sleeping bag temperature rating

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sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby jessdev » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:19 am

Hi everyone,
This will be my first time at BM. From what I've read it does get very cold at night, and many suggest bringing a "winter" sleeping bag. Mine's only suitable for summer camping so I'm looking into getting a new one. Just looking for suggestions on what temperature rating I should be looking at. A quick search says the low near BRC tonight is 58 (14 degrees C), which isnt exactly winter temp.
Also, I get cold veeery easily.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby DustHand » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:22 am

Hmmm...This will be my second burn. On my first, I never really went to sleep until the sun was coming up, so the warmth of the bag was not important. But, if you are less of a night owl, I would suggest taking something ligter weight, and bring some clothes you can add if needed. You can always take off clothes...you cannot make the sleeping bag thinner...
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:23 am

Bring a polar fleece throw/blanket to add to the bag. Layers are most effective for changing conditions.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:28 am

I bring a set of long underwear in case of cold snaps.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Irreverent Moniker » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:35 am

just a normal sleeping bag + blankets is really the best option.

its pretty damn cozy feeling too
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby LostinReno » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:30 pm

jessdev wrote:Hi everyone,
This will be my first time at BM. From what I've read it does get very cold at night, and many suggest bringing a "winter" sleeping bag. Mine's only suitable for summer camping so I'm looking into getting a new one. Just looking for suggestions on what temperature rating I should be looking at. A quick search says the low near BRC tonight is 58 (14 degrees C), which isnt exactly winter temp.
Also, I get cold veeery easily.


I'd bring a regular sleeping bag with some extra blankets. It's way better to have too much than not enough. Last year on the first Monday of the event, it rained. That night it got down to 38F, (prolly around 4C-ish). The following day it got up to 80F during the day and dropped down to 37F at night. When you've been in the dry heat/sun all day. 37F is f'ing cold. We camp in a trailer and just happened to have a down comforter in one of our storage areas from mountain camping. I was grateful it was still in the trailer. To put the desert temps in perspective. The Thursday prior to the event it was 106F. Basically bring clothes and bedding for all situations.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:39 pm

I like to sleep in a comforter out there and will be bringing fleece pajamas (to pair together for the coldest nights) and a flat sheet for napping. A blanket would also make sense for medium nights. Maybe I'll add that. Because sleeping in pajamas on top of my comforter would work well for medium weather, but I really might like to save my pajamas for walking around in; they're hilarious.

So if I were buying a sleeping bag today I'd get one rated for 40F weather and put a twin blanket and twin flat sheet inside, then roll. Some nights it will be warm enough to sleep on top of the sleeping bag using the blanket only.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Eric » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:04 pm

Yup. Layers layers layers. I sleep in an RV every year & it still gets freezing sometimes. I've even been forced to pull someone in with me just to stay warm...
*cough*
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby snake » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:10 pm

it probably depends on what your sleeping bag is laying on, as well. the bare ground can suck the warmth from your body, and even air mattresses allow for alot of cold air circulation. like they said...layers...above and below.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Sham » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:56 pm

I hate to re-reiterate, but I I have a summer sleeping bag and put a twin sheet folded in half inside. I lay a light fleece blanket on top of the sheet and then zip it all up. If it's a warmer night, I can ditch the fleece blanket.

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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Eric » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:03 pm

Shambala wrote:Eric, you're a PIG!



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I know, but I try to stay humble.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:26 pm

Shambala wrote:I hate to re-reiterate, but I I have a summer sleeping bag and put a twin sheet folded in half inside. I lay a light fleece blanket on top of the sheet and then zip it all up. If it's a warmer night, I can ditch the fleece blanket.

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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:32 pm

Eric wrote:
Shambala wrote:Eric, you're a PIG!



Pretty Incredible Guy.


Pretty Incredible Guy . . . in a blanket.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Eric » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:33 pm

Savannah wrote:
Eric wrote:
Shambala wrote:Eric, you're a PIG!



Pretty Incredible Guy.


Pretty Incredible Guy . . . in a blanket.


*thud* goes my head to my desk.

Damn you!
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby gyre » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:30 am

jessdev wrote:Hi everyone,
This will be my first time at BM. From what I've read it does get very cold at night, and many suggest bringing a "winter" sleeping bag. Mine's only suitable for summer camping so I'm looking into getting a new one. Just looking for suggestions on what temperature rating I should be looking at. A quick search says the low near BRC tonight is 58 (14 degrees C), which isnt exactly winter temp.
Also, I get cold veeery easily.

I sleep cold too.
A problem is most temperature ratings seem to have little to do with reality.

Check out feathered friends liners and overbags, and they have a really great rectangular bag.

It can get really cold, maybe down to the wind.
I've been warmer sleeping in the snow before.
Of course, it could be a warm week with no serious cold, and it warms up quick at dawn.

When I've had flexible shade, I've let the tent warm up in the afternoon to prepare for the evening.

Fleece liners are available most stores and they add a little warmth, and protect the bag from dust.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby portaplaya » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:12 am

You don't need a fancy sleeping bag rated for sub-zero temperatures. The rumors going around about it getting "very cold" at night are exaggerations based upon subjective observations, not real data. Yes, when it was 85º that day and it drops to a low of 50º at night it seems very cold; that is a 35º drop in temperature! But 50º will not kill you, even if you lay on the ground totally exposed all night.

Here is an article about daily (real) temps at Burning Man: http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-tempe ... urning-Man?

Summary of the article: It has never been below 32º in Gerlach, as long as records have been kept, during the last week of August and the first week of September. The average low is 52º, average high 88º.

So any sleeping bag, possibly with an extra blanket, will keep you comfortable. In fact, going with a light sleeping bag and a blanket lets you throw off a layer after the temperature starts climbing from 50º at dawn.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Elorrum » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:41 pm

I have a 15 degree down bag, and end up using it unzipped like a comforter. I bring a couple of cotton sheets... I like the feel of a clean sheet, plus it keeps my bag from getting grotty. So layers... sheet, fleece blanket, sleeping bag. I've never been as cold at Burning Man as I have camping elsewhere, Santa Cruz mountains, sierras etc. Haven't had to sleep in a wool cap and zip up the mummy bag hood. I bring also a silk liner bag that is light, and warm, but I've never had to use it at Burning Man. If you go with the temp ratings... I think a summer bag, 40 degrees even, would be great if layered with a fleece. silk underwear is a good layer to bring for cold while sleeping or being out and about, Super lightweight, and very warm if needed.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Sham » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:27 pm

I almost forgot the most important thing about setting up a sleeping bag in a tent at Burning Man.
Bring a scrap piece of light material the size of your sleeping bag, and cover the entire sleeping area during the day. There have been massive dust storms that can last for hours, that put a heavy layer of dust on everything in the city. Make the sleeping bag up and then zip it shut and lay the material on top to keep the dust out of your beddy-by place.
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Savannah » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:52 pm

Excellent advice. I spread leftover evap pond plastic over my bed last year, during one of the rain storms. My tent didn't leak, but it would have been very helpful if it had. (My first year I got a damp sleeping bag courtesy of drizzle on Burn night, and had to borrow a place to sleep. Not fun).
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Re: sleeping bag temperature rating

Postby Elorrum » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:08 pm

I bag up my sleeping stuff every morning in a big trash bag, and turn my cot on it's side.
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