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Which bag?

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Which bag?

Postby riverwalker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:56 pm

I am planning a trip to Evolution Valley up to Davis Lake and down Goddard Canyon. I will be out for a week the beginning of August. My pack weight is getting fairly heavy (I am taking a fair amount of photo equipment) so I am trying to decide between m 45 degree bag and a 0 degree bag. They are both down. The is almost a 2 lb difference between the two. I wish I had a bag in between but I spent all my play money and my Go-lite Shangrila. So what would you bring? Btw my highest camp will be a little above 11,000 ft.



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Re: Which bag?

Postby oldranger » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:36 am

RW

I've experienced a few cold storms at 11,000 ft. in August. A 15-20 degree bag would be my preference. The 45 bag could work but it would mean carrying extra 200 weight fleece tops and bottoms. But then you have added your two lbs. and probably more volume to your load. Given your choices I'd go for the 0 bag.

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Re: Which bag?

Postby ChinMusic » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:54 am

I just finished Reds to Happy Isle. I chose my 40 over my 30 and was cold a couple nights. I had frozen condensation on a couple mornings and recorded 27 degree temps on my Kestrel.

I sleep warm but 27 in a 40 had me getting up early and hiking to get warm.
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Re: Which bag?

Postby rayfound » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:24 am

I don't see how a 45 degree bag at 11,000 feet would ever be warm enough to be comfortable in the Sierra... Night temps dip to low 30s (sometimes lower), virtually every trip I've been on to that altitude.

I guess if you had enough fleece, etc...
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Re: Which bag?

Postby bcrowell » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:34 am

I passed through some of the same territory a few weeks ago. I had a 15-degree bag, and I was pretty comfy. I had a tarp, not a tent, and usually I didn't bother putting up the tarp. Camping at 11,000 ft with a 45-degree bag seems a recipe for a sleepless night, although a tent to keep the wind off would probably help.

What is your current base weight (i.e., weight without food and water)? If you're struggling to get it down, my advice would be to go to backpackinglight.com, post a list of your gear with weights in the gear forum, and ask for suggestions on how to cut it down. For someone doing an ultralight style in the Sierra in summer, a reasonable base weight is about 12 lb. If you're more than 5 lb above that, then I guarantee you that you've got a lot of other ways you can cut your pack weight significantly without compromising on your ability to get a good night's sleep.
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Re: Which bag?

Postby riverwalker » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:00 am

Thanks guys. I guess I should have clarified a little more. I will only be above 11,000 one night. A 20 degree bag would be perfect as I sleep a little warm anyway. I have had my 45 bag this high and it was a little on the chilly side a couple nights. I was leaning towards the 0 to play it safe and comfortable but was curious of others ideas.

Bcrowell-my base weight is pretty good, its the camera gear I am taking that is killing me. So I am the guy that spends all that money on light gear so I can still carry a 45lb pack.
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Re: Which bag?

Postby bcrowell » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:27 am

"Bcrowell-my base weight is pretty good, its the camera gear I am taking that is killing me. So I am the guy that spends all that money on light gear so I can still carry a 45lb pack."
How much does your camera gear weigh?
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Re: Which bag?

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:57 am

All this goes to prove that you should have a Feathered Friend or Western Mountaineering 20 degree bag that compress to the size of a cantaloupe and weighs 1.5 pounds. Currently my main bag is a 20 degree Marmot at about 3 pounds so those other bags (in the $300+ range) are on my wish list. :unibrow:
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Re: Which bag?

Postby Mike M. » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:13 am

A bag rated good to 45 degrees would not be adequate. Take the heavier bag or rent a sleeping bag rated for 20 degrees (or lower).

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Re: Which bag?

Postby markskor » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:42 am

Must agree that a bag rated 45° is probably not going to cut the mustard that Sierra high - even if only one night. How high is the rest of the trip?
You could get lucky, but...not my plan ever.
Hike safe.
Being cold at night/ not getting a good night's sleep is the surest way to ruin an otherwise fun adventure.
Rent or borrow?
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Re: Which bag?

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:05 am

A 20 degree bag is the best option for the high Sierra from late spring to early fall.
You have the option of taking the 45 degree bag, a fleece or down jacket, a warm hat,
warmer underwear, which will all increase your pack weight.
With the 0 degree bag just unzip it and use it as a blanket, and if it get cooler
during the night just zip it up.
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Re: Which bag?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:14 pm

I always take a 20 degree down quilt for three season Sierra hiking. Less bulk, plenty of warmth. Have been comfy between 50F - 20F with it, and easy to tuck in or open out as necessary. (I am a cold sleeper.)
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