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Why hammock when it's cold?

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  • Chuck Kichline
    As a newbie who has only spent one weekend in a hammock, I m amazed at the lengths required for cold weather camping. Certainly, with quilts, pads, windshield
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 20, 2004
      As a newbie who has only spent one weekend in a hammock, I'm amazed
      at the lengths required for cold weather camping.

      Certainly, with quilts, pads, windshield insulators, and bubble wrap
      the weight and space advantage of a hammock over a tent or bivy are
      negated, so why hammock when it's COLD?

      =====
      Chuck Kichline
      Austin, TX



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    • Rick
      ... I started learning how to hammock camp in the cold because I knew that the temperatures might drop to freezing occasionally and I wanted to be prepared.
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 20, 2004
        Chuck Kichline wrote:

        >As a newbie who has only spent one weekend in a hammock, I'm amazed
        >at the lengths required for cold weather camping.
        >
        >Certainly, with quilts, pads, windshield insulators, and bubble wrap
        >the weight and space advantage of a hammock over a tent or bivy are
        >negated, so why hammock when it's COLD?
        >
        >=====
        >Chuck Kichline
        >Austin, TX
        >
        >
        >
        I started learning how to hammock camp in the cold because I knew that
        the temperatures might drop to freezing occasionally and I wanted to be
        prepared. One thing led to another and I ended up at -15 F one night
        last winter.

        Actually, sleeping in a hammock when it is muddy in the spring and fall
        is much nicer than laying down on the ground. It is one of the times I
        appreciate a hammock the most.

        Down to 15 F this is all I need for a good night's sleep:

        Double bottom hammock
        http://www.imrisk.com/zhammock/zhammock.htm
        Overlap Pad:
        http://www.imrisk.com/overlappad/overlap.htm
        Down Quilt:
        http://www.imrisk.com/bag/bag.htm
        TravelPod
        http://www.imrisk.com/hammock/travelpod.htm
        Tarp - 5x10 foot.

        That is only about 5 oz more than my summer weight, which would not
        include the TravelPod, but would include a bug net.

        For colder conditions: 15 to -15 F, I change out the ZHammock body for a
        WarmHammock:
        http://www.imrisk.com/hammock/warmhammock.htm

        Risk
      • Banjo Doje
        Because I can t sleep on the ground - I even sleep in a hammock at home in the house. Jodi who is testing the Hennessy Hammock Supershelter and hoping!!!! ;-)
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 20, 2004
          Because I can't sleep on the ground - I even sleep in a hammock at
          home in the house.

          Jodi who is testing the Hennessy Hammock Supershelter and hoping!!!! ;-)


          On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 16:04:41 -0700 (PDT), Chuck Kichline
          <chuck_kichline@...> wrote:
          >
          > As a newbie who has only spent one weekend in a hammock, I'm amazed
          > at the lengths required for cold weather camping.
          >
          > Certainly, with quilts, pads, windshield insulators, and bubble wrap
          > the weight and space advantage of a hammock over a tent or bivy are
          > negated, so why hammock when it's COLD?
          >
          > =====
          > Chuck Kichline
          > Austin, TX
          >
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          Abnormality is the normality at this locality
        • Shane Steinkamp
          ... I can sleep on the ground, but it s bad sleep. Shane
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 20, 2004
            > Because I can't sleep on the ground - I even sleep in a hammock at
            > home in the house.

            I can sleep on the ground, but it's bad sleep.

            Shane
          • Shane Steinkamp
            ... http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking/sections/gear/shelter/whyhammock.ht m Shane
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 20, 2004
            • dlfrost_1
              ... Because you retain all of the other advantages, including the ability to locate your camp in the best (i.e. warmest) possible location instead of the
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 20, 2004
                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, Chuck Kichline
                <chuck_kichline@y...> wrote:
                > As a newbie who has only spent one weekend in a hammock, I'm amazed
                > at the lengths required for cold weather camping.
                >
                > Certainly, with quilts, pads, windshield insulators, and bubble wrap
                > the weight and space advantage of a hammock over a tent or bivy are
                > negated, so why hammock when it's COLD?

                Because you retain all of the other advantages, including the ability
                to locate your camp in the best (i.e. warmest) possible location
                instead of the flatest. The total weight for a winter rig is still
                less than the weight of most tents.

                Right now things are a bit confused because everybody is
                experimenting to see what works. Eventually things will shake out to
                leave just the few most reliable approaches.

                Doug Frost
              • Dylan Anderson
                Ok, so probably not that cold. But much more so than I was anticipating. This weekend I will be going to an area on the rim in central AZ, Beaver Creek, and
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 20, 2004
                  Ok, so probably not that cold. But much more so than
                  I was anticipating. This weekend I will be going to
                  an area on the rim in central AZ, Beaver Creek, and
                  the weather report just said a cold front is moving
                  in. The ranger station said count on 30 degrees with
                  rain overnight. It's not supposed to be at freezing
                  this early in AZ. I am no where near done with my
                  under-quilt, and don't have too much in the way of
                  other solutions people have been using. Here is what
                  I have...
                  My hammock - Hennessy Safari with Hex fly
                  - A 0 degree REI GoreDryloft sleeping bag.
                  - Plenty of warm tops, but I will only have one pair
                  of fleece pants as I finish sewing them tomorrow.
                  (gotten too fat in the middle for most of my pants,
                  got rid of them because they are worthless in the
                  desert summer, intended to replace next month)
                  - One crappy ground pad, 20" by 48"
                  - A car windsheild shade
                  - One light fleece blanket
                  - No time or money to go buy anything

                  So then, those of you who have experimented in the
                  cold so far, what is my best combination of what I
                  got, or anything cheap and easy to pick up. I have
                  next to no time in the next two days, but I sleep
                  rather cold, and need to be prepared. Thank you in
                  advance for any and all experience you can share. And
                  I will let you all know how it worked out when I
                  return.


                  =====
                  Though I may die tomorrow, at least I can do it with the knowledge that once I did know true love -unknown




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                • Rick
                  ... I would be much safer, warmer, and happier if I added an overlap closed cell foam pad to that set up... buy a 10 buck pad 72 in long and cut it so it is
                  Message 8 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                    Dylan Anderson wrote:

                    >Ok, so probably not that cold. But much more so than
                    >I was anticipating. This weekend I will be going to
                    >an area on the rim in central AZ, Beaver Creek, and
                    >the weather report just said a cold front is moving
                    >in. The ranger station said count on 30 degrees with
                    >rain overnight. It's not supposed to be at freezing
                    >this early in AZ. I am no where near done with my
                    >under-quilt, and don't have too much in the way of
                    >other solutions people have been using. Here is what
                    >I have...
                    >My hammock - Hennessy Safari with Hex fly
                    >- A 0 degree REI GoreDryloft sleeping bag.
                    >- Plenty of warm tops, but I will only have one pair
                    >of fleece pants as I finish sewing them tomorrow.
                    >(gotten too fat in the middle for most of my pants,
                    >got rid of them because they are worthless in the
                    >desert summer, intended to replace next month)
                    >- One crappy ground pad, 20" by 48"
                    >- A car windsheild shade
                    >- One light fleece blanket
                    >- No time or money to go buy anything
                    >
                    >So then, those of you who have experimented in the
                    >cold so far, what is my best combination of what I
                    >got, or anything cheap and easy to pick up. I have
                    >next to no time in the next two days, but I sleep
                    >rather cold, and need to be prepared. Thank you in
                    >advance for any and all experience you can share. And
                    >I will let you all know how it worked out when I
                    >return.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    I would be much safer, warmer, and happier if I added an overlap closed
                    cell foam pad to that set up... buy a 10 buck pad 72 in long and cut
                    it so it is two 36 in long pads. Stack them next to each other:

                    http://www.imrisk.com/overlappad/overlap.htm

                    I'd leave the:
                    sunshade, fleece blanket, and crappy pad at home.
                    I'd unzip the sleeping bag most of the way and use it as a quilt.
                    Lay your legs on one of the tops.

                    But that is just what I would do.. Be safe.

                    Risk
                  • Dave Womble
                    Chuck, That is a very good question/observation. Obviously, a hammocks greatest appeal is for warm weather solo backpackers. For couples, the weight tradeoff
                    Message 9 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                      Chuck,

                      That is a very good question/observation. Obviously, a hammocks
                      greatest appeal is for warm weather solo backpackers. For couples,
                      the weight tradeoff is deminsioned or even reversed. And, as you
                      point out, the same can happen as the weather gets colder. Cold wind
                      is also an issue, I have observed times when I have camped in cold
                      weather where I have passed on exposed campsites on ridges with my
                      hammock that I would not have if I had my light weight winter tent.

                      At some point the advantages are not as clear cut and the reason that
                      some of us hammock camp is clouded by the fact that we are hammock
                      enthusiast and as such, we see these things as challenges to overcome
                      and not as obstacles. I mean, look at us, we look at crappy weather
                      as an opportunity to camp out in our backyards and try out or latest
                      approach... you really think you are going to get reasons for this
                      that would make sense to anyone that isn't a hammock enthusiast? For
                      better or for worse, a lot of us have been bitten by the bug and all
                      of this is just great fun to us.

                      Youngblood

                      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, Chuck Kichline
                      <chuck_kichline@y...> wrote:
                      > As a newbie who has only spent one weekend in a hammock, I'm amazed
                      > at the lengths required for cold weather camping.
                      >
                      > Certainly, with quilts, pads, windshield insulators, and bubble wrap
                      > the weight and space advantage of a hammock over a tent or bivy are
                      > negated, so why hammock when it's COLD?
                      >
                      > =====
                      > Chuck Kichline
                      > Austin, TX
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > _______________________________
                      > Do you Yahoo!?
                      > Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today!
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                    • David Chinell
                      Dylan: I think Risk gave you great advice. That s pretty much the system I use all the time. Sometimes I make a T shape with the two pieces. The cross-bar of
                      Message 10 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                        Dylan:

                        I think Risk gave you great advice. That's pretty
                        much the system I use all the time. Sometimes I
                        make a T shape with the two pieces. The cross-bar
                        of the T goes under my shoulders. The stem goes
                        down my lower back and under my hips.

                        I cut a 20 or 24 x 72-inch pad in half. Then I use
                        a big plate or a pot lid or a pizza pan and a
                        razor knife to trim off the corners. They always
                        seem to want to poke me in the wrong places, and
                        I've never missed them. I take care to keep the
                        two halves identical so I don't have to worry
                        about which is which.

                        This is also a great general technique with
                        20-inch wide pads. It gives you pads narrow
                        enough to fit inside a pack, but you still get
                        enough width to cover your shoulders.

                        In freezing weather (rare in Florida) I've used a
                        Speer Pea Pod and closed-cell pads in combination
                        in a tropical hammock. This combination holds it's
                        own for me, but just barely. I'm a cold sleeper.

                        I wanted to add that in an emergency you can pitch
                        your hammock low and build up a pile of debris
                        under you to act as a wind break and insulation.

                        You might also make sure your gear would allow you
                        to go directly to the ground. I'm not talking
                        about freezing cold situations, but on one trip it
                        was so cold in my HH that I finally gave up and
                        decided to sit up through the night. Sitting on my
                        pad with my quilt wrapped around me turned out to
                        be lots warmer than being in the hammock. After
                        awhile I slumped down a little, then skootched
                        over onto my side. The next thing I knew it was
                        morning. But this was in Canada, on rocks, and
                        there were no snakes or tics to worry about.

                        Bear
                      • David Chinell
                        Chuck: I don t own a tent. Bear
                        Message 11 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                          Chuck:

                          I don't own a tent.

                          Bear
                        • tjarrell@cox.net
                          I take it that you ll possibly be in the Sedona area? I was there three weeks ago. So here are a few ideas. 1) Be sure to set up out of the wind, that will
                          Message 12 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                            Dylan Anderson wrote:

                            >Ok, so probably not that cold.  But much more so than
                            >I was anticipating.  This weekend I will be going to
                            >an area on the rim in central AZ, Beaver Creek, and
                            >the weather report just said a cold front is moving
                            >in.  The ranger station said count on 30 degrees with
                            >rain overnight.  It's not supposed to be at freezing
                            >this early in AZ.  I am no where near done with my
                            >under-quilt, and don't have too much in the way of
                            >other solutions people have been using.  Here is what
                            >I have...
                            >My hammock - Hennessy Safari with Hex fly
                            >- A 0 degree REI GoreDryloft sleeping bag.
                            >- Plenty of warm tops, but I will only have one pair
                            >of fleece pants as I finish sewing them tomorrow.
                            >(gotten too fat in the middle for most of my pants,
                            >got rid of them because they are worthless in the
                            >desert summer, intended to replace next month)
                            >- One crappy ground pad, 20" by 48"
                            >- A car windsheild shade
                            >- One light fleece blanket
                            >- No time or money to go buy anything
                            >
                            >So then, those of you who have experimented in the
                            >cold so far, what is my best combination of what I
                            >got, or anything cheap and easy to pick up.  I have
                            >next to no time in the next two days, but I sleep
                            >rather cold, and need to be prepared.  Thank you in
                            >advance for any and all experience you can share.  And
                            >I will let you all know how it worked out when I
                            >return.
                            >
                            >

                            >
                            I would be much safer, warmer, and happier if I added an overlap closed
                            cell foam pad to that set up...   buy a 10 buck pad 72 in long and cut
                            it so it is two 36 in long pads.  Stack them next to each other:

                            http://www.imrisk.com/overlappad/overlap.htm

                            I'd leave the:
                            sunshade, fleece blanket, and crappy pad at home.
                            I'd unzip the sleeping bag most of the way and use it as a quilt.
                            Lay your legs on one of the tops.

                            But that is just what I would do..  Be safe.

                            Risk



                          • Shane
                            ... What s a tent? Shane
                            Message 13 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                              > Chuck:
                              >
                              > I don't own a tent.
                              >
                              > Bear

                              What's a tent?

                              Shane
                            • Dylan Anderson
                              Tom, Bear, Risk Thank you all for your responces. You have gone a long way to convince me that what I know is correct. Guess there was just a small margin of
                              Message 14 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                                Tom, Bear, Risk
                                Thank you all for your responces. You have gone a
                                long way to convince me that what I know is correct.
                                Guess there was just a small margin of uncertainty
                                (Panic?) when the rangers reported temperatures 25
                                degrees colder than when I was up there the last time.
                                Yes Tom, I will be roughly in the Sedona Area. If
                                you are familiar with it, Beaver Creek in the Wet
                                Beaver wilderness (yes, that really is the name,
                                despite all the jokes) is at the Sedona exit on the
                                I-17, accept you turn east and travel about 4 miles to
                                the trailhead instead of turning west and going 14
                                miles to the town of Sedona. Pretty area, lots of
                                water, and normally much warmer. I anticipated having
                                an under-quilt with 2-3 inches of insulation and a DWR
                                outer shell in just a couple of weeks for other trips
                                I will be taking. Oh well, rim country will always
                                surprise you like that though.

                                I think for the first time I will camp down closer in
                                to the creek, in amongst the trees. I usually camp up
                                on the sandstone ledges of the upper canyon area
                                specifically because the exposure keeps the bugs away.
                                I will be carrying a couple fleece tops, and my newly
                                created fleece pants. I really hate the evil empire
                                (walmart) but maybe I will get the chance to drive out
                                to one and get one of those pads. I will also carry
                                my fleece blanket, queen sized and doubled over to fit
                                the floor of the hammock should allow 3 layers or so.
                                In any case, I've weathered plenty of storms well
                                below 0, but this will be my first hammock experience
                                below 65. Now that the initial shock is over, I am
                                actually a little excited to see how the hammock
                                performs.

                                -Dylan

                                =====
                                Though I may die tomorrow, at least I can do it with the knowledge that once I did know true love -unknown




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                              • jmgiv47
                                ... Because, here in the Northern Rockies, summer nightime temps are almost always in the 40 s and frequently below freezing depending on elevation. Having
                                Message 15 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                                  > so why hammock when it's COLD?
                                  >
                                  > Chuck Kichline
                                  > Austin, TX

                                  Because, here in the Northern Rockies, summer nightime temps are
                                  almost always in the 40's and frequently below freezing depending on
                                  elevation. Having moved from San Antonio myself, I know how jealous
                                  that must make you! :)

                                  Seriously, because of the cool summer lows I always go out prepared
                                  for 25F (and snow in any month). I no longer carry a sleeping bag
                                  but do have cold weather clothing which I use as part of my sleep
                                  system. Since I'm gonna carry that clothing anyway, I get a weight
                                  savings by putting them to the double use. Other than my cold wx
                                  clothing, I use a 1/4" pad covered with a light fleece throw (20oz
                                  total). The clothing and pad are my entire sleep system (May -
                                  October) and I've gone down to 28F with it. I'm waiting for some
                                  cold weather this week to get a test at 25F or less.

                                  With this system I get a lot of flexibility, a fair amount of built
                                  in safety/preparedness, and one other benefit I didn't anticipate.
                                  Being already dressed for the cold (including booties), getting up
                                  for Nature calls is convenient and getting going in the cold morning
                                  is no problem at all.

                                  john
                                  ex-Texan living the good life in MT with NO air conditioning bills!
                                • Chuck Haak
                                  My primary reason for hammocking is that I don t wake up sore in the morning. I have at times abandoned a cozy double sleeping bag shared with my wife for a
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                                    My primary reason for hammocking is that I don't wake up sore in the
                                    morning. I have at times abandoned a cozy double sleeping bag shared
                                    with my wife for a hammock because the old bones just don't deal well
                                    with sleeping on the ground any more. Even a Thermarest doesn't do the
                                    trick. So warm weather or cold, a good night's sleep means hopping in
                                    the hammock.

                                    Chuck in Tucson
                                  • tjarrell@cox.net
                                    Dylan, Thanks for the orientation. I really like that area, but wondered how to hang where there are not trees. How do you do it in the rocks? By the way,
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Oct 21, 2004
                                      Tom, Bear, Risk
                                      Thank you all for your responces.  You have gone a
                                      long way to convince me that what I know is correct.
                                      Guess there was just a small margin of uncertainty
                                      (Panic?) when the rangers reported temperatures 25
                                      degrees colder than when I was up there the last time.
                                      Yes Tom, I will be roughly in the Sedona Area.  If
                                      you are familiar with it, Beaver Creek in the Wet
                                      Beaver wilderness (yes, that really is the name,
                                      despite all the jokes) is at the Sedona exit on the
                                      I-17, accept you turn east and travel about 4 miles to
                                      the trailhead instead of turning west and going 14
                                      miles to the town of Sedona.  Pretty area, lots of
                                      water, and normally much warmer.  I anticipated having
                                      an under-quilt with 2-3 inches of insulation and a DWR
                                      outer shell in just a couple of weeks for other trips
                                      I will be taking.  Oh well, rim country will always
                                      surprise you like that though.

                                      I think for the first time I will camp down closer in
                                      to the creek, in amongst the trees.  I usually camp up
                                      on the sandstone ledges of the upper canyon area
                                      specifically because the exposure keeps the bugs away.
                                      I will be carrying a couple fleece tops, and my newly
                                      created fleece pants.  I really hate the evil empire
                                      (walmart) but maybe I will get the chance to drive out
                                      to one and get one of those pads.  I will also carry
                                      my fleece blanket, queen sized and doubled over to fit
                                      the floor of the hammock should allow 3 layers or so.
                                      In any case, I've weathered plenty of storms well
                                      below 0, but this will be my first hammock experience
                                      below 65.  Now that the initial shock is over, I am
                                      actually a little excited to see how the hammock
                                      performs.

                                      -Dylan

                                      =====
                                      Though I may die tomorrow, at least I can do it with the knowledge that once I did know true love -unknown



                                                 
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                                    • Dylan Anderson
                                      You are certainly welcome Tom. There are too trees here! Stubby little stunted things but... Seriously though, along the creeks (Wet Beaver, Clear Creek, or
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Oct 22, 2004
                                        You are certainly welcome Tom.
                                        There are too trees here! Stubby little stunted
                                        things but...
                                        Seriously though, along the creeks (Wet Beaver, Clear
                                        Creek, or Oak Creek) in the area there are plenty of
                                        cottonwoods, a few oak, the occational ash. Further
                                        up the canyon on the sandstone ledges I spoke of,
                                        there are still some trees. The sandstone ledges are
                                        surounded by vertical walls though too, and most of
                                        them have large horizontal cracks in which I can
                                        insert a pair of cams I have for climbing, and that
                                        works well.

                                        Out in the desert though, I have come up with a few
                                        other tricks. Carrying extra rope allows me to tie
                                        off on the back side of large boulders or hills, such
                                        that the rope wraps over the top of the rock. Also
                                        can tie to the base of a bush at the top of a hill or
                                        rise. And then you can always find a large log or
                                        stick such as a rib from a dead cactus and jam that
                                        into a crack on top of a stone formation. Basically
                                        anything that is as tall as I am will work well. Of
                                        course my rock climbing experience and equipement help
                                        out a lot too in being able to see possibilities and
                                        know how to rig them up.

                                        -Dylan

                                        =====
                                        Though I may die tomorrow, at least I can do it with the knowledge that once I did know true love -unknown




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