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  1. #1
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    Help me dial in my Super Shelter

    I slept in my Expedition with my new Super Shelter last night.

    Conditions:
    ~58-56*F the whole night
    No wind
    No moisture

    I was in my basement! Pretty good controlled environment for a first try.

    First the good stuff - I slept comfortably, without hassle. Really enjoyed having the bottom insulation OUTSIDE! Aside from bathroom breaks, I slept soundly and didn't wake to do more than roll over and go right back to sleep.

    Now... I was a bit chilly. Only a tiny bit. I wore only a base layer of cotton long johns and wool socks. I started with a DIY fleece top quilt, then moved to a 30*F mummy bag opened in top quilt mode, and ended with the mummy bag zipped up and the fleece draped over (probably would have been more efficient were it inside as a liner).

    The "major" symptom (like I say, only a very little bit chilly) was a bit of a chill down my spine. To be honest, I wasn't sure if it was a chill from losing heat or a chill from a trickle of sweat. I could never really feel moisture on my back, but it was an odd sensation - feeling the warmth radiate back to me all over, and having that little chill on my spine.



    To head off a few of the simpler questions: I did check on the insulation within the super shelter. I verified that the foam pad was in place and that the space blanket was in place on top. The foam pad had the "bumps" facing up towards the hammock.


    So: How do you figure I should go about trouble shooting this? I am already planning on picking up a pair of wool long johns which ought to be both warmer and, due to wool's properties, less susceptible to small amounts of moisture. Think that is enough? Should I be thinking about adding another layer under the foam pad? I wouldn't have thought that I'd need to add insulation at 56*F. I've read that it's best to wear a thin, quality base layer to bed... but is that thinking wrong? Should I get a fleece shirt and pants to wear as well?


    I'm planning on attending a winter hang in a few weeks, and having a little chill at 56*F has me nervous, as it will likely get into the single digits!

  2. #2
    Senior Member gargoyle's Avatar
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    For single digits, you'll need a quality under quilt, rated for your expected temps. The SS isn't rated for single digit temps.
    Condensation can accumulate in any non-breathable insulation system. So, it is likely you did feel the dampness.

    Hanging in the basement is good practice. But before going out in 20* and colder weather, practice outdoors at home and know your system is up to the task. At home, you have a safe, warm place to bail out to, if needed. Swirling wind will pull the heat away quickly. Place a fan under your basement set-up, you'll see what I mean.

    My recommendation is a 0* rated set of top and bottom quilts, if you want to be comfortable.

    You can try thicker pads (ccf or inflatables), along with your SS. Adding layers of clothing. Two or more sleeping bags, etc. Again, try at a safe place where quick, warm shelter is available.

    The thin baselayer idea you mentioned is for when your quilts are properly rated.

    Test your gear beforehand..or plan on a miserably cold night(s). Single digit temps are no joke. Even experienced hangers would have a difficult time with those temps.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  3. #3
    Member
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    Thanks for the advice gargoyle!

    I have a few more nights to use as practice before going outdoors and doing it "for real." 3 nights to be exact. I plan on one more night in the basement. I'll use wool as a base layer to see if that fixes the slight chill at 56*. Then I will do a night in the uninsulated attic, and I will add layers to the system as advised. I'll try the fan trick on the final night.

    The super shelter has the nice waterproof nylon bottom cover.. That should mitigate the wind's effect to some degree, right?

  4. #4
    dirtwheels's Avatar
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    Do a search for the super shelter and look for post by BillyBob and CryoftheWild. I've been OK with the SS to the 20's using the SB per instructions using a 15* bag zipped up with about what you wore. It can be done, you just have to ha e the pad snugged against you.
    Give me more darkness said the blind man,
    Give me more folly said the fool,
    Give me stone silence said the deaf man,
    I didn't believe Sunday School.
    Phil Keaggy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtwheels View Post
    ...you just have to ha e the pad snugged against you.
    Snugged... do you use the shock cord in the under cover to accomplish this? Or are you putting a knot into the pad's shock cord to accomplish this? I wasn't thinking about that at all. As far as I know things were as loose as they go, so I'll look into that.

    Good tip. Thanks dirtwheels!

  6. #6
    Member
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    One of your first mistakes is you were wearing cotton. You can research quickly how terrible cotton is in the cold.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdripley View Post
    Snugged... do you use the shock cord in the under cover to accomplish this? Or are you putting a knot into the pad's shock cord to accomplish this? I wasn't thinking about that at all. As far as I know things were as loose as they go, so I'll look into that.

    Good tip. Thanks dirtwheels!
    It would be both, there should be give but no gaps

  8. #8

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    If are are looking to go into the single digits, you'll need more than just the SB + foam pad in the UC. Bring a long puffy down jacket and put that in the UC *below* the pad, i.e. right in the UC underneath your back. Otherwise you'll freeze.

    You can watch this to see all the stuff I had to use to survive at -26F with Shug:
    My hiking/backpacking Youtube channel: Youtube

    My BackpackGearTest reviews: Reviews

    If you have an HH, then you should read my SuperShelter review: HH Super Shelter

  9. #9
    dirtwheels's Avatar
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    +1 on the Kwpapke's video!

    I can offer ZERO reliable advice and ZERO experience to get you to zero degrees or less in a HHSS. However I dod do a review of mine while I still had it which I attached Tom's video if you'd like to read it.

    http://www.trailspace.com/gear/henne...m/#review32674

    Here is a thread with a little discussion about cryofthewild's experience
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...Shelter-review

    Here is an extensive review
    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...0Kurt%20Papke/

    Here's a great thread on the HHSS
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...-Super-Shelter

    Hope you have time to experiment before you launch out into the cold! AND after you do please post a trip report, I hope to read it.


    Quote Originally Posted by jdripley View Post
    Snugged... do you use the shock cord in the under cover to accomplish this? Or are you putting a knot into the pad's shock cord to accomplish this? I wasn't thinking about that at all. As far as I know things were as loose as they go, so I'll look into that.

    Good tip. Thanks dirtwheels!
    Give me more darkness said the blind man,
    Give me more folly said the fool,
    Give me stone silence said the deaf man,
    I didn't believe Sunday School.
    Phil Keaggy

  10. #10
    Member
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    Thanks for all of the advice everybody! That's all really helpful.

    The long range (subject to change) forecast for this hang is in and it looks to be mid 30*F during the day and 25*F at night. So not as horrendously cold as the seasonal average temps, which is a good thing! I think there will be a world of difference between 25 and 7 degrees...

    re: Cotton vs Wool - I agree 100%. I will be picking up a warm cotton base layer prior to the hang. Prior to my next round of tests ahead of the hang, actually.

    kwpapke, I've seen that video a few times! Good stuff! I'm thinking of adding a sleeping bag and a ccf pad to the Super Shelter as a start and seeing where that gets me. I'll be borrowing a nice 15* bag, but I'll also bring along my 30* bag and the fleece liner that I made. That will give me options.



    I had a thought about making up a DIY Insultex layered alternative to the foam pad that comes with the Super Shelter. 3 layers of Insultex with the appropriate cords attached so it can be rigged just like the foam pad. Maybe that would be warmer. But that's a project for another day. I'll get past this hang before tring any new mad science

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