keeping warm at night

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keeping warm at night

Post by bryanmertz » Aug 30 2005 4:06 pm

I have a synthetic Slumberjack 20 degree bag, and a thermarest. My tent is a TNF Rock 22.

The tent is most likely a little large for just 1 person; but outside of finding someone to share it with; what can I do to stay a little warmer at night?

Anytime I'm camping and it's below 45 or so, I get cold.

So my question is? Should I just get a better (down) bag? Smaller tent? Is there some lightweight liner that would help? What should I wear when I go to bed?


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Post by Abe » Aug 30 2005 5:08 pm

Pretty much have the same gear with the exception of my tent, which is a Coleman Peak II. I'll preface by first saying I don't camp when it is less than thirty, cold weather and I do not get along and if I do, I will generally bring a poncho liner to go in my sleeping bag. However, two suggestions pop to mind; first, I lay what you can call a ground cloth on the ground and then my tent over it. It is an ol' survival blanket, silver one side, red on the other. And second, I've said this before, I am a firm believer in sleeping in the buff, let the body heat and the bag do the work warming me up.
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Post by domromer » Aug 30 2005 5:52 pm

any sleeping bag liner will make you bag last longer and add 1 degrees warmth. Or a nice down sleeping bag, kelty has a nice series called the light year, it packs down to the size of a football and is really light and warm.
here's a long link


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Post by te_wa » Aug 30 2005 6:23 pm

First off, Slumberjack is notorious for over-rating their bags. I would say a 20 is really only 35 comfortably, as you stated you get cold in it.
Ditch the cheap bags and go for a 32-35 down bag, which is affordable!
GoLite Feather, Mountainsmith Wisp, M.H. Phantom, etc run around $180-230 BUT will last 15 years. Its an investment you should not pass up.

A silk bag liner can be sewn for a little under $10. Silk can be had from a fabric store and use polyester thread, you can custom make it and dont have to pay $60 for a one-size-fits-all approach. It will add 5-6 degrees to your bag!! weight is around 5 oz.

With the combination of my Mountainsmith Wisp and my silk liner, I have pushed temps into the 25-28 range while sleeping in the buff.

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Post by RedRoxx44 » Aug 30 2005 6:34 pm

Do use a liner, I made a silk one. I have been using a bivy, seems warmer than the tent, downside, not much room if you have to be inside (rain).
My main sleeping bag is a Western mountaineering Ultralight, under 2 lbs, packable and dead on the 20 degree rating.
For summer I think I'll carry more my Lafuma 600 down (fill at 5.3 oz), stuffs down to the size of a large persons fist. I've used it at some altitude and while I got a little cold, it was minimal and didn't last all night.
I layer tho- very thin silk top and pants, then lightweight thin thermals on top.
I hate being cold at night--it stinks.

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Post by Shi » Aug 30 2005 8:43 pm

I have a Montbell down bag that I love,
It's the #3, it's rated at 32 degrees and most of the time I stay warm. The REALLY nice part of the bag, is it's weight and compact, weighting in at 23 ounces and compresses to the size of a nalgene bottle. In the winter time, I do feel like I need a little more warmth, but find if I fill the extra space in my bag with extra clothing, and wear a hat that I am pretty comfortable. I am thinking of getting a liner. In the summer time, instead of bringing a different bag (hey, I love the size and weight of this bag), I generally use it as a blanket and stay comfortable. Mary
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Post by Sredfield » Aug 30 2005 9:17 pm

I've had good luck with an REI sub kilo, down, 20 degree bag. I overtaxed it only once, on Saddle Mtn, in the snow. Brrrrr, just thinking about it. Not too expensive, catch a promotion at REI and you could get it for <$125 I believe.
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Post by hikeaz » Aug 31 2005 6:42 am

Saw this ad on TLB.... it's not mine.

"I have a Marmot Hydrogen, size regular for sale, mint condition with storage sack and stuff sack, has seen 6 nights out in the woods, rated at 30 degrees, down-filled, 38" half-zip, weighs 1 lb. 6oz. Purchased new for $300, will sell for $175.00 including priority shipping..
Also selling a Shires Cloudburst 2 tarptent, sewn-in bathtub floor, extended beak, with storage sack and ti stakes, weighs 2 lbs. 9 oz., received from Tarptent in early July, has also seen 6 nights in the backcountry, purchased new for $250, will sell for $160 including priority shipping.
If interested, e-mail me at

I follow TLB's recommended way of selling used gear, mail me a money order or bank check, upon receiving, I will mail either USPS priority or UPS, either way you will have a tracking number to track shipment.
BTW, I very much enjoy both peices of gear, but I have become a devotee of hammock camping."

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Post by mttgilbert » Aug 31 2005 11:59 am

So, heres the thing; sleeping bag ratings are usually extreme ratings, which means that for a 20 degree bag, you won't die of hypothermia if it's 20 degrees out and you're in your bag. Usually you can figure that you will be comfortable at a temperature about 15 degrees higher than the bag is rated at. A tent should add about 3-5 degrees to that rating, provided it's not too big (your is too big so figure it's only going to add, at most, 3 degrees). So, theoretically you should be comfortable at about 32 degrees. Now, some poeple sleep cold and some sleep warm, you clearly sleep cold, since you get cold when it's below 45 degrees. I have a couple suggestions; 1st, you could try adding your REI travelsack to your sleeping bag, using it like a liner. That should add about 5-10 degrees to your sleeping bag. You have to be careful with a set-up like that though, if the inner bag starts to compress the main bag's insulation it starts to defeat the purpose. 2nd, you could try getting a dedicated liner, some like silk, I happen to be a big fan of the thermolite reactor liners. They add up to 15 degrees of warmth to a bag (which is double what the best silk or cotton liner will add). Unfortunatley they run about $50. 3rd, when you anticipate colder temperatures at night you could boil some water and put it in a nalgene and then put the nalgene inside the foot of your sleeping bag, the heat from the bottle will significatly increase the warmth in the bag. 4th, you could just pick up some capilene or polypro underwear (the long underwear kind) and put that on in your bag, I've had excellent results with this method.

Other than one of the options above you could get a new sleeping bag rated at a lower temperature and a smaller tent. That starts to get pretty pricey, but I suspect that your sleeping bag fill is starting to wear out. How old is your bag and how do you store it?
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Post by Davis2001r6 » Aug 31 2005 5:54 pm

Matt I would have to disagree with the extreme rating thing. I have a mountainsmith vision bag that's rated to 15 degrees and I think that very accurate. I think the higher the quality of bag you have the more accurate the rating is.

Now I have a Slumberjack bag that rated at 20 degree and yes 35 degrees is a little more accurate but I think it even more like 40.

Once again, you get what you pay for. Just my $.02

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Post by big_load » Aug 31 2005 7:45 pm

In response to davis2001r6's reply:

Yes, I think Matt's response must be taken as a reasonable generalization; it applies unequally to different manufacturers. Some companies rate more accurately than others. Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends, and Marmot seem to be the most conservative in their ratings. Some other big-name companies are extremely optimistic.

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