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  1. #1
    Registered User Benjaminja77's Avatar
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    Default SOL Escape Bivvy to increase sleeping bag warmth: Anyone tried this?

    Has anyone tried sleeping inside their sleeping bag, inside a SOL Escape Bivvy, or vice versa? Thinking about ways to not have to buy a Winter bag and a Summer bag for an AT January start. It would be great to have a pretty warm 3 season bag for the whole thru-hike and not to have to fork out money for two bags, and it would also be great to not freeze in the winter or burn up in the summer. The main goal is to be able to get through both extremes without switching bags. Suggestions, comments, advice, free money? I'll take it all.

  2. #2

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    At best it will add 10 degrees to your bag rating. Is that enough to keep you warm enough to sleep at 0 F? Yes, it can get that cold or even colder.

    If you want to thru hike in Jan/Feb you need to get the right kind of gear. That costs lots of money. It would still be good to have that bivy as it can help keep you dry and a bit warmer in a shelter when the snow is blowing in, but in conjunction with a 0* bag. Otherwise your not going to last long out there.
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  3. #3
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    How about adding a Sea to Summit bag liner too?

  4. #4
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    IF there is a "one ring" solution, I think a 20-30* quilt would be my base. But the simple answer- get a 10* quilt with a full zip- probably a zpacks.

    Any bivy will generally buy you 5-10*. Haven't used the SOL, but a space blanket gets me 10* (to a point).

    Really where you could make it work is in your clothing system. A heavier down jacket and pant would do more for you on the low end, especially as you'd be more likely to use them full time in the coldest months.

    If you're looking for a year on the trail, a yo-yo is probably the better plan IMO. But intentional year long trips have been done before and might be worth your time to research. If the romance of the "one gear set" and not adding or sending anything home is what you're looking for it can be done, you just gotta carry extra crap.

    It's possible to:
    Get a base quilt of 20-30*
    pile on down garments to stretch an extra 10-15 degrees, and just suck it up or not sleep during the odd zero. (if you're taking a year you got time for a sleepless night or two)
    Use a liner of some sort for full winter. For the sea-to-summit liners cut the rating in half.
    Come summer you could drop down to a liner and clothes. Long undies, basic liner, and bivy will be good to about 50 generally speaking.

    In theory you have a one bag system.
    In practice, run both scenarios out on a spreadsheet. Quite likely you will find that a good quilt plus all the accessories cost (and weigh) more than other options.

    I'd probably get a 20* mummy and a 40-50* quilt. A lot depends on your clothing system, but many of us find that shorts and a baselayer is good to 30's, tights and a light puffy will get you to the teens, add your rain gear, hats, and gloves and you can get to zero.

    If you buy your quilt right, you can also layer the quilt over the mummy. As a rough number; you'll get half to 3/4 of the quilt's warmth this way. Numbers are a bit sketchy, but a 20* mummy and a 50* quilt should get you in the zero range.

    Course with taking your time, and hanging out at camp, you may find that having a full wardrobe makes sense. In that case work out your clothes and then your bag.

    Doable for sure, just more complicated than it needs to be methinks.

  5. #5
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    One other "lazy day" option-
    take your time during the day. Kinda a biased opinion, but slower paces could benefit quite a bit from spending their leisure hours during the day when it's nice and warm out. That-a-way you can get the best of both. Lighter folks generally hike til bedtime, so they don't need warmer clothes for camp. Lower mileage folks tend to get to camp early, and have to carry an extra level of clothes.

    If you fart around all day, but get your hiking in earlier and later when it's cold you can avoid the extra clothes. Besides, more fun to swim, fish, or play all day when the sun is shining anyway right?

    BTW- excuse my vast assumptions about your hike.

  6. #6
    Registered User Benjaminja77's Avatar
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    I think I like the idea of going for the 0 degree and then using a reflective bivy in the summer months. Will have to make an attempt to getting used to that over this Summer.

  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Hypothetical solution. Not tried by me. The theory is sound.

    Buy a really good, accurately rated, comfortable fitting, best down possible, 15-20 sleeping bag. AND. A similar, full opening (flat), 35-40 quilt. If shop carefully, you should be able to buy both items for about (+ or -) the same price as a really nice 0 bag. Total weight should come in about 3 pounds (+ or -). Start with both bag & quilt. On cold nights, lay the quilt on top of your sleeping bag for extra insulation. When the weather warms up, probably May, send the bag home and use the quilt. If the temps cool down some in New England, swap the quilt for the bag.
    Compare bags to Western Mountaineering Ultralite or Alpinlite. Both are conservatively rated at 20 Enlightened Equipment is a good reference for quilts. http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/
    Use a really good, R-5 or better, sleeping pad and a wind & water tight shelter early on. Wool, down, fleece and windproof clothing are your friends in winter.

    Reference point for temperatures: Back in February Boone, NC experienced several days in a row with temperatures in the neighborhood of 0 to -10. With wind too. Boone is at an elevation of 3,200'. Half the elevation of Roan High Knob. Plan carefully.
    Good luck & have fun.

    Wayne
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  8. #8
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    A bit of research...
    WM 6'-0" Kodiak, 0, 2 pounds 12 ounces. $655.00
    WM 6'-0" Ultralite, 20, 1 pound 13 ounces. $485.00
    EE Revelation, 40, 14 ounces. $215.00
    Two very good pieces of kit for equal weight and maximum versatility for a few dollars more than the Kodiak.
    Think about it.

    Wayne
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
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