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Old 01-16-2014
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chino Valley Az
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Default 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
Ok it is about time for my 2nd annual sxs trip. We are planning on the middle of April in Northern Az. Last year I got cold at night and I am trying to avoid that this year. I am either going to buy a new 3 season tent or a new sleeping bag so I am looking for your advice. Tell me what you would buy and why. Let me just say I do have a really nice 40 degree bag but would buy a 0 degree bag. Thanks for all your help and advice.
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Old 01-16-2014
Jklee Jklee is offline
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
I went with the Coleman hooligan 4 and have slept in it down to 30 degrees or so. It wasn't bad but I still got a little cold. My sleep bag was cheap tho. I purchased a http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mr.-Heater...Heater/5712813 that keeps it nice and toasty nowadays. Unless you're back backing I would say get a tent heater.
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Old 01-16-2014
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dzJeepChic dzJeepChic is offline
(Diane) (KD7JPC)
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
Seeing how the worst part is getting out of the bag for whatever reason I'd say get the tent and a good tent heater. It's nice to have a warm place to dress and stuff.
My '92 XJ Clifford
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Old 01-16-2014
Ladybug Ladybug is offline
(Karen) (KG7UHP)
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
I agree. I run a tent heater only the first 30 minutes upon wakening, and it helps to crawl out of the bag. Also, I pack extra blankets and put them under my sleeping bag, on my cot. I do have a 0 bag, and use it only when I know its going to be very cold, otherwise, I get too hot with the blankets under me!
smiles, ladybug
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Old 01-16-2014
ob1jeeper ob1jeeper is offline
(Steve) (KG7EWF)
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
Many folks make the mistake when cold, of putting on more clothes. That COULD be beneficial, IF they are loose-fitting and have reasonable insulation qualities. In cold weather, you might try stripping down to your skivvy's and sleeping in either flannel PJ's, or some loose-fitting sweats, and a DRY pair of socks.

In cold weather, I put my outer wear (Jeans, and shirt) inside the bag, along side me, so it's not so cold to get into when I get up in the morning…

You might also consider purchasing one of those fleece sleeping bag liners, rather than a new bag. Those liners added to a 40deg rated bag will allow you to be comfortable in much cooler weather. They are available from Wally World, Cabela's, etc. an typically cost ~ $15-25. I picked one up years ago for ~$10, and it has paid for itself MANY times over. During warmer weather, I find it is all I need, and when it turns cooler, I use it inside my sleeping bag.

Also, most cold while sleeping is transferred to your body from not having sufficient insulation below your bag, either from sleeping directly on the ground (tent floor), or when on an air mattress or cot. I would also recommend adding additional insulation (blanket, or closed cell foam, or similar) UNDER your bag between it and whatever you are sleeping on.

Finally, I would recommend buying a full sized flannel flat sheet, and either sewing it into a size that will slip in your bag, or folding it to act as a bag liner. The flannel will act as an insulator, is MUCH warmer to the touch than the nylon liners of many bags, AND give you the addd benefit of having a washable liner which will help extend the life of your bag.

Hope this helps…
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Old 01-16-2014
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
Agree with ob1jeeper, the liners work great and help a lot. But I will also be the first to admit that I personally own 6 or 7 bags ranging from cheapies for warmer weather to a nice high end 0* and most recently added one of the military sleeping bag systems that has a lot of options to my arsenal. A good bag is worth its weight in gold if a heater isn't an option and you use it enough, and a good 3 season tent is great if you will get enough use from it but the quality ones are not cheap.

Some more info on how much you use it and for what types of activities would help point you in the right direction. Not an expert but I did manage for Popular Outdoor Outfitters and have taken quite a few courses, plus I have to admit that I have one bedroom at my house that is dedicated to all my backpacking gear and camping gear that I don't want to leave in the garage plus the garage is 1/3 camping gear.
Not all who wander are lost
'98 Grand Cherokee Limited 5.9 "War Wagon" & '14 Dodge Ram 2500 "The Duke"

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Old 01-17-2014
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91AzXJ 91AzXJ is offline
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
I also have several bags. I have a flannel lined 30* bag which I use most of the time and a down filled 0* mummy bag which I pull out when it gets burr cold. I also use thermorest pads between my bag and the floor. I've also found that if it is cold out, a bandana on my head while sleeping keeps me warmer.
2000 XJ 4.0L, Auto, NP231, 8.25 Rear, D30 Front w/3.73s, 31 x 10.50 R15 Falken's
2011 70th Anniversary KK 3.7L, Auto, Select Trac, 8.25 Rear, D30 Front w/3.73s full skids
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Old 01-17-2014
johnpa johnpa is offline
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
All good points but my theory is this:

98.7 plus 98.7 equals 197.4. hug a friend

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Old 01-17-2014
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gouacats gouacats is offline
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
I would go with a bag from a reputable company...something like this one:
08 JK X, lightly modified
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Old 01-17-2014
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GRUNT GRUNT is offline
(Jarhead) (KE7TOG)
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Default Re: 3 season tent or 0 degree bag
I was taught in the military by my Gunny, if you sleep in your skivvies, your body heat will fill the bag. Sure enough, I slept like a baby in my underwear with my cammies folded down inside the foot of my bag. This worked great until during training, we were being attacked with incoming fire and gas in the middle of the night and you had to scramble in your britches. I am still scarred by the sight of one of my Marines, running across the snow in his underwear and a gas mask. Granted I do not believe George or Diane would do this during a trip, so I still practice it. It can be a bit cold when you first get out of the bag, but putting on the warm clothes that you kept inside with you is a good thing!

Regardless of bag, barriers are your friend as well. You can loose quite a bit of heat if you do not have a pad/barrier between you and the ground. I have also found with the air matresses, a good blanket or two over the matress helps as well.

EDIT: I just realized I did nothing to answer the question poised by the OP. I would go for the bag. Only because I enjoy different types of camping and do not think it would be practical for me to carry a heater in certain situations. That, and the fact that I am paranoid about fire and fear having a heater ignite my tent, while I was in it.
60% of the time, it works all the time.
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