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Timinator
08-29-2012, 03:20
Hi, I've been looking for information on this for quite some time now and I can never find a proper answer. What temperature rating of sleeping bag should I use for winter on the CDT? I'm thinking of http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=products&page=Sleeping%20Bags&cat=Microfiber%20Series&ContentId=43 but I've heard a -10 degree bag will do. Too much conflicting information on the internet to tell what is right. Dropping weight and price to a -10 would be nice but I wouldn't want to get caught in a bad spot with the wrong sleeping bag.

leaftye
08-29-2012, 03:39
It gets much colder than that. Go to google and type in:
city month site:weather-warehouse.com

You'll see.

leaftye
08-29-2012, 03:42
Good news is that the Farmer's Almanac predicts a mild winter for that area.

Fwiw, I am planning on spending the winter in ND. I'll have a -40F bag with me in the car and when I go trekking. Thankfully a member here hooked me up.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 03:47
Much colder than -25? Well the tent adds 10 degrees and my open cell sleeping pad has an r-value of 11 not to mention the closed cell sleeping pad I'll have under that which is an r-value of 4. All of that has to count for something right?

leaftye
08-29-2012, 03:55
Will you be using a vapor barrier?

Timinator
08-29-2012, 04:01
Not sure what that is.

leaftye
08-29-2012, 04:18
It's one of the ways to keep your insulation dry. That's something you better keep in mind unless you can be in town every other night, especially when you're intentionally trying to push the limits of your sleeping bag. Here's some reading that will tell you how it works, along with at least one alternative.

http://warmlite.com/sleeping-bags/bag-technical
http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=264

Timinator
08-29-2012, 04:21
http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=products&page=Sleeping%20Bags&cat=Microfiber%20Series&ContentId=43 already has water and wind resistant fabric and dwr.

leaftye
08-29-2012, 04:29
You're thinking about it backwards. Read those links. It's something you really want to learn about, even in much milder temperatures. It's a technique you may use frequently to get more hiking done in the few hours of daylight.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 04:44
I see so I should get something like this? http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=products&page=Accessories&ContentId=44
I already nearly light my surroundings on fire when I sleep as it is, I'm gunna explode with all that insulation.
That warmlite triple bag thing looks interesting. Seems like one of those too good to be true things,an all temperature sleeping bad? Did I read that right? I don't have the attention span right now to read that massive wall of text effectively because I've been awake for 2 days straight but I'm going to try and read it again lol.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 05:00
Yeah one of those warmlite bags is 2 pounds heavier than my current set up would be. I also have a hard time believing there isn't some sort of catch with those bags. So I guess I'll throw in a vapor barrier, thanks for the advice. Hope I don't melt under all that :P

leaftye
08-29-2012, 05:14
That VBL bag can work. A VBL suit has some advantages in that you can wear your clothing over it for extra warmth, or even to dry out your clothing. The disadvantage is trying to slide out of a moist suit in the morning. Warmlite sells VBL clothing. Anti Gravity Gear is another option if you have their silnylon rain gear custom made to work better as a VBL.

The Warmlite Triple bag is like using a two bags to achieve a warmth rating, which can keep you from overheating. It has the VBL built in, so there's no inconvenience. I assume there's a slight weight penalty with this bag instead of a Western Mountaineering centered system, but again, that's an assumption. As with the VBL bag you found, the disadvantage is that you can't wear clothing in it to add warmth to your sleeping system. I suppose you could stuff the extra clothing between the two top layers though.

Some people say a VBL will increase the warmth of your sleeping system. I suppose that's true. I ignore that though. I think the main benefit is that your sleeping system can be as warm on day 5 of your trip as on day 1. If it indeed adds warmth, then I consider that an additional safety factor.

In any case, you should definitely get some sleep and read up on VBL's. You may not use one even though you'll almost certainly have at least one in your pack, but you should have a plan to handle the moisture. Fwiw, my plan this winter is to have a thick sleeping bag that hopefully has more insulation than I need, but I'll have down booties, a down balaclava and a big down parka if it turns out I need more insulation...most likely due to accumulated moisture over multiple nights. Eventually I'd like to add a hot tent to my system for extra comfort when awake in my tent.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 05:24
Have you tried the warmlite bags before? The tents look even more impressive..suspiciously so. 2 pounds for a 4 season all extremes 2 man tent? There must be a catch lol.

leaftye
08-29-2012, 15:00
I wish I had the money to try that all out. The only Warmlite gear I have is a pad, and I got that used. I haven't read much about their bags, but I've read a couple reviews that said the stitching on their tents is sloppy. I haven't heard of failures, but better quality is expected when that kind of money is spent with a company that's been around for long enough to know how to sew better. I do like the design though. If I had the money and could inspect the tent before buying it, I'd happily get one.

I checked out the weight of the Warmlite bag. It's not much heavier than a Western Mountaineering. I think it's only fair to compare against the warmest WM bag, and then the difference is less than a pound for the longest and widest Warmlite. That difference is reduced by not needing to carry a separate vapor barrier. A Warmlite bag does require the use a Warmlite pad though. Warmlite pads offer the greatest warmth for the weight, even the warmest pad, so that's not really a bad thing. The only problem with it is the same as any other bag with an integrated pad, which makes it best for back sleepers.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 21:46
Just double checked and It seems that my sleep system weighs 6.7 lbs with my current setup. I might decide to give the triple bags a try because they are cheaper and lighter. Does anyone here have experience with them? Are they bulky? Flimsy? There must be a down side somewhere (especially given the website obviously over hypes everything it says). I saw somewhere that you can custom make your bag, whats the deal with that? Thanks

leaftye
08-29-2012, 22:01
Thankfully you have a long time before you need to buy it as you can wait until you're on the trail for a few months. No need to buy all that winter gear now. It's great that you're doing the research though.

colorado_rob
08-29-2012, 22:59
I'm really not stalking you Timinator... you just keep asking questions that I actually know a bit about (just ask me...). It turns out I own both the WM Puma (-25) and the Lynx (-10) (well, the Lynx is my wife's). I used the Puma for two Denali expeditions (with my wife using her Lynx on the 2nd trip), and never had any other use for it, even deep winter camping in the Colorado high country. I switch to the Lynx or even a 0 degree Marmot I own for CO winter climbing (though the marmot 0 degree weighs as much as the Lynx). WM's are sa-weeeeet bags, but get out your checkbook. They really never go on sale EXCEPT I did buy my Puma on sale on Moosejaw. Just got lucky. I really think the -10 should cover you, or even a really good -5 or zero and a silk linen. No opinion on vapor barriers, never used one

Timinator
08-29-2012, 23:40
Hmmmm. So -10 all the way up to montana? I heard it can get to -40 up there sometimes. I hate when people say conflicting things it just makes everything so much more confusing! "pulls hair out"

leaftye
08-29-2012, 23:46
Look at the historical weather though. It definitely gets a lot colder than -10F in several towns along the CDT, although Denver winters are much milder than the places I checked, probably due to the rather low elevation. A -10F bag would great for short trips you can plan and put off at will, but this guy is going a thru hike. Thru hikers often have fewer choices due to weather reports being unavailable, weather changing more quickly than is possible to get to the next road, scheduling and what not. I'll grant that I don't have the experience of living out there, but the information I'm finding leads me to believe that a -10F bag on a long winter hike on the northern parts of the CDT would be reckless.


Here's an elevation profile for the CDT. Note that the CDT in Colorado appears to stay above 8000 feet and Denver is a little above 5000 feet. Standard adjustment says the CDT should be 9F cooler.
http://premium.fileden.com/premium/2008/8/25/2065958/profilesFolder/cdt_printable_all.pdf

These are all for December:
Historical weather for Vail, CO (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_Vail_Vail_CO_December.html)

Historical weather for Rawlings, WY (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_Rawlins_Rawlins_WY_December.html)

Historical weather for West Yellowstone (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_WestYellowstone_WestYellowstone_MT _December.html) -- an astonishing -20.9F average minimum temperature in 2005

Historical weather for Butte, MT (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_ButteBertMooneyArpt_Butte_MT_Decem ber.html)

Historical weather for Helena, MT (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_EastHelena_Helena_MT_December.html )


January is usually even colder.

Timinator
08-29-2012, 23:56
I suppose I'll stick with the Warmlite triple bags then.

colorado_rob
08-30-2012, 01:39
Look at the historical weather though. It definitely gets a lot colder than -10F in several towns along the CDT, although Denver winters are much milder than the places I checked, probably due to the rather low elevation. A -10F bag would great for short trips you can plan and put off at will, but this guy is going a thru hike. Thru hikers often have fewer choices due to weather reports being unavailable, weather changing more quickly than is possible to get to the next road, scheduling and what not. I'll grant that I don't have the experience of living out there, but the information I'm finding leads me to believe that a -10F bag on a long winter hike on the northern parts of the CDT would be reckless.


Here's an elevation profile for the CDT. Note that the CDT in Colorado appears to stay above 8000 feet and Denver is a little above 5000 feet. Standard adjustment says the CDT should be 9F cooler.
http://premium.fileden.com/premium/2008/8/25/2065958/profilesFolder/cdt_printable_all.pdf

These are all for December:
Historical weather for Vail, CO (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_Vail_Vail_CO_December.html)

Historical weather for Rawlings, WY (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_Rawlins_Rawlins_WY_December.html)

Historical weather for West Yellowstone (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_WestYellowstone_WestYellowstone_MT _December.html) -- an astonishing -20.9F average minimum temperature in 2005

Historical weather for Butte, MT (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_ButteBertMooneyArpt_Butte_MT_Decem ber.html)

Historical weather for Helena, MT (http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_EastHelena_Helena_MT_December.html )


January is usually even colder. Hmmm... a guy from San Diego commenting on winter weather in the west? Interesting. What has either Vail or DENVER got to do with western winters? Both are Banana Belts. If you want to see what Colorado Winters can be, look at Fraser or Gunnison Colorado records. DENVER?????? 9 degree "temperature adjustment"? Get educated before you try to, er, educate..

We climbed the coldest regularly-climbed mountain on the planet, Denali, (yes, check this out if you don't believe) spending Three consecutive weeks ( no resupply, no access to anything but glaciers) in sub-zero temperatures at night, every night, down to -25 often, and my wife, a cold sleeper was fine in a -10 WM Lynx bag. Calling using a -10 deg bag "reckless" for this quest is just plain er, reckless. Not all -10 degree bags are equal. Western Mountaineering is very conservative in their temperature ratings.

Not that i'm knocking the Warmlite triple bag, thing, intrigeing, but don't listen to this guy's "reckless" comment on the -10 deg bag. It would work well for you. You haven't mentioned you sleeping pad system, at least I haven't seen it yet. that is probably as critical as anything in the dead of winter. We always use a two-pad system in the deep cold, a thin closed cell (7 oz) and an insulated inflatable.

Timinator
08-30-2012, 01:50
http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/trek-and-travel/neoair-all-season/product
http://www.rei.com/product/804326/therm-a-rest-ridge-rest-solar-sleeping-pad
Are my sleeping pads.
I trust your judgment rob but I think I want a second opinion before I go with a -10. I don't just sleep warm I sleep hot, I never use blankets even in winter and air flows into my room from the garage so I'm sure I'd be able to handle it. However never being in -degree temperatures before I can't say for sure.

colorado_rob
08-30-2012, 02:13
http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/trek-and-travel/neoair-all-season/product
http://www.rei.com/product/804326/therm-a-rest-ridge-rest-solar-sleeping-pad
Are my sleeping pads.
I trust your judgment rob but I think I want a second opinion before I go with a -10. I don't just sleep warm I sleep hot, I never use blankets even in winter and air flows into my room from the garage so I'm sure I'd be able to handle it. However never being in -degree temperatures before I can't say for sure. Absolutely, you should gather info from many sources and weigh it all, part of my earlier point is that you don't buy choose a sleeping bag rating based on coldest temperatures you might sleep in, you buy one based on a more reasonable balance. Sure, you could easily get some -25, -30 or even, god forbid -40 degree nights. you won't freeze in a -10 bag, you'll probably even get decent sleep if the rest of your sleeping gear is up to par. Again, my wife is a COLD sleeper generally, and finds her -10 to handle -25 temperatures OK. Just one more point and I;'ll shut up: as was said just above, do a lot a reading on Vapor barriers and that warmlight triple bag. I'm very dialed in to the high altitude mountaineering community, and I bet less than 1 in 10 climbers use vapor barriers. Try one first, obviously, out east in your high NY winter for a good long weekend. Basically sweat boxes. This still works for some, but not many, at least here out west.

As was said, one very important aspect is keeping you bag dry. Condensation inside your tent will be your biggest enemy here. Lots to delve into there, but I guess my point is: your tent choice is critical. Lots of ventilation. read reviews that discuss condensation. I use a bibler Eldorado for my solo winter trips. Single wall. Not the best actually, but I make it work.

Your pad choices look right on, as I said, a double pad is a fine idea. Inflatable pads leak, sometimes they cannot be field repaired. You want some insulation left if you're stuck out there, hence the double system. I use the regular Neo-air (not well insulated) with a foam pad underneath for all but the coldest at which time I use an insulated inflatable.

leaftye
08-30-2012, 03:15
Hmmm... a guy from San Diego commenting on winter weather in the west? Interesting. What has either Vail or DENVER got to do with western winters? Both are Banana Belts. If you want to see what Colorado Winters can be, look at Fraser or Gunnison Colorado records. DENVER??????

I linked to towns close to the CDT. Why would you possibly think that has little to do with weather on the CDT? Apparently the reason I didn't link to Denver went well over your head.

In what way do you dispute the weather reports I linked to?

In what way does my present location have to do with the data I posted? Using your logic, I'll just say that you're lying about Denali because your profile doesn't say you're there right now.


9 degree "temperature adjustment"? Get educated before you try to, er, educate..

It's a well known temperature adjustment for elevation, although it says something you not being familiar with it certainly says something about your education.



Calling using a -10 deg bag "reckless" for this quest is just plain er, reckless.

Being assured of warmth is reckless? Relying on data is reckless? That's one thing for you to be warm at -25F in a -10F bag presumably with your wife being a second warm body in a tent with you, but recommending someone else to do the same while solo is reckless, especially when that person admittedly doesn't have experience in those conditions. To your credit, you go on in another post to expand that the sleeping bag is just part of the sleeping system. In another thread, I recommended against buying winter gear yet because there's a lot that is still being figured out, which includes other parts of the sleeping system. I would agree that with the appropriate clothing to supplement a sleeping system beyond what is used in EN testing, then it would be safe to use a thinner bag.







If I was a hiker planning to hike through the coldest area in the CONUS, and had little experience with those conditions, I'd rely on hard data more than someone than someone that recommends using a bag below temperatures you can expect without knowing the rest of your system. Contrary to what Rob seems to think, you can use both hard data and somewhat relevant experience. In one of your other threads I recommended waiting to purchase your gear. Part of that reason is that you might find that you sleep warm, or you might sleep cold on the trail. When you get that experience, you can more wisely select which gear to buy and bring with you. Until you get closer to that time, keep collecting data.

Consider how people use their system. What made up the entirety of their sleeping system? Did anything else influence their comfort, such as having more than one person in a tent, or making a bough bed, or building a snow shelter, or using a wood stove? Take a look at the EN testing procedures for sleeping bags. (I can email them to you if you'd like) You'll see it has specifications for sleeping position, pad and sleeping clothes. You can use that to make a better informed decision on a sleeping bag. You can wear extra clothing to boost the warmth of your sleeping system. Richard Nisley on Backpackinglight has some formulas you can use to determine the warmth of a sleeping system, and he sometimes does the calculations for others. Think about the nature of your hike? If you sweat into your bag because you didn't use a VBL or bivy, will you have time to dry it out? If you pick a borderline sleeping system, that's something you'll have to pay extra special attention to.

You asked about the sleeping pad adding warmth. I don't know about that. I know an insufficient pad can certainly take away warmth, but I don't know if the relationship between the warmth of a sleeping pad and the sleeping system continues to be linear. For example, while a R15 pad system should be more than warm enough, would an R30 pad system allow you to use less insulation over your body? I would think that once you restrict conductive and radiation greatly, there's little left to restrict with greater insulation, which leads me to believe that at some point a warmer pad system isn't going to keep allowing you to cut back on the insulation over your body. That's a question Richard would probably be able to explain. ...wait, in a later post you provide links that show a combined R8.

Here are a couple tests to think about.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/stephensons_warmlite_down_air_mat.html
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/thermarest_neoair_prolite_deluxe_le_mats.html

Why don't you post on Backpackinglight? Say you expect nights down to -40F and want to know what people think about using a -10F bag. Actually, don't say that. I'd be using you to troll Rob. Do start a thread though. Lay out a potential sleeping system in great detail. Let them know if there's anything else that changes your conditions, such as using a hot tent, or having another warm body in your tent, etc. Definitely let them know the character of your hike, that is, that because you're thru hiking, you'll need to maximize the time available to hike.

Timinator
08-30-2012, 07:17
I actually just came up wit a potentially ingenious idea. I just stumbled upon http://www.snowinn.com/ski-store/x-bionic-radiactor-l-s-black-ma/17822/p# which is a sort of thermal shirt made out of heat reflective yarn. I recently became aware of this company and I can vouch for it after buying one of their jackets and a shirt, they perform as advertised (so far). Here's a video I found of it in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlfHFUM9ntk&playnext=1&list=PL9DBD8E52CD433149&feature=results_main. I'm curious If I could not only use this shirt paired with its pant version to avoid getting sweat in my bag but also to use a lighter and cheaper sleeping bag as well (and solve my "what clothes to use for sleeping vs cooking dilema). That lady in the video was in -110 F (my god) temperatures, I wonder how that would translate into a sleeping situation for the using the garment.

Mags
08-30-2012, 09:36
Regardless of the urinating contest you are both having, the jury is still out about a hike where a person is asking very basic questions for a long hike...never mind the CDT in winter. :O

colorado_rob
08-30-2012, 09:47
I linked to towns close to the CDT. Why would you possibly think that has little to do with weather on the CDT? Apparently the reason I didn't link to Denver went well over your head.

In what way do you dispute the weather reports I linked to?

In what way does my present location have to do with the data I posted? Using your logic, I'll just say that you're lying about Denali because your profile doesn't say you're there right now.



It's a well known temperature adjustment for elevation, although it says something you not being familiar with it certainly says something about your education..

Sorry, don't have time to fully dispute you, but did you think DENVER is even in the mountains? Just curious. I guess yeah, it went over my head why you would mention Denver, a high desert town that has zero to do with the mountains of CO. The CDT passes somewhat near Vail, but as I said, Vail is in a banana belt, warmer than usual for its altitude. Again, you apparently know little about temperature expectations in the mountains of CO, at least, vs. Altitude. Sure, there's that rule of thumb. I think it's more like 4 degrees per 1000' out here. But the localized variations are dominant due to mountain climate. Temperature inversions are common place. Many times high altitude are much warmer than lower altitudes, especially in the winter. Valleys are especially notorious. Check out Fraser CO. Many, many days the coldest place in the USA. The real place to be concerned in CO for the CDT thru hike would be the lower, northern 1/3rd of the state. The southern and central part of the state, even though higher on average, will be generally warmer.

Lying about Denali because my profile doesn't say I'm there right now???? Not sure what you mean, but I summitted Denali in 2005 and again in 2011. I hike and climb all over the world on high mountains, and especially in CO in the winter, training for these climb. I know cold weather camping. I've spent hundreds of nights in a tent in below zero weather. Have you spent any? You have access to information, as we all do, but you have to experience this to really understand how it works.

I did forget to mention clothing in your bag, glad you brought it up. The tent itself is probably good for 10-15 degrees of warmth. You'll have all sorts of lightweight down clothing, which can, of course, be worn on the coldest nights, good for another 10-15 degrees.

And by the way, my wife slept solo many nights on Denali, staying warm in her -10 deg bag in -25 degree temps. We rotated four of us through a three-man tent and a solo tent, took turns. A -10 degree bag, 3lbs, about three lbs less than that Warmlight system (for the same length) will suit you very well for this thru hike, Tim. I'm going to follow your progress closely because what your doing is right on with my plans in a couple years (AT first!).

Timinator
08-30-2012, 10:09
Regardless of the urinating contest you are both having, the jury is still out about a hike where a person is asking very basic questions for a long hike...never mind the CDT in winter. :O
What you don't believe in me? :( I have plenty of time to prepare and I'm fine with calling it quits if winter becomes too tough when it comes around, that doesn't mean I won't try though.

Timinator
08-30-2012, 10:21
I'm going to purchase that thermal shirt I was just talking about and attempt to see if I can lower my bag rating with it, there's a 30 day no questions asked return guarantee so it would be worth trying (plus it's half price). The only problem is my sleeping bag is a 15 degree bag and I don't think the temperatures in new england will get cold enough to test it properly, I guess I'll try to look for a warm temperature sleeping bag in the attic or something and hope it gets cold.

Timinator
08-30-2012, 11:02
I wish I could edit my posts instead of double posting :mad:
A -10 degree bag, 3lbs, about three lbs less than that Warmlight system (for the same length) will suit you very well for this thru hike Well the reason the Warmlite bag appeals to me is because the sleeping pad and vapor barrier weight is already factored in. If I added my sleeping pads, sleeping bag, and vapor bag it's like 2 pounds more than the Warmlte bag.

colorado_rob
08-30-2012, 11:09
Yeah, I hear ya. But consider the KISS principle (keep it simple), and do a lot a research on Vapor Barriers before you pull that expensive and complex trigger on the warmlight. As I said previously, vapor barriers are just plain not popular on high mountains at least. Of the 2 dozen or so climbers I regularly hike and climb in winter conditions with, only one guy uses a vapor barrier system. Plenty of time to do your research, and testing over the winter out there.

Also: I apologize for any harsh words and coming on too strong to the gentleman in SD, but please have some actual experience before offering advice on a subject. Signing out of this thread, I've said my peace.

BrianLe
08-30-2012, 22:52
"I have plenty of time to prepare and I'm fine with calling it quits if winter becomes too tough when it comes around, that doesn't mean I won't try though."

I guess my concern is that a person with a low experience base might well not decide to call it quits until the situation is already dire and it becomes an emergency rescue or a search for the body (since my daughter joined an SAR team I've been hearing more first-hand cases of the latter). What you're talking about doing is a whole lot riskier even for someone with a great deal of experience and skill at it. I certainly wouldn't try it. The only reason I was comfortable to keep going on the CDT past early October last year was because I was into New Mexico by then, a whole different kettle of fish.

Have a great time, but please do keep in mind that a sudden winter snowfall in the mountains can deliver a whole big bunch of snow in a relatively short period of time. And that the first time you experience that could literally become the last.

Timinator
08-30-2012, 23:35
Better to go down doin somethin than doin nothin right? :cool: I could sit in my house and be safe for the rest of my life and I would still die. I'll take the safest routes and use good judgment, I'm using a high end gps with ridiculous amounts of information and top quality maps loaded into it which will assist me in finding safe routes in snow covered conditions. I'm trying to be as thorough as possible with my research before I go so I don't have to figure anything out when I'm out there.

bearcreek
08-30-2012, 23:40
The weight of your sleeping bag is irrelevant. If you try to hike the CDT via the San Juans in winter you will probably be killed by an avalanche. You have no clue.....

Timinator
08-30-2012, 23:52
I'm not taking san juans route.

Feral Bill
08-31-2012, 00:34
Timinator, please pay attention to the peoples posts here. We do not want you to end up dead. Your attitude makes that a distinct possibility. No joke. Get some training, as discussed elsewhere. If you are in or near NYC, start out with some winter trips in Harriman to learn the ropes. You owe it to your friends, family, and the poor bastards who will have to look for you frozen corpse to not get in way over your head. Am I being too subtle?

Timinator
08-31-2012, 00:47
I've stated at least 4 times I will get training. Please stop mentioning this, I'm not an idiot. I also have a right to do as I please as well. I could go sky diving without a parachute if I wanted to. That being said I will make myself as prepared as possible and be as safe as possible, I'm not a bumbling fool. HYOH as they say it, I'm all about that. I'm listening to all the advice people are saying here but I'm basing my trip around that advice, not deciding whether I want to go because of it. I'm going to go regardless so please be supportive instead of criticizing me.

Timinator
08-31-2012, 03:02
Sorry for the double post but I'll bet my bottom dollar that the next person that speaks is going to completely ignore what I just said so I'll get this out of the way now. Please stay on topic instead of telling me what to do with my trip. I have a right to make my own decisions, I'm here to become as informed as possible so my decisions are as correct as possible based around what I want. You can give me all the opinions and information you want but in the end its my choice what to do with it.
Just because my end decision isn't aligned with yours doesn't mean it's the wrong one, we both have different goals and different reasons for why we chose what we did now please respect mine. If you wan't to inform me of the potential dangers of what I'm doing and how I can prevent it then great, that's being helpful to me but please don't tell me how to live my life.
I want to avoid thread derailment and want to keep this thread constructive and on topic so I can continue to use it as a resource instead of having people ruin it for me. (which is where it's starting to head)
Not sure I can make myself any clearer than that so if you still feel the need to be all over me then I don't know what to say to you.
Now that that's out of the way let's get back to the topic at hand shall we? Thanks

I'll be updating my results with that garment in a few weeks so I'll see you then unless someone has something helpful and on topic to talk about. I will probably make a thread about which routes I should take in the coming weeks too when I have my maps all compiled into my computer and I've looked them all over properly so please don't discuss them here.

Spirit Walker
08-31-2012, 12:48
I'm not taking san juans route.

Are you planning to just roadwalk the whole way? Not a lot of fun, but it's your choice.

Timinator
08-31-2012, 13:03
Yogi suggests creede route as an alternative to san juans and says it's safe when things get ugly. I'm really not ready to discuss routes right now though because I'm stuck at my uncles house watching his dog all week and I'm waiting to compile all my maps into my computer so I can look them all over for which routes I want to take. I'll make a thread about it later.

Feral Bill
08-31-2012, 13:14
To be on topic and constructive: I prefer a double bag system (inner and outer) for versatility, at some cost in weight. I also suggest either two closed cell foam pads or a ccf pad and a short thermarest. In the Adirondacks and Whites we always prepared for -40 F. At -35 we slept nice and warm. Sadly, good sleeping bags are far from cheap.


Not meaning to be too fierce earlier. Just concerned.

Mags
08-31-2012, 13:16
Yogi suggests creede route as an alternative to san juans a

The Creede Route still takes you in the high country a bit, too.

If you are dead set about hiking in winter and want to be safe(r), consider the Great Mtn Bike Divide Route. It parallels and sometimes crosses/uses the same trail as the CDT. Because it does not go through wilderness areas, it is going to generally lower. If you plan on dropping low anyway, this may be a choice for you.

Mind you, you are still out in winter but the dangers are somewhat mitigated.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/greatdivide.cfm

Timinator
09-01-2012, 04:23
I've heard Western Mountaineering is conservative with their bag ratings and I'm wondering by just how much. Lets say I'm a warm sleeper, what temp rating would a -10 degree WM bag actually be for me?

bigcranky
09-01-2012, 09:08
I have two WM bags, and find they are accurate for how I sleep. That is, I am comfortable to the rated temp wearing light long johns and wool socks, using a Prolite 4 mattress. In my case they are a Megalite (30F) and an Antelope (5F). '

BrianLe
09-01-2012, 11:50
"Lets say I'm a warm sleeper, what temp rating would a -10 degree WM bag actually be for me?"

No one can do more than wildly guess at an answer to that, it's too subjective IMO.
I agree with bigcranky --- I don't see WM as under rated w.r.t. temp ratings, I just see some other bags as overrated.

I.e., I think WM ratings are pretty accurate, but really you first have to define just what a -10 degree rating means objectively. You use the temp ratings to get in the right ballpark but then I think this is just another thing that you have to find out for yourself based on experience. Factoring in various other things (some of which change each night), including sleeping pad(s), clothing you're wearing while sleeping, tent or other shelter, wind, humidity, elevation, what you had for dinner last night, how hard you hiked, sunspots and recent space alien visitations ... lots of things impact this. And of course site selection can make a lot of difference in ambient temperature in the same overall locale.

I suggest that you get yourself a recording thermometer, i.e., one that remembers the high and low temps experienced over a given period. This needn't be expensive nor heavy; I've used this unit:
http://www.coghlans.com/products/time-temp-digital-dangler-0492
Now take notes at your overall sleep setup and various factors each night (okay, you can perhaps skip the sunspots and space aliens), and make a note of the low temperature encountered and just how cold or warm you felt at the coldest part of the night. Maybe also try checking the temp difference inside and outside the tent. Do this a few different nights this winter, in the coldest conditions you can find (and hope you can get something approaching the worst you could get on the CDT) and you'll build up an intuition for what you need far superior to any random impressions you might get from online dialog.

If possible borrow or rent your sleeping gear to do this, and then use online comparisons, clo ratings (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=27296&skip_to_post=225831), EN 13537 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EN_13537) ratings, whatever to try to calibrate and narrow down to something you want to buy.

Personally, I never want to do enough overnight trips in conditions warranting a -10 bag to want to own one, so I have no experience to offer at that temp rating anyway.

Timinator
09-01-2012, 17:46
I'll see if I can try that. It just sucks that it doesn't really get cold around here (at least not that cold). I'm planning a trip to the whites soon, hopefully it's colder up there.

bigcranky
09-02-2012, 09:22
I'll see if I can try that. It just sucks that it doesn't really get cold around here (at least not that cold). I'm planning a trip to the whites soon, hopefully it's colder up there.

When are you doing this hike of yours? The 'daks will get plenty cold enough this winter to test out your gear and figure out how to operate in very cold temps.

Toli
09-02-2012, 09:58
It's one of the ways to keep your insulation dry. That's something you better keep in mind unless you can be in town every other night, especially when you're intentionally trying to push the limits of your sleeping bag. Here's some reading that will tell you how it works, along with at least one alternative.

http://warmlite.com/sleeping-bags/bag-technical
http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=264
Does the topless girl come with the bag??? :D

Slo-go'en
09-02-2012, 10:45
When are you doing this hike of yours? The 'daks will get plenty cold enough this winter to test out your gear and figure out how to operate in very cold temps.

Actually, the 'daks would be better then the Whites for testing winter gear. It typically gets colder there and you don't have to do as much mountain climbing. It's actually colder in the lower elevations due to the fact cold air settles in the valleys. And due to lake effect, they usually get a lot more snow, good for practicing snowshoeing.

Timinator
09-02-2012, 11:46
I'm sorry but I have no idea what the "daks" is. Where is it?

bigcranky
09-02-2012, 15:16
The Adirondaks. They are a big mountainous area. In New York.

Timinator
09-02-2012, 15:25
Oh yeah I've heard of them. You think they are a good alternative to the whites? I was actually planning a trip to the whites this month because a relative in maine offered me the opportunity. What would be a good month to go to the daks for winter testing?

takethisbread
09-02-2012, 16:07
This thread is hilarious. Instead of going to the "Daks" to train I'd hike the CDT in the summer and be safely esconced in my bed in the winter. JMO. either way be safe and have fun.

Snowleopard
09-03-2012, 18:18
It won't really be cold enough to test winter gear till December (maybe late November in a good year at Mt.Washington or the Adirondacks). Most of upstate NY is decent for testing winter gear. The Catskills are closer to the NYC area than the ADK or Whites and get pretty cold and have lots of good hikes. Inland Maine also gets pretty cold.

It is a good idea to break into winter backpacking gradually, with hikes every couple of weeks through the season. That way if your camping skills or equipment need upgrading you can do it gradually. Going straight from summer backpacking to -30F camping is brutal. It's also a good idea to do your first camping in really cold temps next to a shelter or your car.