This weekend I went out to Camp Barstow, our local Scout camp, for a
training course. As I do before every outing, especially in cold
weather, I debated my hammock options. I have both Speer and
Hennessy along with Peapod for the Speer and JRB Nest for the
The forecast was for a low of just below freezing both Friday and
Since I was not backpacking and did not have to carry everything
far, I decided to double-up and try a combination I had not before.
I took the Speer 8.0 with tarp (32 oz), the JRB nest (20 oz), the
Speer down peapod w/ 1 oz. extra down (29 oz), and Speer down top
blanket (16 oz). This totals to 6 lbs and 1 oz for the shelter and
sleeping system. All of this was a bit bulkier than I am used to
carrying, but was lighter and less bulky than my old ground-based
winter system (Cobra tent @ 4 lbs, SubKilo bag @ 2 lbs 2 oz., and z-
rest 15 oz . . . total 7 lbs 1 oz).
It is probably obvious, but I rigged the JRB Nest to the Speer
hammock first, and then wrapped the whole rig in the Peapod.
I wore what I typically would to sleep if backpacking -- t-shirt,
expedition weight long sleeve zip top, fleece "turtle fur" hat, mid
weight duofold long underwear pants, thorlo socks.
I am a cold sleeper. Probably a VERY cold sleeper. But with this
set up I was completely comfortable on Friday night. It was
absolutely perfect. Never did I get hot or cold. On the second
night with the exact same set up I was just slightly chilly -- not
cold really, but chilly enough to notice.
I did not have a thermometer and could kick myself for this
oversight, so I cannot report actual temperatures with any confident
accuracy. The second day there was a heavy frost not present on
Saturday morning, and on neither day was there ice in the puddles
outside. My guess is that Friday night got to perhaps 33 or 34
degrees and that Saturday dipped a couple of degrees less.
For now this will be my sub 45 degree system of choice. If temps
are expected much below 30 degrees, however, I'll need to add
something else to remain comfortable.