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Old 04-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
adirondackcamper
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Pack/Sleeping Bag Perfence

I'm getting ready to buy my pack and sleeping bag for my upcoming trip to the Pharaoh Wilderness Area next weekend. I was wondering what kind of packs and sleeping bag everyone likes for this time of year for a four day trip? For the sleeping bag, do u prefer synthetic or down feather? I'm already set on a pack, I'm just getting a cheap 65L Coleman for now. What do you guys use for a pack?
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:58 PM   #2
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Your question casts a wide net:
I'm looking to buy a car to drive to the trailhead. Two wheel or four wheel drive? What do you guys drive?

If you're happy with the cheap Coleman pack, get a cheap Coleman sleeping bag. If you dislike the four day trip, no big loss of bucks. Besides, you might discover day-hiking provides all the adventure you're seeking. People on this forum cover a lot ground in one day.

FWIW, synthetic is cheaper but nothing feels as good as a high-quality down bag. Downside is it loses the ability to insulate when wet whereas synthetics can. Check sites like REI and MEC for info on buying sleeping bags, packs, tents, etc.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:30 PM   #3
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If you are traveling from the south you may want to stop in at the Coleman outlet store in Queensbury in the outlet malls just south of Lake George, I think it is exit 20 (Route 149).

I went with a cheap down bag, I am careful to keep it dry. It packs small and when you are backpacking you fight both weight and bulk.

For a pack I have a Gregory Baltoro.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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Your question casts a wide net:

People on this forum cover a lot ground in one day.
One of these days I hope to sleep in the woods... By choice of course!
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:59 AM   #5
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For a sleeping back, I prefer to disembowel a fresh tauntaun every night. If it's good enough for a Jedi, it's good enough for me.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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adkhighpeaks Site Supporter I am a 46er I am a Catskill 35er
Pack - Osprey Ariel 75 women's pack, Men's version is the Aether 75. This pack will work for a weekend trip or a 10 trip.

Sleeping Bag - Western Mountaineering down bag
- spring/summer/fall bag is a 30 degree down bag
- winter bag is a -15 down bag

Sleeping pad - Xped's down mat (this is just as important as a sleeping bag)

I have been using the above products for about 8 years, on many trips, and I am extremely pleased with their performance and quality.

I have tried many packs, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads over the years.

Some of the packs I have tried were Golite and Kelty. Golite is lighter, but at the end of the day I would be sore due to insufficient carry of the load. Osprey is a little heavier, but carries very well and at the end of the day I feel good. No sore shoulders, neck, rubbing hip belts or shoulder straps. I wore my Osprey for 5 weeks straight when hiking the JMT trail, not one issue from or with my pack.

I have tried many sleeping pads as well before shelling out the bucks for XPed's down mat. If I don't get a good nights sleep I don't hike well the next day.

Down bags, I went cheap in the beginning and was always cold. I am never cold in my WM bags. There is a difference in the quality of down and the loft of the bag. The quality of down and loft of a bag is what provides the insulation factor.

In the beginning I was looking at price over quality. Well I should have just went with the quality and would have saved a lot of money in the long run.

When you try on a pack, load it up in the store and walk around for about a half hour with it on. I stumbled upon the Osprey from switching packs with a friend on a backpack. He was pulling a pulk and was getting tired. The pulk was attached to the pack, so we just switched packs. I could not believe how comfortable that pack felt, even pulling that damn sled.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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I have a Mountain Hardwear 45F degree synthetic bag. Very light (1.5 lb?), it packs really small, a little bigger than a softball and I can fit it inside a gallon ziplock bag. I have a 15 degree bag liner which makes the bag comfortable (for me) as long as it’s above freezing. The bag liner packs down to about the size of a fist.

I also have an older synthetic Sierra Designs 15F bag. It takes up a lot more space, and weighs about 3.5 lb. It would be nice to replace this one with down at some point. I’d probably use this one at this time of year in the ADK, with the liner for back up.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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Here is my rule of thumb for packs:

Short day hike/approach pack: 1000 cubic inches/15 liters. Usually a very small pack, something I can attach to my overnight pack. Useful for either short hikes that are only a couple of miles long, or for climbing peaks from a basecamp.

Longer day hikes: 2000 cubic inches/30 liters. A regular sized day pack. Useful for longer 5+ mile day hikes.

Summer overnights: 3000 cubic inches/50 liters. On the smaller end of the scale for overnight packs. Generally an ultra light pack, also used in conjunction with as much ultralight gear as possible.

Winter day hikes: 3000 cubic inches/50 liters. Different than the above pack in that my winter day pack is made out of more durable material.

Spring/Fall overnights: 4000 cubic inches/65 liters. Middle of the road in terms of overnight pack size. Large enough to fit a moderate-size sleeping bag, full length sleeping pad, and plenty of extra layers if needed.

Winter overnights: 5000 cubic inches/80 liters. On the large end of the scale of overnight packs. When fully packed, can weigh 75+ pounds. Plenty of room for lots of food, extra layers, etc.

Often, though, in the winter, I'll just use my 3000 cubic inch winter day pack, and pull a sled with all of my overnight gear on it.

As for sleeping bags, here's the rule of thumb I follow:

Memorial Day to Labor Day: 35 degree bag.

First day of Spring to Memorial Day/Labor day to first day of Winter: 5 degree bag.

First day of Winter to first day of Spring: -20 degree bag.

Down is definitely better for staying warm (and keeping your weight down) but it's also got a much steeper learning curve. I generally recommend that backpackers don't get a down bag as their first bag- because there's a good chance that you're going to end up with soaking wet gear at least once as you gain experience. It happened to me, and I was glad at the time that I didn't have a down bag.

If you do get down, you should ditch the stuff sack that it comes with and get a waterproof stuff sack for it instead (sea to summit makes some good ones). A waterproof pack liner is also a good investment. I use both, and it's nice to know, even in a torrential downpour, that my stuff is staying dry.

Also, I generally bring a liner. The 35 degree bag alone can be a bit chilly in the last few weeks of August, and the 5 degree bag can be pretty cold at the end of Autumn and the beginning of Spring.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
Here is my rule of thumb for packs:

Short day hike/approach pack: 1000 cubic inches/15 liters. Usually a very small pack, something I can attach to my overnight pack. Useful for either short hikes that are only a couple of miles long, or for climbing peaks from a basecamp.

Longer day hikes: 2000 cubic inches/30 liters. A regular sized day pack. Useful for longer 5+ mile day hikes.

Summer overnights: 3000 cubic inches/50 liters. On the smaller end of the scale for overnight packs. Generally an ultra light pack, also used in conjunction with as much ultralight gear as possible.

Winter day hikes: 3000 cubic inches/50 liters. Different than the above pack in that my winter day pack is made out of more durable material.

Spring/Fall overnights: 4000 cubic inches/65 liters. Middle of the road in terms of overnight pack size. Large enough to fit a moderate-size sleeping bag, full length sleeping pad, and plenty of extra layers if needed.

Winter overnights: 5000 cubic inches/80 liters. On the large end of the scale of overnight packs. When fully packed, can weigh 75+ pounds. Plenty of room for lots of food, extra layers, etc.

Often, though, in the winter, I'll just use my 3000 cubic inch winter day pack, and pull a sled with all of my overnight gear on it.

As for sleeping bags, here's the rule of thumb I follow:

Memorial Day to Labor Day: 35 degree bag.

First day of Spring to Memorial Day/Labor day to first day of Winter: 5 degree bag.

First day of Winter to first day of Spring: -20 degree bag.

Down is definitely better for staying warm (and keeping your weight down) but it's also got a much steeper learning curve. I generally recommend that backpackers don't get a down bag as their first bag- because there's a good chance that you're going to end up with soaking wet gear at least once as you gain experience. It happened to me, and I was glad at the time that I didn't have a down bag.

If you do get down, you should ditch the stuff sack that it comes with and get a waterproof stuff sack for it instead (sea to summit makes some good ones). A waterproof pack liner is also a good investment. I use both, and it's nice to know, even in a torrential downpour, that my stuff is staying dry.

Also, I generally bring a liner. The 35 degree bag alone can be a bit chilly in the last few weeks of August, and the 5 degree bag can be pretty cold at the end of Autumn and the beginning of Spring.
thank you for all the info, this will be very usefull for my upcoming trip
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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A sleeping bag is like a wife...You don't ask others what you should get. You want something comfortable... something that you'll enjoy a night with. It's personal... something wide or narrow at the hips.... Something that sleeps hot or cold? Your call...It's what YOU want. What fits you.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:28 AM   #11
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A sleeping bag is like a wife...You don't ask others what you should get. You want something comfortable... something that you'll enjoy a night with. It's personal... something wide or narrow at the hips.... Something that sleeps hot or cold? Your call...It's what YOU want. What fits you.
I like the Montbell Spiral down bags because the stretchy ribs hug me tight and move with me which is extra pleasing.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #12
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Based on the good Doctor Hickey's philosophy, DSettahr has a "wife for every season"!


I suspect year-round hikers eventually all become "gear polygamists".
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:36 AM   #13
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Aether 85 is my pack of that choice.....i use a 35 degree ems velocity , lightweight, packs small, works well, guess dependant on outside temps, i choose this bag for warmer stuff cause its lightweight, it was good at that temp when i used it but I also wear long johns and a hat in cooler weather.. if this is a one time deal use something to get by, if not invest in lightweight and warm...
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:30 AM   #14
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Aether 85 is my pack of that choice.....i use a 35 degree ems velocity , lightweight, packs small, works well, guess dependant on outside temps, i choose this bag for warmer stuff cause its lightweight, it was good at that temp when i used it but I also wear long johns and a hat in cooler weather.. if this is a one time deal use something to get by, if not invest in lightweight and warm...
The EMS velocity sleeping bags are the perfect middle ground between being lightweight and not too expensive...
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:53 AM   #15
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Picked up my sleeping bag today. I went with a synthetic 20 degree bag by field & stream. It's seems to very comfortable, I think I'll like it. I didn't get a pack tho. One of my buddies that isn't coming with us, is lending us a couple of his packs. Im not sure what he has, as I've never seen them. I Also picked up some storm proof matches, a bear bag, and a poncho at REI today
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:22 AM   #16
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must be nice to be able to finger thru REI.. online just is not the same....:( LOL have a great time..
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #17
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Picked up my sleeping bag today. I went with a synthetic 20 degree bag by field & stream. It's seems to very comfortable, I think I'll like it. I didn't get a pack tho. One of my buddies that isn't coming with us, is lending us a couple of his packs. Im not sure what he has, as I've never seen them. I Also picked up some storm proof matches, a bear bag, and a poncho at REI today
That should work great....My -20 down bag got a short run this past winter.A 20 degree should get you by for summer to late late fall.A good pad and liner will help also.
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