Went with four buddies on an overnighter at Uwharrie NF this weekend. Not an usual event for me, except that it got down to the twenties.
For all that know me on the forums, know me as a cold weather wuss. I normally will not go out unless it is going to be in high thirties or low forties at least. This year I am planning at to do at least an one overnighter in each month of the year... no reason, just because. So, I chose this weekend as my February hang because the weatherman said it would be around 36-38 and clear.
So we all set out around 3pm to hike the two miles into camp. It was a beautiful day, the temp was mid fifties. Was a nice hike and you could see everything due the bare trees. Setup camp around four and cooked around 6. After dinner we all realized it started to feel pretty cold, so we checked the temp. It had already fallen to the low thirties before it got good and dark. We stayed up til about 10:30 that night. We checked the temp again before going to sleep and it was 28 degrees. Now, I have hammock camped many nights, but am definitely a warm weather person. 28 to some on here is beach weather. To me, well I might as well be taking the polar plunge in Siberia!
Anyway, I had my KAQ, Eno Double, 20 Degree Down Campmor bag, DIY sock, and rectangular sil tarp, so I wasn't sure if the night would be miserable or not. I was nervous. I went to bed at 10:30 and layed there for about 30 minutes. I was so cold that I was literally about to get up and start packing. I was warm on top but my back was freezing. It was terrible. I was really thinking that I was going to have a sleepless miserable night. I couldn't feel my backside.
My mind started racing... How could I get warm? What was wrong? Most people can take the KAQ to 30, right? I started fumbling around with this and that as I was laying there and realized that the faux ridgeline I use for my sock was hella tight. I felt under myself and could feel it pulled tightly against the UQ. I realized I had somehow tied the RL too tight and it was compressing the UQ. I quickly loosened the RL, readjusted the sock so there was some space between it and my UQ.
The results were fantastic! Within 10 minutes it was literally as if someone turned the power on underneath the hammock and the heat turned on. I warmed up quickly. So quickly that I ended up sleeping in my socks, gym shorts, and hoodie. It felt so nice to be comfortable! I just laid back, ipod on, crossed legs, crossed arms, hoodie over head and face, and passed out. I mean the same kind of nice warm sleep you get on the couch during Sunday afternoon football.
We got up and ate breakfast. Checked the temp again. It said 27 degrees! It warmed up around 9 am. We all got packed up, then walked out a couple miles to the other end of the trail in bright 58 degree weather, shuttled vehicles and drove home.
Like I said, I know 27 isn't that cold to some, but for me it was a milestone. I have hung many nights, but never less than 35-40ish, and didn't love that. I am very proud of myself and owe all credit to HF. This was also a test run for my new amsteel/treehugger suspension I made earlier in the week. It worked great also!
My buddy tested out a DIY underquilt I made for his henessey out of an old sleeping bag.. he said he was snug and warm.
Also, the buddy that slept in a tent received his new hammock that I made for him (hopefully converting him). He layed in it quite a bit.
Hope you enjoyed reading! If you want to see the rest of the pics, go to my site here.