Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Sleeping bags

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-15-2011
    Location
    Whitehall, Pa
    Age
    70
    Posts
    5
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default Sleeping bags

    I bought a 20 degree bag for my trip and I've been trying it outbut can't keep warm at 35 so i put on more clothing and still can't keep warm. what am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-25-2011
    Location
    Winchester, Ohio
    Age
    33
    Posts
    73

    Default

    What brand and model is the bag?

  3. #3
    Registered User Sensei's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2010
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Age
    30
    Posts
    103

    Default

    The temperature ratings can be confusing. For one, everyone sleeps a little differently - I find I get cold easier than most people. Second, when a bag is rated for 20 degrees that usually means that you will survive at 20 but might not be comfortable unless the temp is closer to 30.
    This is an adventure.

  4. #4
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-23-2008
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    2,850
    Images
    7

    Default

    Several things might be in play here:

    1) With the exception of a few really high-end companies (and this is unfortunate) a lot of companies totally sand-bag the rating. Unless you have a Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends, Sherpa Adventure Gear, Mont-Bell, or (some would say) Marmot bag, I'd add about 10 degrees to the rating and remember that this is not really a "comfort rating" - it's more of a "you could do this" rating. For a typical 30 degree night, I'd recommend a bag with a rating in the 5 degree to 15 degree range.

    2) Not sure how much camping experience you have but it is really important to strike a balance of good hydration and an empty bladder. If you are generally well-hydrated your cells are not functioning at their optimum and sleep can be poor - your muscles also need hydration to recover from your day's hike BUT you can have trouble staying warm if your body has to keep a bladder full of pee warm. Try to drink a lot of water an hour or two before you go to sleep and then pee 30 minutes before bed then again right before you get in your bag.

    3) Adding to the second item, make sure on cold days your body has plenty of carbohydrates - potatoes, pasta, etc. should do the trick

    4) Get a thicker pad - this simple addition can make you a LOT warmer

    5) Add a vapor barrier / liner to your bag - this can add 5 degrees warmth

    6) On really cold nights, I sleep in long underwear and on super cold nights (below 10F) , I add a down jacket - piling on clothes seems to de-loft the whole affair and ruin the warmth thing
    (some others will disagree and weigh in on this) - I also almost always wear my stocking cap when it's cold

    7) It takes more fuel and a real nalgene or steel bottle, but filling your bottle with hot water and sleeping with it can add a TON of warmth to your bag and your water won't freeze - good trick on an occasional cold snap night, but if you have to do this constantly, you need a warmer bag.

    Best of luck in your experiments ...
    Last edited by Papa D; 02-04-2012 at 20:37.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-25-2011
    Location
    Winchester, Ohio
    Age
    33
    Posts
    73

    Default

    The reason I ask is because most high end bags are held to an actual rating standard. Cheap bags like Coleman and such just make up a number. I have a marmot aspen 20 degree down bag and slept in it Thursday night. It got down to about 25 degrees and the only place I really felt even cool was in the small of my back where my shirt was riding up. I was wearing. A fleece beanie, a lightweight poly long sleeve shirt, lightweight fleece thermal bottoms and medium weight wool socks. It may also have to do with what you are sleeping on.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-15-2011
    Location
    Whitehall, Pa
    Age
    70
    Posts
    5
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    I bought a North Face 20 degree Cats Meow bag at REI. I wear 2 sets of wool socks, I hate when my feet get cold, thermal long johns, thermal fleece lined jacket and a pullover hat. I have a linen liner and now i've got an emergency aluminum blanket too. I'm going out tommorow on an overnight with Big Dog, he did the hike last year and is mentoring me.

  7. #7
    http://bamahiker.blog.com/ Freedom Walker's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-27-2010
    Location
    New Market, Al
    Age
    63
    Posts
    283
    Images
    10

    Default

    I see that you are 64 and i have noticed that as I age I am finding it harder to stay warm while camping on cold nights. Also because of a medical issue I have I need to strike that hydration balience mentioned In the earlier post in that some nights even at home I wrap up in bed with all the covers when years ago I could'nt stand going to bed with covers over me. Ditto on the comments about bag ratings also. I read somewhere that with some bag ratings that the rating is the temperature that if it gets down that low your fellow campers will find you frozen.
    Freedom Walker, I am free to Walk, I am free to Run, I m free to live for You Lord Jesus, I am FREE!

    He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.
    Visit my blog Free To Hike

  8. #8
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-23-2008
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    2,850
    Images
    7

    Default

    I really hate to dis your bag (but I'm gonna do it) and I really hope you have fun, but The North Face used to be a good company - I used to work with the A5 guys when NF owned A5 - as climbing subsidiary Sadly, NF was bought by Vanity Fair - their focus is having gear made in China as cheap as it can be made - - their biggest customer base is the nouveau preppy sort that wants to have fleece that makes him / her look like an outdoors-person. Their sleeping bags naturally work but I wouldn't trust the rating one little bit - it's a shame because I have a Cat's Meow from the early 90s (I think it's in the basement somewhere) - it was a great bag - the quality has gone way downhill. Go enjoy it for a few weekend trips - don't let me get you down - sorry - after a while, invest in a Western Mountaineering Versalite Bag - Made in California by actual Hippies - you'll see and feel the difference.
    Last edited by Papa D; 02-04-2012 at 21:39.

  9. #9
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-13-2010
    Location
    Kingsville, Texas
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nativedancer View Post
    I bought a North Face 20 degree Cats Meow bag at REI. I wear 2 sets of wool socks, I hate when my feet get cold, thermal long johns, thermal fleece lined jacket and a pullover hat. I have a linen liner and now i've got an emergency aluminum blanket too. I'm going out tommorow on an overnight with Big Dog, he did the hike last year and is mentoring me.
    I'm assuming the bag is a mummy bag. Are you using the hood properly? Your entire head should be covered save for your mouth/nose. If you want to stay warmer start by adding hat/balacava, next gloves. Down booties for sleeping work better than socks.Socks that are too tight and restrict blood flow making your feet colder. Are you using an insulated sleeping pad? A good pad (or two) will improve performance.

  10. #10

    Default Sleeping warmly

    Quote Originally Posted by nativedancer View Post
    I bought a North Face 20 degree Cats Meow bag at REI. I wear 2 sets of wool socks, I hate when my feet get cold, thermal long johns, thermal fleece lined jacket and a pullover hat. I have a linen liner and now i've got an emergency aluminum blanket too. I'm going out tommorow on an overnight with Big Dog, he did the hike last year and is mentoring me.
    Are you camped in a valley, or low spot ?
    Are your thermal long johns cotton ?
    Does your sleeping pad have a thick layer of air ?
    Does you tent have a lot of mesh at the bottom ?
    Have you eaten some calories right before bed ?

    If so, try setting up camp higher (cold air pools in the valleys) and under tree cover (the leaves hold in a little heat), using the emergency blanket to block the wind blowing through the mesh, adding a ridge rest between you and the air, wearing a pair of "expedition weight" fleece long johns and shirt, and eating a snickers bar right before bed (nuts/fats take longer to metabolise than sugar, and will help keep you warm at 2-3am).

  11. #11
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-14-2005
    Location
    Virginia, 10 miles from the AT near SNP
    Age
    54
    Posts
    10,470
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    171

    Default

    You are older, circulation is worse as we age, and we can't toerate cold and warm as well. I'd return it and go with 15 degree then. My son was only 16 when he used this bag (worked well for him).







    Hiking Blog
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT, FHT, ALT
    Shenandoah NP Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-04-2002
    Location
    various places
    Age
    42
    Posts
    2,380

    Default

    I think a 64 year old person out in 30 degrees in a 20 deg bag 'should' be cold based on my experiences in the outdoor industry, as others have said there isn't a 'standard' in North America for sleeping bag ratings (there are in Europe and Australasia) and the company in question has been in a slow and gradual decline in terms of cutting edge products for some time now.

    Marmot makes great budget minded bags for around $250, the Sawtooth?

    But before you do that you might want to purchase something like a Black Rock Hat, if that doesn't work adding more clothing won't help in my view.

  13. #13
    Registered User Spools's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-19-2011
    Location
    Richmond va
    Age
    26
    Posts
    52

    Default

    I picked a MH phantom 32 about 6 months ago. great little bag for around 40-45 degrees. I was hoping to take just that on m section hike for march but have since bought a snugpak jungle bag rated at 45*, So i can nest the two bags or use them seperately on warmer nights. I haven't tested the new setup yet but i'm hoping for comfy at 30*, maybe a similar option would be good for you?

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-06-2008
    Location
    Andrews, NC
    Age
    58
    Posts
    3,512

    Default

    I'm a cold sleeper. Best investments I made were in my two high quality WM sleeping bags. No substitute for a good night's sleep.

  15. #15
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    55
    Posts
    7,564
    Images
    296

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nativedancer View Post
    I bought a 20 degree bag for my trip and I've been trying it outbut can't keep warm at 35 so i put on more clothing and still can't keep warm. what am I doing wrong?
    Wearing two pairs of socks can reduce circulation, making your feet colder. Here are some ideas:

    1. Check your sleeping pad. Many (maybe most) popular pads are not warm enough for cold weather. Putting a thin closed cell foam pad over your current pad will provide a lot more insulation underneath you, where it does a lot of good. What pad are you using now?

    2. Try putting a small piece of closed cell foam pad inside your sleeping bag under your feet. This helps a lot. That same square can be used as a sit pad when you take breaks or are hanging out in camp. Very useful.

    3. In cold weather I find that down booties make a huge difference in warmth at night. Check the Goosefeet web site.

    The other suggestions you received on food, etc., are very good as well.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  16. #16
    Registered User Bags4266's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-01-2009
    Location
    Holland, NJ
    Age
    56
    Posts
    892

    Default

    Please post the pad your using....thats were i'm leaning to the problem.

  17. #17
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-23-2008
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    2,850
    Images
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bags4266 View Post
    Please post the pad your using....thats were i'm leaning to the problem.
    yep, I'm not a big fan of the Neo-Air because they are a bit noisy and not self inflating but YOU might be the perfect candidate for one.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-25-2011
    Location
    Winchester, Ohio
    Age
    33
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Concerning my earlier post, I was sleeping on a neo air with a ridge rest under it. It was around 25 degrees.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-15-2011
    Location
    Whitehall, Pa
    Age
    70
    Posts
    5
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    I usually only get 5 hrs of sleep a night. This past sunday I went out on the trail at Port Clinton Pa over to Hawk Mountain. The temps were low 20's. I rolled around all night trying to keep warm. Maybe I was over dressed. Summer drawers, thermal long johns, thermal fleece lined jacket ant my rain jacket in side the bag with and aluminum emergency blanket to boot. I may have been sweating some. Also I had a 4" square heating pad on my chest between clothing layers. That worked well till it quit.Big Dog my mentor says he only got a couple of real cold nights last year so I think I'll just wrestle through them. I can't see buying a second bag, i plan on using this one for my whole trip. I'm going from Springer to Pa and then flipping in June to come back to Pa.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-11-2011
    Location
    Alamogordo, NM
    Age
    49
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I am a cold sleeper myself and I would recommend returning the bag to REI and getting a zero. It is a whole lot easier to cool down a warm bag (unzip, skip the liner) than it is to make a colder bag toastier. Being warm means sleeping well and that makes all the difference on the trail.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •