New guy...old problem
A member on www.expeditionportal.com suggested I come over here for help. I'm super stoked about a hammock forum but I just wish I had more time to look around and find a solution.
Here's the situation:
In 2 weeks I will be competing in the Colorado Trail Race. My sleeping system consists of a HH Ultralight Asym. My bag is 45* down. In a perfect world I would have made sure this setup was going to work sooner but life got in the way (I had one of those pesky weddings:D) and limited my chance for over nighters. I'm normally a very warm sleeper but the last few times I've used this setup I have frozen. Temps during the nights were probably low 50's to high 40's. Each night I was wearing rain pants, wool socks, fleece hat, and a Craft LS base layer.
I've spent a ton already on gear for this race so I'm trying to be thrifty here. I also need to keep weight and girth down since this is an entirely self-supported race. Tonight I am going to try using a reflective auto sunshade under my sleeping bag and inside the hammock. I also read to try and use the bag as more of a quilt than a traditional bag while sleeping on the shade. I'm really hoping this will work b/c it's light and rolls up nicely so I can fasten it to the hbar. I also picked up a space blanket but the condensation worries me.
Sorry my lack of planning has brought me here to ask for help instead of thoroughly searching the archives. I'll definitely do that when I get back.
Welcome to the forum.
The biggest reason that most people experience cold in their hammock is because they don't have enough insulation beneath them, and air movement robs them of their warmth.
There are really two approaches to fixing that.
1 - Underquilts - quilts that are filled with either down or synthetic insulation that are suspended beneath the hammock, and provide insulating 'loft' to retain your warmth. These are generally the most comfortable option, but are the most expensive.
2 - Pads - using a sleeping pad beneath you is a very cost effective method of retaining warmth. They are typically inexpensive, but can be a little tricky to stay on top of while laying in the hammock.
If you want to look at quilts, have a look at JRB and Speer. They both have good commercially available solutions.
If you want to look at pads, even the typical blue walmart pads insulate well. Have a look at the Speer SPE, though. It is designed to help you stay on top of a pad while in a hammock.
Again, welcome. Let us know how it goes for you.
Hi and welcome to the forum.
The reflective shield is an option but a poor one IMO. Not many around here use one in a hammock. A much better option in those expected temps is the blue closed cell pad
from Wal-Mart. By itself, it takes most folks down to 45degrees or lower. It is only 20" wide. You might want the additional width of their 24" wide pad they sell.
Using your bag quilt style is the way to go. Works much better in a hammock that way.
Go here for some great solutions to your newbie questons. Jeff is a member here and his site rocks.
The Speer SPE is a great piece of gear. Also the ThermaRest RidgeRest 20" and 25" wide pads are a little more comfy than the wal-mart pads. More expensive though.
Thanks to both of you for the welcome and the tips. The Speer looks good but it looks like it would be difficult to pack. Would the Walmart pad be able to roll up and attach to my bars? Here's a pic of my bike all set for a week on the trail. I don't have much room.
Most who have used pads in the Hennessys can tell you they are a pain in the tuckus. the SPE is nearly a requirement. I have tried the refective auto shade but haven't recently. It does the same thing the pads do... which is to shift and move and wad and just generally be a pain. A big Agnes type system where the pad is integral to the bag maybe be a way to go, especially if you can figure out a way to fake it in the next little while.
Edit.. the SPE is a "take apart" system. you can roll what ever pads you use separately and the extender itself is fabric.
Thanks for the link. That "To the woods" site is awesome.
packing a pad
You should be able to roll a 20" wide pad and attach by those two handlebar straps.
Suggest though that you take the stock WM pad (if that's the way you go) and shorten it. You really only need that kind of insulation on your torso, hips to shoulders (provided you get your head on top of something too). You will need more width at the shoulders, this is where the Speer SPE is handy (and the "wings" could be cut from the bottom of the WM pad).
For those legs and feet, just about anything will help, e.g. a fleece you aren't wearing, that rain coat you showed...put your feet on one of those bike packs. Your body just isn't so sensitive down there.
Nuther option if you have time is to get a larger pad to begin with (like the Speer pads or 1/4" Thinlight pad (wide) from Gossamergear and you can cut to suit.
Thermarest pads are great, but in my experience very slippery inside of a hammock. The Gossamer Gear ones don't slip like that, a different material altogether.
Thanks so much everyone. I'll report back tomorrow on how things go tonight.
FWIW, JRB Shenandoah.... Currently on sale under $150, will pack to the size of a nalgene bottle.... Better still is the Stealth, for wearable warmth, same size.
Originally Posted by riverfever