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Old 10-23-06, 06:05 PM   #1
ernok1923
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sleeping bag warmth

assuming you started in the spring, if you have biked the transam (east to west) or the lewis and clark (also east to west), what temperature rated sleeping bag did you find comfortable?

i have both a 40F (4C) and a 20F (-7C), both synthetic. i feel like the 40F would probably cover most of the trip, but maybe the 20F could be useful on those early nights or in the mountains. i realise that everyone sleeps comfortable at a different temperature, but were there ever nights you wished you had packed a lower/higher rated bag?
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Old 10-23-06, 06:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ernok1923
assuming you started in the spring, if you have biked the transam (east to west) or the lewis and clark (also east to west), what temperature rated sleeping bag did you find comfortable?

i have both a 40F (4C) and a 20F (-7C), both synthetic. i feel like the 40F would probably cover most of the trip, but maybe the 20F could be useful on those early nights or in the mountains. i realise that everyone sleeps comfortable at a different temperature, but were there ever nights you wished you had packed a lower/higher rated bag?
Take the lighter/higher temperature bag and a sweat shirt or some such with you. You'll want the shirt in the evenings anyway and if you're cold you wear it in the bag. Same with your usual set of tights that you take with you.
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Old 10-23-06, 07:59 PM   #3
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I did the TransCan (West to East) with a 32F/0C sleeping bag for the first half, and a 59F/15C for the second half. I wish I had a 14F/-10C bag for that first half though, it gets cold in the Rockies.
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Old 10-23-06, 08:25 PM   #4
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I'm half convinced that the bags are rated by eskimos that prefer sleeping nude on iceburgs. I'd make sure that I had a sweatshirt or something, along with a good wool or poly watchcap or bali to keep the head warm. If you take the light bag you may want to look at getting either a bag liner or a military surplus poncho liner (one of the greatest pieces of equipment Uncle Sam ever gave me). Having spent too many nights huddled and shivering in a bag that didn't cut it, I'll carry the little extra weight.

just my .02

Steve W
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Old 10-23-06, 09:57 PM   #5
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Think about getting a second, very lightweight bag to go with your 40F one. There are some that compress down to palm size, and the final volume of the two bags combined might be less than for your big bag. The big plus is that you have a lighter bag for when things start to warm up, rather than battling along trying to stay cool with the heavy bag.

Do you intend to use a silk liner irrespective of which you go with? It could be factored into your temp ratings by another degree or two.
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Old 10-23-06, 10:25 PM   #6
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In everything else I use the absolute lightest, except for a warm bag and thick ground pad. I would stay home rather than a 40 degree sack or a thin 2" foam pad. Oh and my 35 mm (stereo Realist or ViewMaster personal) camera is always way too heavy...
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Old 10-23-06, 11:49 PM   #7
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Using a thermal bivy inside your bag can help stretch it into those questionable temperatures. Just make sure to only wear undies inside of it, since it's acting like a vapor barrier and you'll sweat until a moisture balance is reached- it's clammy but it gets the job done and keeps your bag dry and lofty on cold nights.

Other than that, you could use a sleeping quilt. Several companies make them now (or you could make one for yourself, thru-hiker.com sells kits). If you make the quilt to be a 20deg bag, then it will still be comfortable on warmer nights because you can loosen it up or partially cover with it. I used to wake up several times during the night with a conventional bag to rearrange it and stick limbs out, but I can do that in my sleep with a quilt.
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Old 10-24-06, 02:19 AM   #8
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+1 for the silk liner

Very light, very comfortable,and warm, and on the "few" hot nights it is possible to sleep in without the sleeping bag.

george
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