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Re: Winter hammock tents

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  • Dave Womble
    I think we have similar feelings about this and that you may have missed a detail in my analogy? FWIW, I was referring to making a true winter tent for a
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 28, 2008
      I think we have similar feelings about this and that you may have
      missed a detail in my analogy? FWIW, I was referring to making a true
      winter tent for a hammock, where the 'for a hammock' part is an
      important detail. Here is my statement: "I worry that if you try to
      make true winter tent for a hammock that it might be like trying to
      make a tank out of a sports car where you end up with something that
      doesn't do anything well."

      I do have what is arguable a true winter tent in a Stevenson 2R and
      have made and used hammock tarptents. I have used both in mildish
      winter conditions in the southeast Appalachian Mountains and can
      easily appreciate the difference between their capabilities. In my
      experience, the more I tried to make a winter tarptent for a hammock,
      the more I felt like I was trying to make a tank out of a sports car
      where I ended up with something that didn't do anything particularly
      well. It looked impressive to those that didn't appreciate wind
      loading, snow loads, complexity of setup, inflexibility of how it
      could be setup, etc (and I didn't appreciate those myself until I got
      field experience with it). In the end I settled for a winter tarp
      design for a hammock that was capable of blocking direct hits from
      moderate wind but was still sports car-ish enough to not be too
      complex to setup and has lots of flexibility in how it can be setup.
      I don't claim that my WinterTarp is a substitute for a true winter
      tent-- I hope folks realize that and appreciate what tarps are capable
      of compared to aerodynamic tents with lower profiles, no way for the
      wind to get under them, and reinforcements by the way of poles,
      guyouts, etc. In moderate winter conditions in a hammock, wind is a
      major problem because of how much heat it takes away from you... that
      is what I address with my WinterTarp for a hammock. I would never
      suggest you can hang it on exposed ridgelines, etc like you can a true
      winter tent when high winds or storms are expected.

      Dave

      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "ginohav" <ginohav@...> wrote:
      >
      > I don't think designing a winter tent will make a sports car into a
      > tank. Unless you know how to handle winter conditions in a hammock a
      > novice winter camper can quickly get into trouble. Hammock campers
      > are a small group compared to campers overall. Hammock camping in
      > winter is like taking a small boat across an ocean. Experience counts
      > and an order to make it appeal to more people you have to add a few
      > luxuries. And right now the luxury of a tent to get out of the
      > elements appeals to more winter campers. The advantages of a tent far
      > outweigh the negatives. More winter campers have frozen to death
      > trying to shave off a few oz's from their pack trying to go light.
      > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "ginohav" <ginohav@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > ... Why not just design a winter hammock tent. I'm talking a true
      > > > winter tent and not just a modified rain fly used as a tent...
      > >
      > > I'm not sure how you are defining a true winter tent for a hammock.
      > >
      > > Hammocks set up higher off the ground and usually attach to trees.
      > > Also they require longer shelters due to the profile of a hammock.
      > > All that would seem to complicate a few things for what I think of
      > for
      > > a true winter tent for a hammock where you need to be able to handle
      > > serious winds (and from any direction) and handle large clumps of
      > snow
      > > falling from limbs.
      > >
      > > Tents are restricted to cleared flat areas that are hopefully
      > level.
      > > Hammocks inherently are not but become more restrictive along those
      > > lines the more you try to put them inside a tent like enclosure.
      > With
      > > hammocks you hope to have more site selection options to limit your
      > > exposure. I worry that if you try to make true winter tent for a
      > > hammock that it might be like trying to make a tank out of a sports
      > > car where you end up with something that doesn't do anything well.
      > >
      > > Dave Womble
      > > aka Youngblood 2000AT
      > > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender, SnugFit Underquilt,
      > and
      > > WinterTarp
      > >
      >
    • gilmem2
      You guys are right on target with your various concerns about winter hammock tents, and I really look forward to your progress. Meantime, I will throw out a
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 29, 2008
        You guys are right on target with your various concerns about winter
        hammock tents, and I really look forward to your progress. Meantime,
        I will throw out a compromise rig I use during the winter, which has
        worked pretty good to 20 degrees with 30+ mph winds, even with a
        cheap wallyworld synthetic bag and no underquilt stuff. It ain't
        great, but is works for now.

        I use the cheap polyethelene (blue, camo, etc) tarps from the
        lumberyard or wally world. I keep several laying around for other
        uses anyway. Depending on whether I am car camping or backpacking, I
        use something from 10x16 up to 12x20.

        I throw it over a ridge line and stake both sides to the ground with
        the ridge a couple feet off center. I rig the height so that one
        side is just above a 10/12 pitch, the other just below. 10/12 is
        approximately wind neutral. Flatter causes uplift, while a steeper
        pitch catches side pressure. Staying close to a 10/12 and staking to
        the ground minimizes wind effects to a large degree.

        For the ends I cut a 10x12 tarp in half down the diagonal, and I hook
        one half to each end with 4to 6 tarp clips for car camping, or the
        same number of pebbles and mason twine if backpacking. If the wind
        is kicking hard, I stake out the center of each end as the size of
        the tarp allows.

        I try to rig so that the hammock hangs crosswind to let the big tarp
        shed the wind. The ridge line is on the hammock entry side of the
        trees, as is the flat or wide pitch. The hammock itself is rigged to
        the back side of the trees. This allows a pretty big space on the
        front side for chair or stool, changing, cooking, etc.

        Low cost and effective, but a bit heavy and inelegant. With the
        smaller tarp, I leave the most leeward end a bit loose to discourage
        condensation, since the poly does not breathe at all. The bigger tarp
        is less prone to the problem.

        I like Dave's winter tarp design for backpacking, but for under $30 I
        am fine with my rig for all winter here in Alabama, until someone
        comes up with a nicer nylon rig a bit bigger than Dave's at a lower
        price. At the rate y'all are going, that should be within a couple
        of years. Above 40 degrees, I just use a nylon hex tarp, back side
        low, front up a bit for easier access, and don't worry about it.

        Like everyone else, I would really like something that handles like a
        sports car, protects like a tank, and costs near nothing. Someone
        out there can put it together.

        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I think we have similar feelings about this and that you may have
        > missed a detail in my analogy? FWIW, I was referring to making a
        true
        > winter tent for a hammock, where the 'for a hammock' part is an
        > important detail. Here is my statement: "I worry that if you try to
        > make true winter tent for a hammock that it might be like trying to
        > make a tank out of a sports car where you end up with something that
        > doesn't do anything well."
        >
        > I don't claim that my WinterTarp is a substitute for a true winter
        > tent-- I hope folks realize that and appreciate what tarps are
        capable
        > of compared to aerodynamic tents with lower profiles, no way for the
        > wind to get under them, and reinforcements by the way of poles,
        > guyouts, etc. In moderate winter conditions in a hammock, wind is a
        > major problem because of how much heat it takes away from you...
        that
        > is what I address with my WinterTarp for a hammock. I would never
        > suggest you can hang it on exposed ridgelines, etc like you can a
        true
        > winter tent when high winds or storms are expected.
        >
        > Dave
        >
        > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "ginohav" <ginohav@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I don't think designing a winter tent will make a sports car into
        a
        > > tank. Unless you know how to handle winter conditions in a
        hammock a
        > > novice winter camper can quickly get into trouble. Hammock
        campers
        > > are a small group compared to campers overall. Hammock camping in
        > > winter is like taking a small boat across an ocean. Experience
        counts
        > > and an order to make it appeal to more people you have to add a
        few
        > > luxuries. And right now the luxury of a tent to get out of the
        > > elements appeals to more winter campers. The advantages of a tent
        far
        > > outweigh the negatives. More winter campers have frozen to death
        > > trying to shave off a few oz's from their pack trying to go
        light.
        > > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@>
        > > wrote:
        > > >
        > > > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "ginohav" <ginohav@>
        wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > ... Why not just design a winter hammock tent. I'm talking a
        true
        > > > > winter tent and not just a modified rain fly used as a tent...
        > > >
        > > > I'm not sure how you are defining a true winter tent for a
        hammock.
        > > >
        > > > Hammocks set up higher off the ground and usually attach to
        trees.
        > > > Also they require longer shelters due to the profile of a
        hammock.
        > > > All that would seem to complicate a few things for what I think
        of
        > > for
        > > > a true winter tent for a hammock where you need to be able to
        handle
        > > > serious winds (and from any direction) and handle large clumps
        of
        > > snow
        > > > falling from limbs.
        > > >
        > > > Tents are restricted to cleared flat areas that are hopefully
        > > level.
        > > > Hammocks inherently are not but become more restrictive along
        those
        > > > lines the more you try to put them inside a tent like
        enclosure.
        > > With
        > > > hammocks you hope to have more site selection options to limit
        your
        > > > exposure. I worry that if you try to make true winter tent for
        a
        > > > hammock that it might be like trying to make a tank out of a
        sports
        > > > car where you end up with something that doesn't do anything
        well.
        > > >
        > > > Dave Womble
        > > > aka Youngblood 2000AT
        > > > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender, SnugFit
        Underquilt,
        > > and
        > > > WinterTarp
        > > >
        > >
        >
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