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Are sleeping bags necessary for Hawaiian camping?

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  • Are sleeping bags necessary for Hawaiian camping?

    I plan on spending the summer in Hawaii wwoolfing around, but I also hope to do some backpacking while I'm there, so the question is, do I really need a regular sleeping bag for this? I have a mummy bag that is good up to 40 degrees, but that just seems a little much. I also have this big green coleman sleeping bag insert that is made of fleece, but that almost seems to flimsy.

    Any thoughts or experience on this?

    I realize that different places will be different temperatures, but I'm looking for a general guideline. Are there any particular bags you would suggest?


  • #2
    Looks like the daytime temperature range for Hawaii is around the 80s in the summer and the 70s in winter with nights about 10 degrees cooler than days. Your 40-degree bag might be too much. I find that when it is hot it is hard to sleep without at least something draped over me. I've had the experience of being in the desert and having it so hot I couldn't cover my body but I could feel bugs landing on my legs and with nothing covering me at all, looking up at the night sky and feeling like I could fall off the earth without anything to hold me down. A thin sheet would have been nice. Probably your fleece insert would be enough and you could always buy a blanket or something from a thrift store if it wasn't enough. This is all a guess, never having actually been to Hawaii. It's possible it might get cold, especially at altitude or in a rain storm.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


    • #3
      I bet the coleman insert would be fine for the lowlands. In July 1991 I went to Hawaii to see the total solar eclipse. Luggage (with camp gear) got blackholed by the airline, and there were no rooms nor rental cars to be had. We rented bikes instead and guerrilla-camped on the resort beaches. I used a foam pad underneath, mainly to keep out sand and damp, and a flimsy twin mattress-cover as a blanket. Some nights even this was too much. But if you climb to higher elevations, yes, you will probably need something more substantial.
      6' 2" | Age: 42 | SW: 341 | CW: 198 | GW: 180?

      “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
      ― Søren Kierkegaard


      • #4
        I'd rather be too warm than too cold. Even in warm regions, it can get quite cool at night, so I would suggest you bring your mummy bag. You can always sleep on top of it if it gets too warm. Better than risking hypothermia.
        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

        "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


        • #5
          Thanks for all the input guys, definitely some great perspectives here!


          • #6
            The only reason why you might want one is if you're going to be in a lot of mountainous terrain, for which you would want something to protect yourself from rain or mud (if you don't have a tent). There are quite a few tropical forest climates in the mountains that are towards the center of the island ("mauka")
            My chocolatey Primal journey

            Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog


            • #7
              It depends on where you're at, and which island, and the elevation. Since you are going in the summer you won't need much of a bag unless you plan on camping in high elevations like Maui's Haleakala (I can snow up there in the winter months). Each island has an area called Waimea. I was on the Big Island's Waimea during August where the 250,000 acre Parker Ranch is headquartered. I was wishing I had long pants on. It was cool in shorts during the day.

              One side of the islands can be very dry while the other side is a rain forest so make sure you bring rain gear. My wife and I was hiking up to a waterfall at the seven pools past Hana, Maui when it started to rain. We could tell the creek was rising when we got to it so turned around and went back. Hiking up we could see were the top of the waterfall. After turning around and heading back down we looked up to see a wall of water coming over that waterfall.

              If you are going to Maui you'll probably want to hike down the crater train system from the top of Haleakala. It ends at the Seven Pools.

              If your going to Kauai be sure to go swimming at Kipu Falls. It's on private land but easy to get to and not on the tourist maps...even though tourist seem to know about it. There's a rope swing where you drop down into the pool. The waterfall is about 20 feet high and you can drive/jump from it into the pool. I actually bruised my ass doing can openers from it. I can out of the show that night and my wife asked "what did you do to your butt!?" To get to it take Kipu Rd. To see where it's at Google earth "Kipu Rd, Lihue, HI" The road deadends at the ranch house were you can rent 4-wheeler. Before you get to the ranch house, you'll park on the side of the road (should be other cars there) and walk down a dirt train bordering a sugarcane field the creek feeding the falls.

              My brother and I met a guy on Kauai from Boulder Colorado who spends a month on the island each year. Out of college in the 1970s, he went backpacking on the backside of Kauai in the Napai Valley area. While there he met one of a number of Vietnam vet who were living off the land up there. The guy taught him how to live there and he end up stay their for a month. He said it took him all day to learn how to make a friction fire. He told us there were still a couple of vet still up there and the rangers try to get them out every now and then. Have fun. Wish I was going too
              Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?