Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Weight/worth comparison is driving me crazy!!


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Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
Weight/worth comparison is driving me crazy!! on 03/21/2012 22:20:33 MDT Print View

Just got my REI dividend and it turned out to be $85.00...i'vve decided to get a sleeping bag, its something i really need and i'm quite broke so it just works. i may convert it to a quilt depending on what i end up buying.

i cant decide whether to get a lighter, higher temp rated bag or just a real solidly reviewed 15-30 degree bag...

THAT got me going on a question i've been asking myself as i train for the season. i'm going to be starting to camp in a couple weeks. my season will probably last untill everywhere i hike near where i live - Seattle - is snowed over again. so realistically late october.

i've always practiced using lightweight bags/quilts in conjunction with layers of insulation clothing, but if you rocked a beefier sleeping bag/quilt (ultimately heavier) would it be worth it in weight savings to leave the insulation layer of clothing at home?
thanks for your time.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Weight/worth comparison is driving me crazy!! on 03/21/2012 22:23:13 MDT Print View

Do you hike all day and then climb in your bag? Or do you lounge around camp for a couple of hours before turning in?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Weight/worth comparison is driving me crazy!! on 03/21/2012 22:34:06 MDT Print View

Food for thought:

I've been on a 9-day backpacking trip at 6,000 to 10,000 feet in the California Sierra without a sleeping bag, stove, or tent.

My dinners looked an awful lot like my lunch and I wore ALL my clothes each night.

Down to 38-40F, I was good. At 32-35F, I was sleeping close to the fire and/or squatting in the tent of the cutest girl on the trip.

But I started the trip with half the weight of anyone else and at the end, I was 1/3 to 1/4 of anyone else's base weight. The group benefitted because I'd just take the pack of the slowest hiker, strap it onto mine, and carry both packs.

Short answer: Consider a clothing system that not only covers the daytime but also the nighttime. That way you might avoid entirely the weight and bulk (and cost!) of a sleeping bag.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Weight/worth comparison is driving me crazy!! on 03/21/2012 22:57:04 MDT Print View

"Food for thought:"

How many calories per ounce do you get in food for thought?

--that's a similar answer as--

How many angels can sit on the head of a pin if it is made of titanium?

--B.G.--

Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
chill... on 03/21/2012 23:04:25 MDT Print View

i hike pretty relaxed. i start early, hike slow, take breaks often and cover miles simply by spending all day on the trail. i will stop in time to watch the sunset while i set up camp or cook. or i'll skip pitching if skies are clear, but hey...its WA.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
PNW on 03/22/2012 00:52:26 MDT Print View

solid bag ... or similar ...

the reason is during the humid shoulder seasons there may be no sun to dry out yr bag ... and you can lose loft over time ...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Weight/worth comparison is driving me crazy!! on 03/22/2012 07:24:04 MDT Print View

I backpack year-round out of Portland. One favorite place in winter is the beach of the Olympics - closer to you - you have to watch weather reports though.

A little less than half my insulation I wear so I'm warm in the morning when I eat before starting hiking. And then I wear that in sleeping bag so I have a fairly lightweight bag.

I make my own, but a medium weight synthetic jacket or vest and a sleeping bag that's rated like 40 F takes me down to 20 F which is my lower limit.

Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
thanks on 03/22/2012 08:20:35 MDT Print View

thanks for all the insight, y'all.

@jerryadams:
way to go, brother! PNW pride;)
i do not make my own clothes but i will be doing quite a bit of that this year. need my sewing machine repaired.

i now the toll our weather here in WA can take on down, and i have taken both down and synthetic to the Oly's and back up the 'scades and i honestly prefer the lightweight of down. i have no prob taking extra care with my down, sorta gives me that 'ranger' feeling when weather gets bad...our ancestors would have had similar gear keeping them alive they would've had to keep dry at all costs. i like DOWN.

i am torn between the MH Phantom 15, MH Phantom 32 and the Marmot Plasma 15. i really feel like a tool buying stuff from REI (after all, most of my dividend was because my lazy roommates dont have their own memberships and luckily they contribute to mine>:), but with the discount i'll get i cant avoid it. i'll likely end up making whatever i get into a quilt anyhow.

my typical spring trail day:
6/7: wake up, brew breakfast/coffee water
8/noon: hike, warm up, find my pace, take a few breaks, brew some more coffee if i'm not feelin' it.
noon/afternoon: more hiking, likely at a steady pace. i like to average 2mph on the regular.
afternoon/dark: start to slow down, unless i'm making a push for a sought-after site. i usually pitch an hour before dark, but it can vary from 2 hrs (busy day on the trail) to right before dark (pitchcookcrashout).

in the summer, i'll take more short breaks. in cooler wet weather, i'll start later and finish days earlier. probably take lots of shorter breaks and maybe even stop to cook hot lunch if its also cold out.

i bring cap2, cap1 in the summer. i sleep in cap2/1, sleep socks, hat, REI revelcloud jacket (till i can make my own kinsman), and if temps get really chilly i will slip on some fleece thermals (myog, 9oz. i consider these the equivilant to the revelcloud, i dont bring them in summer).

i like to sleep under the stars in the summer, and i somehow find cold places to sleep. i like sunrise and set so i often orient myself accordingly for views. i use a tarp. i pitch low-end against the wind.