18561Re: [Hammock Camping] update PeaPod experience
- Jan 5, 2008maybe ed & dave need to come up w/ a section that covers the top of the hammock by velcroing to the snugfit quilt??? that may be just about ideal.
billybob38801 <billybob38801@...> wrote:
I thought I should post my most recent results in some real cold a
couple of nights back.
First, let me say that I am still having minor difficulties adjusting
the "loft compression vs no air gap" conflict. IOW, it seems that if I
adjust the PeaPod sag any where near where the pod barely contacts the
hammock bottom with me in it- or even with a small gap, then I don't
seem to have full loft right under my butt. So, I'm still working on
that, and so far I can't quite figure it out. Also, I would like to
know, if I can't have a very close fit without some loss of loft, then
which should I sacrifice? Would I be better off with a air gap of an
inch or two under my lowest point, and have full loft? Or the reverse,
better off with a "snugfit" and some loss of loft of an inch or so?
I should also say that I am probably an average sleeper temp wise. I
used to be very hot natured, warm sleeper. But as I have gotten older, I
definitely have much less tolerance for the cold. So, maybe I am now
about in the middle, but who knows?
Any way, the forecast low was 14-16*F. It was 11PM when I hung the
hammock and put on the PeaPod by head lamp. Really quite easy to do, I
just adjusted it for about the same distance from end knots as some
previous experiments had shown to be correct. I was using a structural
ridge line for consistent hang. Then I hung my tarp. It was already 19*,
and by the time I did this I was starting to get quite a chill. There
was also a bit of a wind chill all night, probably and additional 5* or
a bit more.
So, I hopped in and Velcroed up. I had on light thin long johns, 1 layer
of medium wool socks with liner socks and vapor barrier on standby, neck
gator, hat and Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon Polargard pants ( 8 ozs )
and hooded jacket ( 14 ozs.) that I had used on previous tests without
quilt. But this time I added a 25 year old quallofil summer bag that
has about 1-1.25 " SINGLE layer loft, used as quilt. The original rating
was either 40* or 50*, I don't remember. And sense it was already 1*
below the PeaPod's rating, I added a 2 oz space blanket to the pod,
which covered the bottom and well up the sides of the hammock. I closed
the Velcro down to about a 6" opening above my face, got on the diagonal
a bit and tried to sleep, always tough for me to do in the back yard,
for some reason. But not in the woods in a hammock, where I sleep like
the dead! Once again, though it felt like the pod did not quite contact
my low point ( very small gap), when I reached around the outside, it
only felt like there was no more than 1 - 1.5" loft. I said to heck
with it, as I figured there would be plenty of days on the trail where I
would be too tired to fool with fine adjustments. Let's just see how it
goes. I figured I would have to go in later, too cold.
It took about 10 or 20 minutes before I realized that I was starting to
over heat. So I let my hood down, and then I was just plenty warm, but
not starting to sweat. I did my usual fitful backyard style sleeping,
but plenty warm, I had to admit. Once during the night, I was not quite
comfortable enough around my shoulders, having my usual trouble with
draftiness when using a quilt, especially when I would move briefly to
my side. I never have much luck using sleeping bags as quilts as far as
drafts around the shoulders. But I would just snug the quilt up and be
fine again until I moved too much, plus at some point I pulled the hood
Finally, I woke up at what I figured was about 0130 or 0230. I was no
longer toasty warm, but I was not uncomfortably cold. Just barely cool,
top and bottom. So I figured that's it, I'll go in and get some good
sleep. It's probably about 16* and I have established my lower limit
with this set-up. So I turned on my head lamp, looked at my watch, and
lo and behold it was 0430! So I had made it through most of the night
without getting uncomfortably cold, just barely cool. Amazingly for me,
even though I had a big drink of water right before bed in hopes of
staying hydrated in the cold, I had not even had to gt up and take a
leak over 51/2 hours. So I decided to just ride it out until 0600, when
I had to get up for work anyway. But as the night was nearly over, I
decided to take a risk on condensation and closed the pod completely.
Boy, that made a very noticeable difference pretty quickly. In a few
minutes, I was agin warm on top, and still just ok on the bottom. I fell
back asleep, but then car noises woke me up again at 0500, and now I
realized I really did have to take a leak, so I just got up. I looked at
my thermometer, and it read 10*! Plus, according to the weather folks,
there was an intermittent wind chill of zero* to 5*.
Folks, I don't know about you, but I think that is pretty darn good
performance for that amount of gear in a hammock! It definitely worked
as advertised. And I wonder if I can do better if I ever get better at
getting a "snugfit" with out loft loss on the bottom?
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