View Full Version : help for a newbie

12-07-2010, 00:49
any thoughts on a good, not expensive, but no need to be super cheap idea for a Sleeping Bag, and a tent

12-07-2010, 01:02
any thoughts on a good, not expensive, but no need to be super cheap idea for a Sleeping Bag, and a tent

When are you leaving? If it's an early departure you may end up needing *two* sleeping bags(one for early spring and one for late spring/summer).

I have a Marmot Sawtooth 15F bag for the weather right about now(I got the extra-wide so the dog has a place to sleep, this + Marmot's tendency to be conservative with ratings mean it's very toasty), and a Big Agnes Fishhawk 30F for the summer. I like both. This Campmor (http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___40065) bag has been mentioned several times on the message board, and it's rated at 20F.

I think someone is selling an REI Quarterdome T1 in the Used Gear forum, you may want to check on that.

Since you've indicated that price is an issue I'd keep an eye out in the used gear forum.

12-07-2010, 12:55
any thoughts on a good, not expensive, but no need to be super cheap idea for a Sleeping Bag, and a tentWhen it comes to these very important gear items, you will get what you pay for. Better to get a decent tent and bag even if it costs a little more:-?. I have seen Campmor bags mentioned as an economical alternative to a more expensive name branded bag. As far as tents, there are lots of cheaper alternatives, but when you are in a leaking one you will be sorry you didn't pony up the extra dough on a quality made one.

12-07-2010, 13:24
First off I will also recommend the REI Quarterdome T1. This is my tent of choice when not using a shelter. Lightweight and very compactable!

As far as sleeping bags you should check out Western Mountaineering High light


If weight is not an Issue for you I would say the Mountain Hardwear Ultrilamina 15. Its cheap and really warm but also comes in a 3lbs.

12-07-2010, 18:01
I'll vouch for the Campmor 20 degree down bag, if that's the temp rating you need - because it's a very accurate rating. I used it down south and up north on my thru, and I was only uncomfortable a couple of nights when I also wore all my clothing because it was in the single digits.

12-07-2010, 22:22
A decent tent that won't bankrupt you is the Eureka Backcountry I. It actually weighs about 3' 12".

I am swimming up stream but I am taking a much lighter bag than most, Kelty Light Year 40 down. I am leaving around April 1. My research seem to indicated the lowest temps (records) are around 20. Likely lows will be in the 30s. I have spent some 20 degree nights with this setup cheating a bit. I slept in all my clothes, 100 pile, goretex, cap, gloves and down booties. I would have a couple of unconfortable nights than carry all that crap for thousands of miles.

12-07-2010, 23:29
thanks for the help guys, I am planning on leaving in early april, I have a tent and sleeping bag that I use on hikes around florida and used back in the day from my time as an eagle scout, but seeing as that stuff is about 10 years old and not meant for cold weather i figured that would be a good place to spend extra money, expecially since i am used to very hot weather, and not so much the cold.
thanks for the help again

12-08-2010, 01:53
I would have a couple of unconfortable nights than carry all that crap for thousands of miles.

I am not a thru-hiker(although I play one on the Internet), but in that scenario you wouldn't be carrying two sleeping bags for thousands of miles, you'd be swapping it out at certain points of the trip.


Dunno what kind of tent you currently have, but as I said, there's a REI Quarterdome T1 on sale in the used gear forum, it's resonably light & freestanding, both things that are important to me.

(I'm one of those guys who lifts up the tent and shakes it clean every morning).

12-09-2010, 23:53
Gatorscout, Kelty makes some good down sleeping bags that are pretty light. I had a zero degree for the first month of my trip (started in Feb) and thought it served its purpose well.

As for tents, I'm a fan of my six moon designs lunar solo which was pretty good on price ($230 and onsale now for $199). If you like freestanding, I had a two person northface-they might make a one person that's good too.

12-10-2010, 00:35
Buy used. If you watch here and BPL, you can always find gearheads dumping good stuff.

12-10-2010, 01:11
I've had cheap tents before with no problems - just heavy. However, a sleeping bag is worth spending extra on, and the extra benefit is that they are typically lighter AND warmer.

12-10-2010, 09:38
If you're leaving in April, the Campmor 20-F down bag should be plenty warm enough, and you can wear more clothes to bed on the nights that get into the teens. That's probably the best inexpensive option.

If you can afford to spend a little more money, then a 15- or 20-F down bag from Marmot, Western Mountaineering, or some of the REI bags would provide more warmth for slightly lower weight. These bags are sometimes found on sale (like the Marmot and REI bags), or you can find them in the used gear pages.

12-10-2010, 11:44
Look online for deals. And selling used items. I know of hikers who have used the Campmor down bag and Eureka spitfre tent, both inexpensive comparatively. I have no experience with either though.