Cold Weather Transport Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BigMarro, Jan 10, 2022.

  1. BigMarro


    Nov 23, 2021
    Hello, first post on this site so I apologize if this is in the wrong location. Me and some friends were getting a group together to perform in my highschool talent show. We have all been playing our instruments for about two years so we are still novices. I do not have a case for my bass and at the moment I cant really afford one. I'm aware that it is bad for my bass to be in the cold but I'm not exactly sure how much of an effect it would have. I am in the midwest where temps are generally 20-30 farenheit in the mornings. It would be in the cold while transporting it into the car and then into the building.

    My question is what would be the best way for me to transport it in the cold without a case? Or should I rather not worry about it too much as it wouldn't be for a long period of time. Thanks in advance! Sorry if I did somthing wrong with my post.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Can't find even a used gig bag cheap? Or borrow something? Know anyone with more than one bass?
    Ric5 and superheavyfunk like this.
  3. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    You haven’t mentioned the length of time the bass will be exposed to cold temperatures.

    In general, and contrary to what many folks here will likely tell you, basses aren’t really overly sensitive pieces of equipment when it comes to temperature variations over short periods of time. Of course, you bass will probably go out of tune during the changes in temperature from your house to your car and then into the rehearsal space but it won’t break or anything.

    If you can, you might want to warm up your car first and then put the bass in. That should be enough to avoid any major problems due to the cold. But you should definitely shell out the $20 or whatever for a gig bag… this will save you a lot of stress and potential problems in the long run.
  4. Koldunya


    Dec 26, 2021
    If you're worried, warm the car up before putting the bass in. But imo it will be fine just going to the car and to the building, wood doesn't just instantly adjust to temperature changes; it takes time.

    You could also just wrap it in a blanket if you're really worried.

    **Edit** Meanwhile, I have a guitar (in a case) coming that's been in the back of Fedex trucks via Indiana and now it's here in my state and it's still 45F degrees XD (7C for those that don't use Freedom Units)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
    BigMarro, MattZilla, five7 and 3 others like this.
  5. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    Get a case if you're that worried about it (gig bags on amazon are like $20-30). Like you'll probably be fine in regards to temp as long as its not staying in your car for long periods of time (while its not running)
    BigMarro and jdh3000 like this.
  6. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    As a Canadian, I’d always wondered what the ‘F’ stood for :roflmao::laugh:
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    The bass will be OK. Just try to warm it up a 1/2 or so
    and keep it in tune.
  8. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    With a proper gig bag (a padded one), I can bring my bass to the car in sub zero conditions, ride the half hour to the rehearsal place and walk the last bit from the parking lot - when I get in and unpack my bass, it's still at room temperature and in tune.
    I just checked my local equivalent of craigslist and found more than a dozen offers, starting well below ten bucks.
    BigMarro, SteveC and jd56hawk like this.
  9. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Are you walking down the street with it? Taking it on the bus? Throwing it in the backseat of a car?

    For the first two, I'd be more concerned with precipitation and other crud/being knocked about than the cold. And for that, I'd recommend a gig bag.

    For the latter, a case or gig bag won't matter if it's in that kind of cold for more than, say, 15-30 minutes or more . It all gets cold. You'll need to let the bass warm up for few minutes when you bring it inside.
    BigMarro likes this.
  10. BigMarro


    Nov 23, 2021
    I appreciate all the insight! I'm going to try to find a padded gig bag. I was under the assumption that as it was a gig bag it wouldn't make much of a difference and I'd need a hard case but I was wrong. Thanks again.
    vvvmmm and design like this.
  11. coy garcia

    coy garcia

    Jan 18, 2020
    Just try to have it indoors as long as possible before you play, quick temp changes will cause it to go out of tune same as any instrument.
  12. Brich


    Nov 18, 2013
    Grandma's knitted blanket, seems like a joke, I've done it
  13. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I would be more worried about the bass being unprotected from impacts than temperature, The guidance given above is good. I would add that giving the bass some time to acclimate before you play is a good idea. Your tuning will be more stable. Also, if there is any condensation, it will have time to evaporate. Have a good time playing!
    BigMarro, Clutchcargo and coy garcia like this.
  14. BigMarro


    Nov 23, 2021
    I'm not way to worried about impacts in this case. The bass will only be transported unprotected outside for a little over a minute or two. It should also be pretty safe in my car. Once it is in the building there is a storage room we are allowed to keep our equipment in that will be locked until we need it - (taking it in the morning around 8ish and will be used at about 2pm). Good thought though.
    RSBBass likes this.
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    It really won’t hurt your bass to be in cold temperature. The issue is that some finishes respond poorly to drastic changes but that is not likely the case with most instruments. Going from your home to car to school won’t be a big shock but if you’re concerned wrap in a blanket so it won’t change temperature suddenly. Then the worst case is you have to check the tuning before you storm the stage. Have fun.
    BlueTalon likes this.
  16. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Don't store it in the cold car, but walking through cold weather above Antarctic conditions will be fine. Make a "case" from an old blanket. Roll it like a burrito and wrap a belt around to middle to keep it in place.
    gebass6, HolmeBass, five7 and 4 others like this.
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Too bad you're no where near me, I'd gladly give you a hardshell case as I have several.

    Try some pawn shops for some 20 dollar cases, they're bound to have some leftovers. Some vintage guitar shops may have some too, doesn't hurt to ask.
    gebass6, five7 and design like this.
  18. Manticore

    Manticore Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2016
    SoCal and PNW
    The bass will be fine in a wide variety of temperatures, including those well below what will be experienced. That said, you only need a case or gig bag for the basses you intend to keep and play.
  19. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Anything that will help keep the warmth in the bass will help, whether a blanket or a gig bag. Many gig bags have foam padding that really retains heat very well and eliminates worry for short-term stays, like less than a few hours. Beyond that, it will cool down, but is not the end of the world. You just may need to tune as it warms.
  20. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    I think cold is a minor issue, condensation is another.

    As has been mentioned, sooner or later your bass is going to take a hit, hopefully it won't be a catostrophic hit. On occaision, I'd wished I would have stored my case on stage rather than end out with a nick in the neck.

    A gig bag is better than nothing. same as grandma's blamket... ( I actually bought a bass from a pawn shop and made them throw in a knitted afgan just to get the bass home.)

    BTW... Welcome to talkbass.... great place for answers. Sometimes a few too many answers... ;)
    instrumentalist likes this.