Sleeping bags and hot nights

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Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby Dayvo » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:23 am

I'll be cycling around the south east of Australia in December and January and plan to be as self-sufficient as possible (stealth/wild camp where I can and where it's permitted).

I have a summer sleeping bag, but it is quite bulky and have seen another which is much smaller, and I'm wondering whether I should buy it!

My question is do you think I can get by on sleeping in a silk sleeping bag on top of my Exped mat? Or do the nights get 'chilly' (i.e. below 20c)?

Thanks for your answers!
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by BNA » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:59 am

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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby Shard » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:59 am

If you're in victoria there's bound to be one night where it drops below 20deg. Also I hope you have a mosquito solution!
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby m@ » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:33 am

Just moving this to the touring subforum.

Personally I rarely sleep in more than a liner in summer at sea level - at altitude it's another matter entirely. A silk liner plus down quilt might be a good option for summer. I'd also take a gander at some Aus bushwalking forums - they probably have more experience with this stuff than the average cyclist :)
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby hartleymartin » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:58 pm

Summer nights are not always comfortably warm. Best advice I could offer is to have a good tent which gives you the option of leaving the "window" and "door" open, but a fly-net shut to let air to pass through during the evenings. If it gets cold, you can then just do up one or both of the openings to retain heat better.
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby a » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:08 am

Dayvo wrote:I'll be cycling around the south east of Australia in December and January and plan to be as self-sufficient as possible (stealth/wild camp where I can and where it's permitted).

I have a summer sleeping bag, but it is quite bulky and have seen another which is much smaller, and I'm wondering whether I should buy it!

My question is do you think I can get by on sleeping in a silk sleeping bag on top of my Exped mat? Or do the nights get 'chilly' (i.e. below 20c)?


If your going up to the great Dividing Range anywhere - you are going to need a sleeping bag even in the height of summer. Overnight temps will typically get down to low teens.
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby Dayvo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:57 pm

Thanks for your replies!

Looks like I'll be shelling out $160 for another bag! But it's compact and will do the job!

Look out for more posts when I arrive! :P
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:12 pm

Get a down bag and keep it dry when packed. They are still the most compact for equivalent warmth.

And if you're going up into the Great Dividing Range, depending on how high, you could easily be looking at temps down to sub 5 degrees overnight, even below zero should a strong cold front come through. I've experienced 1 degree at 9am on New Years Day :shock:
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby Aushiker » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:30 am

Hi

Personally I would consider seriously a lite weight quilt, rather than a sleeping bag. Much lighter and just as effective down to the around 8 - 10 degrees, maybe more depending on the quilt and much more comfortable to sleep in.

There is a guy in Perth selling a near brand new one for $80 (used twice) (not a cyclist) I can put you on to if you are interested, otherwise check out BackpackGearTest.org or some reviews/test reports on various quilts for ideas.

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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby KenGS » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:44 am

As a rule of thumb, allow for temperatures to be about 0.6 degrees cooler for every 100m of altitude. If you are going into the high country you can still get snow even around New Years. You don't necessarily need a sleeping bag but you do need something warm and dry should the weather turn. If you are expecting cold weather take the necessary gear. If you are expecting warm conditions maybe just a space blanket for use in an emergency.
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:40 pm

In the Victorian high country (where I'm now planning a Christmas tour) you need to be prepared for anything from 4 degrees to 40 degrees, so flexibility is the key.

I use a tried and true combination as follows:

1. Mountain Designs mummy sleeping bag with 700g of down, full length zip that allows it to be fully opened out into a quilt
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2. silk inner sheet
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3. Wilderness Equipment Second Arrow tent
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The silk inner sheet is warm enough on its own on hot nights and the WE tent can be fully opened out with a complete mosquito net front and foot, to create a 'blow-through' tunnel that still gives rain shelter. Closing the tent vestibule up allows greater rain/wind protection, but still with mosquito nets open; or the tent can be fully closed up for greater warmth in windy cool conditions. This does make a big difference on cold nights - I'd hate to have one of these tents with a mosquito net-only inner as it'd be much colder. The sleeping bag too can be open or closed. It can be draped over as a quilt or zipped up for milder nights. The full mummy, with the hood pulled over and drawstrings pulled closed, will keep me warm in sub-zero temperatures. It's about 10 years old now, so not as toasty as it was when new - it used to be very warm right down to -5 degrees. I'd probably have to put on a few clothes at this temperature now.
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby KenGS » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:44 pm

il padrone wrote:In the Victorian high country (where I'm now planning a Christmas tour) you need to be prepared for anything from 4 degrees to 40 degrees, so flexibility is the key.

I'm very envious. About to put in an order for a touring bike and hope to tour the high country myself again sometime. This time by bike rather than on foot.
A small group of us will be up at Bright after Christmas to practice for the AAC so we might bump into one another. Otherwise, for Christmas 2010 if you looking for a touring partner to the high country I'm up for it. My sleeping bag is nearly 30yo Paddy Pallin similar spec to the Mountain Designs which used to be good for -5 or less but is still not bad. I like the tent. You've certainly go the right gear. I'd add one of those bags the kayakers use to store gear to keep it dry. Having dry clothes and bedding is of utmost importance.
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby redned » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:48 am

While you are talking about the Victorian high country: has anyone gone over from Omeo to the Alpine Way via Benambra-Cobberas-Tom Groggin? There is definitely a track and I was wondering if it was passable on MTB. I was planning Melbourne to Canberra following this route in April.

On gear there are a handfull of things that I don't like to compromise on walking or riding: sleeping bag, rucksack, boots, tent, panniers. Everything else you can go cheap and replace if it fails.

My sleeping bag is a 30 yo Paddy Pallin rated at -10 that I have used all over (Kosciusko NP in winter, New Zealand southern alps in autumn). It unzips to a doona if it is a little warm and is warm as toast with a beanie and socks in really cold weather.

My tent is a Eureka Timberline, also about 30 yo. After a big storm one night in Mt Cook National Park, it was the only tent standing and the owners of all the fancy dome tents had to seek refuge in the picnic shelter. It shows no sign of wearing out.

cheers
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:02 pm

redned wrote:While you are talking about the Victorian high country: has anyone gone over from Omeo to the Alpine Way via Benambra-Cobberas-Tom Groggin? There is definitely a track and I was wondering if it was passable on MTB. I was planning Melbourne to Canberra following this route in April.

This route is possible to ride, but you'll need to be well prepared and ideally on a MTB with a group would be the better way to go. Some of the climbs and descents are pretty extreme. A group of friends of mine did this route about 8 years ago.

However the track through the Cobberas NP, from the Murray River to the Black Mountain Rd, has long been a 'no bikes' wilderness track, even though it is a clear management track. And in the past 2-3 years the NSW National Parks Service has declared the Cascades Fire Trail from the Cascades Hut to the Murray River (through their Pilot Wilderness Zone) also to be a 'no bike' track :x . This truly sucks! Back in the 80s when I studied Geography at Uni, there was a clear definition for wilderness in the National Park management system - a wild, natural environment, more than 5 kms from any formed road or other human modification. These 'wilderness' areas have whole vehicular track networks within them so they don't meet the true definition of a wilderness at all.

You are extremely unlikely to encounter any walkers on these tracks, and the bike's tyres will cause no damage to the track surface or the environment whatsoever. The greatest numbers of walkers we met were on the first 7 kms of track between Dead Horse Gap and the Cascades Hut, and this is legal for cycling on :roll: .Don't let it stop you, but be prepared to have to explain yourself and do the requisite prostrations if you do encounter any Parks staff.
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Re: Sleeping bags and hot nights

Postby redned » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:21 pm

Il padrone,

Thanks for that great information. I will consider the options.

cheers
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