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18561Re: [Hammock Camping] update PeaPod experience

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  • tim garner
    Jan 5, 2008
      maybe 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
      back up.

      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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