Reporting in after 23*s
Thanks everyone for the input last night, some of it posted after I'd gone out and read this morning, but mirrored much of what I actually did.
First, I get up at 4 AM daily, and go to be about 8,at least in the winter, so I was in the hammock by 8 (35*), I knew the coldest weather would be just before sunrise, so my plan was to stay out to at least 6.
I did have a hearty meal before setting out, was well hydrated throughout the day, but refrained liquids after 5, hoping not to have to make too many trips out of the hammock.
Clothing started with:
Capilene 1 bottoms under fleece lined stretch pants
poly sock liners, heavy wool socks and Goosefeet booties w/o shells
Merino 1 top with MB down inner liner jacket, which came off immediately(the jacket) I had a fleece top but never used it.
Regular Buff around neck, and fleece cap(I had a fleece balaclava, and fleece neck gaiter, but didn't need them)
wore a layer of silk under wool glove liners, which only stayed on til my hands warmed.
My hammock set up is to the left, except I had my new tarp doors
My toes were the only cold spot, even with the above, but I'd taken a couple pairs of Toastie Toes, and they did the trick, although they only lasted about three hours, not the 6 hrs they claim....would like to find some that work longer. Got them at Walmart.
1st bathroom break 12 AM 30* frost covering the inside of the tarp, which I'd hung fairly low since the wind was blowing from the north 10-15mph, forecast for 5-10 overnight, it diminished to no wind as the night went on.
At 4 AM (temp 28* and headed down)I came in for a second bathroom break, at which time I changed from capilene one bottoms to Cap. two, and traded the fleece pants, for regular hiking pants since that's what I actually wear on the trail.
I also switched the poly sock liners for another pair of light wool socks to go under the heavier ones, and upon inspection found I had lots of hand warmers but no more toe warmers :(. I ended up keeping on the shells that come with my down booties, and topped everything off with the down pants and jacket.
For me, a 5'5" 130 lbs, fairly small boned older woman, I was very comfy except the toes on my left foot. I was not uncomfortable, but would have appreciated the toe warmers. My biggest surprise was not needing the extra 1/4" thinlight pad I had; my 3/8" doubled was just right.
The actual weather report in the nearest town, 15 mi. away, was 25 by 5AM, my thermometer read 23, which because I live in a depression, I believe was accurate. I snuggled for another hour, heard a lone coyote howl, and a pair of Barred-Owls chattering back and forth, as well as the old white feral tom cat walking through the brush next to the house, yowling as he went. I was really hoping he wasn't going to drop by and claim (read spray) my tarp as his territory:scared:, fortunately not.
It's great to know for future trips, that I can hang at these temps, surrounded by down, not sure what it would have been like with a wind chill factored in, guess that's for another test :D.
PS I share Bradley's sentiments about this "family", and appreciate the experience collectively held and shared here. While the average person doesn't really get my need to go out alone in the wilderness, I'm not chastised for it here.
Happy New Year everyone, may it bring you lot's of time outdoors!
Thank You for this report
and glad you are able to test and then go, when possible . . .
Hang in there, Eh! :D
Several months ago someone was frustrated that posts like yours seemed to be all that was left of HF, and complained about the "I got down to x° last night" posts. But, testing our gear at home in a safe manner is the only way to determine if it will keep us safe in the wild. Now that you know what gear worked, you can go somewhere and just enjoy the scenery, as you will have confidence in your gear.
Originally Posted by clb
Regarding your feet, I've found that if I wear too many layers of socks, I get cold. I don't know if I'm constricting bloodflow or if I'm perspiring. Just something to consider and experiment with.
Agreed! When the elastic in socks is so far gone they won't stay up anymore, they are perfect for sleeping in.
Originally Posted by Trooper
Glad your set up worked for you. I am going to have to do the same thing tonight. You might refer to the thread started by preachaman on using hot water bottles at the top of this category as a alternative to the warmers.
Thanks!!I agree about the socks and chose accordingly, I have the same issue with gloves...I buy liners a larger size and layer if necessary, maybe putting a mitten over them...For me, snug = worthless. I'm afraid I just have really cold extremities. My hands and feet stay cold even when I'm inside. I'm the one at work with a heater under my desk and my office door shut to keep the heat in. Which is why this test was important.
I guess I'm new enough to the forum that I didn't realize about the complaints, simply posted for advise, then reported back; no intention of offending or stirring the pot. I just don't go out without trying gear at home first, to do so IMO, at least for me, is to court disaster, and just plain foolish, as I said, for me.
Also, as a newbie, reading others reports has helped me to gauge at least somewhat my own direction.
You're not stirring the pot, and it was a solitary opinion rather than the consensus of the forum. I probably shouldn't have mentioned it, but that one statement in your post reminded me of that long-dead complaint, and seemed the perfect rebuttal to it. I don't think that member is even active here anymore, so it is a moot point.
Originally Posted by clb
I just sensed a certain excitement from you when I read your post, which makes me jealous that temperatures have actually warmed up to the 50's in Michigan. We all post are cold weather trials, as it helps the community to see what works and what doesn't. Please, keep reporting your results, and I apologize if I seemed to be downplaying your post--my intention was quite the opposite.
Trooper, no apology needed, I assure you. I saw nothing in your post that downplayed mine. I wouldn't have said anything either, but just wanted to make sure that party, if they were annoyed, understood my reasons to post.
And yes that was excitement you picked up on!! I get cold so easy, I really had my doubts if I'd make it all night, at those temps, but I did!!!
Adam, Jenny and Brandon thank you all again for such great gear!!!
I really enjoyed your post, quite informative. I'm also glad you listed that you're an older female. Most of the posters here are male and even though their posts are informative, I've found that because I'm female, my testing has told me that I sleep colder than they do. (I take what they say and if I'm gonna try something like it, I have to add extra to stay warm).
My feet tend to get cold too. I've had to resort to throwing a couple of hand warmers down near my feet. I've learned how to hold the thing between my toes and sleep that way!! If I have them with me, I like to wear a more fluffy pair of socks to sleep in. When I "get it right" (the insulation that is), I don't wear socks. My hands also will get cold and I've found a pair of Terramar Silk glove liners to help. They are super thin and you can put on other thicker liners if you need them when you get up. But these are great to sleep in.
One of my favorite pieces of advice to tell people is... practice, practice, practice!!! You just wont know until you do and to not practice and then go out on the trail with untested gear is just asking for trouble.
Your report was right on the money and the knowledge you learned from it really can't be bought for any price. But you can post about it and the rest of us can take notes for free.
TinaLouise (another older female!!)
Originally Posted by Trooper
Well, I tell you one thing: I'm not hiking in 20 miles from my car unless I have full confidence, from back yard testing hopefully backed up by other folks testing, that my gear is more than adequate for temps colder than what I expect. I'm glad all of this testing ( some of which has been my own) has been, and continues to be, done. But I certainly don't think that is all there is to HF. There are plenty of multi-night back country trips reported. Still, I'm glad for all of the safe back yard testing that gets done. After all, most of us have a lot more time for our back yards than we do for the trail. But when it's time for the trail, we are ready with the correct gear.
Originally Posted by clb
I think that is a nearly universal truth. Even though I am not as warm a sleeper as I was as a young buck, compared to my wife or daughter: fagetaboutit!
Originally Posted by TinaLouise
(add 20 degrees or more difference comparing me to my wife!)