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Hammock camping experiments

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  • Paul V.
    Hello - I haven t posted here for a while but I have been doing some hammock experiments, and am trying to work out a cool weather (30F-50F) hammocking system.
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 23, 2006
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      Hello - I haven't posted here for a while but I have been doing some
      hammock experiments, and am trying to work out a cool weather
      (30F-50F) hammocking system.

      Based on a couple of overnights, I'm at the point of thinking that
      closed cell pads are not the way to go in cool weather due to
      condensation issues, and I'm hoping that the underquilt that I ordered
      will improve things a bit. I am also working on a Risk pod to use as
      a windbreaker.

      I really like the clothing combination:

      (windbreaker - fleece - wicking undershirt)

      and I'm trying to imagine a similar combination for a hammock:

      (windbreaker pod - down or synthetic underquilt/topquilt - polypro
      longjohns)

      The goal here is comfort and I think this combination offers the best
      way of getting a lightweight comfortable cool weather system.

      I have been putting some thoughts and campout notes on a webpage,
      mainly so I can escape to the woods when sitting at my work desk
      cubical. I'm ready to go out and try again, but I'm patiently
      waiting on my underquilt.

      skylark
      http://cruisenews.net/backpacking
    • Coy
      Hi Paul I think there is more going on than just sweat. A thicker pad might be the solution. I have observed that when I dont have enough pad I get no
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 25, 2006
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        Hi Paul

        I think there is more going on than just sweat. A thicker pad might
        be the solution. I have observed that when I dont have enough pad I
        get no condensation. When I had bearly enough pad I got quite a bit.
        When I had plenty of pad I didn not get any. Ive thougth about it
        some and the only resonable explination I can come up with is a glass
        of tea sitting on the counter. In a well insulated glass you wont see
        any moisture on the outside. With a poorly insulated glass it gets
        soaked. Now in a hommack you are the warm outside air and the bottom
        of the hammock is the inside of the glass of ice tea. Moistur will
        try to build up on the warm side. But with a thick enough pad this
        goes away. Dont know if this is whats happening but pads were used for
        the past decaded or so on the ground and you seldom heard all the talk
        about moisture problems. Strange it crops up a lot more with
        hammocks. Some is real, some may even be preception from all the talk.

        Coy Boy


        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Paul V." <cruisenewsnet@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Hello - I haven't posted here for a while but I have been doing some
        > hammock experiments, and am trying to work out a cool weather
        > (30F-50F) hammocking system.
        >
        > Based on a couple of overnights, I'm at the point of thinking that
        > closed cell pads are not the way to go in cool weather due to
        > condensation issues, and I'm hoping that the underquilt that I ordered
        > will improve things a bit. I am also working on a Risk pod to use as
        > a windbreaker.
        >
        > I really like the clothing combination:
        >
        > (windbreaker - fleece - wicking undershirt)
        >
        > and I'm trying to imagine a similar combination for a hammock:
        >
        > (windbreaker pod - down or synthetic underquilt/topquilt - polypro
        > longjohns)
        >
        > The goal here is comfort and I think this combination offers the best
        > way of getting a lightweight comfortable cool weather system.
        >
        > I have been putting some thoughts and campout notes on a webpage,
        > mainly so I can escape to the woods when sitting at my work desk
        > cubical. I'm ready to go out and try again, but I'm patiently
        > waiting on my underquilt.
        >
        > skylark
        > http://cruisenews.net/backpacking
        >
      • LHM
        I think perhaps the explanation lies in the concept of *dew-point* ... I don t know much about hammocks but this is how it might work if it were similar to the
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 25, 2006
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          I think perhaps the explanation lies in the concept of *dew-point*
          ... I don't know much about hammocks but this is how it might work if
          it were similar to the wall of a house:

          let's pretend we're curled up in our nice warm dry sleeping bag...
          the air close to us is at 80 degrees F (feels nice and warm) and is
          at 50% relative humidity (50% saturated with water vapor).

          The "dew point" of that air is about 60 degrees F.

          In other words, if we take a sample of that air and cool it to 55
          degrees F., it's going to have to deposit some water somewhere -- as
          condensation.

          Obviously, on its way out of the sleeping bag, the air is going to
          encounter colder and colder temperatures -- and as soon as it arrives
          at the place where the temperature coincides with the dew point,
          condensation happens.

          If we use almost enough insulation, we can arrange for that point to
          be far away from us -- i.e., the condensation will occur near the
          outside of the sleeping bag. We may be warm and dry, but the
          sleeping bag will be a little bit heavier every morning, unless we
          can dry it out during the day.

          However, as the moist air migrates outward, it is also encountering
          and mixing with the cold dry outside air, and it is getting "diluted"
          -- it is drying out, so its dew point is dropping, because its water
          burden is spread throughout a larger volume of air. As long as its
          dew point *at a particular point* is below the temperature *at that
          point*, no condensation occurs.

          So if we have lots of insulation *and* the insulation is loose enough
          on the outside to permit the outside air to mix with the outgoing
          moisture-laden air and dilute it, *and* the outside air is dry enough
          to absorb the extra moisture as it mixes with the outgoing air, we
          can end up with a system in which no condensation ever occurs.

          It obviously helps a whole lot if we can prevent that moisture from
          migrating outward, by using a vapor barrier which is *inside the dew
          point* (closer to our body than the point at which the actual
          temperature coincides with the dew point of the air). As long as the
          air outside of that barrier has a dew point at or below the
          temperature of the World Outside, then we stay warm and moist (not
          necessarily wet) inside the vapor barrier, and the sleeping bag stays
          dry outside of the vapor barrier. In order to be merely moist and
          not actually wet, we have to regulate our level of exercise and
          amount of insulation so we don't get overheated and sweat, thereby
          saturating the air within our vapor barrier and causing condensation
          next to our skin. We can also try to vent that moist air to the
          outside without letting it pass through the sleeping bag, get cold,
          and drop its moisture as condensation.

          That's basically how we manage condensation problems in houses.

          So here is what I *think* might be happening:

          At 08:45 AM 2/25/2006, Coy wrote:
          >Hi Paul
          >
          >I think there is more going on than just sweat. A thicker pad might
          >be the solution. I have observed that when I dont have enough pad I
          >get no condensation.

          The dew point of the air near your body is below the temperature of
          the outside air, so no condensation ever occurs. Cold, but dry.

          > When I had bearly enough pad I got quite a bit.

          Dew point is between your body temperature and the outside air
          temperature, so condensation happens at the point where the inside
          air migrates outward through the pad and gets cold enough to reach
          its dew point. Almost warm enough, but wet ... and the effectiveness
          of the insulation keeps going down, and the gradual evaporation of
          the condensation keeps stripping the heat away.

          > When I had plenty of pad I didn not get any.

          There is no point between your skin and the World where the dew point
          exceeds the current temperature. By the time the moist air gets to
          the World, it has been diluted/dried to the point where its dew point
          is at or below the dew point of the outside air. The fact that your
          pad is acting to some degree as a vapor barrier (blocking or slowing
          the migration of moist air toward the outside) helps a lot. The
          situation is stable, in that the effectiveness of the insulation is
          not degraded by moisture, and the heat gradient across the insulation
          (once it is established) is essentially constant.

          >pads were used for
          >the past decaded or so on the ground and you seldom heard all the talk
          >about moisture problems. Strange it crops up a lot more with
          >hammocks.

          I think perhaps this might be because there is so much more
          variability in the hammock situation ... 30-degree ground is
          30-degree ground, but the difference between 30-degree air at 35 mph
          with a dew point of minus 10 degrees and 30-degree still air with a
          dew point of 29 degrees is pretty noticeable :)

          Here's an interactive Java app for exploring the relationship among
          temp, dew point, and relative humidity:
          http://profhorn.meteor.wisc.edu/wxwise/museum/a7/a7exercise2.html

          Here's the formulas:
          http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/relative-humidity-air-d_687.html

          Please tell me if you think this analysis might be correct.

          Lou



          >Some is real, some may even be preception from all the talk.
          >
          >Coy Boy
          >
          >
          >--- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Paul V." <cruisenewsnet@...>
          >wrote:
          > >
          > > Hello - I haven't posted here for a while but I have been doing some
          > > hammock experiments, and am trying to work out a cool weather
          > > (30F-50F) hammocking system.
          > >
          > > Based on a couple of overnights, I'm at the point of thinking that
          > > closed cell pads are not the way to go in cool weather due to
          > > condensation issues, and I'm hoping that the underquilt that I ordered
          > > will improve things a bit. I am also working on a Risk pod to use as
          > > a windbreaker.
          > >
          > > I really like the clothing combination:
          > >
          > > (windbreaker - fleece - wicking undershirt)
          > >
          > > and I'm trying to imagine a similar combination for a hammock:
          > >
          > > (windbreaker pod - down or synthetic underquilt/topquilt - polypro
          > > longjohns)
          > >
          > > The goal here is comfort and I think this combination offers the best
          > > way of getting a lightweight comfortable cool weather system.
          > >
          > > I have been putting some thoughts and campout notes on a webpage,
          > > mainly so I can escape to the woods when sitting at my work desk
          > > cubical. I'm ready to go out and try again, but I'm patiently
          > > waiting on my underquilt.
          > >
          > > skylark
          > > http://cruisenews.net/backpacking
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Dave Womble
          Welcome back to the site Paul. Hammock camping can work very well for the 30F to 50F temperature range. There are a multiple of schemes that folks have
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 25, 2006
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            Welcome back to the site Paul.

            Hammock camping can work very well for the 30F to 50F temperature
            range. There are a multiple of schemes that folks have sucessfully
            used for bottom side insulation for their hammocks in that range of
            temperatures and I'm sure many of the folks here will share their
            experiences, thoughts and favorites with you. I doubt that there is
            an agreement on one scheme that is best for all possible conditions
            as the conditions can greatly vary with almost an infinately varied
            combination of wind, water, temperature and humidity. Most any
            scheme has conditions where it perform best and conditions where it
            performance may be marginal or not as desired as another scheme might
            be. For instance, when it is windy you might want something to keep
            the wind off of you, while when it is dead air you might want nothing
            to impede airflow. I have slept using a number of different
            underside insulations or combinations without problems over those
            temperature ranges-- closed cell foam pads, self inflating pads, down
            air mats, down insulation on the outside, etc. My feeling is that
            regardless of the scheme you chose to use if you understand how to
            use what you have-- appreciate and respect what it does well and what
            it doesn't do well, then you will likely do fine with it.

            There are certainly issues regarding overheating, sweat, wicking
            materials, breathable insulation and non-breathable insulation that
            one should understand just as one should understand issues regarding
            wind, evaporative cooling, wind blocking insulation, non-wind
            blocking insulation. Often what is the best solution for
            condensation issues in still air contradicts what is the best
            solution for staying warm in windy conditions so we usually just have
            to work out 'our best compromise' in selecting insulation schemes and
            deal with what comes along. Don't forget to be adaptable with what
            you select to use, just as you are adaptable with the clothing that
            you wear as you add or remove or zip-up or vent as conditions
            dictate. As the temperatures drop, mistakes are less forgiving and
            your most valuable asset is often the knowledge that you carry with
            you.

            I do like your site, thanks for sharing.

            Dave

            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Paul V." <cruisenewsnet@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hello - I haven't posted here for a while but I have been doing some
            > hammock experiments, and am trying to work out a cool weather
            > (30F-50F) hammocking system.
            >
            > Based on a couple of overnights, I'm at the point of thinking that
            > closed cell pads are not the way to go in cool weather due to
            > condensation issues, and I'm hoping that the underquilt that I
            ordered
            > will improve things a bit. I am also working on a Risk pod to use
            as
            > a windbreaker.
            >
            > I really like the clothing combination:
            >
            > (windbreaker - fleece - wicking undershirt)
            >
            > and I'm trying to imagine a similar combination for a hammock:
            >
            > (windbreaker pod - down or synthetic underquilt/topquilt - polypro
            > longjohns)
            >
            > The goal here is comfort and I think this combination offers the
            best
            > way of getting a lightweight comfortable cool weather system.
            >
            > I have been putting some thoughts and campout notes on a webpage,
            > mainly so I can escape to the woods when sitting at my work desk
            > cubical. I'm ready to go out and try again, but I'm patiently
            > waiting on my underquilt.
            >
            > skylark
            > http://cruisenews.net/backpacking
            >
          • Steve Joiner
            Coy, from one Alabama boy to another - I appreciate the glass of tea analogy! ;^) Makes me think of having a cold glass of sweetened iced tea on the front
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 3, 2006
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              Coy, from one Alabama boy to another - I appreciate the 'glass of tea'
              analogy! ;^)



              Makes me think of having a cold glass of sweetened iced tea on the front
              porch at my grandma's - sittin' in the glider, swattin' at flies..



              Steve



              _____

              From: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com]
              On Behalf Of Coy
              Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:45 AM
              To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [Hammock Camping] Re: Hammock camping experiments



              Hi Paul

              <clip> Ive thougth about it some and the only resonable explination I can
              come up with is a glass
              of tea sitting on the counter. <clip>


              Coy Boy





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