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  1. #1

    Bivvy for insulation?

    Hi....I will be in 30 to 40F temps at night. I have a Hennessy Scout Zip, so far, plus a zero down bag and of course....proper clothing. Trying to find the right combination of lightweight items to keep me warm from the underside. What about bivvy blankets? I also own a thermarest pad that is 4.9R. What is the best option if I can't afford an underquilt right now? Even heard someone say that breathable hammock socks (I see a reasonably priced one on Dutch) simply are the best. Advice please...thank you!

  2. #2
    Moderator Nighthauk's Avatar
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    Have you tried a ground pad? Can you hang out in your backyard to try different setups?
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Nighthauk View Post
    Have you tried a ground pad? Can you hang out in your backyard to try different setups?
    Hi! Yes...thermarest is a camp pad...hammock arrives in the mail today and temps in the 40's...perfect to try!

  4. #4
    captaincoupal's Avatar
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    At warmer temps (above 60F), you're going to benefit from the simple vapor barrier of a bivy. At lower temps, you want to start looking at insulation options that trap air and allow you to warm it up. If you already have a pad, that's a great way to start. But over the long haul you may want to look at an underquilt. There are some good instructions for making a Poncho Liner Under Quilt (PLUQ) that works well down to 30-40F. Alternatively, if you have access to a sewing machine you can build a warm underquilt for around $50-$60.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by captaincoupal View Post
    At warmer temps (above 60F), you're going to benefit from the simple vapor barrier of a bivy. At lower temps, you want to start looking at insulation options that trap air and allow you to warm it up. If you already have a pad, that's a great way to start. But over the long haul you may want to look at an underquilt. There are some good instructions for making a Poncho Liner Under Quilt (PLUQ) that works well down to 30-40F. Alternatively, if you have access to a sewing machine you can build a warm underquilt for around $50-$60.
    Hi...yes...I can sew and I do plan on a better UQ...just wanted something s little cheaper to "try it out" before a major investment. What about the Dutch Hammock Sock?

  6. #6
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    I would suggest a pad over the bivy.
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  7. #7
    captaincoupal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpbarnbabe View Post
    Hi...yes...I can sew and I do plan on a better UQ...just wanted something s little cheaper to "try it out" before a major investment. What about the Dutch Hammock Sock?
    Great question. I haven't ever used a hammock sock, but my understanding is that it operates in a similar fashion as a tent or Under Quilt Protector (UQP), by reducing convective heat loss. It ought to get you down to a lower temperature than without, but isn't an "insulator" in lower temperatures. You can do an experiment in your back yard by using a regular tarp or heavy sheet, just close off the ends, to see what kind of results you're going to get at those temps before committing to buying one. Dutch discusses it here, and indicates it's good for 10F - 15F.

  8. #8
    JmBoh's Avatar
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    i don't have an UQ or TQ yet. I'm finding if i put my closed cell foam pad i got for 5 bucks at the local army navy store under my exped synmat its more than adequate. i have to kinda wiggle a little to get it in a good spot, but my backside doesn't get cold. i use one of my sleeping bags from the ground dwelling days as a top quilt. i have a thermarest pad that leaks from the nozzle and i've been able to actually use that under me as well even though i can't keep it inflated. it still holds heat fairly well and keeps the breeze off. Shugs videos using pads in a hammock have been super helpful. as much as i'd like to get an UQ, i'm ok not having one at this point.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JmBoh View Post
    i don't have an UQ or TQ yet. I'm finding if i put my closed cell foam pad i got for 5 bucks at the local army navy store under my exped synmat its more than adequate. i have to kinda wiggle a little to get it in a good spot, but my backside doesn't get cold. i use one of my sleeping bags from the ground dwelling days as a top quilt. i have a thermarest pad that leaks from the nozzle and i've been able to actually use that under me as well even though i can't keep it inflated. it still holds heat fairly well and keeps the breeze off. Shugs videos using pads in a hammock have been super helpful. as much as i'd like to get an UQ, i'm ok not having one at this point.
    Super helpful...love hearing from folks that have what I have...thank you!

  10. #10
    JmBoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpbarnbabe View Post
    Super helpful...love hearing from folks that have what I have...thank you!
    NP. i'm a fairly recent tent convert so alll my cold stuff is tent stuff. i can go into the teens and single digits with ground gear easily. so far, i have been able to use most of my stuff with my hammock with good success. it's not ideal, but it works and it's comfy. i just have a hard time talking myself into spending more money for an UQ, but i probably will eventually. UQ certainly have some huge advantages like pack weight and size and probably a bit more comfort. so far though, i'm good to go with the gear i have. be creative and experiment and you'll come up with a good system.

    my ground gear...
    1/4" closed cell foam pad
    exped synmat 7 LW
    thermarest UL self inflatable (which no longer holds air)
    20* marmot syn filled bag
    50* bag/liner
    wool blanket from army/navy store

    this stuff gets me through single digit and teen temps no problems on the ground. in a hammock, i'm comfy at around 20 degrees and up. i tried it out a couple weeks ago when we had single digits and i was cold. not terribly cold, but uncomfortable. hope that helps a bit.
    Last edited by JmBoh; 02-26-2016 at 11:21.
    “I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news”
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