View Full Version : Warm Sleepers.....

10-09-2009, 12:08
It seems as though a 20 degree bag is typically recommended for the average thru-hiker. Any warm sleeping thru-hikers on here make it the whole trip with a 30 degree bag?

10-09-2009, 12:39
I'm taking a 15 degree bag (leaving from Springer in February) and maybe even a liner, and then switching out at Harpers Ferry either to a 30 degree bag, or a 40 degree bag and liner. Not sure, because in the summer I HATE to be hot at night. I can't sleep if I'm too warm.

It all depends on when you're starting. If you're planning on an April NoBo, you should be fine until you hit New Hampshire, at which point you'll probably want a liner. March or earlier, it'll be chilly!

10-09-2009, 12:42
Sorry, that was a bit all over the place. The gist of it is:
Unless you're a very warm sleeper or a VERY fast hiker and do the whole thing in June/ July/ August, you will be cold in a 30 degree bag. Early start in GA= chilly. Late finish in ME= cold. Ealr start in ME= cold. Late finish in GA= chilly.

(This is all assuming that you're starting either NoBo sometime from early March- mid April, or SoBo mid May)

10-09-2009, 13:07
I'd say that whether or not someone else made it the whole way with a particular piece of gear is probably not relevant to me. What they might have "made it the whole way" with reflects more on them and the conditions they encountered, rather than what I think I'm going to be comfortable with in the conditions I can reasonably expect. "They" may have had warm-ish nights, a 12 lb. 4 season tent, a Husky companion to share the warmth, or a freakishly matted hair suit baselayer; none of which are on my gear list. I have to plan on taking those things that I (in my experience and research) anticipate keeping ME comfortable in the conditions I foresee.

So, even if "someone" may have made it "sometime" with "Thing X", I'll be taking Thing Y and swapping out for Thing Z at town Bravo. That way I'm not hauling a winter bag through SNP in July and freezing my tookus off in GA and NH. When planning, I plan to play the odds, not the improbables. I leave the not-freaking-likely at home altogether.

HYOH, carry your own gear.


10-10-2009, 21:08
Does anyone have experience using a quilt instead of a sleeping bag for above 30 degree hiking ?

As I get older I find I do not like the confining fit of a mummy bag anymore, plus I sleep hot. I am 6 ft 3 and 290 lbs.

I used (a lot) a North Face Ibex Large in the 70ís and 80ís in conditions that were sometimes sub zero. Always kept me warm when water bottles next to me outside the bag froze solid. While I still have the bag, some of the internal baffles have broken and the fill has shifted. While I was a lot skinnier then I always found it slightly confining.

I also have a military down sleeping bag that is warm but weighs a ton and only use it on car camping trips. Used the same style bag in Egypt and it was nice there in the desert at night as it gets cold in the Sahara desert at night. In typical military planning I froze my ass off the last night there as we had to turn in most of our gear ( including our sleeping bags ) the night before we left and I spend a cold night on a cot in my desert cammies and a poncho.

I figured there must be a light weight down or synthetic quilt or a similar rectangular bag I could use. If I decide to do any more real cold weather camping I know I would need a different bag setup.

Any suggestions ?

10-10-2009, 22:10
There shouldn't be any problem with using a quilt for 30F+ temps for a warm sleeper. One question would be what size should it be and would you like it (too much tossing and turning and the quilt is off you). Try sleeping inside with a cut down cheap blanket and keep cutting it narrower to see how narrow is too narrow. An alternative might be to use a mummy type bag opened up as a quilt.

Rectangular bag -- it's just a matter of whether you want to carry the extra weight.

10-11-2009, 00:01
gunner, there are a variety of quilt options out there that can keep you warm enough and convert to something close to a mummy bag when you need it. The catch is that, unless perhaps you're into the MYOG (make your own gear) approach, the best solutions are fairly expensive --- probably not cheap to MYO either in this case.
Some places you could look at (again, sticker shock warning for at least some of these) are http://www.jacksrbetter.com/, http://nunatakusa.com/, (http://nunatakusa.com/)http://www.backpackinglight.com, (http://www.backpackinglight.com/) plus more conventional sources, such as http://www.prolitegear.com/site/xdpy/ssg/Sleep%20Systems/Sleeping%20Bags.html

The first two of these offer some interesting options to allow one piece of gear to serve as both part of your sleep system and as insulated clothing (dual use to save weight).

If making your own does appeal to you, a couple initial places to look might be http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html and http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/homemake/index.html

As snow leopard said, an option is to just get a largish conventional sleeping bag with a full zipper that can be used essentially as a blanket; that's the approach I use. But with infinite money to throw at the problem I'd probably end up with some sort of quilt. The things that are designed to be used as quilts have some sort of strapping or other solution to keep the insulation above you without drafts, but in general this should be adjustable to your needs.

10-11-2009, 00:10
Two other quilt options out there: Speer Top Blanket (http://www.speerhammocks.com/Products/TopBlanket.htm) (My personal choice for hammock sleeping) and the GoLite Ultra 20 (http://www.golite.com/Product/ProdDetail.aspx?p=SS7500&mc=181&t=&lat=).