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jjimen16
01-11-2012, 16:12
What bag do you suggest. What degree rating, weight, etc. I currently have marmot couloir 0. 3lb 3oz. Is that overkill. I don't know how cold it will get. Thanks for the advice.

HiKen2011
01-11-2012, 16:20
Overkill? Gets cold in the hills in March. Sometimes in the teens, always possible to reach single digits, though doubtful. I am a hot sleeper so a 15 dgree bag is my preference but it weighs 3 lbs so no in MY opinion not overkill. Depends on the person.

Tinker
01-11-2012, 16:45
If you're tired, underfed, or dehydrated (or all three), you'll find that your 0 degree bag quickly becomes a 20 degree bag. It's happened to me. After a winter hike halfway up the Fire Warden's Trail on Bigelow in Maine I was forced to turn around because of an incoming ice storm (I was solo and smart enough to know to be afraid to continue in the dark). Because of the dark, freezing rain, and my fatigue I pitched my tent by the trail on the way back to the car. Initially I was cold in my Stephenson Triple bag (good, according to some users) down to -70 degrees. I finally got out and melted some snow for water and survived the night, but it wasn't fun.

swjohnsey
01-12-2012, 09:53
That bag is certainly adequate. Carrying a couple of extra pounds won't kill you. You can lighten you load by carrying a lighter bag but it comes at a price. I am going to carry a Wester Mountaineering Highlight that weighs 1 pound and is rated 35 degrees. I expect to see temperatures in the 20s. I always sleep in a tent. I wear all my cold weather clothing while sleeping on cold nights which includes fleece top, bottoms, hat and mittens. I have some down booties I sleep in. I don't mind spending the occassional uncomfortable night to carry a lighter bag.

The other option is to carry a heavier bag at the beginning and end of you journey and replace it with a light summer bag in the middle.

JAK
01-12-2012, 11:34
Seeing as you have that bag already, and assuming its a good fit, it sounds like a good choice. I think a good all around bag would be 20oz shell and 20oz fill. I have a Kelty that weight, which is 550 fill down, and rated to 20F. If it was 850fill it might be rated 0F. Not sure. I haven't tested this bag yet. Missed a great opportunity last night. Sorry. I don't think it would do for 0F though, without alot of clothing.

Whatever you do, I would suggest finding out the historical low for March, using climate data plus corrections for elevation. Then test for those conditions somewhere this winter, near your car or house or with an extra bag handy. Be prepared for the worst, even if uncomfortable, then you should be comfortablelow in what you are more likely to get. What is the historical low on the Southern AT in March. Anyone know? You have to be prepared for nast wet freezing stuff also, but I figure if you are prepared for 0F dry, you should be good in wetter stuff around 30F.

Good point that Tinker makes, that you should test after a long brutal hike, maybe with damp clothing, and insufficient food, served cold, as you might not always manage a warm dinner. You might be sick or injured also. More likely in winter. When its below 0F that I get nervous, because you have less time to work with, and it takes longer to warm back up. You should be prepared to make a fire if you can manage to make one work for you, in an emergency, do dry clothing or whatever, but you shouldn't be too dependant on that.

So how low can it go?

bigcranky
01-12-2012, 12:38
You could start with your current bag, which you'll appreciate having many nights in the first month. Then buy a 30 or 35 degree very light down bag for the rest of the trip. You can buy this bag at Mt Rogers Outfitters in Damascus, which has three advantages: (1) You'll know exactly what you need by then, and they have a great selection, (2) You're supporting a local trail business, and (3) If you drop off the trail before that point, you won't have spent money on a bag you don't need.

Jim Adams
01-13-2012, 03:56
You could start with your current bag, which you'll appreciate having many nights in the first month. Then buy a 30 or 35 degree very light down bag for the rest of the trip. You can buy this bag at Mt Rogers Outfitters in Damascus, which has three advantages: (1) You'll know exactly what you need by then, and they have a great selection, (2) You're supporting a local trail business, and (3) If you drop off the trail before that point, you won't have spent money on a bag you don't need.

The perfect answer!

geek

Shadowalker
01-13-2012, 04:23
Alot of good info seeing I am looking to purchase a Sleeping Bag , The bag I have now is a High Sierra Mummy bag , I was told it was the largest S B they had , Well I should have opened it and tryed it first , I am only 5/7 but broad shouldered , I could not get it completly get it zipped up , I had no room what so ever , I have been on all the sites Brand Name gear and am still not sure what will work , When I try to get an idea about what to order , The only size I ever see is regular and long , Never Large , Im not gonna go with a Mummy again , But Im not sure a Regular will be LARGE enough , Andd this is Kelty , NexTag , Marmoth Sawtooth , Any suggestions , Im at a loss here , Also the S B I purchased was at a Dunhams !! Im not concerned about the cost, I was thinking about a double but want to keep the weight down , THANKS !!

bigcranky
01-13-2012, 08:22
Hey, Shadowalker,

There are some wider mummy bags out there. Sounds like you might be happy with one of the Montbell Super Stretch bags. My wife has two of them - though she is slender, she moves around a lot in her sleep, and the bags stretch to move with her. If you can get to a good outfitter that specializes in hiking gear, you can try on several bags.

Another option is a custom quilt, made wide enough to wrap around your shoulders. The cottage gear makers like Mountain Laurel Designs may be able to help you.

Good luck!

TOMP
01-13-2012, 12:35
For a cheaper bag, kelty sells a 20 degree down cosmic that is suppose to be useable and actually work at its temperature rating (90 dollars amazon.com). I recently bought a thermarest haven 20 bag for 175 and its only 22 ounces and I love it so far. It has a different design then any other bag ive seen so its probably not for everyone.

lemon b
01-13-2012, 15:12
Move at night down south. Use the lightest 20. But in my experience it ain't the bag. Its the pad and the overhead cover from rain.

Joshua Mac
01-13-2012, 19:31
Very helpful post for I am in the process of purchasing my bag(s) for a thru hike. I am however worried about having a mummy bag in the summer. Is it necessary? Does the extra enclosure the bag provides become uncomfortable on those hot sticky nights? Is it better to have a rectangular bag that has more air circulation? Thanks

TOMP
01-13-2012, 19:42
Very helpful post for I am in the process of purchasing my bag(s) for a thru hike. I am however worried about having a mummy bag in the summer. Is it necessary? Does the extra enclosure the bag provides become uncomfortable on those hot sticky nights? Is it better to have a rectangular bag that has more air circulation? Thanks

Its really nice in cool temps to have. If its hot just unzip as necessary. I use a bag liner in the summer and sleep on my bag.