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[Yosemite]

46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby schan1w » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:16 pm

Hi

I have a light weight Sea to Summit Spark 46 degree bag. I have a 2 night trip coming up later this month, staying near North Dome and Upper Falls. I'll have a light weight down jacket and long underwear. Do you think that'll be enough? I have a 20 or 30 degree down bag I've used for many many years in those location, I've always been hot. I never recalled the temperature rating of that bag as I bought it almost 30 years ago. I love how small the Sea to Summit is, but am a little concerned if I will be cold. I think I used it in a hotel once and was a little cold, even indoors with it. I might bring both just to test the Sea to Summit. What are you thoughts? I'm assuming the low temperature will be around the mid 40s. Currently, in the weather.gov forecast for TUOLUMNE MEADOWS is low 40s.

Thanks!
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby Phil » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:08 pm

Tough call that I suppose is dependent on how hot or cold you sleep. The middle of next week's point forecast for your exact area is mid-high 50s at night (zoom in on the map, click your point, and it'll make the proper adjustment for elevation, etc) https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.p ... w-x1p5Kjcc

That being the case, you would probably be fine with the higher rated bag, if you sleep warm. Myself, I would bring my 35 degree and kick it off or open it up if I got too hot. I'll always go more conservative and err on the side of caution when it comes to a good night's sleep, because I can cool down, but not necessarily warm up quite so easily.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby balzaccom » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:56 am

Last week we camped in Yosemite for four days at 8500-9500 feet. The temp each night got down below 40 degrees. For me, that bag is about 15-20 short...
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:06 am

I pack for comfort at 20F unless it's actually winter, then I pack for 0F comfort. Since I've been snowed on unexpectedly in the middle of summer a few times, I've never regretted that choice.

I use backpacking quilts instead of bags. Never regretted that either, as my quilts are the sort that can be converted to blankets by unzipping the foot box. With adequate pad beneath and adequately rated quilt on top I am warmer than I was with the cheap sleeping bags with which I started backpacking more than a decade ago... which reminds me, my quilts are due for the biannual washing. Adequate care keeps them fully lofted and warm - my three season quilts are more than 12 years old now. Gear that's stored compressed, in a garage, rather than fully lofted in a cotton sack or garment bag in a closet, doesn't fare so well.

I say all this because details matter... old bags are frequently in a state of deterioration for one reason or another. Frequent use, inadequate storage precautions, frequent use without cleaning, all play a part in making a bag less effective. So those should be considerations as well as rating.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby balzaccom » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:39 pm

Just washed my eight year old bag this week...
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby Phil » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:49 pm

balzaccom wrote:Just washed my eight year old bag this week...


and I just saved $300 on car insurance.........

But, tangentially, another thing that's incredibly tough on down bags (blankets) is using compression sacks. Stuff sack, necessary evil, but honking straps and repeatedly squishing the hell out of the bag breaks down the feathers and destroys the loft. Same with frequent washing. Better to turn it inside out in the sun and let the UV radiation kill the stinky bacteria.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby balzaccom » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:36 pm

Yes...but after eight years, there is only so much the sun can do...and the oil continues to accumulate in the down.

BTW--just for those who are new to this, always store you bag in a very loose sack. Old pillowcases work, or even something bigger. Never store this in their stuff sack.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:16 pm

So, my down quilts are used 1-9 nights per month, year round. In a year and a half or so it can easily be 100-150 nights of sweat accumulated. I've also used them car camping, and that two weeks at home when the furnace broke right in the middle of the coldest cold snap this 350 ft above sea level town has had in memory... Washing in a front loading washer with down-specific soap, no agitation, followed by gentle low-heat/no heat cycles in a dryer and hours in the sun and breaking up clumps with the fingers now and then, loft is visibly better.

Not everyone needs to wash even annually.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby Phil » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:19 am

balzaccom wrote:Yes...but after eight years, there is only so much the sun can do...and the oil continues to accumulate in the down.


I would say it's due....but with all the oils, I bet your zippers work great.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:30 am

Ha1 Actually, because the oil also attracts dirt...they weren't working so great either.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:58 am

You guys should go to Broadway. :wink:

Sleeping bags are one of those essentials. So if you don't have the scratch for a good one and don't want to risk taking a old, cold one, lowergear.com rents bags by mail.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby Phil » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:21 pm

AlmostThere wrote:You guys should go to Broadway.


I think it's closed.

balzaccom wrote:Ha1 Actually, because the oil also attracts dirt...they weren't working so great either.


You're just getting old. Thank god they're not snaps, right? I see much low-grade velcro in your sleep systems of the future. But, I'm sure both you and M could kick my ass even on one of your bad days.
Last edited by Phil on Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:24 pm

Phil wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:You guys should go to Broadway.


I think it's closed.


You're right! Guess it'll have to be TikTok.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby schan1w » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:52 pm

Thanks for the info. I'm going to take my chance with the 46 degree bag and a down jacket. Will let you know how it goes.
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Re: 46 degree bag for 7500-8000 elevation?

Postby balzaccom » Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:37 am

Take something warm for your bottom half as well--fleece, maybe?
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