Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure..
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Aaron Davis
(ardavis324) - F
Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 08:34:17 MST Print View

You have:


30F quilt
down jacket
windshirt
thin torso base layer
thin leg base layer

Its a clear, cold night around 20* F.


What would be the ideal way to layer these items to stay comfortable, dry, warm?

Edited by ardavis324 on 12/09/2013 08:34:53 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 09:02:09 MST Print View

In the order you list them quilt last and hope that works. I'd say for the longer, winter nights, it may not be enough. I've been out in the *Fall with a 15F bag and needed my synthetic Golite jacket over me and was fine, but the ground was not frozen yet. Only a short, NeoAir under me.
Duane
PS: *night temp was 4F, creek froze over too.

Edited by hikerduane on 12/09/2013 09:03:43 MST.

James Cahill
(DMATB) - M

Locale: SOCAL
Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 09:19:08 MST Print View

I had to do 2 nights of a less extreme version of that (30 degree nights with a 40 degree quilt) and I went base layer / mid layer / windshirt / synthetic jacket / quilt / bivy. Hiking pants over my longjohns and two pairs of socks. The ground was frozen but I had a torso ccf, a torso prolite and my pack under my legs. It worked



Edited because I'm not that badass

Edited by DMATB on 12/09/2013 11:34:26 MST.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 09:30:35 MST Print View

"I had to do 2 nights of a less extreme version of that - 30 degree nights with a 40 degree quilt"

Dude... if you slept in -30* in a 40* quilt, you have my vote as BAMF of the year! Of course if the "-" is just used for transition purposes, then maybe not so much but still good on you for getting that kind of mileage out of your gear.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 12/09/2013 09:31:23 MST.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
-30 on 12/09/2013 09:38:56 MST Print View

Yikes, -30!

:)

My only thought on the OP is that I would get cold without something more on my legs.

I did a 36 degree night in my 40 degree bag and my upper body was fine (beanie, lightweight base and a fleece) but my legs in a light base layer and wool socks were cold and it was an uncomfortable night in the woods... should've put on my rain pants in retrospect.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 09:43:25 MST Print View

Sticking to what you have listed:

30F quilt
down jacket
windshirt
thin torso base layer
thin leg base layer

From in to out,

Torso: I'd wear torso base layer, windshirt (to avoid compressing the down jacket), down jacket, and quilt.

Legs/feet: baselayer and whatever pants you were wearing.

Drifting away from what you've mentioned above:

Hopefully you have some kind of shell with you. Even if it's eVent or goretex, I like to wear it under my down sweater. While an imperfect VBL, I find that it works better for me this way this way and it still traps some moisture (every little bit helps imo).

I use a waterproof pack liner. I will put my feet inside of it during the cooler nights to help keep the tootsies warm.

At 20* I'm starting to sleep with my water. You can use a .5oz Esbit tablet to warm up a liter of water and throw it down by your feet.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 09:43:25 MST Print View

James, you need to delete the "dash" and replace it with a semicolon or similar. Although I will admit, I figured it out :)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 09:45:17 MST Print View

"What would be the ideal way to layer these items to stay comfortable, dry, warm?"

Not going to happen.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 10:02:13 MST Print View

I'm with ian. Shell near body.

I like to put puffy layers over my legs instead of wearing them. Torso 'makes heat' puffy jacket over legs keeps it in your body throughout the bag. I'll take my puffy jacket and put my feet in the sleeves and have the hem point towards my head. (Upside down/ collar away from head)

That way your shell will give you a ghetto vbl on your torso and your puffy will keep your legs warm. It evens it out.

Ymmv

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Layering for sleep on 12/09/2013 10:03:31 MST Print View

I routinely take a 40f quilt (Katabatic Chisos wide) with 2z overfill down into the low 20's. On my legs are a light base layer and wind/rain pants. On my feet MYOG fleece booties and socks with stuff sacks on over that. Upper body is light base layer, wind shirt, rain shell (if I have it), and then my Golite Bitterroot. I find that I sleep warmer if I don't wear the jacket but drape it over me under the quilt, unfortunately I can't use the hood effectively so I have to add a down balaclava. This is all atop a full length down filled airmat.

Aaron Davis
(ardavis324) - F
Re: Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 10:09:04 MST Print View

Interesting idea of using packliner as a vapor barrier over the feet. Never thought about that..

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 10:22:47 MST Print View

"Interesting idea of using packliner as a vapor barrier over the feet."

I learned this trick early on in the Army using the issued wet weather bag. My feet were always cold in the winter, even when sleeping with the boots on, and I really found that this helped. The nice thing about going to the field as part of a platoon is that there are 30 other guys who are there to make fun of you when you're sniveling and who will later offer tips on what worked for them when they went through the same thing.

You can get the same benefit by wearing a pair of liner socks, bread bag, and then insulating sock over that. I always use a pack liner regardless of the weather forecast so it's a multi use item for me and one that I know will work.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 10:24:53 MST Print View

2 sleeping pads (or a high r value inflatable)

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 10:40:01 MST Print View

Justin beat me to it! Methinks you have left out the most important part of the "configuration". What sleeping pad? That is actually the foundation (no pun intended), not an afterthought.

I can tell you that for any configuration you are gonna be very unhappy if you are sleeping on the ground. Moving up from there the other stuff that you need, minimum at least, would depend a lot on how beefy your pad is, so it is actually essential. I would venture to state it more dramatically, that if your pad is not sufficient there is probably no reasonable set of layers, however thick, to fix that since you will be compressing them (and hence lowering/removing a significant amount of their insulation) right where you touch the pad. So the proper way to think about it is (1) is my pad thick *enough* and then only (2) what layers do I need.

As to what layers to use, people's experience here is golden! I don't think it actually matters the order except for this rule - make sure you get minimum compression of the inner layers from any outer layer you put on since the compression will cut down the insulation. Thought the VB effect will be better next to the skin (less volume to humidify) I find wearing my rain jacket on the outside does a good job too. This is an old chestnut, but you can also put you feet inside your pack as a VB substitute, especially if it is a frameless one.

My personal experience, based on the fact that I am a cold sleeper, and also a wimp that hates being cold (perhaps my Mediterranean genes) and not a BAMF like many here, I find that if my head, hands and feet are not toasty nothing else matters. So when cold is an issue I have a down balaclava, down booties and down mittens, net weight about 4 oz, about the same as one of the base layers. Packs to nothing in my bag. I suspect this would allow me to pair back on my other insulation significantly if I were to experiment. However, see wimp admission above. LOL

Edited by millonas on 12/09/2013 11:00:16 MST.

Michael Driscoll
(Hillhikerz) - M

Locale: Monterey Bay
sleeping on a cold night... on 12/09/2013 11:29:05 MST Print View

John could you expound on your MYOG project or did you find it on a thread here...

"On my feet MYOG fleece booties and socks with stuff sacks on over that."

Are the stuff sacks duel purpose on the trip or dedicated and vapor barrier material...

James Cahill
(DMATB) - M

Locale: SOCAL
oops on 12/09/2013 11:35:30 MST Print View

my mistake. you won't even find me outside at negative 30

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
" I don't wear the jacket but drape it over me under the quilt" on 12/09/2013 12:14:46 MST Print View

this is the way to go, otherwise you're compressing the insulation that you are sleeping on top of. also, pull the arms through the jacket or drape the jacket inside out so that you get the benefit of the extra insulation. if the hood unsnaps, i'd take it off and wear it on my head. if not, i'd tuck it underneath like the arms. depending ou your pack you can slip your feet in for an additional layer or you can put your pack underneath your legs and feet. i'd be wearing the wind shirt over my base layer and have my pants on in addition to the base layer. i'm guessing your legs will be cool/cold, but i can sleep with cold legs if my head and torso are warm. as mentioned above, your sleeping pad(s) will be of primary importance. a lot of you "comfort" will be influenced by the down jacket you are bringing. and while my knowledge of physics on this subject is pretty weak, it's my understanding that a tarp between you and the sky will reduce black body radiation. depending on a number of factors, the above is more of a, what if i got caught out in the cold, not a, this is what i'm planning to do. if i was planning on this i'd have more leg insulation and depending on the jacket more torso insulation. and we haven’t even discussed your head.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 14:52:43 MST Print View

No mention of mat, head covering or dry fluffy socks. All three are vital in order of listing.

If the windshirt is just light fabric, I might put it over the quilt to keep drafts off the shell. Otherwise, all of the items, in order listed.

Cheers

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Sleeping on a cold night. How would you configure.. on 12/09/2013 16:36:41 MST Print View

"Its a clear, cold night around 20* F."




"What would be the ideal way to layer these items to stay comfortable, dry, warm?"

30F quilt
windshirt
down jacket
thin torso base layer, in that order, assuming your windshirt provides enough space for the down jacket. That said, what do you have for your head AND feet? Most quilts don't have a hood, and covering your head will be critical at 20 degrees. Also, your feet will need to be insulated. If it were me, given the skimpy gear you list, I'd also build a fire and sleep as close as possible to it, and have enough wood piled next to you to keep it going all night if necessary. Another question: What kind of pad do you have under you? That is another point of exposure at 20 degrees. Maybe gather some brush and pine boughs to augment your pad if it is too thin, assuming you're not in a wilderness area. Otherwise be prepared to stay up and keep that fire going. My 2 cents. I got caught in almost exactly that situation down in Kern Canyon a few years back, when it dropped to 19 overnight. I had a WM Highlite and not much more insulation than you list, although I did have a bivy bag. By 4 AM, I was on the verge of building a fire, but managed to squeak thru until dawn with a Prolite 3 48" pad underneath. I wouldn't cut it that close again, and would go to the fire sooner.

Edited for garment sequence error.

Edited by ouzel on 12/09/2013 19:47:53 MST.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
cold on 12/09/2013 17:28:28 MST Print View

I spent a pretty chilly 28F night under my 40 quilt last February. It was 34 when I went to bed at 8pm too, so it was quite chilly all night.

Just light baselayer on legs, and driduck bottoms, and melanzana fleece hoody up top, with fleece beanie under it. Glove liners too. I was inside my GG "The one" which is pretty airy.

I was on a 1/8" GG thinlight with another 1/2" GG torso light.

Upper body was OK. Legs were COLD. Feet were REALLY COLD.
I wrapped my driducks jacket around my feet and that added maybe a degree or two of warmth. It was enough to feel, and it was welcome. But my legs were cold the whole night.

Sleeping on side was noticably warmer feeling than back as well. Heat was clearly and noticeably being lost upwards.

I was quite glad to get up when the sun came up, and start moving around.

With down pants and booties, I would have been comfortable. Add a down jacket, and I would have been cozy down to 15-20 I expect.

If you add down pants and booties, and a down beanie/balaclava, you will be better off.

Edited by livingontheroad on 12/09/2013 17:35:51 MST.