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  1. #31
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    There are lots of schools of thought. First - night clothes. The phrase is, “Cotton Kills.” That refers to using cotton for outer garments. If it gets wet, it stays wet and increases heat loss by conduction and convection. If even a small part gets wet, like the cuff of your jeans, it will tend to wick to the rest of your garment. That said, I’m a big fan of cotton pj's. Nothing makes a hard day (or easy day) endurable than a comfortable night in soft cotton pajamas. Also, it is much easier to throw pj's in the wash than to properly wash and loft down. For similar reasons, I wear light ankle socks and in mild weather maybe a balaclava. As the weather gets colder, I wear the balaclava more often. My early one was silk from mountain climbing days but now I have a variety of inexpensive ones courtesy of Amazon. I also found a nice thicker fleece model with a front panel that directs warm breath passed my nose - keeping it warmer. So I’d go for single layer but cover your feet/body/head.

    Now - a bit of controversy - heat: Your quilts don’t make heat; you do (or don’t). If you have a good running car, but don’t start it up, it’s unfair to say the car doesn’t work. The quilts job is to capture/maintain the heat you make. But you have to make the heat. As an aside, you could add some heat by using those handwarmer packets or a nalgene (or other brand) bottle of hot water. Two caveats. Sometimes those packets leak; it can get messy. So you might want to kept it/them in a small bag. But they seem to need oxygen to work so maybe not “ziplock” style. If the water is too hot, it can distort the threads on the nalgene bottle so your tight fitting lid might leak later. These are things you can practice with at home.

    Also at home, there are suggestions of the kinds of camp food to eat for dinner, and you can try them out. Here’s the problem. We are taught, “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” But when hiking/camping, we want those calories at night. But then, we also - depending upon age - don’t want to be “bothered” too much at night. If some urge is waking us up, we prefer it only to be to pee and nothing more complicated. So it’s good to try different food ideas at home and see how they work.

    But to me, most important is acknowledge that you make the heat. I learned this when I was homeless one winter. I had a station wagon I could sleep in and a sleeping bag but I would be cold. Soon it dawned on me that I had to make the heat. This gets into other philosopies like Ying and Yang, soft and hard. A personality will tend more one way than the other but the important thing is balance. You need to be able to roar. ARRRRRH. Make some internal fire. . There’s a cartoon strip, A Rose is a Rose. The woman in the panel usually is portrayed wearing yoga or “mom” clothes. But sometimes her “biker” persona appears. As an adult, you need both. Looking at your friends, you may know some that are all hard and fire where others are all soft and cool - all the time. You need both, to be used appropriately depending upon the circumstances.

    At night, outside, in cold temperatures, you need to have more an ARRRRRH attitude than a La Di Dah attitude.

    Back to more conventional ideas - you do need to have adequate insulation underneath the hammock to prevent convection heat loss. Notice I said under the hammock, not (directly) under you. Because if you are lying directly on your insulation, like a sleeping bag, you are compressing it’s loft. It’s what’s under the hammock - your underquilt, that needs to be snugged up correctly. I also use an underquilt protector because I switch quilts and hammocks and often have to set up alone. I can’t see how well things fit while I’m in the hammock and the UQP allows my setup to be not as precise.

    If you are using a pad of some kind, that could go under you in the hammock but it would probably feel better and not shift so much if you used it with a double layer hammock.

    If you have a friend that can come over, put them in the hammock and see how things fit. Make sure the UQ is snug, but not so tight that it’s compressing its loft. If you don’t use an UQP, you might want to make sure your tarp side are pulled down at night to minimize that heat robbing air flow under the hammock.

    I usually like a 10 degree cushion in temperature rating. I know my 20 degree quilts will keep me warm at 30 degrees. Your 0 degree quilt seems like it should work for you at 20 degrees. But again - it’s a team sport. It’s the cooperation between your top and bottom quilt (or pad) with backup by an UQP or the way your rig your tarp (with doors). And - that you have devoured the calories to make heat and your body knows that’s its job.
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 10-23-2020 at 16:01.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  2. #32
    Member
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    If you have a friend that can come over, put them in the hammock and see how things fit. Make sure the UQ is snug, but not so tight that it’s compressing its loft. If you don’t use an UQP, you might want to make sure your tarp side are pulled down at night to minimize that heat robbing air flow under the hammock.

    I usually like a 10 degree cushion in temperature rating. I know my 20 degree quilts will keep me warm at 30 degrees. Your 0 degree quilt seems like it should work for you at 20 degrees. But again - it’s a team sport. It’s the cooperation between your top and bottom quilt (or pad) with backup by an UQP or the way your rig your tarp (with doors). And - that you have devoured the calories to make heat and your body knows that’s its job.[/QUOTE]


    Wow! Tx for the info. I have a zero degree underquilt as well as an UQP, so I'm pretty sure that end isn't the problem b/c I don't usually get cold underneath me, it's just a general cold all over. As mentioned above, I'm in the process of purchasing the correct base layers to sleep in and get rid of the blankets. Then I'll drink my warm green tea, do a few toe touches to create heat but not sweat, and climb into bed. We plan on hiking the Sheltowee Trace next year (2022), so I will tune my winter sleeping gear this winter to prepare. I love the anology about the car and blaming it for being cold when I didn't heat it up first. That will stick with me as I try to fine tune my gear. I was 99% sure it wasn't the tq, but I just didn't know what else could be the problem until I began to read everyone else's advise, then I felt pretty stupid for not seeing the problem! I'm addicted to watching people thru hiking the AT, so I've seen what they do and heard their advice, but I never applied it to myself...lol. Duh! That's okay, I blame it being an over excited newbie. I just found hammock camping 2 years ago, then pecked and saved for a good sleep system, now I'm working on the clothing. Baby steps. It's a very expensive hobby, but man do I love it! So tx for your help! You're another big name here at hf and I appreciate your help.
    Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad!

  3. #33

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    Eating a nutritious, high calorie meal for dinner and making sure you're well hydrated when you go to bed (er---hammock) is important too.

  4. #34
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    ATGIRL2028 - sounds like your gear setup is about as good as it gets. I don’t see who makes the bottom quilt but you’ve noted you are not getting CBS (cold butt syndrome); you are just cold all over. Note that some vendors like Hammock Gear design their UQ’s with a differential cut - meaning the bottom side of the UQ is a bit larger than the top side of the UQ. That way, the UQ can be pulled right up to the hammock bottom without compressing the down/loft.

    If possible, see if there’s a way you can sleep outside, at your house, at night. Because you can experiement and if the experiment fails, you just go back inside and collapse on the couch. In another thread in the forums there’s a discussion on themometers. The ones that report minimum temperature are a good tool for noting the coldest night temperature and how your test worked. I use a small S-biner to clip mine to the outside zipper on my hammock sock (currently using a SpinDrift with Ridge Runner hammock).

    Last night got to 45 degrees - still almost summer (in late October!). But tonight it’s forecast to be 14 degrees. I have gear for that but I may pass and just stay inside. My point there is the learning process is not supposed to be torture. It might hurt a little when you get something wrong; that helps with the learning retention. But it would be sad if you hiked out a few miles and ended up shivering all night.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, life presents us plenty of opportunity to experience “temperature changes” - someone cuts you off on the highway. A semi passes you on the right just as you were trying to merge over and make an exit. A store has an item on sale that you want, but when you get there they are all sold out, people still using cell phones while they are driving, etc.

    Fingers crossed that wearing lighter garments - while still covered head to toe with sleeping socks (not too tight), jamie bottom and top, and sleeping cap or balaclava, plus some calories and toe touches (and a good ARRRRRGH ) will make an impact. There is no shame in using one of those Hotties, heat packets - just put it in a little thin cloth bag or test that it doesn’t leak. Also, some swear by the hot water bottle in the TQ (maybe foot end). Some put it in a bag or large sock so their skin doesn’t get burned. Some swear at it instead of swear by it because they didn’t tighten the lid enough (or the temperature change so that …) and it leaked at night. So you could set something up and just put it on its side in the sink and see if there was any leakage 8 hours later.

    The hobby can be expensive initially - especially with 0 degree rated gear. But a LOT of my camping gear is decades old. So if you divide the cost by 10, it eases the financial pain a little. And when you wake up, soft, cozy AND WARM, near a lake, with sweet fresh air and the sound of some birds - that cost pain disappears (at least for a little while).
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 10-25-2020 at 14:14.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  5. #35
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Go attend a group hang and have some of the more experienced hangers make sure you have everything set up correctly.
    I am still 18 but with 49 years of experience ! ................ Hike the Neusiok Trail & check out the NTforum !

  6. #36
    Senior Member kattdogg's Avatar
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    Great post and ideas, all hit home. I am a FROZEN Sleeper. Once it hits 20 degrees out I pull out the loco libre -40 UQ.... worth every penny for me. Saving for the -40 tq..... but I have a zero and a 40 tq I layer, and sometimes I use an extra 50 tq to stay warm.

    I do all the tricks, eat a few pieces of cheese before bed, empty the bladder, go to bed warm but not sweating..... etc. But I need to bring in a warm water bottle and hand warmers for 2 reasons.
    1. I have a disease that screws with my guts and makes my body temp wonky..
    AND 2. I am a woman

    A huge number of women will sleep 20 degrees colder then men, I sleep almost 40 degrees colder, so it is hard for men to understand why women need so much more then men, and we store fat differently and it takes forever to warm up some of those areas... Belly Thighs and the BUTTTTTTT.

    I have a 0 degree UQ from HG and the -40 UQ from LL, and I froze all the time, till I had a buddy pull about 4 ft of shock cord out of the PRIMARY suspension.... then I could finally get warm, this caused my 0 TQ to work so much better.

    It is also a huge mental game, even though you know you should be warm, somewhere in the back of your mind you are thinking how can something so light keep me warm, I had this problem for my first season with my 0. I knew it should keep me warm but that little seed of doubt makes a difference.

    I sleep with as little clothing as possible on, but have a pair of fleece pants and shirt hanging off my ridgeline for getting out for pee trips and such if I need them. your body has to work that much harder to put heat out into all that clothing.

    If you want a blanket take a fleece fitted sheet and turn it into a liner for the quilt, the fleece feeling will not feel as cold when you climb into the hammock.... so there is less shock to the body, but it is also thin enough to let heat into the quilt.

    My body usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to create enough heat in the quilts to finally pass out good and hard.

    keep a few pieces of cheese in easy reach so when you get to the 2 to 4 am freeze you can refuel your body... also a good poop at that time does wonders....!

    How the UQ is fitting makes a huge difference to me!
    Hope maybe some of these things help.
    To only step where others have stepped means not to have your own adventures. Live, Love, and Adventure so you may leave your own foot prints!

  7. #37
    Senior Member
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    Not trying to dredge up the "less clothing is better" argument but my question is this-if one had on enough clothing would it keep you warm faster than getting under quilts with little clothing and then having to heat up your bag with body heat? For us older guys,getting up a time or two is a certainty so I usually have on a pretty good base layer which would include wool long johns,possum down socks or down booties over a light wool sock,lite wool LS tee and a short sleeve t over that,lite down jacket like a Ghost Whisperer,and a wool beanie,plus gloves.And sometimes there may be a fleece vest in that mix if the days are cold enough to require one.

    This is usually enough to get me thru the night at temps above 25 F but I will have a HG top quilt rated for O degrees and either a JRB Winter nest or my trusty HG 3/4 Phoenix 20.In either event,what Shug says about migrating the down is absolutely Key because if I forget to do it I will realize later that it made a difference.

  8. #38
    Senior Member kattdogg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Not trying to dredge up the "less clothing is better" argument but my question is this-if one had on enough clothing would it keep you warm faster than getting under quilts with little clothing and then having to heat up your bag with body heat? For us older guys,getting up a time or two is a certainty so I usually have on a pretty good base layer which would include wool long johns,possum down socks or down booties over a light wool sock,lite wool LS tee and a short sleeve t over that,lite down jacket like a Ghost Whisperer,and a wool beanie,plus gloves.And sometimes there may be a fleece vest in that mix if the days are cold enough to require one.

    This is usually enough to get me thru the night at temps above 25 F but I will have a HG top quilt rated for O degrees and either a JRB Winter nest or my trusty HG 3/4 Phoenix 20.In either event,what Shug says about migrating the down is absolutely Key because if I forget to do it I will realize later that it made a difference.
    One of the key points with too much clothing on is if you get to warm and start to sweat you can vent with the quilt, if you have a bunch of layers on you will just get them wet and then its harder to stay warm, the down or synthetic quilt breaths as well so the moisture slowly passes thru and out
    To only step where others have stepped means not to have your own adventures. Live, Love, and Adventure so you may leave your own foot prints!

  9. #39
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kattdogg View Post
    Great post and ideas, all hit home. I am a FROZEN Sleeper. Once it hits 20 degrees out I pull out the loco libre -40 UQ.... worth every penny for me. Saving for the -40 tq..... but I have a zero and a 40 tq I layer, and sometimes I use an extra 50 tq to stay warm.

    I do all the tricks, eat a few pieces of cheese before bed, empty the bladder, go to bed warm but not sweating..... etc. But I need to bring in a warm water bottle and hand warmers for 2 reasons.
    1. I have a disease that screws with my guts and makes my body temp wonky..
    AND 2. I am a woman

    A huge number of women will sleep 20 degrees colder then men, I sleep almost 40 degrees colder, so it is hard for men to understand why women need so much more then men, and we store fat differently and it takes forever to warm up some of those areas... Belly Thighs and the BUTTTTTTT.....................
    Fantastic post, Kattdogg! And an amazing read. It just goes to show how much of this stuff is individual. The differences between individuals, between one man and another, one woman and another, but also pretty consistently the dif between men and women. I have dealt with the cold tolerance difference between myself, my wife, daughter and other women enough to know this is a simple fact of life which you and ATGirl are both confirming. But even my wife etc can't quite compete with you guys! I still remember a happy moment for me years ago, back when my wife would still backpack with me. Along with our 14 year old son, we had hiked in to a Colorado lake at about 11 or 12 thousand feet, with snow patches around in summer. My wife was starting to get extremely nervous, being certain she was going to freeze, since we were expecting temps just below freezing. But I got her to get into her 20F synthetic TNF bag, with her fleece and hat on, zip up and cinch that hood down to a small vent hole, and we all said goodnight. About 30 minutes later, we hear "whooo!" and hear zippers opening, and "I'm hot". And she either had to remove some layers or vent, I can't remember which. But I was so pleased that she was plenty warm below freezing, something she would have never believed was possible. Still, she is always going to be cold at temps a good 20F higher than me with the same equipment. This is obvious just sitting around the house or riding in the car. But sounds like you might be more like 40F difference! So, each individual has to figure out what works for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Not trying to dredge up the "less clothing is better" argument but my question is this-if one had on enough clothing would it keep you warm faster than getting under quilts with little clothing and then having to heat up your bag with body heat? For us older guys,getting up a time or two is a certainty so I usually have on a pretty good base layer which would include wool long johns,possum down socks or down booties over a light wool sock,lite wool LS tee and a short sleeve t over that,lite down jacket like a Ghost Whisperer,and a wool beanie,plus gloves.And sometimes there may be a fleece vest in that mix if the days are cold enough to require one.

    This is usually enough to get me thru the night at temps above 25 F but I will have a HG top quilt rated for O degrees and either a JRB Winter nest or my trusty HG 3/4 Phoenix 20.In either event,what Shug says about migrating the down is absolutely Key because if I forget to do it I will realize later that it made a difference.
    Yeah, me too. I've always been a layer kind of guy, whether up and around or sleeping. Different strokes apparently, many people seem to have a different experience. It is hard for me to imagine that I could ever not be warm enough in whatever layers I am wearing around camp, that if I wrapped up in my JRB Sniveller TQ that I wouldn't then be much warmer. Or if I was not quite warm enough sleeping in that same JRB TQ, that I would not warm up considerably if I put on my down parka or a thick fleece jacket. And many times, if I have not been quite warm enough in a Hennessy Super Shelter, if I just add a fleece jacket down into the under cover, under the open cell foam pad, I know I am going to get considerably warmer. Same thing with my Speer Pea Pod, rated 20F on the bottom but if I added a jacket or space blanket down under the hammock, into the pod, I could easily take that rascal way below 20F, every time. It always helps for me. Layers, adding up to more loft. Now, I can see over heating and sweating being a problem, possibly. But if already cold, adding some layers is always going to work for me. But some others apparently warm up by taking some layers off. It is what it is. Although, really, I most often use layers(or VBs) to enable me to get by with quilts or bags that are not rated warm enough for the rated conditions. For example, I have slept warmly enough with just the warm clothing I had with me on a backpacking trip, lows in the high 40s(with an HHSS under me). Clearly, if I was going to need to sleep at 30F, I would not need all those clothe plus a 30F TQ, which provides about 40 degrees worth of insulation(70F minus 30F = 40º of protection). But if I am already warm enough in just warm clothing in the high 40s, I don't think I need another 40º of protection just to sleep at 30F. I just need another 10 or 20º protection. Or, conversely, I can take that 30F rated TQ well below 30 by wearing my layers. At least that is how it always works for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by kattdogg View Post
    One of the key points with too much clothing on is if you get to warm and start to sweat you can vent with the quilt, if you have a bunch of layers on you will just get them wet and then its harder to stay warm, the down or synthetic quilt breaths as well so the moisture slowly passes thru and out
    Yep, overheating and sweating is always a possible problem. As a sometimes vapor barrier user, I am not going to get any body vapor or sweat into my insulation, plus I have knocked out about 20+º worth of evaporative cooling to start with(you know, the way an AC or swamp cooler works, evaporative cooling). I still think that would be a good thing for you FROZEN sleepers to research and experiment with. Since you are already freezing using tons of breathable insulation. Then again, some folks hate the idea, so whatever works for the individual!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-24-2020 at 21:36.

  10. #40
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Cotton definitely kills. You don't even notice how much moisture collects in cotton. I've never even tried camping in cotton - polyester or wool for me. Vapor barriers are a bit too esoteric for me - BillyBob58 is a big proponent, but one of very few proponents of vapor barriers on HF.

    Personally, I find sleeping in the buff to be very helpful. I sweat a LOT while sleeping, but when I'm naked, that perspiration feels like it's non-existent. Down is incredibly efficient at wicking the moisture away from you. Fifteen minutes after I get into my hammock, my feet are completely dry. If you're wearing a bunch of layers of non-efficient clothing, you're just keeping the down from doing what is a much more efficient job of wicking perspiration away.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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