Cold Weather Advice
Not a hammock newbie, just a cold weather hammock newbie. Overnighted in the Spsey Wilderness this past weekend and temps dropped to 31º by 5:30 Sunday morning. Overall I slept fine in my HH with homemade underquilt (from a Thinsulate insulated GI poncho liner, a 1/2" CCF pad in a SPE 2x2, smartwool long undies, wool socks and fleece hat with a 15º degree down bag as a quilt) but by 2:00 am condensation had formed on CCF and uncomfortable cool spots developed. Put on down jacket for rest of the night but still was not as warm as I would liked to have been. Just wondering if an insul-mat, Big Agnes, etc. might be a big improvemnet. Can't afford a JRB underquilt this year.
A thicker pad will help. Last night I spend the night in my hammock next to a river, wearing about the same clothes you did with a 1/2 inch cc pad and a similar bag. The temp was also down to around 30. I was comfortable until I got up for a while in the middle of the night. I thicker pad will help. I placed some extra clothes underneath me and that solved the issue.
I think for me I would like another 1/4 or so of insulation underneath me if it gets below 40. Usually I have a JRB nest underneath. I have had the nest, pad, bag comdo into the teens.
I can't speak for the more expensive pads, but I thicker pad should provide more insulation.
One of my next projects is a Garlington Insulator. I have only seen them online, but it looks promissing. I think you could do something similar with an old sleeping bag if you wanted to carry 2 bags.
i have both a BA insulated air core & a exped down mat 7 (DAM).
the BA is plenty comfortable for me down to the low 50s.... but i`ve had repeated leak problems w/ the BA pad. i recently sent the BA pad ( the one that they replaced the 1st leaker w/) back to BA. i told them i had found & repared the leak, but it started leaking again a couple weeks later. i had to take it to the post office (again) to send it back to them. they said they would repair or replace it.
i told them if they choose to repare it, don`t bother sending it back to me.
BA pads have done fine for some folks, but quite a few have had the on-going leak problem.
the exped DAM has proven to keep my lower side warm down to the low 20s & will probably go much lower.
the exped DAM has done much better on holding air, although recently it began to have a slow leak too. i found & repaired it.
i`m begining to wonder if the top entry hammock when hung fairly horizonal (the way i like it), is harder on the inflatables because of the extra force from both the top (body) & the sides (hammock)? ...tim
I've been using an old XL 2" Thermarest that I've had for years. (26" wide) I don't even close the valve and it works very well. If I had to go to the ground I can inflate it and still have a pretty comfortable pad. I think it's the best of both worlds. It doesn't budge in my double bottom Claytor. I tried it the other night with an XL rectangular 20 degree bag with my hammock threaded through it and I have to say it worked quite well.
This is the oft debated sweatty back problem of the ccp, exaccerbated by the wider pads that wrap up the sides...you can wear enough to hold the moisture ...but... know that wet is still there... and you will be carrying it in the now damp sleep clothes the next day...a DAM style air mattress will help some because of the tube troughs... but the only real way to eliminate this issue is external, breathable insulation .... oh ... and if you need some extra pad, then use the smallest pad that will take care of only the "first invasion point"...such as a 10x20 for the butt/small of the back/hip area... too small to create a sweat area tub... any sweat will quickly go to the outer edge then hit a breathable section and pass....
Originally Posted by southmark
This may seem counter intuitive and as the co-owner of JRB I may be biased...but these are the facts...
BTW, if you are realitively new to hammocking, reading this and have not seen this issue ask your self this question...If you sit on a naugahyde chair at a lecture for an hour, do you stand and pull the butt of your pants and back of the shirt away from the plastered portion of the back? If so you will have this problem with a big wrapped pad if you are warm enough to be comfortable....sorta the double edge sword.
Agree with pretty much everything above. Can't tell from your post if it was the condensation puddles that made you cool, or if it was just cool spots in addition to the condensation. So...a thicker pad may keep you warmer, but if you're wet from condensation problems it could also keep you chilled. Just depends on conditions. But when in doubt, it's always best to have too much insulation than not enough.
I've tried a flat CCF pad, egg crate CCF, textured CCF, a ThermaRest and an Exped DAM - the only one that didn't give me condensation issues was the DAM. Only once did I use a CCF and not have condensation, and I was just barely warm enough to be comfortable...a few more degrees and I would have been chilled. Other folks say they can use CCF without the condensation issues that I have, though.
So as Pan says, the most comfortable insulation is breathable, IMO.
the slow leak in the Exped DAM - was it near one of the valves? The reason I ask is that is where I had one develop in my Exped DAM. Easy the fix but I am wondering if this is a common wear point.
Originally Posted by slowhike
I use a homemade garlington style undercover/poncho combination with a couple of trashbags and mylar blankets. It definitely helps cut the wind and is worthwhile setting up, but only gets me down to about 55-60 by itself.
two weekends ago I used the undercover, a 3/8 ccf pad/SPE with a 3/4 InsulMat Max Thermo pad and was actually too warm at 35 degrees. I had a small amount of condensation on my bag around my feet where they touch the ccf, but none on my back--probably due (as said above) to the channels on the InsulMat pad.
Thanks for the help. I first tried hammock camping 30 years ago on the AT and gave it up because of being cold issue. That was before the internet with all of the helpfull and instant resources. I will keep experimenting with your suggestions and save for an underquilt. Happy Hammocking.