Choosing the right sleeping bag and bedding is as important as choosing the right tent, its going to make or break your trip. A good nights sleep on the trail will set you up for the day to come and allow you to enjoy the outdoors even more with an energy filled hike. Like the tent you choose, you want a bag that will with stand the harshest conditions you may encounter.
The rating that comes with the bag represents the lowest temperature that sleeping bag should be used. NOTE: The specified temperature ratings need to be taken with a grain of salt. First and foremost, temperature ratings are created with the assumption that you are using a sleeping pad. When you lay in a sleeping bag, you are compressing the fill material (whether it be down or synthetic), reducing insulating capabilities of the bag. A sleeping pad puts a couple inches of insulation between you and the cold ground, increasing the effectiveness of the bag.
A summer sleeping bag doesn’t need to be warmer than 35° F. A fall bag may not need to be warmer then 15° F. If you will be camping in the dead of winter you are going to want a 0° F or subzero bag depending on where you are.
Everyone sleeps different, some hot some cold. This will change the temperature rating on the bag by about 10° F, and may affect your decision when buying a bag. You know yourself best; take this into consideration when shopping bags.
You may want to consider a sleeping hammock to really add a new twist to your Tent and Hike adventure.
Multiple bags may be needed if you plan on camping all year round.