JJ, et al,
The JRB Hammock Hut is a true tent.... It has four sides, which functions as doors or can be completely rolled up. It can be pitched on slopes. The hammock hut as top vents in each door panel and beaks to protect from blow in. There is 40 sq ft of floor space. Room for a hammock, a ground dweller and a child or large dog also on the ground. No need for hammock socks or weather proof bottoms... Weight is well under 2 pounds at 1 pd 12 oz.
Alternatively the JRB 11x10 Cat tarp forms full ridgeline to ground protection but has key hole door openings and only 25 sq ft of floor... It is a great winter tarp providing several pitches and this storm protective tent like pitch.
I agree that four season hammocking is indeed viable... And yes it requires winter capable, shelter and insulation...While this is heavier than summer or three season gear it is often still lighter than suitable ground set ups for the same conditions....With standard off the shelf shelters and insulation zero degree hanging is easily doable with 12-15 pound base loads.
i have 10 mini 9's hooked to my 10-11 tarp. once the ridgelines are up i can finish from under tarp. gutter spikes can also go through 9's.
Originally Posted by warbonnetguy
every time a storm starts i run in back yard and set up tarp. down to under 2 min.
We do have that benefit of being able to seek wind shelter on a leeward slope, or behind some huge bolder. But per my recent experience at a 10,014 camp in the Wind Rivers, that is not as big a benefit as it might seem, and it seems huge. Here is where the problem in real life arose- the wind kept changing direction on us, quite frequently. But, we were in an unsheltered area close to lakeside, not on a slope. Maybe that made a difference?
So far so good with our JRB and SW tarps in high winds. They handled it just fine, though we had varying success blocking the wind, again probably due to changing wind direction. We would be broadside the wind one second, the next it would be coming right in the ends! None the less, I still worry about the "sail" effect of these large tarps that provide so much rain coverage and living space, at least in the really high winds that would challenge a low profile 4 season tent that has several crisscrossing poles. It is just a matter of the amount of sil-nylon material that is exposed to the wind unsupported. All of this is much smaller to start with in a 1 or 2 man tent, plus it is broken down into small sections between the poles. Just something that stays on my mind.
Speaking of socks, I think again of the HH SS. Even with the stock tarp, blowing snow is going to be greatly hindered by the sil-nylon undercover. Snow that makes it over the top is going to at least be slowed down by the net( see Cannibals pics, in the WB UQ test, camped in the snow with only a net over him!). The Over cover would provide even more top protection it seems, though I have never tried it. Now getting it to be as warm on the bottom as some other approaches might be difficult, and require lots of tricks. Or at least a pad addition. But I feel more protected under neath with this set up, particularly from something like blowing snow, than I do with most other set ups. Although, a good sock( or some type of bivy) with a good tarp would accomplish about the same thing. It's just that mthe SS is ready to go from the factory. And with the small factory diamond tarp attached to the suspension, combined with the under cover, the coverage is as close to bombproof as you can get. Of course, then you have to deal with a floppy tarp, which is a major PIA, but it can be done.
That blowing snow can be kind of like a whirl wind, coming at you from all directions. If the snow is deep enough, some kind of trench between the trees might be an idea to consider.
OTOH, if the snow is that deep and the wind very high, I might just have to chuck it all in favor of a snow cave! I don't care if it is minus 20 with 150 mph winds, it is calm and about 32*F in a snowcave. Only an avalanche is still a threat to life once you are in one of those. And like Jeff said, roots and rocks are no longer a concern, and you can make yourself a level bench to sleep on, even on a steep slope.
Once, while camped in 4 season tents on the side of Mt.Baker, WA in June, I watched three German guys climb from the 5000 foot level in the trees to the 7000 foot level where we were camped on very deep snow, near the Coleman Glacier. It was about 3 0r 4 PM, and we were going to get up at 2AM to summit. These guys came up, dug a trench a few feet deep and just wide enough for the 3 or 4 of them. They place a tarp over the trench, and buried the edges in snow. Then they headed up with their summit packs, made the final 3700 feet to the summit, and got back down before we went to bed. They had supper and a few beers they had brought, crawled in that trench and passed out.
That trench looked pretty secure to me, though if you got several feet of snow someone might have to go out now and then and shovel some snow load of of the flat tarp. Some kind of trench idea for a hammock might be worth considering, if you were determined to stay in the hammock instead of digging a snow cave.
Jack - as we were discussing earlier in this thread, maybe we need a better definition of "four season." I agree that zero degree hanging is doable with the systems out there now - winter tarps, hammock tents like your Hammock Hut, and thicker underquilts. I wrote this article right after the Winnemucca trip, so that's the kind of conditions I was thinking about when I said "four season." (It was also before JRB and Speer winter tarps, Hammock Hut, etc.)
I don't think any of those systems would have made it thru that storm...but then it also collapsed some of the mountaineering tents so that's not a knock against the hammock systems; it's just a recognition that it's not the right gear for those conditions. Gotta pick the right tools. What you've introduced is a HUGE step in the right direction...Turk has proven their use in cold conditions, but I want a hammock shelter that can survive almost any winter storm below treeline. There's a solution like that out ther somewhere; we just haven't figured it out yet. THAT's the true four season shelter I'm looking for!
Jeff, not to trivialize this problem, but... are there any tent designs that you think are up to surviving almost any winter storm below tree-line? If you do, but they are too low or too short is there a way to scale the size of these to be high enough and long enough to contain a hammock? Then is it not mostly a matter of working in a way to get the suspension lines out?
Originally Posted by Just Jeff
I'm imaging one of these tube designs that have hooped geometry, for example (for illustrative purposes) MSR Expedition.
Most mountaineering tents have either geodesic or hooped designs...I guess that would be a good place to start. The geodesic ones tend to weigh more but seem like they'd be easier to adapt to supporting a hammock. The hooped ones, like Hilleberg and Stephensen's, are lighter but may need to be pitched between trees and have the hammock's supports come out.
In the end, a snow trench may be the best answer. We've discussed several times about digging a trench between the trees and hanging the hammock inside. That takes more effort than just throwing down a tent, though. I'm sure there are several ways to make this happen with less effort than a snow trench!
But of course, there isn't a tool that's right for every job. Maybe a winter tarp or hammock hut is good enough for most conditions, even in winter mountains, but for the exposed sites you could dig a snow trench.
Just thinking out loud here... :jj:
Sometimes the wind actually changes directions, like when fronts collide, merge, pass each other, etc. I've looked up in daylight hours and seen clouds at different altitudes moving pretty fast but going in opposite directions.
Originally Posted by BillyBob58
And I have a few experiences where the wind changed on me also. I remember one time when I was using a 8x10 tarp in cold weather and my hiking buddy was using my Stevenson 2R tent and wanted to camp on the peak of Big Frog Mountain in Tennessee when we where finishing up the Benton MacKaye Trail (it use to end near there). It was going into the twenties that night and it was pretty breezy on the top where he would be tenting. But that tent was fine for that and I found a pretty good hammock spot a hundred yards away on the leeward side. I was fine until the wind changed, then I wasn't. I had setup pointing down slope instead of traverse and when it first changed I wasn't in too bad of shape because it was blowing broadside at me. After a couple hours of that it shifted again and came at me where the tarp was acting like a threatening balloon. Miraculously all the stakes held but the wind blew right though the foot of my hammock and footbox of my sleeping bag. Luckily I was using closed cell foam pads and had a small piece I could rearrange in my foot box to keep my feet from freezing. I was okay, not okay to get any real sleep, but okay warmth wise to stay put. I'm guessing the overhead winds where gusting to 50 or 60 mph and I was probably getting 25 to 30 mph gusts... it was certainly troubling. At daybreak it was still blowing and I had to think through every move I was going to make before I got up and rehearse it in my mind. I made it and had to wake up my hiking partner who slept like a baby through it all in that nice winter tent like the college kid he was.:D We got on the trail pretty fast because I had to get going to stay warm. A few minutes later at one particular spot on the trail the wind was accelerating enough in gusts to knock us sideways and almost off our feet because of the funneling action of the terrain..
It is a three dimensional environment up there and also on the ground. Especially with hills, mountains, bowls, canyons, etc. You can be on the protected side and get swirling air or updrafts but they are typically at greatly reduced speeds.
I have a pop-up sun roof on my truck. When I first got it I was amazed that I could get on the freeway and with the sun roof popped up it would suck leaves from the truck bed into the cab through the pop-up sun roof. Now, a lot of air was going out through the sun roof, but apparently some was coming back into it also because it was bringing leaves in with it.
One thing I try to do when I am trying to stay out of the wind in my hammock is to hang a little higher off the ground, more up inside the tarp. I like the edges of the tarp to be off the ground. Three reasons for that-- ventilation to cut down on condensation, I'm not always on level ground or ground without obstacles, and I need a few inches for my shock cords to help keep my tarp tensioned. If I am up inside a large enough tarp, air blowing underneath me doesn't make a direct hit on me.
That is a trade off but is the way I like to do it. When I first started using hammock tarptents years ago, the initial idea was to get it all the way to the ground and close the ends off with just high side openings where the hammock suspension lines went through. That works when it is windy but caused big time condensation build up for me when the wind stops. It also complicated site selection and setup as well as limited flexibility because it took more guylines, precision, etc to set it up. I don't think I ever intentionally set up in the wind in cold weather so I decided what worked for me was easier site selection, easier setup, and more flexibility to deal with changing conditions.
And I thought camping in a tree 40ft off the ground was crazy. I can't imagine going hammock camping in the middle of winter where the temps are below zero and the wind blows so hard it could fill your hammock full of snow. I may have to "grow a set" and camp in my hammock this winter (maybe on the ground.)
I had an idea while I was thinking (I should say day dreaming) about this afterwards. What if you took your hammock material and sewn the two sides together forming a circle. Add either elastic or draw strings to both ends. When you hang your hammock, slip the cover over the hammock and draw tight one end. When you get in your hammock pull the cover over you and draw tight the other end. I used to do this for a rainfly when I first started making hammocks. It definately will keep the wind and snow out (depending on the material you use).
I'd put my money on one of these:
Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams
Unlike a mountaineering tent, there isn't really any part of it to break or fail, except the stake loops ripping off. Being able to dry your gear with the stove is priceless, and compared to hauling white gas, not heavy at all. You can use a sled in the winter anyway.
this tent would be set up with back (opposite door) to the wind. with my hammock i put the side to the storm (left side:)). so if somebody was to build a hammock "tent" the foot or head end should point into the storm.
Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams
just a thought.
GrizzlyAdams, i think your onto something.