May 9, 2007 at 6:20 am #1223165
Background: I am still in my transition to the light side. I have come from a 65 lb pack to a 25 lb pack. (7 day trip). I am not an expert, but I get expert advice from this site.
I am in search of a better sleep system for my needs. Currently I use a synthetic (allergic to feathers) 45 deg mummy bag, a uber-light, and my empty pack under my legs. This was fine until I slept in my first shelter on a cold night. I froze my @#$ off. I slept in my tent the rest of that trip. I have read the articles on sleep systems on this site and have some ideas. (more confusion though)
I could add a thinlight pad under my sleeping bag or add a silk mummy liner for minimal weight. (adding versatility to changing weather conditions)
I could modify the bag to convert it to a top bag, but after reading the articles, would this really help.
Of course, I could just get a better rated bag, but I don't have unlimited funds and do have spousal opposition to big $$ purchases. ( many $$ spent on transition to ultralight already)
I would appreciate any nuggets of wisdom you could throw my way.
DaveMay 9, 2007 at 6:36 am #1388702
The first thing I would do is get a sleeping-pad with a higher R-value. That should help quite a lot. A silk liner will indeed add 5-10 degrees to your bag. If you really expect the temperatures to be significantly lower than 45F you could use some vapor barrier clothing, for example from Stephensons Warmlite, which is not too expensive.
SvenMay 9, 2007 at 6:38 am #1388703
@maynard76Locale: New England
Hi, you can have a few things giong on here. First, was it not enough insulation under you that made you cold? You would probably know as you would be tossing and turning from the cold ground- in that case a thinlight would be an inexpensive way to add warmth. The fact that you were warmer in your tent is because you can warm up the air in that small space combined with draft protection. A 45 degree bag is only good for warm nights unless you are a warm sleeper. Turnning it into a top bag will save you weight and bulk but will do nothing for warmth, but it will increase its draftieness. You can consider wearing more layers/insulating clothing to bed in your bag when it gets a little to cold for it. Otherwise you might just need a warmer bag- or even invest/make a synth. quilt. They can be warmmer for the same weight as your bag ( assuming its a mummy?)May 9, 2007 at 7:00 am #1388707
Thanks Sven and Brian.
Yes, I could feel the cold from the floor in the shelter. We were hiking in August and did not expect the cold. I had all of my layers on and a beanie cap. I went to the uber lite because of the weight savings over my Big Agnes. I wanted the torso-lite, but It was out of stock. I don't want to be foolish and just add bunch of things to waste the weight I saved.
I'm really a novice, but would ultralight homemade bivy sack be an option or are these mainly for use under a tarp?
DaveMay 9, 2007 at 7:04 am #1388708
@nandjLocale: Mid South
You might want to try a Ray-Way quilt, pretty inexpensive, you make it yourself (so you gain quite a bit of knowledge in the process of how it is all put together), you can customize to exactly what you want which is the most important thing. It is still light weight.
My wife and I are also transitioning from the darkside and it seems to be working for us. ;)May 9, 2007 at 7:18 am #1388711
a bag liner and a "warmer" sleeping pad will probably add about 12oz to your current setup and will go a long way. Depending on the temps, you may only use one of them, further reducing the added weight. I really think that sleeping well is invaluable on any hiking trip. In the big scope of things, 12oz is not a whole lot. I know that a lot of the discussions here may evolve around shaving that extra oz but I would not try to take short-cuts when it comes to an adequate sleeping system. There are many other ways (backpack, tent etc.)to significantly reduce weight. Is it really going to matter that much if you carry 25lbs or 25lbs and 12oz? I don't mean to take the fun out of it, let's just not drive ourselves crazy :-)
SvenMay 9, 2007 at 8:30 am #1388717
@maynard76Locale: New England
If you are going to bring a tent, then bringing a bivy just for shelters seems overkill. A bivy will add some warmth along with draft/spray/bug protection – Im talking light breathable water resistent bivies not waterproof which would be real overkill for warm weather shelter protection! Leave your tent at home and buy/make a lightweight tarp and bingo! you will have the standard lightweight setup. But if you are not ready for that and want to keep using your tent I would consider what someone recomended already- making a ray-way quilt. It would cost about the same as making a decent bivy (50-60$) but would add a LOT more warmth for the weight. Also consider adding somthing like a synthetic vest, or somthing to increase the amount of loft on you ( I dont know what you are using now?). A bag liner can add some warmth- but not a whole lot, I would be surprised if a liner could really make a cold night into a warm one.May 9, 2007 at 9:06 am #1388723
You have given me some great ideas.
I never thought about a vest with loft. I have been using a microfleece pullover. The ray-bags with a thinlight pad seem like a good and cheap compromise.
I will troll around looking for a good synthetic vest.
I knew this community could help me.
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