Sleeping bag question

1:25 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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Howdy folks! I'm looking on starting my AT through hike on 4/19 of this year. A little late, I know. Just recently started thinking I may be able to ditch my 20 degree bag and go for something a bit lighter with a higher temp. rating. due to the later start. Any suggestions?

3:27 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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Down,800 fill and maybe 32 degree.I picked up a Sierra Designs Wicked Fast for $150.00 and 1lb7oz internet shopping,they no longer have them at this price because i purchased it a few years ago,but you can find like bags for near that price.Be carefull though if you are broad shouldered a lot of the lighter bags are very narrow.Iam 5ft10inch and 165lbs and a lot of the "lightweight" bags are even a little "tight" for me.You can of course extend the temp of the bag with your clothing and ground pad type.Check and see what they have.

3:58 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks Skiman...I'm a pretty big guy at 6'1 and 280. Never considered the tightness of the ultralights. So you think the AT during late April through summer a 32 degree will suffice?

4:13 p.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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Just throwing this out there: North Carolina is having one of the coldest, snowiest winters in years, and Virginia still has lots of snow on the ground in its state parks.

Of course the weather pattern could change in the next six weeks, but I can't count the number times I've read people's journals who got hit with surprise snowstorms and came to regret going with a lighter, colder bag.

Lots of people switch to a lighter bag after the weather warms anyway so you'd probably be well advised to have a lighter, cooler bag waiting for up the trail anyway.

Rest of you guys know the terrain much better than I do; I can say that my brother in law runs snow-removal crews for Winston-Salem and says we've had the most snow this year in the 10 years he's had the job.

8:47 a.m. on February 25, 2010 (EST)
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If your bag is big enough, you can sleep with a down jacket when it gets too cold. That way you don't need to buy 2 bags and can always send the jacket home when it gets warmer. I've extended the range of my summer bag like this a lot by using a pair of insulated pants too, but like john said stay away from the ultralight mountaineering bags, they're way too narrow for this.

8:48 a.m. on February 25, 2010 (EST)
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I was just speaking with the reservationist for LeConte Lodge in the Smokies and she said that at their elevation they have seen snow as late as memorial day. It can get pretty chilly in the upper elevations even in summer. Depending on the bag, 20 degrees might not be enough. I freeze at 40F in my older, synthetic 20 degree REI bag unless I have a fleece liner. I like the idea of having a lighter bag waiting up the trail.


10:05 a.m. on February 25, 2010 (EST)
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I agree with flannery. It can get cold in those mountains, especially the Smoky Mountains portion in April and May.

June 20, 2018
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