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  1. #1

    Default Early Start

    So I'm looking to start the end of february/early march. I am aware that this will result in me inevitably facing a lot of cold weather and snow, so i'm trying to plan for this. I have a 20 degree EE quilt on the way right now and i'm going to combine that with a sleeping bag liner, i was just wondering what else i should plan to bring.. i'm trying to stay lightweight but i also don't want to freeze my butt off.. will what i have be enough or should i look into something else?

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    Need more info. . . I'd recommend you bring a coat hat and gloves also, maybe a shelter? ;-)
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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    More on point for your post, what are you bringing as a coat and other insulation that could compliment your quilt?
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    More on point for your post, what are you bringing as a coat and other insulation that could compliment your quilt?
    i have an underarmour long sleeve shirt, along with a


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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    More on point for your post, what are you bringing as a coat and other insulation that could compliment your quilt?
    whoops, that last post sent early;
    i have an underarmour long sleeve shirt as a base layer, followed by a thinner fleece lined long sleeve shirt, and, because im trying to avoid dropping more money on a jacket, i was just going to use a regular crewneck sweatshirt as my top layer at night. for pants i just have a fleece lined pair of leggings


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    https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/home/

    cheep price but ok down garments . Or thrift shop . Being cold is not fun . Could b very cold.

    thom

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    Not a fan of bag liners for warmth. How about army pants and jacket liner?
    http://ads.midwayusa.com/product/446...FcRahgods88MJQ

    thom

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    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    20 degree quilt for females is more like 30 degrees and thats including wearing a baselayer to sleep in. You are going to freeze unless you beef up your clothing.

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    what shelter(tent, hammock) are you using? Early starters should be cautious about the shelter more than regular starters. A good and warm sleep is vital for a long distance hike. An optimum shelter could make or break the hike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andsoshewalks View Post
    whoops, that last post sent early;
    i have an underarmour long sleeve shirt as a base layer, followed by a thinner fleece lined long sleeve shirt, and, because im trying to avoid dropping more money on a jacket, i was just going to use a regular crewneck sweatshirt as my top layer at night. for pants i just have a fleece lined pair of leggings
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    in the words of Regan MacNeil, "you're going to die up there."

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    Quote Originally Posted by dudeijuststarted View Post
    in the words of Regan MacNeil, "you're going to die up there."
    I beg to differ. I'd suggest, you'll have some miserable nights and wish you brought warmer gear. You will probably survive, albeit miserably, with only a 20 degree quilt and sweatshirt. . . assuming you have good warm headgear and handgear and footgear. You also might well be driven off the trail by cold weather, which would be too bad.

    Now, for full disclosure, I've never been on the southern AT, so I'm guessing from what I read about that. Weather is expected to often be around freezing at night with cold nights and wind chill bringing it down at least into the teens if not single digits occasionally, depending on where you camp.

    The most important thing you can do is play around with your gear and see how it handles slightly below freezing weather for you.

    If I were in that kind of shoulder season situation with a 20 degree quilt as my primary sleep insulation, I would figure I'd be okay down to freezing as long as I had very warm socks, warm gloves/mittens, and a warm head covering (more than just a stocking cap). I would be unhappy unless, in addition to the above (actually instead of the sweatshirt), I had my mid-weight puffy jacket with a hood or an equivalent replacement.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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    Pardon my bluntness. I'm old and cranky.
    You aren't alone. Most people don't know enough about geography and meteorology to know how to prepare for what you're proposing.
    To put it bluntly, if you have to ask the questions you don't have a clue.
    Post #10 applies. Don't get killed.
    Do your own homework. Don't ask strangers on the internet to do your preparation for you.
    Things to consider:
    Find Just Bill's lengthy explanation on early start sleep systems. Posted in the last week.
    R-5 minimum insulation between you and the ground.
    If you insist on using half a sleeping bag (quilt), be prepared to supply the other half of the bag in the form of a full covering of wool head to toe, down jacket with hood & maybe down booties.
    It's finally starting to cool down. Test your gear in the cold, teens or lower, before starting.
    Carry a proper cold weather stove and sleep with one or two quarts of hot water.
    I was at a football game in Boone, NC (elev. 3,400+ feet) night before last. 48 degrees, 40+ mph winds, steady mist/drizzle/rain. The kind of weather that is lethal. The kind of weather that is common on the AT until May or perhaps June.
    Be dry. Be warm. Be safe.
    Wayne


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  13. #13
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    Just Bill answers your question. Note his view of liners.

    Sleeping Bag Liner Question

    I got a PM that I have gotten a few times, so thought I'd share it and my response with everyone to both answer the question and let us discuss it openly.



    "Planning my 2017 thru and was going to buy a moderately rated bag but high quality Sea to summit bag and use a bag liner for the first part of my hike as I plan to start early March.

    That being said do you think my idea is completely dumb?"



    I will say though that using a bag liner can have some advantage in keeping your primary bag (especially down) clean. Though it will do little more than add a few degrees for a silk weight liner.

    I will also say that a VBL (vapor barrier liner) can have some interesting and great properties- but that's another topic.



    So: To this point (which I once thought was a good one)- Can a Sea to Summit liner extend the temp rating for a spring start?

    I would call it a dumb idea... though only because I once had the same brilliant idea before and have since not only tried it out- but learned more of the science/common sense behind why it's a dumb idea.



    We've all come to agree (generally) that the Sea to Summit liners are (being generous) rated at least double their actual performance in the field. That's probably enough to discount them, but I do better understand why they end up this way since getting into sleeping gear commercially. Let's look at the main example:https://www.rei.com/product/797114/s...ummy-bag-liner



    The STS Thermolite Extreme claims up to 25* of warmth added to a bag at 14 ounces.

    For most of us... we get the liner and it doesn't work as advertised and we call it a day.

    For some of us... we look a bit harder and see it's basically a sack made out of long underwear material (silk to thermal weight depending on the model).



    We then may realize that a pair of long underwear weighs about the same as that liner... or that we'd rather carry a puffy (vest/jacket, down/synthetic) and that that does more for us per ounce than the liner ever would.

    And we can wear it outside our sleeping bags.



    You also might look around and realize that you could buy an ultra high quality down bag that is less than 14 ounces.

    Or you could look at that SUL synthetic quilt you made for the summer time that only weighs 12 ounces and realize you could simply carry that and pile it onto your shoulder season bag and that it legitimately does add 20+ degrees to your sleep system. Compare either of them "face to face" in your hand and you'll wonder how you ever thought that a liner could equal the warmth of an actual summer weight quilt/bag.



    If you wanted to nerd out a bit: you'd get into the CLO values as this is synthetic insulation- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clothing_insulation

    You might see that EN ratings call a pair of midweight thermals (pants and bottom) along with socks and a matching hat (beanie) are ALREADY included in the rating system as being worn by the user.

    You might also note that these layers add about .5 CLO or 3* to the system as a whole. So even a thermal weight layer adds at best 1 CLO or about 5* F depending on the testing method.



    If say you were bothered by this problem and looked into it a bit more (like say you were making sleeping bags for SUL/Speed hikers)...



    So you might wonder how it's physically possible that you could even attempt to call this product as adding 25* of warmth.

    You'd try to find a value for Thermolite and realize it's a bit tricky to find out.

    https://thermolite.com/en/Technologi...ies/DUAL-LAYER



    An old BPL thread lists the CLO value as high as .598 fabrics. https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/42340/

    Thermolite's page lists them as 25-30% higher than denim. Denim is generously about .3 CLO, so that would put you at .39 CLO if being generous again.



    Even if you give them .598 CLO per 100GSM (grams per square meter or 3 oz/yard) sample, that's a bit lower than Thinsulate 100GSM insulation which posts about .79 CLO total.

    This is at best (when combined with other layers and getting a boost as a liner) a 5* bump at 1CLO.



    Climbashield Apex is .82 CLO per ounce. So an equivalent 100GSM is 2.46 CLO or roughly 45* (EE rates their 1.64 CLO Apex Prodigy at 50*)

    Primaloft Gold is .93 CLO per ounce. So an equivalent 100GSM is 2.79 CLO or roughly 42* (EE rates their 3.28 CLO Apex Prodigy at 40*)



    You would need 4-5 layers of thermolite to equal the same insulation value in CLO as either of these products.



    So nerd story short...

    1- It seems physically impossible for the STS liners to ever achieve anything close to the ratings they claim- even cut in half as we used to say.

    2-Further when you consider the weight of the liner itself, you could do better with either a puffy jacket or an extra sleeping bag.

    3-Recent innovations and some effort by many folks (Enlightened Equipment especially) have helped to show that a 45* bag laid over any other bag will add roughly 25* of warmth to a sleep system.

    (I'm finding that with my personal gear... that it is safer to take about 5* off their formula)



    So yar- the Sea to summit liners for warmth are dumb.

    1- bring a puffy jacket you can sleep in or better yet lay over your sleeping bag to stretch it.

    2- bring a summer weight quilt for roughly the same weight to achieve that level of bump in temps to your sleep system.

    3- if buying new- bumping up the temp rating of your base bag (and/or using a quilt) will weigh far less than adding a liner. In a quality down bag, you're typically talking 4 ounces or less of down to jump 10-15* in rating... much less weight than any option.



    Now besides the fact I plan to sell them... I prefer the quilt as there is a way to convert it to an acceptable camp puffy in combo with my wind shell... so I get the best of both.



    Though for the AT spring starter specifically- I think that a quality 20* mummy bag and a summer weight synthetic quilt are the far better/cheaper system overall.

    Use both at the start and have the protection of a good mummy bag in truly cold temps with a synthetic quilt over the top to protect the down layer.

    As it warms up a bit- send home the summer quilt and carry the mummy. As you hit VA and things warm up, swap out for your summer quilt and then reverse that as you approach August and/or the whites.



    Two bags total covering your whole trip. 20* down mummy and a 45-50* summer quilt puts you at around zero at the start of your trip for about the price of one really good zero degree down piece.





    PS... I'd be pretty skeptical of the Sea to Summit Spark series too.

    http://www.seatosummit.com/wordpress...9_16_FINAL.pdf

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...%3Fp%3D2099042 &share_tid=121385&share_fid=24664&share_type=t&sha re_pid=2099042


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  14. #14

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    Feb 22 start here and had similar questions. Good info here! Cheers!

  15. #15

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    I don't hike in the winter, but I sure wouldn't plan on going lightweight. Maybe plan on going heavyweight and sending home layers and heavier equipment as you proceed? I started mid April, with a 30 degree bag and a 40 degree quilt, and a nice tent that could be pitched low to the ground to limit air circulation. I got all the way through the southern mountains before I mailed home the sleeping bag in late May. Even then I used a down puffy jacket some nights with the quilt.

    February. Keep your 20 degree quilt, but also get a sleeping bag that fits under it to limit drafts if happen to fidget whatsoever at night. Get your gear, practice over the winter on your back porch, or in your car with the windows down, or anywhere you can quickly recover safely.

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    Clearly I have too much time on my hands today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Pardon my bluntness. I'm old and cranky. . .
    Me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . You aren't alone. Most people don't know enough . . .
    To true, including about 30% of the posters on these forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . To put it bluntly, if you have to ask the questions you don't have a clue. . .
    Along with many of the other people both answering questions on these forums and frankly, successfully hiking the AT.
    I strongly disagree that having to ask questions means a poster doesn't have a clue. That's just a jerk statement!

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . Do your own homework. Don't ask strangers on the internet to do your preparation for you. . .
    Sorry, my poor cranky forum friend, I call bull. andsoshewalks is doing her "own homework" by asking "experts", many of whom contribute to these forums. Now, if she can just get some experts to answer she'll be doing pretty well. She'll be able to evaluate the group input, consider things she didn't think of on her own, and hopefully make good decisions based on broader group knowledge. Venchka, if you're cranky about people asking for advice from a novice perspective, go be cranky somewhere else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . Find Just Bill's lengthy explanation on early start sleep systems. Posted in the last week. . .
    Great advice. See there are good things to be found by doing your homework here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . R-5 minimum insulation between you and the ground. . .
    Another great piece of advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . If you insist on using half a sleeping bag (quilt), be prepared to supply the other half of the bag in the form of a full covering of wool head to toe, down jacket with hood & maybe down booties. . .
    An arrogant and ill informed, unnecessary and derogatory, comment.
    I would suggest that a well made quilt is every bit as warm and comfortable as an equivalently rated bag with the exception of headgear. Make sure you have good headgear. Some people don't like wool and/or down. There are many good alternatives like the fleece you have suggested that you already own. Also, I don't do the down booty thing even though I am down with booty. Good super warm socks, fleece socks or the like are quite effective for many of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . It's finally starting to cool down. Test your gear in the cold, teens or lower, before starting. . .
    More good advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    . . . Carry a proper cold weather stove and sleep with one or two quarts of hot water. . .
    What is a proper cold weather stove? We're not talking about -20 degrees here. I can think of a lot of ways to stay warm that don't include carrying enough extra fuel to heat two quarts of water every night just to stay warm. But, I think Venchka is getting at a couple good points here. If it is colder than your gear works well for on a night now and again, hot water bottles can help you make it through the night much more comfortably (and/or alive). And, some stoves in the hands of some people are problematic in temperatures near and below freezing, so make sure your stove works in your hands down to the temperatures you are likely to encounter on your trip.

    Your two most important tools are knowledge and physical fitness. With enough of those two things, which take time and effort, but weigh nothing, you can either figure out a solution to just about any problem you encounter, and/or you can hike out, off the trail to safety.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Pardon my bluntness. I'm old and cranky.
    You aren't alone. Most people don't know enough about geography and meteorology to know how to prepare for what you're proposing.
    To put it bluntly, if you have to ask the questions you don't have a clue.
    Post #10 applies. Don't get killed.
    Do your own homework. Don't ask strangers on the internet to do your preparation for you.
    Things to consider:
    Find Just Bill's lengthy explanation on early start sleep systems. Posted in the last week.
    R-5 minimum insulation between you and the ground.
    If you insist on using half a sleeping bag (quilt), be prepared to supply the other half of the bag in the form of a full covering of wool head to toe, down jacket with hood & maybe down booties.
    It's finally starting to cool down. Test your gear in the cold, teens or lower, before starting.
    Carry a proper cold weather stove and sleep with one or two quarts of hot water.
    I was at a football game in Boone, NC (elev. 3,400+ feet) night before last. 48 degrees, 40+ mph winds, steady mist/drizzle/rain. The kind of weather that is lethal. The kind of weather that is common on the AT until May or perhaps June.
    Be dry. Be warm. Be safe.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    thanks for the input, and pardon MY bluntness, but the point of this forum is being able to ask questions when desired. and you're right, i don't have a clue, that's why i asked the question. i've got 4+ months to go before i'm on the trail and as far as i'm concerned, me asking that question IS doing some homework. and i'm asking these "strangers" for helpful suggestions, not to plan my whole trip.

  18. #18
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    I have an EE quilt, get the hoodlum and booties that EE sells. They only weigh a few ounces and they are pretty toasty.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Clearly I have too much time on my hands today.


    Me too.


    To true, including about 30% of the posters on these forum.


    Along with many of the other people both answering questions on these forums and frankly, successfully hiking the AT.
    I strongly disagree that having to ask questions means a poster doesn't have a clue. That's just a jerk statement!


    Sorry, my poor cranky forum friend, I call bull. andsoshewalks is doing her "own homework" by asking "experts", many of whom contribute to these forums. Now, if she can just get some experts to answer she'll be doing pretty well. She'll be able to evaluate the group input, consider things she didn't think of on her own, and hopefully make good decisions based on broader group knowledge. Venchka, if you're cranky about people asking for advice from a novice perspective, go be cranky somewhere else.


    Great advice. See there are good things to be found by doing your homework here.


    Another great piece of advice.


    An arrogant and ill informed, unnecessary and derogatory, comment.
    I would suggest that a well made quilt is every bit as warm and comfortable as an equivalently rated bag with the exception of headgear. Make sure you have good headgear. Some people don't like wool and/or down. There are many good alternatives like the fleece you have suggested that you already own. Also, I don't do the down booty thing even though I am down with booty. Good super warm socks, fleece socks or the like are quite effective for many of us.


    More good advice.


    What is a proper cold weather stove? We're not talking about -20 degrees here. I can think of a lot of ways to stay warm that don't include carrying enough extra fuel to heat two quarts of water every night just to stay warm. But, I think Venchka is getting at a couple good points here. If it is colder than your gear works well for on a night now and again, hot water bottles can help you make it through the night much more comfortably (and/or alive). And, some stoves in the hands of some people are problematic in temperatures near and below freezing, so make sure your stove works in your hands down to the temperatures you are likely to encounter on your trip.

    Your two most important tools are knowledge and physical fitness. With enough of those two things, which take time and effort, but weigh nothing, you can either figure out a solution to just about any problem you encounter, and/or you can hike out, off the trail to safety.
    thank you, this was really helpful and a LOT more encouraging than that other comment


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #20

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    Wow, everyone get off the OP's case. This person came here looking for advice, not to be attacked and told she has no chance. This is ridiculous.

    OP, I sent you a message to try to help.

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