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Thread: Bag, down or synthetic for float hunt?

  1. #1

    Default Bag, down or synthetic for float hunt?

    I have a good down bag I like, but I am wondering if it is worth the risk to take it vs. a sythetic bag for a 10-12 day float for moose. I figure I can be careful and pack it so it is dry but you never know. A fly in hunt I would, but a float involves a lot more H2O!

    I am curious, which do you use?

  2. #2

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    Down is for dry winters and deserts. Synthetic is for wet conditions and Alaska in general. Even packing carefully for the floats, there's the accumulated water in the floor of a tent, especially in wet conditions. And once you get the down wet, it's going to turn into a sodden mass and stay that way till you get home. There's just no hope of drying it in the field. It's not unreasonable to dry the synthetic in the field, plus it's going to continue to warm you even if you get it wet and can't dry it thoroughly. My last down sleeping bag is now a dog bed. It should have been there a long, long time ago.

  3. #3

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    Wet down will ruin a trip. I was on a hunt once when a storm blew in ,collasped the tent, and soaked my synthetic bag. Never could completly dry the bag. But I stayed warm. I was happy with the bag and I won't ever need a down bag.

  4. #4
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Don a wet down bag on a float trip is potentially life threatening when you can't get out in a hurry. Is it worth it?

  5. #5

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    Sythetic is the only way to go for hunting in Alaska.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Ditto: enough said
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  7. #7
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    Default bags

    Don

    I would stick to the synthetic for the float where weight isnt as much of a concern. Like you I do use my down on backpack hunts like sheep and I love it for those hunts.

  8. #8
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    Default Synthetic

    WIGGY's bag, and put it in a waterproof stuff sack and your set for about anytrip.

    Terry

  9. #9
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    If you can afford a little extra weight (and chances are you can when floating) I suggest taking 2 bags. It's never a bad idea to have a back up if weight and space are not an issue.

  10. #10
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Stay away from Feathers

    Ditto no Feathers. I use both my-self but if it comes down to you surviving why take the chance on a material that does not continue to insulate to keep you warm if wet.

    There are a ton of products out there that would help you maintain your feather bag to dry however when it comes down to breass tacks why would you take one of if not your most important piece of gear and take chances.

    Just food for thought.

    Blue Moose

  11. #11

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    Wow thanks, I thought it would be 50/50ish, this made my mind up. I think I am going to get a cats meow, long (I like extra room). Sound good?

  12. #12
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Don are you talking about the +20 degree bag? I think that's a mistake. I own a -40 degree bag and it's the only one I take anywhere anytime. If I get hot, and I have, I just open it up. The biggest plus for me for this bag is that I've never been cold down to about 10 degrees. I hate trying to sleep when I'm cold. My partner had a +20 degree bag on our float trip last year. He ended up sleeping in all of his clothes and used one of those emergency blankets both under and on top. He didn't sleep well the whole 10 days. I was quite toasty.

  13. #13

    Default Cats Meow

    I have used the NF Cats Meow for all my Aug and Sept hunts here in Alaska. It is a little chilly when the temp drops below 15 degrees. A great bag at a fantastic price. I wore out my first one, and just bought another this summer.

    Tod

  14. #14
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Synthetic

    Definitely!!! I concur - mine is a 0 degree bag and I occasionally have to open it. Still lots better than being cold all the time.

  15. #15

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    For someone who hasn't bought a bag yet for an interior float hunt through Sep 16, what temp rating should a person get? Brand recommendations also welcome.

  16. #16
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Like I said before, you can always open a -20 bag up and cool down. It's real hard to warm up a 20 degree bag if you're cold. Usually you get what you pay for in sleeping bags. Translation the best cost more. Good luck.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    For someone who hasn't bought a bag yet for an interior float hunt through Sep 16, what temp rating should a person get? Brand recommendations also welcome.
    I think a 0 degree bag would be perfect for that time of year but i've been using a 20 degree Ultralite and it has not failed me yet.

  18. #18

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    I got the bag, I tend to be ok, I have slept in a 20 bag on a 3/4 length therm. on concrete (that sucks the heat out), outside in 13 deg weather, was ok. I can wear clothes to bed, wear a cap and can toss in a handwarmer if needed. Likely in Sept it will not be terrible cold. I also have a liner I will take that adds a few degrees, and I will have a better pad. I think I will be fine down to 10 and unhappy but doable at 5

  19. #19
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Layering in sleep systems...

    Good topic.
    I like the 2-bag idea, Post #9 above.

    Of all the tricks, layering is the best. A bag liner helps. A light bivy sack on the outside helps too. But I have a thin, aging 3 season bag I carry on late season trips where the bulk/weight isn't an issue. Years ago, February camping in the Spokane area courtesy of the DoD, the few bits of gear Uncle Sam provided to trainees included 2 bags - zipped one inside the other. Each was a hooded, mummy design - and zipped shut with only your mouth/nose exposed (for breathing and to vent exhaled moisture). The system was terrific.

    Other threads on sleeping warm:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=67705
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=68827

  20. #20
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    Default

    I have been using a synthetic fill 0 deg. bag for decades of fall hunting in the interior and have been totally comfortable, however, I do bring along a polypro liner and a bivy sack just in case the temps REALLY drop. The bivy and liner can also serve as nice "out in the woods" option if needed.

    On the down fill bags.... down and Alaska don't mix in most circumstances.

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