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Sleep system in low temps

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  • ravi_jmt2013
    I decided to test out some of my newly acquired gear this weekend since the weather has been on the cold side and it might be the last opportunity to go out in
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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      I decided to test out some of my newly acquired gear this weekend since the weather has been on the cold side and it might be the last opportunity to go out in cooler conditions as spring approaches. I have a Marmot Helium Long and Thermarest Prolite and the low temperatures were reported to be in the low-mid 20s. Although the hike was probably 50% over snow, I camped on bare ground. I'm thinking that this should approach the lows in mid September on the southern half of the JMT.

      Overall the system worked fairly well except for the fact that my bag seemed to have lots of cold spots around my upper body and especially near my feet. I'm on the skinny side and the bag is very roomy -- something I normally prefer since I tend to move around at night. The foot area was really the worst of it ... Even with double socks and clothing stuffed in the empty space, feet were half numb most of the night. I should say that they were numb prior to getting into the bag due to my boots being cold (although they are waterproof so feet were dry).

      My theory is that the problem is a combination of the bag being too roomy and the low R value of the pad. I've looked into down socks which are pricy but may be my cheapest fix at this point given that I already have the bag and pad both of which I really like in somewhat warmer conditions. I thought I'd check here to see if anyone has other theories on the limitation of my sleep system. Thanks.
    • John Ladd
      ... I think you are right to consider the low R-value of the pad. You could double up on the pad by adding an roll of Ensolite or other closed-cell foam to
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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        On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 5:48 AM, ravi_jmt2013 <ravi@...> wrote:
        ... I'd check here to see if anyone has other theories on the limitation of my sleep system.

        I think you are right to consider the low R-value of the pad. You could double up on the pad by adding an roll of Ensolite or other closed-cell foam to your load on colder trips. E.g., Thermarest Ridgecrest or PacLite


        At least they are cheap. Volume in the pack (or hanging outside it) is the main problem.

        If you plan many winter or shoulder season trips, though, the down filled mattresses like the Exped DownMats are a great investment.

        Depending on your height and whether you bought the Marmot at REI, maybe you should return the long for the Regular length. REI will then take the Long one and sell it at the Used Gear Sale, making another customer very happy.


        John Curran Ladd
        1616 Castro Street
        San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
        415-648-9279
      • Jim White
        Is that a short pad? Although night air temps may be cold in September, the ground Is generally still warm. Cold feet may be mostly due to conduction to the
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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          Is that a short pad?  Although night air temps may be cold in September, the ground Is generally still warm. Cold feet may be mostly due to conduction to the ground. Loose fitting, less compressible fleece socks or synthetic booties may serve better than down booties or spare (snug) hiking socks. 

          Jim

          On Mar 24, 2013, at 5:48 AM, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@...> wrote:

          I decided to test out some of my newly acquired gear ... I have a Marmot Helium Long and Thermarest Prolite and the low temperatures were reported to be in the low-mid 20s. Although the hike was probably 50% over snow, I camped on bare ground.

        • ravi_jmt2013
          ... I didn t buy it at REI but I have been thinking about maybe swapping it for a regular. I am 6 1 so the extra length is nice but probably not essential.
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
            >
            > Depending on your height and whether you bought the Marmot at REI, maybe
            > you should return the long for the Regular length.

            I didn't buy it at REI but I have been thinking about maybe swapping it for a regular. I am 6'1" so the extra length is nice but probably not essential. I've read that the cut off is typically around 6 feet in terms of long bags.

            I may try improving the r-value of the pad system first. There's probably another weekend or two of cooler weather left this year.
          • ravi_jmt2013
            ... It is a 72 inch long regular prolite pad but due to the tapering of the pad and the fact that I tend to shift around, I wouldn t be surprised if my feet
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Jim White <jimqpublic@...> wrote:
              >
              > Is that a short pad? Although night air temps may be cold in September, the ground Is generally still warm.
              >

              It is a 72 inch long "regular" prolite pad but due to the tapering of the pad and the fact that I tend to shift around, I wouldn't be surprised if my feet were off the pad at times. I didn't think about the ground temps being warmer on the JMT. That makes a lot of sense. The ground where I camped was probably under snow until recently and therefore relatively cold.
            • LEBRUN
              For my cold feet, I have had great results using the small chemical hand and foot warmers. Bruce
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                For my cold feet, I have had great results using the small chemical hand and foot warmers.

                Bruce

                On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 6:48 AM, ravi_jmt2013 <ravi@...> wrote:
                 

                I decided to test out some of my newly acquired gear this weekend since the weather has been on the cold side and it might be the last opportunity to go out in cooler conditions as spring approaches. I have a Marmot Helium Long and Thermarest Prolite and the low temperatures were reported to be in the low-mid 20s. Although the hike was probably 50% over snow, I camped on bare ground. I'm thinking that this should approach the lows in mid September on the southern half of the JMT.

                Overall the system worked fairly well except for the fact that my bag seemed to have lots of cold spots around my upper body and especially near my feet. I'm on the skinny side and the bag is very roomy -- something I normally prefer since I tend to move around at night. The foot area was really the worst of it ... Even with double socks and clothing stuffed in the empty space, feet were half numb most of the night. I should say that they were numb prior to getting into the bag due to my boots being cold (although they are waterproof so feet were dry).

                My theory is that the problem is a combination of the bag being too roomy and the low R value of the pad. I've looked into down socks which are pricy but may be my cheapest fix at this point given that I already have the bag and pad both of which I really like in somewhat warmer conditions. I thought I'd check here to see if anyone has other theories on the limitation of my sleep system. Thanks.


              • John
                Ravi I have tried to stretch my one season bag into the shoulder seasons more times than I like to admit. Mostly on spring ski mountaineering trips where it
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                  Ravi

                  I have tried to "stretch" my one season bag into the shoulder seasons more times than I like to admit. Mostly on spring ski mountaineering trips where it has continued to fail me (you think I'd learn) or on fall trips where it performs better.

                  Cold spots and cold feet are the problem I have encountered. The following is my personal experience and your mileage may vary.

                  Personally I dont think it's your pad. From my experience, when my feet are off the pad, you feel cold (and hardness) being conducted straight from the ground. I find it more about "isolation" from the ground than "insulation".  As I mentioned, like you, cold feet are one of the issues I've dealt with. When I've gone to bed with cold feet in the marginal bag, they don't warm up. Feet are poor heat producers so wrapping them in additional insulation (in your sleeping bag) doesn't work all that well (again for me). I have found that the warmth of my feet and legs for that matter (again in a sleeping bag) are dependent on my torso warming the interior air space of the sleeping bag. When the heating of that space is compromised ie. cold spots and loss of heat in the torso region, my legs and feet get vey cold.

                  I have found that wearing insulating cloths on my torso exasperates this phenomenon (my torso is warmer but my legs and feet colder). I have managed to improve this situation on extended ski trips by draping my down jacket and other  clothing on top of the sleeping bag. It can be problematic keeping it there if you're not in a bivy.

                  Another note: if your bag doesn't have side baffles, be sure to shake all the down to the top of the bag prior to sleeping. Down under you (in a sleeping bag) does absolutely nothing for warmth. The only thing with that is you have to be sure to turn in your bag when you roll and not turn the entire bag.

                  So that's what I have found works for me. In September on the JMT you'll probably be OK, especially if you camp mostly at lower elevations.

                  Good luck

                  JD
                  Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                • John Ladd
                  John D s obviously way more experienced than I, but I ll add the observation that I do better with clothes *inside* a bag, but only if I balance warmth on my
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                    John D's obviously way more experienced than I, but I'll add the observation that I do better with clothes inside a bag, but only if I balance warmth on my torso with warmth on my lower half.  If I try to wear just a fleece jacket, I'm unlikely to be comfortable because my legs and feet feel cold. 

                    But if I wear expedition weight baselayer on both top and bottom (as well as a silkweight baselayer, stocking hat, lightweight balaclava, fluffy socks and liner gloves) I feel comfortable near the outer limits of a bag's rated temperature capacity. 

                    On my September trip, I'm planning on bringing either:

                    1) my winter sleeping bag (overkill for the likely temps) or

                    2) a fleece top and bottom layer to augment the warmth of my lighter "3-season" bag, probably ECWCS Level 2 made with a heavy grade of Polartec Power Dry fabric

                    Inline image 1

                    The fleece layers have the advantage that if I want to do any moonlit hiking (or even just stay up late or early to watch night stars) they provide warmth out of the bag also. Weight of the extra baselayer is about the same as the weight difference between my bag options.

                    John Curran Ladd
                    1616 Castro Street
                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                    415-648-9279


                    On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM, John <johndittli@...> wrote:
                     

                    Ravi


                    I have tried to "stretch" my one season bag into the shoulder seasons more times than I like to admit. Mostly on spring ski mountaineering trips where it has continued to fail me (you think I'd learn) or on fall trips where it performs better.

                    Cold spots and cold feet are the problem I have encountered. The following is my personal experience and your mileage may vary.

                    Personally I dont think it's your pad. From my experience, when my feet are off the pad, you feel cold (and hardness) being conducted straight from the ground. I find it more about "isolation" from the ground than "insulation".  As I mentioned, like you, cold feet are one of the issues I've dealt with. When I've gone to bed with cold feet in the marginal bag, they don't warm up. Feet are poor heat producers so wrapping them in additional insulation (in your sleeping bag) doesn't work all that well (again for me). I have found that the warmth of my feet and legs for that matter (again in a sleeping bag) are dependent on my torso warming the interior air space of the sleeping bag. When the heating of that space is compromised ie. cold spots and loss of heat in the torso region, my legs and feet get vey cold.

                    I have found that wearing insulating cloths on my torso exasperates this phenomenon (my torso is warmer but my legs and feet colder). I have managed to improve this situation on extended ski trips by draping my down jacket and other  clothing on top of the sleeping bag. It can be problematic keeping it there if you're not in a bivy.

                    Another note: if your bag doesn't have side baffles, be sure to shake all the down to the top of the bag prior to sleeping. Down under you (in a sleeping bag) does absolutely nothing for warmth. The only thing with that is you have to be sure to turn in your bag when you roll and not turn the entire bag.

                    So that's what I have found works for me. In September on the JMT you'll probably be OK, especially if you camp mostly at lower elevations.

                    Good luck

                    JD
                    Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail


                  • John
                    My apologies, I didn t mean to imply I dont wear anything to sleep. I always wear long underware of some sort, top and bottom and dry, often fleece, socks. JD
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                      My apologies, I didn't mean to imply I dont wear anything to sleep. I always wear long underware of some sort, top and bottom and dry, often fleece, socks.

                      JD
                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > John D's obviously way more experienced than I, but I'll add the
                      > observation that I do better with clothes *inside* a bag, but only if I
                      > balance warmth on my torso with warmth on my lower half. If I try to wear
                      > just a fleece jacket, I'm unlikely to be comfortable because my legs and
                      > feet feel cold.
                      >
                      > But if I wear expedition weight baselayer on both top and bottom (as well
                      > as a silkweight baselayer, stocking hat, lightweight balaclava, fluffy
                      > socks and liner gloves) I feel comfortable near the outer limits of a bag's
                      > rated temperature capacity.
                      >
                      > On my September trip, I'm planning on bringing either:
                      >
                      > 1) my winter sleeping bag (overkill for the likely temps) or
                      >
                      > 2) a fleece top and bottom layer to augment the warmth of my lighter
                      > "3-season" bag, probably ECWCS Level 2 made with a heavy grade of Polartec
                      > Power Dry fabric
                      >
                      > [image: Inline image 1]
                      >
                      > The fleece layers have the advantage that if I want to do any moonlit
                      > hiking (or even just stay up late or early to watch night stars) they
                      > provide warmth out of the bag also. Weight of the extra baselayer is about
                      > the same as the weight difference between my bag options.
                      >
                      > John Curran Ladd
                      > 1616 Castro Street
                      > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                      > 415-648-9279
                      >
                      >
                      > On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM, John johndittli@... wrote:
                      >
                      > > **
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Ravi
                      > >
                      > > I have tried to "stretch" my one season bag into the shoulder seasons more
                      > > times than I like to admit. Mostly on spring ski mountaineering trips where
                      > > it has continued to fail me (you think I'd learn) or on fall trips where
                      > > it performs better.
                      > >
                      > > Cold spots and cold feet are the problem I have encountered. The following
                      > > is my personal experience and your mileage may vary.
                      > >
                      > > Personally I dont think it's your pad. From my experience, when my feet
                      > > are off the pad, you feel cold (and hardness) being conducted straight from
                      > > the ground. I find it more about "isolation" from the ground than
                      > > "insulation". As I mentioned, like you, cold feet are one of the issues
                      > > I've dealt with. When I've gone to bed with cold feet in the marginal bag,
                      > > they don't warm up. Feet are poor heat producers so wrapping them in
                      > > additional insulation (in your sleeping bag) doesn't work all that well
                      > > (again for me). I have found that the warmth of my feet and legs for that
                      > > matter (again in a sleeping bag) are dependent on my torso warming the
                      > > interior air space of the sleeping bag. When the heating of that space is
                      > > compromised ie. cold spots and loss of heat in the torso region, my legs
                      > > and feet get vey cold.
                      > >
                      > > I have found that wearing insulating cloths on my torso exasperates
                      > > this phenomenon (my torso is warmer but my legs and feet colder). I
                      > > have managed to improve this situation on extended ski trips by draping my
                      > > down jacket and other clothing *on top of the sleeping bag.* It can
                      > > be problematic keeping it there if you're not in a bivy.
                      > >
                      > > Another note: if your bag doesn't have side baffles, be sure to shake all
                      > > the down to the top of the bag prior to sleeping. Down under you (in a
                      > > sleeping bag) does absolutely nothing for warmth. The only thing with that
                      > > is you have to be sure to turn *in* your bag when you roll and not turn
                      > > the entire bag.
                      > >
                      > > So that's what I have found works for me. In September on the JMT you'll
                      > > probably be OK, especially if you camp mostly at lower elevations.
                      > >
                      > > Good luck
                      > >
                      > > JD
                      > > Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                      > > see book here <http://www.johndittli.com>
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • ravi_jmt2013
                      I was wearing a silk weight bottom baselayer and a microweight smartwool shirt along with two smartwool midweight socks. I did wear my Montbell parka
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                        I was wearing a silk weight bottom baselayer and a microweight smartwool shirt along with two smartwool midweight socks. I did wear my Montbell parka initially but felt like I didn't need it and ended up pushing it to the bottom of my bag near my feet. I seemed like that removed some of the excess space at the bottom of the bag although it probably isn't the best solution.

                        These are the down socks I'm considering:

                        https://goosefeetgear.com/products/1-down-socks

                        But I wonder if the feet really generate enough heat to make this effective. Perhaps coupled with a chemical warmer packet inside the sock this could do the trick if feet are numb when going to bed. There are a few blog entries indicating that these down socks, when overfilled, can make a difference.

                        I still have a couple of weekends to test some of the ideas out ... this thread has been a great help.



                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > My apologies, I didn't mean to imply I dont wear anything to sleep. I
                        > always wear long underware of some sort, top and bottom and dry, often
                        > fleece, socks.
                        > JD
                        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > John D's obviously way more experienced than I, but I'll add the
                        > > observation that I do better with clothes *inside* a bag, but only if
                        > I
                        > > balance warmth on my torso with warmth on my lower half. If I try to
                        > wear
                        > > just a fleece jacket, I'm unlikely to be comfortable because my legs
                        > and
                        > > feet feel cold.
                        > >
                        > > But if I wear expedition weight baselayer on both top and bottom (as
                        > well
                        > > as a silkweight baselayer, stocking hat, lightweight balaclava, fluffy
                        > > socks and liner gloves) I feel comfortable near the outer limits of a
                        > bag's
                        > > rated temperature capacity.
                        > >
                        > > On my September trip, I'm planning on bringing either:
                        > >
                        > > 1) my winter sleeping bag (overkill for the likely temps) or
                        > >
                        > > 2) a fleece top and bottom layer to augment the warmth of my lighter
                        > > "3-season" bag, probably ECWCS Level 2 made with a heavy grade of
                        > Polartec
                        > > Power Dry fabric
                        > >
                        > > [image: Inline image 1]
                        > >
                        > > The fleece layers have the advantage that if I want to do any moonlit
                        > > hiking (or even just stay up late or early to watch night stars) they
                        > > provide warmth out of the bag also. Weight of the extra baselayer is
                        > about
                        > > the same as the weight difference between my bag options.
                        > >
                        > > John Curran Ladd
                        > > 1616 Castro Street
                        > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                        > > 415-648-9279
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM, John johndittli@ wrote:
                        > >
                        > > > **
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > Ravi
                        > > >
                        > > > I have tried to "stretch" my one season bag into the shoulder
                        > seasons more
                        > > > times than I like to admit. Mostly on spring ski mountaineering
                        > trips where
                        > > > it has continued to fail me (you think I'd learn) or on fall trips
                        > where
                        > > > it performs better.
                        > > >
                        > > > Cold spots and cold feet are the problem I have encountered. The
                        > following
                        > > > is my personal experience and your mileage may vary.
                        > > >
                        > > > Personally I dont think it's your pad. From my experience, when my
                        > feet
                        > > > are off the pad, you feel cold (and hardness) being conducted
                        > straight from
                        > > > the ground. I find it more about "isolation" from the ground than
                        > > > "insulation". As I mentioned, like you, cold feet are one of the
                        > issues
                        > > > I've dealt with. When I've gone to bed with cold feet in the
                        > marginal bag,
                        > > > they don't warm up. Feet are poor heat producers so wrapping them in
                        > > > additional insulation (in your sleeping bag) doesn't work all that
                        > well
                        > > > (again for me). I have found that the warmth of my feet and legs for
                        > that
                        > > > matter (again in a sleeping bag) are dependent on my torso warming
                        > the
                        > > > interior air space of the sleeping bag. When the heating of that
                        > space is
                        > > > compromised ie. cold spots and loss of heat in the torso region, my
                        > legs
                        > > > and feet get vey cold.
                        > > >
                        > > > I have found that wearing insulating cloths on my torso exasperates
                        > > > this phenomenon (my torso is warmer but my legs and feet colder). I
                        > > > have managed to improve this situation on extended ski trips by
                        > draping my
                        > > > down jacket and other clothing *on top of the sleeping bag.* It can
                        > > > be problematic keeping it there if you're not in a bivy.
                        > > >
                        > > > Another note: if your bag doesn't have side baffles, be sure to
                        > shake all
                        > > > the down to the top of the bag prior to sleeping. Down under you (in
                        > a
                        > > > sleeping bag) does absolutely nothing for warmth. The only thing
                        > with that
                        > > > is you have to be sure to turn *in* your bag when you roll and not
                        > turn
                        > > > the entire bag.
                        > > >
                        > > > So that's what I have found works for me. In September on the JMT
                        > you'll
                        > > > probably be OK, especially if you camp mostly at lower elevations.
                        > > >
                        > > > Good luck
                        > > >
                        > > > JD
                        > > > Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                        > > > see book here <http://www.johndittli.com>
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Ray Rippel
                        Good day, Ravi, you have probably already read my blog post on this topic , but in case there are folks out there following this
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                          Good day,

                          Ravi, you have probably already read my blog post on this topic, but in case there are folks out there following this thread who have not, I wanted to add one thing. This isn't on the technical side; it's more on the psychology of hiking.

                          I put getting a good night's sleep very high on my list of things that contribute to a fulfilling and enjoyable hike. At least for me, I put it ahead of good food (and just behind keeping hydrated).

                          It's very easy to disregard personal comfort and say, "I'll travel light and freeze at night!" while sitting in your comfy chair. It's something else to actually be cold, miserable, and tired because of lack of sleep.

                          All this is not to recommend a particular bag, pad, or even strategy. My only point is this: there are lots of ways to save weight on the trail; sacrificing a good night's sleep is not one. At least not for me.

                          Good hiking, Ray



                        • ravi_jmt2013
                          ... My only point is this: there are lots of ways to save weight on the trail; ... I agree. My goal in acquiring gear has been to buy the kind of equipment
                          Message 12 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                            >
                            My only point is this: there are lots of ways to save weight on the trail;
                            > sacrificing a good night's sleep is not one. At least not for me.
                            >

                            I agree. My goal in acquiring gear has been to buy the kind of equipment long distance hikers use right off the bat rather than going through the process of buying heavier gear and replacing it over time which seems to be pretty common.

                            Thanks to the advice from this group my base weight is much lower than it would otherwise be but is still higher than what it probably should be (18-19 pounds). One example is shelter. I have the Copper Spur UL1 which I like very much but is fairly heavy by UL standards. I considered the Hexamid but after ordering a stuff sack in the weight of material that is used for the shelter, I couldn't psychologically get my mind around sleeping under such a thin structure even though I know it is something lots of people are very happy with and that it works very well. I need the mental assurance of a double wall shelter right now. It is possible that after my JMT hike, I'll feel differently and go lighter on shelter and many other things but for me it is better to carry a bit more now especially on sleep system to be physically and mentally comfortable with my environment each night.
                          • Dale Stuart
                            It sounds like part if the issue was going to bed with cold feet to begin with.  That s where the jumping jacks before bed helps out.  Also ensure that you
                            Message 13 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                              It sounds like part if the issue was going to bed with cold feet to begin with.  That's where the jumping jacks before bed helps out.  Also ensure that you have plenty to eat during supper.  Got to have fuel for making through the night.  I once had a long day and was way tired by the time I set up camp.  I skipped dinner and just crashed to sleep.  Woke up shivering and it wasn't all that cold out, then I remembered reading - don't go to bed without fueling up first..

                              I have the Marmot Helium also (reg length).  The cut of these bags are on the plus side compared to other bags (kind of why I bought it) but if you are on the skinny side as you mentioned that could be a problem - too much volume.  The helium long  has shoulder girth of 64" and hips of 60".  Compare that to say a Western Mountaineering Versalite (10* long, 2#2oz) 62" girth and 54" hips. Less volume to keep heated.
                              Just some thoughts - 
                               
                              -Dale 


                              From: ravi_jmt2013 <ravi@...>
                              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2013 12:02 PM
                              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Sleep system in low temps

                               
                              I was wearing a silk weight bottom baselayer and a microweight smartwool shirt along with two smartwool midweight socks. I did wear my Montbell parka initially but felt like I didn't need it and ended up pushing it to the bottom of my bag near my feet. I seemed like that removed some of the excess space at the bottom of the bag although it probably isn't the best solution.

                              These are the down socks I'm considering:

                              https://goosefeetgear.com/products/1-down-socks

                              But I wonder if the feet really generate enough heat to make this effective. Perhaps coupled with a chemical warmer packet inside the sock this could do the trick if feet are numb when going to bed. There are a few blog entries indicating that these down socks, when overfilled, can make a difference.

                              I still have a couple of weekends to test some of the ideas out ... this thread has been a great help.

                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > My apologies, I didn't mean to imply I dont wear anything to sleep. I
                              > always wear long underware of some sort, top and bottom and dry, often
                              > fleece, socks.
                              > JD
                              > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > John D's obviously way more experienced than I, but I'll add the
                              > > observation that I do better with clothes *inside* a bag, but only if
                              > I
                              > > balance warmth on my torso with warmth on my lower half. If I try to
                              > wear
                              > > just a fleece jacket, I'm unlikely to be comfortable because my legs
                              > and
                              > > feet feel cold.
                              > >
                              > > But if I wear expedition weight baselayer on both top and bottom (as
                              > well
                              > > as a silkweight baselayer, stocking hat, lightweight balaclava, fluffy
                              > > socks and liner gloves) I feel comfortable near the outer limits of a
                              > bag's
                              > > rated temperature capacity.
                              > >
                              > > On my September trip, I'm planning on bringing either:
                              > >
                              > > 1) my winter sleeping bag (overkill for the likely temps) or
                              > >
                              > > 2) a fleece top and bottom layer to augment the warmth of my lighter
                              > > "3-season" bag, probably ECWCS Level 2 made with a heavy grade of
                              > Polartec
                              > > Power Dry fabric
                              > >
                              > > [image: Inline image 1]
                              > >
                              > > The fleece layers have the advantage that if I want to do any moonlit
                              > > hiking (or even just stay up late or early to watch night stars) they
                              > > provide warmth out of the bag also. Weight of the extra baselayer is
                              > about
                              > > the same as the weight difference between my bag options.
                              > >
                              > > John Curran Ladd
                              > > 1616 Castro Street
                              > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                              > > 415-648-9279
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM, John johndittli@ wrote:
                              > >
                              > > > **
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Ravi
                              > > >
                              > > > I have tried to "stretch" my one season bag into the shoulder
                              > seasons more
                              > > > times than I like to admit. Mostly on spring ski mountaineering
                              > trips where
                              > > > it has continued to fail me (you think I'd learn) or on fall trips
                              > where
                              > > > it performs better.
                              > > >
                              > > > Cold spots and cold feet are the problem I have encountered. The
                              > following
                              > > > is my personal experience and your mileage may vary.
                              > > >
                              > > > Personally I dont think it's your pad. From my experience, when my
                              > feet
                              > > > are off the pad, you feel cold (and hardness) being conducted
                              > straight from
                              > > > the ground. I find it more about "isolation" from the ground than
                              > > > "insulation". As I mentioned, like you, cold feet are one of the
                              > issues
                              > > > I've dealt with. When I've gone to bed with cold feet in the
                              > marginal bag,
                              > > > they don't warm up. Feet are poor heat producers so wrapping them in
                              > > > additional insulation (in your sleeping bag) doesn't work all that
                              > well
                              > > > (again for me). I have found that the warmth of my feet and legs for
                              > that
                              > > > matter (again in a sleeping bag) are dependent on my torso warming
                              > the
                              > > > interior air space of the sleeping bag. When the heating of that
                              > space is
                              > > > compromised ie. cold spots and loss of heat in the torso region, my
                              > legs
                              > > > and feet get vey cold.
                              > > >
                              > > > I have found that wearing insulating cloths on my torso exasperates
                              > > > this phenomenon (my torso is warmer but my legs and feet colder). I
                              > > > have managed to improve this situation on extended ski trips by
                              > draping my
                              > > > down jacket and other clothing *on top of the sleeping bag.* It can
                              > > > be problematic keeping it there if you're not in a bivy.
                              > > >
                              > > > Another note: if your bag doesn't have side baffles, be sure to
                              > shake all
                              > > > the down to the top of the bag prior to sleeping. Down under you (in
                              > a
                              > > > sleeping bag) does absolutely nothing for warmth. The only thing
                              > with that
                              > > > is you have to be sure to turn *in* your bag when you roll and not
                              > turn
                              > > > the entire bag.
                              > > >
                              > > > So that's what I have found works for me. In September on the JMT
                              > you'll
                              > > > probably be OK, especially if you camp mostly at lower elevations.
                              > > >
                              > > > Good luck
                              > > >
                              > > > JD
                              > > > Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                              > > > see book here <http://www.johndittli.com>
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >



                            • scriv.ener
                              At NOLS I was taught to keep my feet warm by wearing a hat. No matter that the Marmot has a hood, extra insulation at the top of your head works wonders for
                              Message 14 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                                At NOLS I was taught to keep my feet warm by wearing a hat. No matter that the Marmot has a hood, extra insulation at the top of your head works wonders for keeping everything else toasty. In my experience the theory works well.

                                ~Jeffrey

                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I decided to test out some of my newly acquired gear this weekend since the weather has been on the cold side ... . I have a Marmot Helium Long and Thermarest Prolite ... .
                                >
                                > Overall the system worked fairly well except ... lots of cold spots around my upper body and especially near my feet. ...
                              • ravi_jmt2013
                                ... I used my new Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon hat for the first time on the trip and I highly recommend it. I wore it all night as well as hiking out the
                                Message 15 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "scriv.ener" <jeffreyn@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > At NOLS I was taught to keep my feet warm by wearing a hat. No matter that the Marmot has a hood, extra insulation at the top of your head works wonders for keeping everything else toasty. In my experience the theory works well.
                                  >

                                  I used my new Mountain Hardwear Dome Perignon hat for the first time on the trip and I highly recommend it. I wore it all night as well as hiking out the next morning. It has great coverage but some may not like the extensive coverage over the ears and back of the head.
                                • judy
                                  Hi - I also have cold feet problem - a couple of things that seem to help - Ensolite pad under the tent (protects tent bottom also); zip up my rain jacket and
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                                    Hi - I also have cold feet problem - a couple of things that seem to help - Ensolite pad under the tent (protects tent bottom also); zip up my rain jacket and put the foot of the sleeping bag inside the rain jacket; and down booties (total wt about 2-3 oz - they were made from a Frostline Kit <anyone besides John remember those?> about 30 years ago). The down booties work the best! JP
                                  • Viraj Ward
                                    Ditto JP! I have upgraded a lot of ideas about my gear over the years (tent, backpack, clothing, etc), but I still love my down booties!  UL
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                                      Ditto JP! I have upgraded a lot of ideas about my gear over the years (tent, backpack, clothing, etc), but I still love my down booties!  UL hikers might not agree about the  extra weight, but at the end of the day, my down booties make me a happy camper.
                                      Viraj

                                      From: judy <judypalm@...>
                                      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2013 4:20 PM
                                      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Sleep system in low temps
                                       
                                      Hi - I also have cold feet problem - a couple of things that seem to help - Ensolite pad under the tent (protects tent bottom also); zip up my rain jacket and put the foot of the sleeping bag inside the rain jacket; and down booties (total wt about 2-3 oz - they were made from a Frostline Kit <anyone besides John remember those?> about 30 years ago). The down booties work the best! JP

                                    • sanfran_rwood
                                      ... Consider getting a silk bag liner. (At REI: http://www.rei.com/category/4500592. I ve got the Cocoon silk mummy version.) The silk bumps the insulation
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Mar 24, 2013
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                                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Overall the system worked fairly well except for the fact that my bag seemed
                                        > to have lots of cold spots around my upper body and especially near my feet.

                                        Consider getting a silk bag liner. (At REI: http://www.rei.com/category/4500592. I've got the Cocoon silk mummy version.)

                                        The silk bumps the insulation of your bag up further, but what I really like was that the excess fabric can be bunched up where you feel cold spots.
                                        --
                                        Richard
                                      • fortunateblessings
                                        Insulation from the ground is important. And coverage it important. Both of these will protect you from losing heat to the environment. However, if you re feet
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Apr 7, 2013
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                                          Insulation from the ground is important. And coverage it important. Both of these will protect you from losing heat to the environment. However, if you're feet are already cold before you hit the sack, here are two things you can try that require no additional equipment and have worked well for me. First, I spend 5 or 10 minutes on each leg, foot and calf giving myself a therapeutic massage. This has several benefits including improved circulation (which usually warms up the feet nicely) plus quicker recovery for those tissues and better sleep generally. Second, if it's really really cold, I have made a hot water bottle and used it around my calves and feet. The trick is to be 100% sure that you'll have a water tight bottle and remove it once it has lost its heat energy.

                                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I was wearing a silk weight bottom baselayer and a microweight smartwool shirt along with two smartwool midweight socks. I did wear my Montbell parka initially but felt like I didn't need it and ended up pushing it to the bottom of my bag near my feet. I seemed like that removed some of the excess space at the bottom of the bag although it probably isn't the best solution.
                                          >
                                          > These are the down socks I'm considering:
                                          >
                                          > https://goosefeetgear.com/products/1-down-socks
                                          >
                                          > But I wonder if the feet really generate enough heat to make this effective. Perhaps coupled with a chemical warmer packet inside the sock this could do the trick if feet are numb when going to bed. There are a few blog entries indicating that these down socks, when overfilled, can make a difference.
                                          >
                                          > I still have a couple of weekends to test some of the ideas out ... this thread has been a great help.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > My apologies, I didn't mean to imply I dont wear anything to sleep. I
                                          > > always wear long underware of some sort, top and bottom and dry, often
                                          > > fleece, socks.
                                          > > JD
                                          > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > John D's obviously way more experienced than I, but I'll add the
                                          > > > observation that I do better with clothes *inside* a bag, but only if
                                          > > I
                                          > > > balance warmth on my torso with warmth on my lower half. If I try to
                                          > > wear
                                          > > > just a fleece jacket, I'm unlikely to be comfortable because my legs
                                          > > and
                                          > > > feet feel cold.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > But if I wear expedition weight baselayer on both top and bottom (as
                                          > > well
                                          > > > as a silkweight baselayer, stocking hat, lightweight balaclava, fluffy
                                          > > > socks and liner gloves) I feel comfortable near the outer limits of a
                                          > > bag's
                                          > > > rated temperature capacity.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > On my September trip, I'm planning on bringing either:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > 1) my winter sleeping bag (overkill for the likely temps) or
                                          > > >
                                          > > > 2) a fleece top and bottom layer to augment the warmth of my lighter
                                          > > > "3-season" bag, probably ECWCS Level 2 made with a heavy grade of
                                          > > Polartec
                                          > > > Power Dry fabric
                                          > > >
                                          > > > [image: Inline image 1]
                                          > > >
                                          > > > The fleece layers have the advantage that if I want to do any moonlit
                                          > > > hiking (or even just stay up late or early to watch night stars) they
                                          > > > provide warmth out of the bag also. Weight of the extra baselayer is
                                          > > about
                                          > > > the same as the weight difference between my bag options.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > John Curran Ladd
                                          > > > 1616 Castro Street
                                          > > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                                          > > > 415-648-9279
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > > On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM, John johndittli@ wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > > **
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Ravi
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I have tried to "stretch" my one season bag into the shoulder
                                          > > seasons more
                                          > > > > times than I like to admit. Mostly on spring ski mountaineering
                                          > > trips where
                                          > > > > it has continued to fail me (you think I'd learn) or on fall trips
                                          > > where
                                          > > > > it performs better.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Cold spots and cold feet are the problem I have encountered. The
                                          > > following
                                          > > > > is my personal experience and your mileage may vary.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Personally I dont think it's your pad. From my experience, when my
                                          > > feet
                                          > > > > are off the pad, you feel cold (and hardness) being conducted
                                          > > straight from
                                          > > > > the ground. I find it more about "isolation" from the ground than
                                          > > > > "insulation". As I mentioned, like you, cold feet are one of the
                                          > > issues
                                          > > > > I've dealt with. When I've gone to bed with cold feet in the
                                          > > marginal bag,
                                          > > > > they don't warm up. Feet are poor heat producers so wrapping them in
                                          > > > > additional insulation (in your sleeping bag) doesn't work all that
                                          > > well
                                          > > > > (again for me). I have found that the warmth of my feet and legs for
                                          > > that
                                          > > > > matter (again in a sleeping bag) are dependent on my torso warming
                                          > > the
                                          > > > > interior air space of the sleeping bag. When the heating of that
                                          > > space is
                                          > > > > compromised ie. cold spots and loss of heat in the torso region, my
                                          > > legs
                                          > > > > and feet get vey cold.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I have found that wearing insulating cloths on my torso exasperates
                                          > > > > this phenomenon (my torso is warmer but my legs and feet colder). I
                                          > > > > have managed to improve this situation on extended ski trips by
                                          > > draping my
                                          > > > > down jacket and other clothing *on top of the sleeping bag.* It can
                                          > > > > be problematic keeping it there if you're not in a bivy.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Another note: if your bag doesn't have side baffles, be sure to
                                          > > shake all
                                          > > > > the down to the top of the bag prior to sleeping. Down under you (in
                                          > > a
                                          > > > > sleeping bag) does absolutely nothing for warmth. The only thing
                                          > > with that
                                          > > > > is you have to be sure to turn *in* your bag when you roll and not
                                          > > turn
                                          > > > > the entire bag.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > So that's what I have found works for me. In September on the JMT
                                          > > you'll
                                          > > > > probably be OK, especially if you camp mostly at lower elevations.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Good luck
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > JD
                                          > > > > Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                          > > > > see book here <http://www.johndittli.com>
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
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