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Thread: Damp and down

  1. #1
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    Damp and down

    How much does thick fog affect down insulation in a TQ? Recently I spent a night with thick-20 foot visibility-fog with intermittent showers. Everything was damp including my sleeping bag I use in the summer. It was still damp two days later. How much impact does this have on down? I think I want to replace the sleeping bag with a TQ and use with my Jarbridge in an attempt to pack smaller for motorcycle travel.

    Thanks

    Bob

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    If it was wet two days later, that definitely will have some impact of the effectiveness of the insulation. If it's just the shell that gets damp, that's not such a bad thing. If it's getting wet into the down (which sounds like what happened) it can be tough to dry out, but not impossible. If you can set up camp earlier hang your bag or quilt in the sun it usually doesn't take long to dry out provided you didnt go swimming with it.

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    I think you've got a good case for DownTech or other water treated down.

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    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker Bob View Post
    How much does thick fog affect down insulation in a TQ? Recently I spent a night with thick-20 foot visibility-fog with intermittent showers. Everything was damp including my sleeping bag I use in the summer. It was still damp two days later. How much impact does this have on down? I think I want to replace the sleeping bag with a TQ and use with my Jarbridge in an attempt to pack smaller for motorcycle travel.

    Thanks

    Bob
    Did the bag seem less thick or less lofty? If so, then you probably lost some warmth. And that usually gets worse with time, especially if your having to pack up every morning, unless you have time to dry out in the sun.

    That Climashield Jarbidge will be a lot more resistant to that problem, in my experience. Treated down probably will also be more resistant, but I can't say I have yet put it to the test.

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    cmoulder's Avatar
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    If I were in a situation where wall-to-wall extreme humidity was expected for days on end, I'd use Apex all around.

    I was down in the Seneca Creek/Spruce Knob (WV) area a few years ago for a 3-night trip and encountered such conditions. If not for a synthetic quilt the trip would've been over after the first night, absolutely no doubt.

    There are people who claim to be able to keep down dry, or reasonably dry, in these conditions... I ain't one of 'em.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    There are people who claim to be able to keep down dry, or reasonably dry, in these conditions... I ain't one of 'em.
    Yeah "keeping down dry" goes well beyond the extreme scenario of falling into a river or getting rained on. The quilt sort of becomes a sponge and takes on moisture without you really realizing it until you get home and let it dry out. After that, you notice that "extra" 1" of loft magically comes back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    If I were in a situation where wall-to-wall extreme humidity was expected for days on end, I'd use Apex all around.

    I was down in the Seneca Creek/Spruce Knob (WV) area a few years ago for a 3-night trip and encountered such conditions. If not for a synthetic quilt the trip would've been over after the first night, absolutely no doubt.

    There are people who claim to be able to keep down dry, or reasonably dry, in these conditions... I ain't one of 'em.
    generally I've found with Down, and this happened to me with a synthetic sleeping bag too, in foggy conditions everything will feel clammy, but once you get in your body warmth will drive the moisture out, and as long as you stay in... like let's say it gets foggy after you go to bed... your warmth will prevent it from penetrating. I've never had any of my kit get wet enough to be drenched enough from fog or dew that it still wouldn't be dry 2 days later though

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    Senior Member kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    If I were in a situation where wall-to-wall extreme humidity was expected for days on end, I'd use Apex all around. I was down in the Seneca Creek/Spruce Knob (WV) area a few years ago for a 3-night trip and encountered such conditions. If not for a synthetic quilt the trip would've been over after the first night, absolutely no doubt. There are people who claim to be able to keep down dry, or reasonably dry, in these conditions... I ain't one of 'em.
    This is why I still appreciate the 40F- and 50F-rated Climashield, especially for short DIY underquilts. In such applications, you're minimizing the synthetic insulation's weight penalty and packed size while taking advantage of the Climashield's robusticity in wet or humid conditions. Also, CS doesn't migrate, so you don't run into issues with trying to spread just a couple of ounces of down around evenly without getting thin spots, which can happen with down summer quilts.

    My beautiful down Loco Libre Gear Operator Series Habanero underquilt -- 9 oz total with just 3 oz of down to achieve a 50F rating and an amazingly small pack size -- is probably my favorite quilt of all time, and its construction is so sophisticated that I never encounter this issue; if I were able to sew like George, I might try making something like this, but since I know I cannot, I'm happy with making sensible Climashield quilts.
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    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Sometimes you need to just hang the TQ in the bright sun a while if it avails itself. I've stopped my hike before after the sun popped out to dry some gear.
    Part of the camping deal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalksIn2Trees View Post
    generally I've found with Down, and this happened to me with a synthetic sleeping bag too, in foggy conditions everything will feel clammy, but once you get in your body warmth will drive the moisture out, and as long as you stay in... like let's say it gets foggy after you go to bed... your warmth will prevent it from penetrating. I've never had any of my kit get wet enough to be drenched enough from fog or dew that it still wouldn't be dry 2 days later though.
    I was refraining from saying so because I often get flamed for it, but you're right... your body warmth with help drive moisture out and away from the quilt, just as it does in dry conditions with your own body moisture. What I get flack about is telling folks to not wear layers of clothes so that your body heat more efficiently increases temps inside the quilt as hot air is trapped by the down. What I've seen is conditions where there is a lot of reason to blame the damp conditions for lack of loft and subsequently, being colder than expected for outside temps. In many cases, I believe the real issue is folks putting on more clothing because they are chilled in the damp conditions and then their down never lofts like they expect it to - both due to lack of warmer temps in the down and outside pressure from humidity.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
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