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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Greenwood Lake, NY
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    Sleep system for daughter

    I'm not sure where to post this so feel free to move it

    I've been hammock camping since I was a kid in the boy scouts in the late 70s early 80s and over time I've figured out what works for me and I run far heavier gear wise than most but that's because I like the versatility my option offers me, I trust it and know what to expect. My family does car camping with me but not backpacking that is up until last year, suddenly my two youngest wanted to come out with me. Money is an issue for me so keeping costs down has been important.

    Here's my sleep system, it's 16 lbs with the hammock or 12 if I'm ground camping. I am aware that there are lighter alternatives but this system with one base layer and a thermal layer I've routinely been down to 10F quite comfortably ground or hammock


    When my kids wanted to start coming out I just had them use their car camping sleeping bags and ground mats and that worked fine in the late spring and summer. My youngest wanted to do tarp camping with me so I got him an MSS like mine and he uses that now in the hammock as well and he doesn't use a pad and has been down to 28F in his hammock. It's something I can't figure out how he does it, I tried and can't

    My daughter has been the challenge, she has a Teton Trailhead +20F bag and a self inflating thermarest, her 1st time in the low 40s she froze, so we started gear testing in the backyard, by the time Oct rolled around we had a system for her worked out for our trip to NH, it got down to 28F and she was comfortable (not warm but not cold) that system was
    Moskito Kakoon
    Space blanket as an underblanket
    24" wide 72" long reflectix pad
    48" wide 72" long reflectix pad
    Teton Trailhead +20F
    Kelty Noah 12 in storm mode

    She tried that setup in Nov and had to bail and it was only 3 degrees colder, she then asked if she could get a setup like mine and her brother's so I got her one, but didn't get the patrol bag since she had the Teton bag already. She and I went out for a backpack trip to start off the new year, she asked to bring her reflectix pads but I told her no and to bring her brother's thermarest since he wasn't coming and use that inside the bivy like I do, when she couldn't get her Teton in her pack with the intermediate bag and bivy I told her not to worry about it because I've been too hot in that setup in the temps we were expecting (low 20s). These were my first two mistakes on top of not testing the system close to home. Her system on this trip which I felt was far superior to the last setup
    Moskito Kakoon
    Space blanket as an underblanket
    24" Thermarest Solite
    MSS Bivy and Intermediate bag
    Kelty Noah 12 in storm mode

    We stopped at a shelter on the AT there was no real wood to be had for a fire so no warming fire and she was cold with a mid weight base layer, thermal layer and jeans, the top same bases with a puffer jacket, gloves and hat. So I told her to get into her hammock and change her jeans for her fleece pants and take off the puffer jacket and use it as a pillow, it was 25F and flurries, I boiled water and put it into a canteen (I forgot my Nalgene) and tossed it in the bag with her. Within an hour she was cold but she had her bag unzipped to her hip because I had told her to be careful to not overheat and sweat. I told her to zip up the bag at this point. 10 mins later she's cold again and I asked if she changed her socks she says no so I tell her to put on her fresh wool socks and she says its better.

    An hour later she tells me she's cold all over except her back and is shivering, I give her my heavyweight layer and tell her to put that on under her thermal, put her hat on, I give her my heavy gloves and tell her to put her frogg toggs pants on. 10 mins and she's not getting warm so I toss two foot warmers in the bottom of her bag two hand warmers by her hips, and I made a makeshift over cover out of a space blanket, I used a stick as a toggle at the foot end to keep it closed and I used two rocks as toggles to weight down the cover but making it easy for her to get in and out. Within 20 mins she was warm and drifted off. We got down to 18F plus wind chill and she was fine the rest of the time.

    Here's some pics of that setup
    Foot end


    Head end


    Outside looking in



    When we broke camp at 10am ( she didn't want to leave her warmth ) we noticed her hammock was wet and there was lots of condensation on both space blankets but she was dry I assume because of the bivy. Clearly this wasn't an optimal setup but she didn't have more room in her pack, a Teton 4000. Temps were the same the next night and we just went right to this setup and it worked for her again with the same results

    At a loss for what to do for her sleep system and low on cash I ordered her the snugpak UQ/TQ during Vermont's shipping discount last night, I know this system isn't good for most below 35F I figured this would be a good option for her for 3 season.

    Is there a way to boost that snugpak system to get her into the teens with me? without costing more money? Is there a better way to pair her existing components that I'm just not thinking of?

    In the end this has been a big reminder for me, what works for one does not have to work for another and I know she'd benefit from a TQ/UQ but I just don't have $600 to drop on a guess and even if I was sure I still don't have that kind of cash.

    Any advice is appreciated as she really wants to be out doing this stuff with me. Couple more pics of our trip
    We live off the AT so we literally just walk off the property onto the trail


    Here she is lounging in my HH Explorer deluxe all layered up, it's 18F

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    To me it sounds like some opportunities to avoid getting cold may have been missed up front - I don't backpack in jeans and wouldn't wear them in weather that cold under any circumstances, or any other cotton, it just doesn't work for me outdoors. Also changing into warm dry clothes/socks/hat as soon as getting to camp. When it's in the 20's I use fleece pants and a midweight fleece top with fleece cap and wool socks, and if I have any doubt I add my primaloft jacket. I'm just wondering if she hadn't gotten cold in the first place, maybe less measures would have been needed to get her comfortable for the long haul.

    I feel you on the budget, but I think for me the burden of rigging up that system and still not being sure if it would work would push me to a UQ/TQ pretty quickly, which is a proven solution. Not sure if anybody in your family sews, but I just ordered materials for a Climashield UQ for my 9-yo daughter this morning and it ran me ~$60 for a 5oz CS/30-35F UQ that I'll make (only planning on 3-season for the moment). I guess a 10F would run ~$80, so you could probably get *materials* for an UQ/TQ set for ~$200 if you can DIY.
    Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más... - Antonio Machado

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Greenwood Lake, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caminante View Post
    To me it sounds like some opportunities to avoid getting cold may have been missed up front - I don't backpack in jeans and wouldn't wear them in weather that cold under any circumstances, or any other cotton, it just doesn't work for me outdoors. Also changing into warm dry clothes/socks/hat as soon as getting to camp. When it's in the 20's I use fleece pants and a midweight fleece top with fleece cap and wool socks, and if I have any doubt I add my primaloft jacket. I'm just wondering if she hadn't gotten cold in the first place, maybe less measures would have been needed to get her comfortable for the long haul.

    I feel you on the budget, but I think for me the burden of rigging up that system and still not being sure if it would work would push me to a UQ/TQ pretty quickly, which is a proven solution. Not sure if anybody in your family sews, but I just ordered materials for a Climashield UQ for my 9-yo daughter this morning and it ran me ~$60 for a 5oz CS/30-35F UQ that I'll make (only planning on 3-season for the moment). I guess a 10F would run ~$80, so you could probably get *materials* for an UQ/TQ set for ~$200 if you can DIY.
    I hand sew but never used a sewing machine and I could see learning mistakes getting costly too

  4. #4
    gr8brew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    RI
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    10.5" DIY 1.0 HyperD Lime Green
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    I second the diy underquilt top quilt. You and your kids can do it together. Sewing machines can be had from goodwill, Craigslist.

    What a great opportunity to jump into something you never have done before with your kids.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Sep 2014
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Maybe put one of those $20 costco down quilts between the snugpak and the hammock to boost its rating?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Monkeyboy42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Salisbury, md
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    Diy gathered end
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    Your daughter is definitely a colder sleeper then you. The diy route is definitely the cheapest. Sewing a hammock is the easiest thing to build, and a 3/4 climashield underquilt is the second easiest to build. 10oz of climashield should get a cold sleeper to around 20degrees in my experience. I was terrified on my first UQ, but it went surprisingly well...

    Next thing that comes to mind is an under quilt protector. Your emergency blanket is already doing that job, but not very well in this setup. Note on space blankets- for maximum warmth they need to be closer to the body. They reflect heat back, so if there's a pad between you and the blanket the blanket isn't really reflecting anything back. It's not even acting as a vapor barrier, since the pad is doing that.

    After that I'd suggest modding her 20 degree bag to be a pod system. essentially that means cutting a hole in the foot end and threading in on the hammock so that it's both top quilt and underquilt. Think of it like a hammock burrito. Downside is that you can't lay on a diagnol, and have to sleep "banana". She could pair it with a pad for more warmth though. You could also slip a space blanket between the bag and hammock, but remember that doesn't do a lot if you're paired with a pad.

    As mentioned changing clothes when in camp is big. Are you also putting a hot meal/beverage in her? That warms most people up surprisingly well. Just getting some calories and water goes a long way.

    Good luck! My kiddo is five not big on back packing yet, but he loves camping. Can't wait till he's older to share this with him also.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Greenwood Lake, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8brew View Post
    I second the diy underquilt top quilt. You and your kids can do it together. Sewing machines can be had from goodwill, Craigslist.

    What a great opportunity to jump into something you never have done before with your kids.
    I hadn't thought of it that way, that's a great idea

    Quote Originally Posted by pdxleif View Post
    Maybe put one of those $20 costco down quilts between the snugpak and the hammock to boost its rating?
    I was thinking wool blanket but that may be a better option for her

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeyboy42 View Post
    Your daughter is definitely a colder sleeper then you. The diy route is definitely the cheapest. Sewing a hammock is the easiest thing to build, and a 3/4 climashield underquilt is the second easiest to build. 10oz of climashield should get a cold sleeper to around 20degrees in my experience. I was terrified on my first UQ, but it went surprisingly well...

    Next thing that comes to mind is an under quilt protector. Your emergency blanket is already doing that job, but not very well in this setup. Note on space blankets- for maximum warmth they need to be closer to the body. They reflect heat back, so if there's a pad between you and the blanket the blanket isn't really reflecting anything back. It's not even acting as a vapor barrier, since the pad is doing that.

    After that I'd suggest modding her 20 degree bag to be a pod system. essentially that means cutting a hole in the foot end and threading in on the hammock so that it's both top quilt and underquilt. Think of it like a hammock burrito. Downside is that you can't lay on a diagnol, and have to sleep "banana". She could pair it with a pad for more warmth though. You could also slip a space blanket between the bag and hammock, but remember that doesn't do a lot if you're paired with a pad.

    As mentioned changing clothes when in camp is big. Are you also putting a hot meal/beverage in her? That warms most people up surprisingly well. Just getting some calories and water goes a long way.

    Good luck! My kiddo is five not big on back packing yet, but he loves camping. Can't wait till he's older to share this with him also.
    I guess I was creating more of a sock which makes me wonder would a winter sock be the boost the the snugpak or the last setup need and maybe cross the ends of the tarp instead of pinning them together and remove all gaps except where the suspension comes through

  8. #8
    Senior Member Flatliner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxleif View Post
    Maybe put one of those $20 costco down quilts between the snugpak and the hammock to boost its rating?
    I may be misunderstanding this but the Costco quilt would compress really easily and become pretty useless. I did make my daughter a "hybrid" Costco quilt by putting a layer of 3.6 Climashield between two of them. Made for a $60 20 degree UQ and was one of the easiest sewing projects I have done to date.

    EDIT

    Clearly I misunderstood, I was thinking you would lay on the quilt, not insert it below the hammock...
    Just an out of shape middle aged guy who loves doing outdoor things with his great kids...

    www.hikerspantry.weebly.com

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Dec 2015
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    I just got this http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0167I...hvL&ref=plSrch

    I'm trying it out this weekend in 20 degree weather. It is affordable for what it is. It may be a good solution for your daughter. I'll do a review when I get back.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Greenwood Lake, NY
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    So I broke down and got her the snugpak under blanket and hammock quilt, I was a little bummed that it was 5lbs for a system that would only do 30s but ease of use and comfort for my kid right?

    I went backpacking this weekend and didn't bring her because her new system was untested and it was going to be low 20s and I didn't want to manage the last setup again. Yesterday she said wanted to test her gear to figure out if she can use it in colder temps. She went out and set up the hammock without a tarp and put the quilts on, she ran the shock cord through the 4 end tabs and tied them in a square knot over her hammock and used two s biners and bowline knots on the main suspension and had no gaps, it was a pretty kool setup but I wonder if it will hurt the mosquito netting in time, she tied a knot in the one side adjustments because she said the one side is wider and this way she knows the head end.

    She went out at 12pm and it was 24F, she had a heavyweight base layer on her legs and regular socks, tshirt and hooded sweatshirt on top she was out there for 3 hours and only her toes were cold


    I was so impressed I went out and tried it a few hours later and 8 degrees colder and I was cold in clothes equivalent to what I'd sleep in normally and my toes were freezing, I tried shoving my down jacket I was using as a pillow under my butt and while that warmed my butt up my neck and shoulders were now freezing. I went in and got her reflectix sit pad and her reflectix sleeping pad. I folded the sit pad to go in the footbox of the quilt and laid on the sleeping pad in the hammock and I was warm. My daughter came out and wanted to try it and she laid there reading a book she had for homework, this time she added gloves and a hat. She was out there from 730 to 10 and it was 14F and she wasn't cold at all and was giddy this was the first time her feet weren't cold


    to say I'm impressed with this system would be an understatement. All this was no tarp & with winds of 5 - 15 mph, next weekend we'll setup the tarp and have her spend the whole night and if that goes well I think we're good

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