View Full Version : 15th April to 30 April NOBO Start - when to change out Sleeping Bags?

08-21-2013, 13:16
Hi Guys,

I understand that weather is unpredictable and I am therefore only after your best advice please.

I will be coming over from the UK, so I will not have family in the States to send me summer/winter kit/clothing and will instead have to post it up the trail when I am in Georgia.

My sleeping Bags will be:

Western Mountaineering Highlite Sleeping Bag

RAB Infinity 500 Down Sleeping Bag (Extreme Comfort 16F, Extreme -16F)
Reactor Plus ThermoliteŽ Liner - Compact (Allegedly good for 20F)

Realistically, could I do the trail without my winter bag?

Greatly appreciate and value your guidance.

Thanks Guys.

Hill Ape
08-21-2013, 13:29
Earlier you start, the longer you'll keep the winter bag. And you'll want it back for the whites. Weather here in the south has not been typical this year.

08-21-2013, 15:44
I have completed the AT three times and each time i started in mid February and i used a 32 degree bag with no liner and kept warm and very comfortable on each thru-hike and the only thing i sent home each time was my Fleece gloves and Beenie and i kept everything else if you start in Mid April you should be okay with your Summer Weight Bag with a liner,( And do not send any thing home until you reach Pearisburg VA,) But if you do send stuff home you would need to get it back before NH, people useally get their stuff back in Williamstown, VT, But my advise to you would be that you buy gear that you could keep the entire trail since you will not have family in this Country that would be a lot easier and cheaper. Good Luck and happy hiking

08-21-2013, 16:20
When it gets too hot to wear or sleep in the gear you start with.
Not one step/day/night sooner.


08-21-2013, 19:25
You have one bag good to 20 degrees and one to 16 degrees? I am not sure the 4 degrees matters that much.

08-22-2013, 10:38
I would not start or end the trail without at least a 20 degree bag. By late May wherever you can usually safely go to summer weight (this year was the rare exception). Change back at Hanover.

08-22-2013, 10:58
OK. A serious answer, based on my experience for me. Your needs may vary.
Bring both bags & liner to the USA.
Start the trip with the 35° WM Highlite AND the liner. Be prepared to sleep in all of your clothes.
Post your "bounce box" with your warmer gear to Hiawassee, GA. that will be the first convenient town you come to with a post office.
By the time you get to Hiawassee, you know if you are ok with what you have or need your warmer gear.
It is best to start light. The early days can be tough and you don't want to carry more weight than needed.
If you do need your warm gear in May, Hot Springs, NC would be a very handy place to swap out for your summer gear. The AT passes in front of the post office in Hot Springs, NC.
At some point, you may wish to put your liner in the bounce box. Or, use it as a cover up and sleep on top of the Highlite.
Eventually, your bounce box with warm gear will be waiting for you in New Hampshire. You may need it then.
If you sleep cold, start with the RAB 26° bag + liner & I was never here.


08-22-2013, 11:25
I started with a 20 degree bag on April 10th (Western Mountaineering Alpinelite), switched to a 32 deg bag (MHW Phantom 32) after the smokies, then even a 45 degree bag (MHW Phantom 45, rated actually at 40) north of Grayson Highlands in early May. This scheme worked perfectly for me.

08-23-2013, 07:15
Thanks Guys, some good responses. Appreciated.

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