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OC Backpackers Message Board Backpacking Discussions › Sleeping Bags

Sleeping Bags

A former member
Post #: 538
There was a discussion started on one of the events so I'm moving it here so we'll stop spamming everyone's email...and so even the non-participants in that specific event can start commenting.

Beth
If my sleeping bag is rated for 40degrees, is there something easy to carry or wear that will help with colder weather or should I just get a sleeping bag that can handle colder weather

Posted Sep 15, 2010 10:47 AM

Chris
Beth- A lot of it depends on how cold you sleep, but honestly, I'd get a lower rated bag. 40 degree bag is really only going to be good for the dead heat of summer.

Mark
or you could wear a jacket, warm pants, and a warm hat to stay warmer (if you can fit in the bag with all that on). or put a fleece 50 degree bag inside it or another type of liner. a colder rated bag may be easier to deal with though

Brittany W
I want to jump in on the sleeping bag topic because new sleeping bags are pricey! In cold weather I sleep in sleeping bag (I think 30deg) + liner + fleece pants, fleece jacket, and wool socks. I also wear a fleece and wool hat or my head gets cold. I think the synthetic sleeping bag liners are lighter and better for backpacking than fleece. Also, don't wear anything tight (like underarmor). Its really nice to have some hand/footwarmers (like for skiiing) in case you get chilly at night.

Brittany W
Basically, I've found there are a lot of small things you can do to warm up at night. Another thing is making sure your tent fly is closed all the way. Also, a thicker sleeping pad or a winter-rated sleeping pad or 2 sleeping pads will make a HUGE difference when the ground is cold.
Jeff
BeerIsFood
Pittsfield, MA
Post #: 154
I agree with Brittany on the ground pad thing. Getting a nice thermarest or something that will insulate you from the cold ground makes a huge difference. If you watch craigslist, sometimes you can find good ones for cheap.

I also use a liner occasionally. It's either silk or a silk/synthetic blend, and it packs up so small I can fit it in my sleeping bag's stuff sack along with the sleeping bag.

The one place where I disagree with a lot of people is wearing clothes to bed. I really just don't like doing it. I will definitely pile on the wool socks, the long underwear and the fuzzy hat, but I don't wear my trail clothes to bed. I just don't like bringing trail grit into my sleeping bag. And I'm not just talking about dirt. There's also toxins from plants like poison ivy, sap, charcoal marks from the fire, etc. If all that stuff gets in your sleeping bag, then you're smearing that stuff all over your skin on the next warm night.

The bottom line is to get a good sleep pad, plus a mummy-style sleeping bag, then add layers until you're comfortable. As Brittany said, hand warmers are a great backup too.
A former member
Post #: 540
The one place where I disagree with a lot of people is wearing clothes to bed. I really just don't like doing it. I will definitely pile on the wool socks, the long underwear and the fuzzy hat, but I don't wear my trail clothes to bed. I just don't like bringing trail grit into my sleeping bag. And I'm not just talking about dirt. There's also toxins from plants like poison ivy, sap, charcoal marks from the fire, etc. If all that stuff gets in your sleeping bag, then you're smearing that stuff all over your skin on the next warm night.

I know this is one where I differ on most of the guys with, but I actually bring a specific set of clothes (PJs) to sleep in. They serve as back up clothes for the trail, if really needed, but also changing into dry clothes at the end of the day actually keeps you warmer during the night as your clothes won't be damp from the sweat, rain, snow, etc that you encounter throughout the day (not to mention all those fun dirt, poison ivy, sap, etc that Jeff mentioned)
Brittany W
user 10359305
Norfolk, VA
Post #: 5
I always bring sleeping clothes too, and I change as soon as I get to camp. If I didn't change I'd sit there shivering because my clothes are always sweaty. Even fast-drying material doesn't dry that fast. I've had clothes still be wet the next morning in humid or cold conditions. Plus, I love sleeping in a cotton t-shirt. I mean, synthetics are great for wicking moisture and all, but not nearly as comfortable for sleeping! And as Chris said, they double as a backup for the trail.

BUT for really cold weather I usually end up sleeping in all the clothing I brought! I guess its best to bring more than enough until you figure out how much is enough.
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