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3866Re: [Hammock Camping] staying warm

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  • Robert Mittelman
    Dec 1, 2003
      I am considering buying a hammock and need either a new winter bag for a January snow shoeing trip to northern Maine, or an overbag for my long mummy bag that is comfortable into the single digits.  Hence my interest in your Crib/Ponderosa set up.  I have a few questions:
      1) what length Ponderosa do you have?  I would think that the 7' would be best for Pea Pod use, but for my overbag needs, 6' 6" should be sufficient.  I don't plan on using a hammock on my Maine trip.
      2) Coy has a post where he questions using a Ponderosa as a Pea Pod for a Speer hammock.  I haven't seen a response from you, but thought I'd ask if you have any thoughts on the subject.
      3) how does the Crib sleep relative to your Hennessey?  Which is more comfortable and why?  Do you sleep in the Crib on the diagonal, as in the Hennessey and Speer?  If not, how do you avoid the banana shape?  Will sleeping on the diagonal be possible when using the Ponderosa as a Pea Pod, given the barrel shape of the Ponderosa?
      4) have you used the Crib/Ponderosa in snowy, windy conditions?  If so, was snow blowing into the hammock a problem?
      Bob Mittelman

      Robert Moore <simva4040@...> wrote:
      Quite a bit here to respond to....
      for wind and rain I think the fly I ususally carry -the Golite Cave 2- will provide enough coverage for wind and rain...splatter rain, from the ground up, is not a concern at the temps this set up is intended for, and that is when expected nightime temps are 25 degrees and colder (hard for ice to splatter too much onto the bottom of the Ponderosa..
      Dont know what to say about sleeping on one's side since I dont but I agree that there would be wasted space inside the Ponderosa, space that would contain the next days hiking clothes to warm and dry...
      And an emphatic yes that the Nunatak Arc Alpinist is THE insulation for weight/ounce, and mine has accompanied me on all trips for the last year-whether hammocking, sheltering, hutting and so on...for the extreme winter set up with the Crib/Ponderosa, the Arc Alpinist would be an awesome addition as would a piece of foam...now about foam, I too have several closed cell foam pads, have used them all in various applications, but went away from them after deploying underquilts/tacos with the HH....BUT I recently recieved from a company in Knoxville,TN a piece of foam that is 8 feet long and 7 feet wide. This piece of foam would/could be easily cut to fit inside an HH that would include 'wings' for the shoulder section (not a new idea, Sgt Rock first proposed it out of 2 pieces of foam) but this would be a one piece foam pad. So yes closed cell foam pads can make any hammock effective against cold but the argument is always their bulk when placed on the pack, their width (so the shoulders dont get cold), their placement, etc. all leading us to the underquilt.
      With several underquilts I have been very pleased with them-especially in conjunction with a sil-nyl taco (which blocks wind and rain and splatter)...but in the end Ed Speer had figured out that really cold hammocking requires a peapod....I just didnt like the cost/weight/temp rating ratio, and I had a Ponderosa sitting around....

      o123david <o123david@...> wrote:
      The Crazy Crib with the WM Ponderosa around it sure looks warm and
      comfortable. With the Nunatak Down Balaclava it sounds warm.
      But I have some questions about it. What happens if it's windy? Or
      rain is blown in from the side?
      Can you get enough protection with a large tarp set up close to the
      hammock and coming down sharply toward the ground? Even if the wind
      shifts and comes from one of the ends?
      Also, when you're in that type of setup and you are sleeping on your
      side with your legs bent it seems that the sleeping bag wouldn't be
      able to bend with you and you would end up with a lot of extra space
      inside the bag and hammock. This space would waste body heat and
      leave you colder.

      What I'd like to try if I ever get out camping again is the following.
      - Sleep on an angle, probably on my side in the fetal position.
      - Use a thick pad, actually at least 4 layers of Oware's lightweight
      1/4" foam cut to various sizes so the padding is thicker where
      needed, to protect me from the cold air below.
      - Use the sleeping bag with the most warmth for a given weight, the
      Nunatak Arc Alpinist (with extra fill). Use some lightweight webbing
      to hold the pads together and keep the bottom of the bag centered
      over the pads.
      - Drape lightweight plastic or coated nylon in a skirt around the
      hammock, with the material forced to stay apart at the bottom by
      adding weight or tying it down or holding the bottoms apart with
      poles. It gets clammy if they aren't held apart. This probably isn't
      a problem when it's windy. Even without wind I have found that this
      lightweight skirt adds a lot of warmth.
      - And, of course, a tarp. In my case a diamond-shaped Hennessy tarp
      over a Speer hammock.

      It seems that this would be lightweight and keep me warm into the
      single digits, which is needed at times during the winter on the
      southern AT.
      Does any of this make any sense? Any feedback?

      One other thing.
      Yes, foam pads do an excellent job of blocking the wind.
      The problem is that when it is windy there is no layer of warm air
      next to the cold side of the pad.
      It has also been pointed out that if the distance between the cold
      side of the pad and material blocking the wind is too great then the
      material blocking the wind adds little warmth.
      So what I am proposing has the skirt that is blocking the wind
      hanging near the cold side of the pad but still a small distance away
      from it.
      In testing it last spring with a lightweight sleeping bag (Nunatak
      Ghost) and a thin pad with the temperature in the 30's the skirt
      added a significant amount of badly needed warmth.
      I'm trying to keep the bottom open, at least when it isn't windy, to
      avoid condensation.

      One last thing. Western Mountaineering makes a vapor barrier out of a
      strong lightweight material which has a layer that reflects radiation
      on one side. In cold weather would it make sense to use a diamond-
      shaped tarp made of that material, and possibly even use that
      material to make the skirt surrounding the hammock? --David

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