[at-l] Quilts for the summertime AT

Mara Factor mfactor at gmail.com
Sun Dec 5 01:18:32 CST 2010

If you have relatively loose fitting clothes that you are willing to sleep
in and will be kept dry, you might be OK with the 45 degree system for those
nights when you might otherwise be more comfortable with a bag rated lower
than 45.  The same is true for earlier in the hike.  I would go with the 20
degree bag but be prepared to be uncomfortable for a night or two here and
there.  It's not worth the extra weight and bulk to carry the zero degree
bag just for those few nights.  If you get a real cold snap, you might even
find going into town on those nights to be prudent.

As for the summer bag, I wouldn't bother going synthetic though.  Synthetics
just weigh more, don't pack as small, aren't comfortable for as wide ranging
temperatures as down, and don't keep their loft for nearly as long.  Just be
prepared to keep the quilt or bag dry  during the day when hiking as well as
at night when camping.

FWIW, I used a silk sleeping bag liner to extend the temperature range of my
bags while on my thruhike and to help keep the bags clean.  It's much easier
to clean the liner than a down (or synthetic) bag.

I don't think I ever had to bail during my thruhike due to cold, but a few
years ago during a long section hike, when day time highs were in the single
digits and teens in early April in the Smokies, I and a bunch of others
holed up in town to wait for the record cold temperatures to break.  This
was an anomaly, not something to plan for.

By the way, there are standards for sleeping bag ratings.  Unfortunately,
they are used in Europe and not the US.  I have a write-up (
http://friends.backcountry.net/m_factor/bagratings.html), updated just this
past July, which discusses ratings as they are presented in the US and give
links to informative pages if you're interested in the European standards.

Have a great hike!

Stitches, AT99

P.S.  I also recommend waiting until you're past Mt. Rodgers to let go of
your cold weather bag.

Visit my Travels and Trails web site at:

On Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 7:30 PM, <hetchhetchyman at aol.com> wrote:

> ...
> My question for the list is: If you had a choice between a system rated at
> 45 degrees or one at 30 degrees,
> which one would be more appropriate for the summertime AT?
> ...
> I don't have a synthetic sleep system in my "arsenal" so the AT seems like
> a
> good candidate to try it out on....
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