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  1. #1
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Is the shock cord on UQs affected by extreme temperatures? Vendor opinions?

    There are a large number of UQ users at HF. In addition to the producers of UQs. So that should provide a pretty good base of experience from which to draw on.

    I have heard this alluded to once or twice over the years. So I have wondered if it is actually a thing to be concerned about. Particularly at extreme temps- say zero F or even more so way below zero- does shock cord lose some of it's ability to snug an UQ up against our back?

    And if it does, is it just a moderate reduction which- if we got cold from a gap that developed- we can get up and tighten it up an then be OK?

    Or, if it can be affected enough to make it impossible to re-tension adequately, could it be safely replaced with some nylon or polyester cords to snug it up against the hammock? That might require one person in the hammock and another doing the adjusting to avoid over tightening and damage.

    But, has this ever happened to anyone? If not, is it possible that having been perfectly- even toasty- warm at say 10F with a minus 20F UQ, and then you found yourself cold at minus 10F, the problem was loss of elasticity in the suspension shock cord, and you were not even aware this was the cause?

    Other than a couple of vague references, the only definite thing I can remember is way back over 10 yeas ago, this fellow from Canada( name? ) was sleeping in a tarp over his hammock that was meant to be used with a wood burning stove. He was using the JRB elastic tarp cords that had some shock cord built into them. It was way below zero. He woke up to a close call, the tarp sagging onto his wood stove, or almost. When he went to sleep, the tarp's shock cords were pulled tight, but they lost their ability to contract, and the tarp sagged dangerously. That is the only for sure case I can remember.

    OTOH, I remember Cannibal using the original Yetis(Climashield AND down) at way below zero, with no complaints. And at all these frozen butt hangs and Shug's adventures(at least before he got into pods), it should have been put to the test.

    So, what about it folks: has any one ever thought their shock cord lost elastic pulling power at a low enough temp? If so, what temp? And if so, were you able to tighten up enough to get back to adequate tension? Hopefully, some vendors/producers will chime in, about if they have heard of any problems. I was playing around today with my old Climashield Yeti, and looking at that long loop of shock cord reminded me that I had wondered about this.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 05-30-2019 at 22:03.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bubba's Avatar
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    I can't say I have ever noticed a significant difference. I think the elasticity decreases a bit meaning the shock cord is not as snappy but it seems to remain the same length. I have not changed my 0 degree UQ suspension since I first set it and I have used it in very cold temps as well as more moderate temps. Perhaps there would be a difference if it was used for a longer period like a week. My experience is limited to two night trips.
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  3. #3
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    I've noticed a difference once I get under 20ish degrees. I usually have to adjust the suspension when it's that cold.

    Personally Ive come to the conclusion shock cord is less superior to a more rigid suspension like WBs epdm bands. Ive been contemplating how I can modify a Phoenix to use in the same manner as the wookie uq. The efficiency of my wookie is leaps ahead of my traditional uqs.

    I feel a static line from the center of the head end to the GE pf the hammock and two static lines on either corner of the foot end attached to an epdm band would work the best and replicate the "hug" of the wookie. Theres an improvement on shockcord to be had I'm sure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I can't say I have ever noticed a significant difference. I think the elasticity decreases a bit meaning the shock cord is not as snappy but it seems to remain the same length. I have not changed my 0 degree UQ suspension since I first set it and I have used it in very cold temps as well as more moderate temps. Perhaps there would be a difference if it was used for a longer period like a week. My experience is limited to two night trips.
    Well, you should know, for sure if doing any winter camping way up there. What are the lowest temps ( in Fahrenheit? ) you have tested at?

  5. #5
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Wing View Post
    I've noticed a difference once I get under 20ish degrees. I usually have to adjust the suspension when it's that cold.

    Personally Ive come to the conclusion shock cord is less superior to a more rigid suspension like WBs epdm bands. Ive been contemplating how I can modify a Phoenix to use in the same manner as the wookie uq. The efficiency of my wookie is leaps ahead of my traditional uqs.

    I feel a static line from the center of the head end to the GE pf the hammock and two static lines on either corner of the foot end attached to an epdm band would work the best and replicate the "hug" of the wookie. Theres an improvement on shockcord to be had I'm sure.
    OK, sounds like you are seeing some dif but not enough to cause trouble. But maybe you would below zero F? Wish I could think of the guys name who had the trouble with the JRB tarp elastic tie outs up in a Canadian winter(probably about minus 40F).

  6. #6
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    At 0* F I have had no problem. At -10 I have remained cozy. At -18* my shock cord turned from stretchy and pliable to solid, non-stretchy. The low that night was -21 but, I was forced to bail at -18.

    I replaced that shock cord with something a bit heavier but, never tested it at those temps again. Eventually, I sold the quilt.
    Questioning authority, Rocking the boat & Stirring the pot - Since 1965

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDave View Post
    ..I replaced that shock cord with something a bit heavier but, never tested it at those temps again. Eventually, I sold the quilt.
    Any extreme temp experiences since with any other UQ?

  8. #8
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDave View Post
    At 0* F I have had no problem. At -10 I have remained cozy. At -18* my shock cord turned from stretchy and pliable to solid, non-stretchy. The low that night was -21 but, I was forced to bail at -18.

    I replaced that shock cord with something a bit heavier but, never tested it at those temps again. Eventually, I sold the quilt.
    Quote Originally Posted by TominMN View Post
    Any extreme temp experiences since with any other UQ?
    OK, now we are getting somewhere, and that this is a possible concern. It appears that about -18F things are beginning to become questionable, maybe a bit earlier. 90% of us will never see such temps, still, something to keep in mind.

    If this happened, and we were unable to get adjusted snug enough for warmth, would it work to replace shock cord with some tarp lines? Maybe not easy with a full perimeter suspension, but easier with the loops on each corner per the older(on partial) JRB style loops, and still used on full length quilts. If there is no one available to help, some one to adjust the line to snug the UQ up while I am in the hammock, maybe I can put some weight in the hammock and adjust good and snug myself?

    Apparently this doesn't happen much, or we would have heard more about it. OTOH, if it happened once, it must happen other times.

    That is one thing I loved about Pea Pods: no elastics. Just a short piece of nylon cord on the ends used to tie it to the hammock at the right height below the hammock, then when I got in I just sank down into contact with the down. You soon learned how to adjust it for the right amount of tension so it would be tight enough, but not too tight. Then, full length support above me with the Velcro closure. Not much to go wrong.

    And, also no such concern with pads. Which is an advantage for hammocks that are comfy with pads.

    Also, there is no shockcord on the ends of an HH Super Shelter. Although the pad has a couple of very thin elastic cords, they really don't do much. There are some eslatics in the bottom of the Undercover, but most of the correct adjustment can be accomplished by moving the Under cover ends further, or less far, towards the trees.

  9. #9
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Big Duh moment - of course shock cord is affected my temperature extremes. Is anybody doubting that?
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TominMN View Post
    Any extreme temp experiences since with any other UQ?
    I sleep out many nights but now, only down to high single digits. Nearing 0* and below it stops being fun. I can get through the night but never comfortable. High teen-low twenty's is my preferred winter camping weather.

    I have a 20* HG Incubator, a 40 * HG Incubator and a UQP. When the 20* isn't Warm enough I stack the quilts. The quilt I sold was a 0* HG Incubator. The night I bailed at -18 I had the 20* and 0* quilts stacked.
    Questioning authority, Rocking the boat & Stirring the pot - Since 1965

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