I am preparing to go to the NEHHA winter hang in January and looking into various options. I was planning on ordering a full length UL from HG this week, but did some backyard hanging this past weekend and have some questions about condensation. I have a Clark North American 3 season which I have used in the summer and fall and am planning on using in January. This past weekend I slept out 2 nights. The first night the temp got down to 30*F and I was warm all night, although a couple of times my toes needed some warming up. I was sleeping on top of a 0*f bag with my feet stuck in the foot box on my 30*f bag which I was using as a top quilt. There are 3 pockets on each under side of the Clark which I had filled with inflated with 2 gallon Ziplocks. 1 in the front and back pockets on both sides and 2 in the middle pockets. I read about this someplace and have used it in the Fall occasionally. The Ziplocks do tend to spread the hammock a bit. The 3 season Clark has a built in ripstop stormshield which was zipped in place. When I woke in the morning the the stormshield above my head was drenched and the 0*f bag behind my head was also wet. Seemed to be a lot of water in the vicinity of my head but further down it was dry. When I pulled the Ziplocks out I found that they were wet as well. The plan was to test whether the Ziplocks were doing anything. The second night, no Ziplocks, Opened up the foot of the 0*f bag and wrapped the foot box of the 30*f bag around the footbox of the 0*f bag, ( sort of a cocoon for my toes), and wore my winter cycling socks. I did have a fleece hat on both nights. Nice and warm all night although the temp did not go below 40*f. But I still had the condensation in the vicinity of my head in the morning. Is the condensation an issue or is it something that is just a part of winter camping? Or what can I do to reduce it?? Thanks
Some guys use a bib made of fleece or something similar. You can hang it in front of your face from the ridgeline.
Well, you could ask them nicely not to talk down to you, that's usually how I do my condescension management....
Oh, Condensation -- sorry, I must have misread. Based on what you're saying (although I'm by no means an expert on Clark), I'm wondering if the Stormshield is coated to be water-resistant or waterproof in case of blowing rain -- in that case, it (and the ziplocs) were acting as a vapor barrier, capturing your breath overnight.
I'm guessing you had a bit less without the ziplocs? Maybe also open the stormshield a bit to let some of the humidity out? CB4's suggestion might also help, giving something to essentially capture your breath so it doesn't get to the vapor barrier and start to collect without being able to dry out.
Down here, it doesn't usually get as cold -- the most problem I ever had with condensation was just when I had my tarp pitched a bit too close to the hammock and my feet touched it, accumulating a little frost down there.
Breath condensation more than likely near your head. Gonna happen with the Storm Shield closed.
I get a lot of vapor in winter on my TQ by my face and came up with a good solution that works for me. I cut a piece of fleece and made a head-hole and clip it to my ridge line. I call it my Frost-Bib.
Thanks for the suggestions. The storm shield is not waterproof, but it does zip up on both sides of the hammock. I am going to try Shug's suggestion and also leave the shield back a bit.
No doubt the storm shield is the problem, they are a neat idea, but not for those temps and humidity. I don't even use a tarp unless I know for sure rain is likely, and I have barely seen any condensation.