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Thread: Hanging in CO

  1. #1
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    Hanging in CO

    I'm planning a trip out to Colorado in July. The trip includes 10 days of dirt-bagging in the Mosquito, Sawatch and San Juan ranges. Basically motor to a trail head, sack out and hike trail the next day before motoring to the next TH.

    I'd like a reality check regarding gear from those with some local knowlege. Its car camping so weight is not an issue but I'm flying out so gear adjustments will be limited to what I bring along.

    According to Weather.com, mid-30s overnight to be expected.

    For my shelter kit I'm planning on taking the following:
    REI SubKilo 20deg down bag (use a TQ)
    1.9oz DIY Gathered end
    Poncho Liner (UQ or TQ as needed)
    Insulbright UQ (team up with PLUQ or use as UQ with PL in TQ mode)
    Bug Sock
    12x9 full coverage tarp (can be pitched with "doors closed")

    A bit of specific info: I've used the REI bag and PLUQ in the mid 30s and have been too hot on top. On the bottom I was ok.

    Any suggestions or advice would be very appriciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ringtail-THFKAfood's Avatar
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    it depends

    There is a big difference between a trailhead at 8,000 ft. v. one at 10,500. Timberline where you are going can be up to almost 12,000.

    I think you need a kit that will take you to 30 degrees, but you can always move into the car and run the heater.

    That is the time when you WILL need the bug sock.

    Are you acclimating and training for the Leadville?
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100milerunner View Post
    According to Weather.com, mid-30s overnight to be expected.
    They have a nasty tendency to lie.

    Be prepared for at least another 10 degrees cooler. As food said, you always have the car to retreat to if needed. Weather is very fickle that time of year at altitude; I've seen near 80 days turn into 20 nights. But, it sounds like your gear will be adequate and it doesn't sound like you're new to the game so adjustments shouldn't be tough. Might toss a couple of hand or foot-warmers in the bag in case you need a little heat boost, but otherwise your list looks good.
    Trust nobody!

  4. #4

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    I visited CO for the first time mid June 2010. It snowed every day all day. It was 96* when we crossed the KS/CO line.

    I can't imagine the amount of gear to truly plan for that weather shift.

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    Quote Originally Posted by food View Post
    There is a big difference between a trailhead at 8,000 ft. v. one at 10,500. Timberline where you are going can be up to almost 12,000.

    I think you need a kit that will take you to 30 degrees, but you can always move into the car and run the heater.

    That is the time when you WILL need the bug sock.

    Are you acclimating and training for the Leadville?
    Good advice. Based on how I felt in Subkilo+PLUQ, I think doubling up the underquilt and adding a windproof undercover should get me where I need to be. It didn't make my list but, I'm also planning on taking my z-rest pad. So I have a go to ground option as well.

    Actually, I'm preping for Hardrock...gulp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    They have a nasty tendency to lie.
    Too True!
    I'm not new to sleeping outdoors but this is my first trip out west. I'm with a small group so between all of us, we should have plenty of gear and lots of laughs. Going to be a awesome trip. 10 days of living the dream!

  7. #7
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    camped at 9500' just below independence pass (southeast of aspen) in mid july and it got down into the high 20's and low 30's every night

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  8. #8
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    I'm leaving for my through hike of the Colorado Trail in the middle of June, and will probably be near the San Juans towards the beginning/middle of July. When are you planning on heading out there?

    I was a little anxious at first switching from tent to hammock because of the above treeline areas, but I have no problem going to the ground if need be...the MamaJamba tarp is huge.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Have fun Nick Nack!
    It is not an ugly thru-hike and as a bonus, it only takes about a month of your time.
    Trust nobody!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nack View Post
    I'm leaving for my through hike of the Colorado Trail in the middle of June, and will probably be near the San Juans towards the beginning/middle of July. When are you planning on heading out there?
    We are flying into Denver on July 4. Plan to stop at one or two THs west of Denver (Evans, Democrat and/or Harvard) before driving down to the San Juans to see Mt Sheffels and some of the race course. The race starts on July 13th. The course travels part of the Colorado/Continential Divide Trail between the ghost town of Sherman and Camby Mountain. If you're on the section of trail July 13 or 14th, keep an eye out for runners.

    Enjoy your hike. I'm sure it will be epic.

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