New Hanger in Greene County, PA.
Hello all! I am glad that I decided to try out hammocking. These forums were a major factor in the decision. :)
I got a Hennesy Exped Asym and a SuperShelter UQ (is it an undercover, or an underquilt? I am calling it an underquilt, but please forgive me if I am misspeaking... I guess that technically, it is not really a quilt---more like an undercover plus an OCF pad.) in February. (Got both the hammock and the UQ from eBay at significant discounts from retail.)
My first hang was February 20. I set up on the front porch primarily because the snow was still a couple of feet deep.
--->>> Hennessy Expedition A-Sym, Hennessy Underquilt, Space Blanket. All set up per Hennessy website videos.
--->>> NO Over-Cover.
--->>> One VERY beat-up, 32-year-old, Sears synthetic rectangular sleeping bag. I would estimate its temperature range (based on many experiences in a three-season tent) at about 40* F. if you are wearing long johns and have a couple of those tear-open hand-warmers.
One pair over-the-calf executive black dress socks (polyester, very thin)
One pair Wigwam El-Pine wool socks (very thick, 85% wool, 15% synth)
El-cheapo synthetic underwear tops and bottoms.
One pair sweat pants (50% polyester, 50% cotton---I know, and I would never wear cotton on the trail.)
One 100% acrylic sweater, medium weight.
One hooded sweat jersey (100% polyester).
Two hand-crocheted scarves (100% merino wool).
One hand-crocheted toboggan (100% merino wool)
One Spenco foam breathing mask. (Worth its weight in gold. I believe it gives me another 5*F. of cold tolerance. It covers the nose and mouth, is super light, and gives warm, moist air in cold, dry weather. Can you say, "No bronchitis"?)
--->>> NO hand-warmers or hot-water bottles.
The sleep was great! It took a little while to get situated and relaxed, but no more so than any other first night in a strange bed.
I kept waking up when the neighbor's dog barked. He eventually shut up about 2:00 A.M..
Very little wind, maybe 2 MPH.
The temperature dropped from 35*F. at about 10:00 P.M. to 21*F. at 2:00 A.M.. At 6:00 A.M., I awakened for a call of nature. It was 24*F.
I snoozed a little longer, then awakened to a 7:00 A.M. serenade presented by a flock of Canada Geese, followed almost immediately by the distant moan of a freight train's whistle. :D
All in all, my first hang was a fairly complete success. Conclusion: My rig is good to 20*-25* F. without an over-cover in still air.
On later nights, I placed a couple of towels over my mosquito netting to serve as an over-cover. I was able to handle a night at 11* F. with a 5 MPH breeze.
I tried using the sleeping bag in standard, zipped-up mode and in unzipped, over-quilt mode. In the over-quilt mode, I found it beneficial to place an old, Ragg-wool toboggan under my backside.
In either mode, I slept warmly, except on windy nights when my cheese-ball, beach-towel over-cover did not seal up very well. Then any parts not covered by the sleeping bag or garments was chilled, i.e., my cheeks and brow. Still, it was not bad; it just was not perfect. :)
I believe that, with a real over-cover and a serious sleeping bag, and maybe with a larger tarp (maybe a 12' X 12' Guide Gear special) to block the wind, it should be possible to handle temperatures of -10*F. and maybe even lower.
My next big steps:
--->>> Get the 2Q-ZQ Zipper Mod.
--->>> Make an over-cover.