Prefers life at 12 MPH.
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Gainesville, FL
Hammock: DIY Gathered End
Tarp: DIY Asym
Insulation: DIY Modular Quilt
Field Report: Overnight Low of 24 F
I slept well, and warm, last night.
Conditions: Temperature ranging from 26 F to 24 F, light and variable wind, no humidity to speak of.
Top Insulation: Thin, lightweight, polyester fleece throw (~40" x 60"); PLTQ (poncho liner with the mid-point and foot-end ties tied together to make a foot box); midweight polyester fleece zip hoodie sweatshirt used as a draft collar/torso booster.
Clothing: 40 gram Thinsulate watch cap; two sets of socks, one set SmartWool Hiker, one set loose acrylic boot socks; midweight nylon sweatpants; midweight polyester fleece longsleeve top; compression shorts underwear.
Bottom Insulation: Sew-'em-Up PLUQ with one layer of InsulBright added.
Supplementary Materials: 3/4 torso length sit pad (3/8" WallyWorld blue special, cut down); hot water bottle inside a sock, held between my thighs.
I tucked in last night around one-ish, with no tarp (there was very little wind), and everything but the sit pad in the hammock with me. I was well-fed (a calzone from work at about 9:30 and half of one of those "2 to Go" Milky Way bars just before bed), sober, and hydrated (0.5 L just before bed).
Temperature at that point was 26 F, according to my cell phone. I was cozy at that point, a little cool on my back but not cold there. I think 25 is about the comfort limit for the PLUQ by itself, for me. The hot water bottle was, well, hot at that point, despite being inside a sock. So, it warded off the chill nicely.
I slept soundly and warmly until about 5-ish, when Mrs. FLRider came outside to check on me. Her disbelief that I was crazy enough to be sleeping in sub-freezing temperatures--by choice--was amusing to me, even Before Coffee.
I checked my cell phone, and noted the temperature of 25 F. I tried to fall back asleep, but it evaded me for about fifteen minutes. The hot water bottle was only a few degrees above skin temperature at this point, and I think that had an effect on my comfort. Some of my top insulation (the fleece throw) had also moved around, and I was having issues with trying to keep it in place under my PLTQ.
After a few minutes wrestling with the throw, I managed to get it back into place. I had, however, noted that underneath me was chilly. Not cold, but right at the edge of comfort. If it'd gotten any colder, it would have been too much. So, I reached down and grabbed my sit pad from next to the hammock.
Pulling it under me required a few contortions, but nothing too bad. Once I got it into place from my rear up to my lower shoulder blades, I immediately felt the warmth of it. Where the tops of my shoulders touched the hammock fabric, it was still a little chilly, as were the sides of my body, but I quickly warmed as my core was insulated perfectly.
I fell back asleep right up until seven-ish, when the wife came back out to tell me she was leaving for work. I woke warm and refreshed.
A caveat: I'm a very warm sleeper, though my feet get cold easily. With the clothes I was wearing, a poncho liner and a pad on the ground would get me to about 35-40 F comfortably. With the hot water bottle, that extends by another five degrees or so.
I think my PLUQ is good down to about 25 with proper top insulation, and I think that this system would be good down to about 20, comfortably. For survival, I might be able to get another ten degrees out of it, but that's pushing my comfort level out the window. That's, "I broke a leg and can't get to a road to flag down a passing vehicle," type stuff. I wouldn't choose to sleep below 20 with this set up if at all avoidable.
If you want, I can post weights on everything later.