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  1. #41
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrewd View Post
    this is probably a necro post, and i'm a dude, but i just finished a thru hike and this topic came up for discussion a few times.

    i don't think it has much if anything to do with hammocking, but maybe camping in general. Or perhaps metabolism? After awhile I noticed I had to get up more often. By the end of the trail I was surprised if i didn't have to get up in the middle of the night. I've been home for a few weeks now and even after staying up all night drinking beer, I often don't have to get up. I'll wake up and feel the need to go, sure, but often enough I just roll over and go back to sleep.

    Trying to do that on the trail was an exercise in futility; eventually I just accepted it and better to do it fast so you can crawl back to your warm little world inside the hammock
    I can't remember having this issue in many years. At the beginning of my hammock camping days, I was up quite frequently, and so were quite a few other guys. ( don't know if it was a problem for the gals). Seems like we finally came to the conclusion that it was mostly due to the lower back area being cooler than normal compared to being in a bed inside. Even if it was not enough for the cold to wake us up, we thought maybe the lower back area being just a few degrees colder at skin level than normal was causing some sort of reflex for the kidneys to be overactive. (never happened to me in a tent on a pad, it just seemed to be associated with even a hint of CBS) I can't say for sure, but I can say for sure that the more skilled I became at keeping my back warm in a hammock, and keeping warm in a hammock all over, the less it happened. Until it didn't happen at all. But who knows for sure?

    I guess there might be a simple experiment. Assuming that, regardless of weight, bulk or cost we are actually able to get our backsides toasty, just add whatever is needed to accomplish that. Even if it is double quilts plus a pad: whatever it takes, get those kidneys warm. And see what happens.

  2. #42
    Senior Member oldpappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdisgrace View Post
    My first nite in a hammock was in the basement as a test hang and I had no pad or UQ. I had to get up and go 4 times that nite. Sleeping cold makes you go more often. When I strapped on an UQ I reverted back to my normal 3:30 terlet trip and been that way ever since.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I can't remember having this issue in many years. At the beginning of my hammock camping days, I was up quite frequently, and so were quite a few other guys. ( don't know if it was a problem for the gals). Seems like we finally came to the conclusion that it was mostly due to the lower back area being cooler than normal compared to being in a bed inside. Even if it was not enough for the cold to wake us up, we thought maybe the lower back area being just a few degrees colder at skin level than normal was causing some sort of reflex for the kidneys to be overactive. I can say for sure that the more skilled I became at keeping my back warm in a hammock, and keeping warm in a hammock all over, the less it happened.
    These guys figured it out. For me, keeping the lower back warm has proven as the key. Years ago I noticed that when I wore a vest at night I did not need to get up. I've since been using a simple 'kidney pad' (about 18" square thin sit pad) against my lower back with the same results. Try insulating your lower back and see if you get to the same pee frequency as you have normally.
    Enjoying the simple things in life -
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  3. #43
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    I've noticed that I don't get up to pee as often in the hammock as I used to- but the frequency is still more than in a bed. I think a lot of that has to do with me limiting my liquid consumption in the later hours of the evening. I do agree that the temperature on your back can make a difference as to the frequency one may have to "go." But I also think that body positioning is another factor. In a gathered-end hammock, even the flattest lay still causes a slight bend at the waist- putting extra pressure on the bladder. I actually find a slight bend at my waist to be more comfortable than lying truly flat- as it provides me with more back support. The trade-off- however, is that I do feel the need to relieve myself a little more than when I'm on a traditional mattress.

  4. #44
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    First off, I'm a male I don't proclaim to understand what may make women specifically have to pee more, but after doing some research, there is a potential link with sleep apnea and having to pee more. Just something to look at.

  5. #45
    Senior Member P-Dub's Avatar
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    I have sleep apnea, but am more likely to awaken in the night to pee when camping than at home.

  6. #46
    Funny how things coincide. I mentioned earlier it's common to need to go more often when riding a recumbent. A guy at a recumbent forum gave us a plausible physiological explanation the other day. I wonder if the same explanation isn't also good for sleeping in a hammock. From what I've seen most people seem to lie with their feet higher than the rest of the body.

    Read what he says here: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...php?t=145135#2 .

    BTW what he says about getting thirsty an hour or so after riding is spot on. Do you experience something similar in the morning after sleeping in the hammock?
    Last edited by ThreeTracks; 03-31-2019 at 23:44.

  7. #47
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    Same thing happened to me years ago, when going from ground camping to the trees and instant relief was achieved by increasing the insulation around my kidneys. I would go from the restless up several times to pee a night state, which would make me tired in the morning, to that awesomeness that comes from a great night of uninterrupted sleep that I only get while hammocking after making sure my kidneys stayed warm enough. Often that meant throwing my sit pad under my lower back to that area and or taking a warmer underquilt.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by imspiritgirl View Post
    Same thing happened to me years ago, when going from ground camping to the trees and instant relief was achieved by increasing the insulation around my kidneys. I would go from the restless up several times to pee a night state, which would make me tired in the morning, to that awesomeness that comes from a great night of uninterrupted sleep that I only get while hammocking after making sure my kidneys stayed warm enough. Often that meant throwing my sit pad under my lower back to that area and or taking a warmer underquilt.
    increasing the insulation around your kidneys? so do you wrap scarf or blanket around your waist area?

  9. #49

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    Well. To be honest. I drink beers around the campfire. Therefore I pee. But I do pee more frequently when hammocking. Just not entirely sure why.
    Kidney theory sounds interesting.

  10. #50
    Yarome's Avatar
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    Another contributor may be simply a physiological response to exertion and cooler temperatures... combined with the tendency for hikers/campers to be more conscientious about hydration.

    The body is a remarkable and highly adaptable machine. At times of greater exertion or demands on core heating, over your "baseline", the body is able to "anticipate" energy requirements and will adjust the metabolism accordingly.

    Not to get gross on anyone, but this is generally most noticeable in how your body processes solids... which has a direct coorelation to how your body utilizes water and processes toxins from the body. At "baseline" your body may extract a much lower percentage of nutrients from the solids you intake. Basically, taking the easily metabolized and low toxicity nutrients sufficient to meet your energy requirements, tucking a little away for later (fat) and allowing the rest to pass.

    With a sudden increase in energy requirements the body will extract a much greater percentage of nutrients from solid intake. Doing so though exponentially increases the toxins that must be expelled so an overactive bladder is a natural side-affect.

    IMHO, splitting hairs a bit, but keeping your middle back, specifically, warm isn't as much a cause and affect for urination frequency as it is in keeping all parts well insulated and maintaining a constant body temp. "Any" cold spot is going to keep your metabolism in high-gear. The nearer your core, the greater the demand. On the flip side, maintaining a constant temp throughout your body will signal your metabolism to slow and take a breather.

    IOW, if your footsies and face are freezing off, keeping your back warm, alone, isn't going to help with your P-trip counter.
    “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cigar in one hand, whiskey in the other, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

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