 11 and July 25

I've tried my son's REI Sub Kilo - rated at 20F, but probably more a 30F bag. Nice and light, ok as a blanket but the zipper doesn't go all the way down. It's too tight for me, though around the chest. I'd hate to sleep like that many nights. Same is true for Marmot Helium, which I recently bought on ebay to cut some weight off my trusty old North Face, but it's also really tight around the shoulders for me, and I goofed and bought a bag with half zipper. Sold it right back on ebay...

I'm drooling over the Western Mountaineering Alpinlite right now - if I can justify the $420, I may save a bit more than a pound over my old North Face bag, but still sleep warm and in a rather roomy bag.

YMMV - I am 6'2" 185lbs, and to me most super light bags are simply too small to be a place I'd sleep comfortable for many weeks on a long hike.

This summer I'll be doing the John Muir Trail yo-yo, so I may owe myself a better bag :-?

AZJ_Jerky
03-04-2009, 22:30
Alright so how about bag choice southbound leaving when snow pack becomes manageable in WA?