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  1. #1
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Nesting Top Quilts and Bottom Layers question

    In 3 days, I am leaving for a 7 day AT trek with friends. Our first night out, we may have temps near 20°. All of us are prepared for that range, except for one of the guys who instead prepared for upper 30s. I (as the guilty, responsible party) am trying to assist him into a situation where he will not freeze his b**t off. His current setup is a pad (no wings/SPE) and a 40° GoLite TQ.

    I have a Jarbridge River 1 Season quilt, which I have used comfortably down to 42° (with a 3S Burrow on top). I have used the JB River at 32° with a pad light Gossomer gear pad in the hammock. I also have a 35° Burrow I can loan him. If he is in a thermal wear, and we add an insulated hot water Nalgene, (he claims to be tolerant of the cold), any speculation of whether this setup will get him down to the low 20s?

    It appears only the first night will be that cold, the next should be at least 4-6° warmer. And if he totes the extra 2 lbs of the abovementined gear, we have a place to drop it after the 3rd day, so even the extra weight is negligible. It is too late to purchase new gear, so any suggestions from the hangers here?

    For the record, the rest of us here have 10-20° Incubators and 15-20° top quilts or sleeping bags, so we are prepared....
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  2. #2
    markr6's Avatar
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    Hmmm, for me every degree between about 20° and 35° is huge. Specifically, 20° vs 30° would cause me to completely rethink the gear I take.

    With that 40° TQ, I would need a heavy base layer (polar fleece or Capilene 4 top and bottom) and maybe even a down or fleece jacket to get down to 20°

    A fleece balaclava over the head/neck would help a lot.

    I'm not sure about the pad since I never use one. I know noone wants to carry a bunch of extra stuff for one colder night, but waking up at 1:30am with a freezing back thinking it's actually closer to 6am makes it a LOOOOONG miserable night. Maybe he could take an additional pad just in case, maybe something lighter like the mylar car windshield shades?

    Now, if every night will be around 40° and only one around 20°, I would almost be tempted to chance it that one time using every method possible to keep warm. I would feel a sense of accomplishment traveling light.

  3. #3
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    I would probably be okay with that; however, a normal person might not.

    At the 2nd Annual FL Hang, we got a claimed temperature of 21 F. I'd planned for high twenties to low thirties, and my feet were quite cold. However, otherwise I was warm enough to sleep even if I wasn't quite comfortable.

    My insulation brought with me:

    Top:
    Poncho liner top quilt (good for most to mid-forties, good for me to mid-thirties).
    WallyWorld $3 fleece throw (100 wt, 40" x 60", used as supplemental top insulation).


    Bottom:
    Sew-'em-up PLUQ (good to mid-twenties for me without supplemental insulation).
    Blue CCF sit pad (~20" square) under mid-back.


    Clothing:
    Thinsulate watch cap.
    Wristies (200-wt fleece, DIY).
    Smartwool Hiker socks.
    Longsleeve Minus 44 lightweight merino shirt.
    "Expedition weight" (feels like 300-wt) longsleeve fleece.
    Heavyweight nylon sweatpants.
    Compression short boxer/briefs.


    Supplemental:
    Hot Nalgene water bottle.


    If Wallyworld is still selling those fleece throws (they may have gotten them in for "winter" here in FL), it might be worth picking one up. They weigh ~11 oz and add a surprising amount of warmth.

    For me (and I'm a space heater), I wouldn't be worried about mid to low twenties with what you've described above. For someone else, I'd try to err on the side of caution.

    Probably not the most helpful post, but...
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  4. #4
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    ...Probably not the most helpful post, but...

    Actually, it was helpful. I agree that the difference between 40° and 20° is huge, which is why I am trying to ensure he is not uncomfortably cold.

    Hard to tell what our actual temps will be, as the forecasts on the mountaintops are eratic and inconsistent. For example, right now, one site claims the overnight temperature at elevation 5000' (close to where we will be) is forecast for 42°. But the forecast for 15 miles south down in Bryson City at 1700' is for 38°. That is over 3000' higher and 4° warmer? I don't buy it. Especially when last night's low in Bryson City was 59° and the reported overnight temp on top of Mt LeConte was 32°.

    As for the temps past the first night, well that is again hard to tell. But the trend appears to be warming, and our elevation will be dropping 1000' a night over the first 3 nights. Regardless, the first night is my main concern. But I suspect we will be at freezing or just below the second night and in the 30s for most of the week.

    Thanks for the feedback, and keep the ideas coming....
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  5. #5
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    I'll have to keep an eye on this thread since I just bought that same 40F Golite quilt (down 1+ season).

    For me I've managed to supplement my sleep systems with a thermoflect blanket between my UQ and the hammock along with a 2QZQ UQP to block a little wind. I'm not sure how much extra that gets.

    For me it's always been the bottom and shoulder blade area that causes problems. Adding some thermal underwear, booties, hat, etc take care of other spots but a cold bottom will keep me up all night. I carry a couple of pieces of 20x30 foam pieces. I can double stack them or orient them in a "T" shape depending on what areas are cold. They make a nice camp seat too. Sounds like your friend already is bringing a pad but a little more foam couldn't hurt.

  6. #6

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    foam

    I use pads a lot so I'm voting for more foam, carried on the outside of the pack, using stretchy cordage to prevent flopping with each step. Yes, he will look like the Eveready battery bunny but the warmth is more important than how he looks. Have him get his own foam at the Big Box Mart store. leave it wide for insulating elbows on this trip.

    Add a poncho liner as a top cover. You might be able to get one locally before the trip.

    My extremities get cold, so do check his night time hat (balaclava for me), gloves, and socks.

    You have your opinion, but he really is responsible for his warmth. If he talks macho while packing then gets cold on the trail, it is not your fault.

    In wet situations or for cost, thick fleece clothing is fine, otherwise it is too heavy and too bulky for me to carry. It needs compression stuff sacks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Skipper View Post
    Actually, it was helpful. I agree that the difference between 40° and 20° is huge, which is why I am trying to ensure he is not uncomfortably cold.

    Hard to tell what our actual temps will be, as the forecasts on the mountaintops are eratic and inconsistent. For example, right now, one site claims the overnight temperature at elevation 5000' (close to where we will be) is forecast for 42°. But the forecast for 15 miles south down in Bryson City at 1700' is for 38°. That is over 3000' higher and 4° warmer? I don't buy it. Especially when last night's low in Bryson City was 59° and the reported overnight temp on top of Mt LeConte was 32°.
    It can definitely happen. Particularly in the mountains surrounding deep valleys when the weather is very still and calm, a major high pressure system. Apparently the temperature plummets at the higher elevations, and the colder air is heavier and just slides on down the hill to settle in the valley. Normally, go up the hill 1000 ft. and the temp drops 3.5*F during precipitation, or 5F during calm, dry weather. Which will get you very close to that Bryson City 59 vs Le Conte's 32. Normal elevation difference. But once when I lived in Flagstaff at 7000 ft, the temps plummeted to minus 23. I called the ski resort, just a few miles away but 2500 ft higher up the mountain, thinking the temps were going to be minus 30 to - 40F. I was shocked to find the temp was a measly minus 16F, warmer than me by 7F! Inversion! It is not all that uncommon.

    You say he uses pads? So that is what he is used to. He just needs a thick enough pad or pads if he has anyway to stack them, like the good old SPEs. Can you glue/duct tape some pads together in the torso area? But the UQ you can loan him plus his pad should take him colder than any temps you are likely to encounter.

    What is the weight of this 40F Golight TQ? And the loft? If it is about 21 oz in long and has roughly 5" loft (both layers with the back close up), this may be the quilt they used to rate 20F and which they now rate 40F. A lot of folks felt it was not quite a true 20F, but a lot of us felt it was at least good for 25 or 30. Does he have a puffy jacket and pants that he can layer with the quilt. That can add a LOT! Above all else, make sure he has plenty of head warmth, a separate hood would be ideal. That can make a huge difference. And of course, the old hot water bottle, but just don't let it leak!

    P.S.
    Buffalo, OT but, if you don't mind: do you know the weight of the CS per sq.yd. in that Jarbridge 1 season you are using?
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 09-22-2012 at 23:31.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  8. #8
    2Questions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    And of course, the old hot water bottle, but just don't let it leak!
    That alone has saved me when the Weather Channel lied. Amazing what can be endured if you can keep your extremities warm that way.
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