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View Full Version : CDT NB from july-jan, which sleeping bag would you bring?



Timinator
11-30-2012, 10:40
I made a thread pertaining to which sleeping bag I should take on my cdt trip from july through january a few months back but I'm still not satisfied with the information I have and my head still spins when I consider which bag to take. My current sleep system choice is
http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-re...season/product (http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/trek-and-travel/neoair-all-season/product)
http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-re...solite/product (http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/trek-and-travel/ridge-rest-solite/product)
http://www.westernmountaineering.com...s&ContentId=46 (http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=products&page=Sleeping%20Bags&cat=Gore%20Windstopper%20Series&ContentId=46)
Which is still too heavy and expensive for my liking and I've also considered the warmlite triple bags but they are heavy and bulky.
I think I'm put off because of the fact this isn't going to be a full winter trip and I'm unclear on just how cold it will realistically get which makes the weight and expense hard to justify.
If you were going to take this trip which sleep system would YOU use?
P.S. stay on topic please, not interested in random lectures about the trail. Thanks

Spirit Walker
11-30-2012, 13:49
I'd take a 20-30 degree bag for the first couple of months, a 5-10 degree bag for the next 3 months and a 0 degree bag for Dec.-January.

On our SOBO hike I used a 10 deg. bag the whole way; my husband started with a 20 deg. and switched to a 5 deg. in mid-September. We had a few nights where we were cold, but not many. We had a few nights where we were hot, but again, not many. For our NOBO we used a 20 deg. bag until mid-September, then switched to 10 deg. bags for northern Montana. Again, some cold nights, both in NM and MT, but not unbearable.

bamboo bob
11-30-2012, 14:27
The CDT is cold. I'm starting in April NOBO and taking a Montbell 20 degree bag. It is heavier than I like but nice and warm. Being cold at night gets old real fast. For the warm days I just leave it unzipped. It's my only piece of gear that weighs more than I like but I'll consider it a luxury. The CDT is cold.

bearcreek
11-30-2012, 16:04
I'm with Spirit Walker for the summer/fall but I would go with at least a -10 bag for the winter part. If there is one with a gore tex cover that is even better. I have a older Moonstone -15 with gore-tex exterior and it is great. It's hard to keep your tent dry sometimes in the winter - you will pack it wet and if it's cloudy, it will never get dry. The Gore tex keeps the bag dry, even if the tent is wet.

Don't know about the Neoair winter pad. I would be inclined to use the solid pad instead. It will be one big snowfield by January and you are going to want to have something you can sit on when having lunch or taking a break.

I use a 20 degree bag exclusively between the months of April and October and it works ok. That would be my choice for a good summer thru-hike bag.

Slo-go'en
11-30-2012, 16:15
When I was in Glacier in early July this summer, it was in the 40's at night, mostly due to the fact we were always camped next to a glacier feed lake. One morning actually woke up to frost inside the tent. But during the day it would quickly warm up to 90+. Totally insane.

I agree a 20* bag is about the lightest you want to go for summer time and you can't possibly have a bag which is too warm for the dead of winter.

I still don't think your gonna get far once winter sets in, but that's a whole 'nother issue.

Chance09
11-30-2012, 16:44
I'd consider the quality of the bags too. Western Mountainnering is the only bag i've used that hasn't seen a drastic drop in the loft of the down over a thru hike.

Colter
11-30-2012, 21:01
It's not what you want to hear, but if you don't know what kind of bag to carry on the CDT in the winter, you probably shouldn't be tackling the CDT in the winter.

Hiking the CDT in the summer is a big deal, but something most people can do if they plan carefully. The CDT in the winter, solo, is orders of magnitude more dangerous and should only be tackled by someone with large amounts of winter camping experience along with winter mountaineering expertise.

If I were doing a backpacking trip in the winter, I'd probably carry a -20 down bag. To layer in the bag as necessary, I'd have some good fleece clothing and a warm balaclava and warm long underwear top and bottom along with warm socks worn only for sleeping.

bearcreek
11-30-2012, 21:15
If I were doing a backpacking trip in the winter, I'd probably carry a -20 down bag. To layer in the bag as necessary, I'd have some good fleece clothing and a warm balaclava and warm long underwear top and bottom along with warm socks worn only for sleeping.

And a Pieps.

Timinator
12-01-2012, 04:57
I'll road walk if I have to, I'm not dedidicated to hiking in the mountains and I'm getting winter training courses in jan.
I'd be all for spirit walkers idea except it's expensive and I'm trying to avoid messing with the PO, as annoying and dreadful as it is I plan to carry everything from the start rather than rushing to keep a schedual for mail drops. Do you think a WM 0 degree bag wearing some layered clothes underneath could be sufficient?

bearcreek
12-01-2012, 10:58
Even if you follow the Great Divide bike route, you will be in the mountains on seasonally closed roads much of the time with avalanche issues. (Pieps and avalanche course advised) The upside is that those roads get a lot of snowmobile use in the winter which provides a path to ski or snowshoe. The snow routes are shown on the USFS travel maps so you should get those for the places you will be in the winter. WY is dammed cold in the winter, the warmer the better on the bag.

Slo-go'en
12-01-2012, 13:03
WY is dammed cold in the winter, the warmer the better on the bag.

And windy. I can't imagine crossing the great basin in the winter. The wind chill alone is probably minus 1000 :) The problem with the CDT is much of the trial is exposed. Makes for great views though. Better pack a neoprene face mask and goggles.

Venchka
04-02-2013, 14:25
I actually looked at your list. I own a Western Mountaineering Antelope Super with Gore's older Dry Loft shell. Fantastic bag. True to it's rating or below while sleeping in all of my clothes. The WM Lynx is the next bag in the WM lineup that I would consider for what you want to do. PLUS ample clothes including down jacket, booties, full insulated head covering, draw the bag's collar & hood up tight, and sleep in a proper, windproof, full enclosure tent winter tent.
I am also shopping for a new sleeping pad. The NeoAir Xthem is a better buy than the All Season. Higher R-value & lower weight. The extra $40 is well spent.
Wind and cold are dangerous. Insulation costs money and adds to your pack weight. Fact of life.
Assuming that you get to Chief Mountain in January, how do you plan to get to transportation from the end of the trail? Hail a helicopter? It's a hike out to the highway. I reckon everything for miles around is closed in January.
Good luck.

Wayne

Dogwood
04-02-2013, 15:21
ARE YOU SERIOUS? You obviously haven't done your homework.

Forget about sleeping systems on the CDT for the moment! DO YOU KNOW WHAT HIKING THE CDT IN MONTANA IN DEC IN DEC IN JAN IN JAN WILL ENTAIL? DO YOU KNOW WHAT GOING THROUGH THE WIND RIVER RANGE DURING THE TIME WHEN YOU"LL BE HITTING IT ON A STRAIGHT NOBO CDT THRU-HIKE WILL ENTAIL WITH YOUR TIMEFRAME? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THE TYPICAL WEATHER PATTERNS ARE LIKE IN YELLOWSTONE NP WHEN YOU WILL PROBABLY BE ENTERING YNP?

This may sound harsh and blunt but IMHO it's something you NEED TO HEAR. YOUR following statement here tells me you have no/little idea of what hiking in those areas will be like given that hiking window. It's not going to be a typical hike for a good portion of the "ORDEAL!"

"I'll road walk if I have to, I'm not dedidicated to hiking in the mountains and I'm getting winter training courses in jan.
I'd be all for spirit walkers idea except it's expensive and I'm trying to avoid messing with the PO, as annoying and dreadful as it is I plan to carry everything from the start rather than rushing to keep a schedual for mail drops. Do you think a WM 0 degree bag wearing some layered clothes underneath could be sufficient?"

AND, you want to go cheap? AT, that time of the Year? AND, you're not dedicated to hiking in the mountains? AND, you think you are going to walk roads? AND AND AND...Snap out of it! Wake up! You are setting yourself up for failure or an aborted CDT thru-hike AT BEST! You think having three sleeping bags for the CDT can be expensive? First, buy medical insurance, life insurance, and be prepared to pay S&R for their services.

Given a July-Jan window you might, PROBABLY WILL!!!, be BETTER served doing a flip flip or leap frog CDT thru-hike OR doing some of the CDT and finishing it up another year.

Timinator
04-03-2013, 21:43
Getting worked up are we? Did you get it out of your system?

Dogwood
04-03-2013, 21:58
Colter was right. Didn't like hearing what he said either, did you?

Have a great hike Timinator.

Dogwood
04-03-2013, 22:06
If you have the character, like COYOTE ROB, come back here and put me in my place or tell us how your CDT thru-hike went given how you are organizing it!

Timinator
04-03-2013, 22:18
Fyi, I'm doing a flip anyway. You need to seriously chill out, perhaps be helpfully informative with information I can use instead of acting deranged. I'm here for information not to please the internet tough guys like you.

Dogwood
04-04-2013, 02:39
No one on this thread is trying to bully you. I'm not trying to bully you. No one is trying to get in a debate with you. No one here is trying to take something from you or prevent you from accomplishing your desires. I'm here(we're here) to support you by assisting you achieve your hiking/gear goals. We are trying to give you something. Something that others would deem valuable. If you feel I'm not offering worthy advice BASED ON THE CONTENT OF YOUR STATEMENTS than ignore me. I'll even avoid contributing further to this or any other of your threads. If you feel you are being bullied that may be because the way you are approaching opinions and quite possibly pushing some worthwhile information stubbornly away WHEN THOSE OPINIONS AND INFORMATION WERE GIVEN BASED ON WHAT YOU SAID.

Perhaps, saying anyone is acting deranged is incorrect. Perhaps, maybe, you didn't correctly say what your real intentions were because EVERYTHING I've carefully read and reread that you posted here has NEVER mentioned ANYTHING about doing a Flip(flip flop thru-hike) until just now with your seemingly annoyed divulging of this NEW bit of information. You do understand there are differences, sometimes major differences, and possibly added logistical issues, between doing a straight(continuous in one general direction) thru-hike and flip(flip flop) thru-hike particularly with your hiking window and the trail you've chosen to hike? Do you understand this new bit of info MIGHT BE JUST A LITTLE BIT IMPORTANT TO PROPERLY ADDRESSING YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT SLEEPING BAGS OR A MYRIAD OF OTHER POSSIBLY IMPORTANT ISSUES? It's not my intention to sound condescending but I(we) need to know you understand they are not the same hikes! You stated YOU WERE ORGANIZING YOUR *CDT HIKE NB from july-jan*. Which to me meant you were attempting a straight NB CDT hike, most probably a thru-hike given your 7 month hiking time frame. You never said ANYTHING about a flip and it's my illusion every other poster got the same message from you! - a straight NB(NOBO) CDT thru-hike. Now you are changing the rules in the middle of the game by saying something else. ALL my previous statements were based on what you told me! Tell me I(we) missed something in all your previous posts up to to your #17 post and I will gladly apologize and refrain from sharing anything after that.

Timinator
04-04-2013, 09:24
This thread is like 5 months old. I don't have an obligation to keep people updated on my plans. You might want to check that out next time. Even if this was a new thread, giving me constructive information other than "don't do it" would have been better.

Slo-go'en
04-04-2013, 10:31
I hope you've changed your plans to make this a SOBO attempt, which would have a better chance of success. Parts of Glacier can still be iffy early in July (as I found out last year), but at least you can get through there. When you get to the desert of NM, it will be winter and reasonable hiking temps.

The NOBO plan has you starting in the desert in 100+ degree temps, then ending in sub zero temps and deep snow. A flip-flop might work, but the timing through Colorado might be tricky. You don't want to be there too early or too late in the season. Ya just can't count on the weather cooperating any more.

Timinator
04-04-2013, 10:58
Yeah I've been considering that. I have my own reasons for wanting to start in NM but I still have a few months to figure it out.

Venchka
04-04-2013, 12:28
OK. In the spirit of helpful, educated guesses...

Sleeping bag. November-December-January. Wyoming-Montana.
Minimum: Western Mountaineering Expedition Series. Puma or Bison. Your pick.
http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=products&page=Sleeping-Bags&cat=Gore-Windstopper-Expedition-Series
You will need 1, or possibly 2, additional bags for the July-October part of the trip.
I have been very comfortable in my Western Mountaineering Antelope bag in Colorado & British Columbia in early September and early October during normal, pleasant fall weather.
http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=products&page=Sleeping%20Bags&cat=Gore%20Windstopper%20Series&ContentId=49
I have no experience in southern New Mexico in the summer.
There is some good news. Parts of Yellowstone N.P. are alive and well with tourists in the winter. Snow Lodge at Old Faithful is open for winter activities. The road between Old Faithful and West Yellowstone, MT is groomed by snow cats. Some facilities in Grand Teton N.P. also cater to winter visitors. I think. Verify that. Facilities in Glacier N.P. and surrounding villages are essentially closed in the the winter.
A note about winters in Wyoming: A friend's father worked on construction sites when my friend was young. One site was in Wyoming. They lived in a trailer near the power plant that was being built. When it got cold (probably somewhere below -30 F), his father would have to get up at 2 am, put on everything he owned, grab a propane torch and go outside and thaw out the fuel oil tank to keep the trailer's heater working. If it got really cold, he would repeat the process during the night.
Finish in January in southern New Mexico. Good luck!

Wayne

Dogwood
04-04-2013, 12:30
This thread is like 5 months old. I don't have an obligation to keep people updated on my plans. You might want to check that out next time. Even if this was a new thread, giving me constructive information other than "don't do it" would have been better.

Little over 3 months but I get your pt. No, you don't have any obligation but if you want meaningful targeted opinions and constructive information don't you think it might be beneficial to mention you were considering a flip or SOBO thru-hike when you had the chance when you started the thread on 11-30-2012 and your later posts made on 12-1-2012 and yesterday? Just sayin. I based my comments on what you said in earlier statements about 3 months ago. Sorry, if I didn't ask if you had reconsidered your hiking plans before I made some of my comments.

I would like to offer a constructive suggestion if you will consider it. Your hiking time frame, perhaps a bit amended, is very much more in line with a straight CDT SOBO thru-hike. It MAY be more in line with your desires of thru-hiking the CDT considering your parameters. It's logistically much simpler, could be less expensive, be more enjoyable, perhaps less of an "ordeal", probably offering less need of specialized gear(such as snowshoes, skis, ice axes, HEAVY winter sleeping bag or several sleeping bags, etc), offer less of the need to have extensive long distance winter hiking experience, and probably be less problematic. In addition, it will offer you a better chance of actually completing the thru-hike. You do want to attain success however you define it, don't you? I agree with Slo-go'en's idea - go straight SOBO.

The only obstacle I see with that SOBO scenario, taking into account everything you've mentioned SO FAR, is that you would have to speed up your pace slightly or narrow your hiking window slightly to get out of southern Colorado(San Juan Mountains) before significant winter hiking conditions set in. If you don't your hike may, for many miles, become a road walk OR turn into an "ordeal." As other posters have mentioned, even road walking or access to them may pose difficulties if they are closed or buried under snow.

BTW, I started in mid July on my basically SOBO CDT thru-hike. In 2010 Waterton/Glacier NP trails were still under many feet of snow on many miles of trail. I also encountered many miles of trail buried under snow in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness areas south of Glacier, basically making the hike on those miles a NO TRAIL hiking experience. I found, not starting in Canada at Waterton NP and not being able to take the Highline Trail in GNP disappointing. For one to safely traverse(it could no longer be considered a hike on trail) the Highline trail I would have had to be geared up for a winter mountaineering excursion. I know what those conditions entail. IMHO, you would have experienced MANY miles of those type of conditions on a straight NOBO CDT thru-hike given your parameters. Just sayin. Just tryin to offer some constructive info. The ball is in your court. Enjoy your hike.

Timinator
04-04-2013, 13:32
Well technically speaking, other than my sleeping bags I have the gear to hike everest if I wished. The only part lacking is my winter experience which is why I originally turned to these forums to gather as much information as possible to see how feasible it would be to do a northbound hike with only basic mountaineering experience. I decided a flip flop was just as good for my purposes and I'm still considering a southbound.

Dogwood
04-04-2013, 13:40
My bullying ways, perhaps, had something to do with you latest considerations? Hopefully. That was my intention all along. I''ll say it again, and do realize I honestly mean it, HAVE A DAMN GREAT HIKE Timinator!

Timinator
04-04-2013, 13:59
Well actually I decided it shortly after the new year but thanks :P

Dogwood
04-04-2013, 14:43
Ahh, there's hope FOR US yet. We just weren't on the same page. Possibly, because each of US could have approached things in a better way. If you apply that pit bull determination and combine it with understanding I think you have as good a shot as anyone in accomplishing your hiking goals. :)