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  1. #1
    Senior Member Big Papi's Avatar
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    clark insulation question

    ok, I am doing a thanksgiving hang at mt rogers, and looking forward to the winter mt rogers hang in january. I have some questions about insulation.

    Lets say for now, the z liner is not an option.

    I have always been a groundling, so I have a myriad of sleeping bags and pads.

    Will I be able to function in the teens and single digits with a 0-15 degree bag unzipped as a top quilt and an insulated air core pad partially inflated underneath? I have thought about adding a sportsman emergency blanket (the heavy duty kind from cabellas) and maybe even a fleece type blanket from home to act as both bottom insulation as well as extra top insulation.

    My thoughts are:
    1) I am fat, so staying warm is usually not a problem. (6'5, 400#s)
    2) I have down booties for my feet
    3) I am planning on wearing polar weight thermal bottoms and a heavier weight long sleeve top to bed, topped off with my mad bomber rabbit fur hat complete with ear flaps.

    I feel pretty comfortable with the set up, but unfortunately don't have time to test it before the first mt rogers trip. When I was in Dolly sods a month ago for my first hang, I had a 15 down BA bag and the insulated air core pad to 42 degrees and was cozy.

    My other concerns are my really good bags are big agnes bags which has no insulation on the bottom (you slide the pad there), so to use as a top quilt is ok, but when i unzip it to drape, not having insulation on the bottom seems a bit of a hindrance, provides major gaps. I was going to use my marmot trestles xwide bag this trip so I could really wrap it all around me. Probably for the winter hang, I will suck it up and buy a new 0 bag and bring an extra blanket.

    Before you ask, I know all the tricks about staying warm...hot water bottles, light exercise before bed, warm drink before bed, eating a spicy dinner, change socks, etc.... Cold weather is not an issue, as I was a major winter groundling before, just trying to make transition to winter hanger.

    Thanks ahead of time for all your input and comments, you are all a vast wealth of information for us newbs.

  2. #2
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
    ok, I am doing a thanksgiving hang at mt rogers, and looking forward to the winter mt rogers hang in january. I have some questions about insulation.

    Lets say for now, the z liner is not an option.

    I have always been a groundling, so I have a myriad of sleeping bags and pads.

    Will I be able to function in the teens and single digits with a 0-15 degree bag unzipped as a top quilt and an insulated air core pad partially inflated underneath? I have thought about adding a sportsman emergency blanket (the heavy duty kind from cabellas) and maybe even a fleece type blanket from home to act as both bottom insulation as well as extra top insulation.

    My thoughts are:
    1) I am fat, so staying warm is usually not a problem. (6'5, 400#s)
    2) I have down booties for my feet
    3) I am planning on wearing polar weight thermal bottoms and a heavier weight long sleeve top to bed, topped off with my mad bomber rabbit fur hat complete with ear flaps.

    I feel pretty comfortable with the set up, but unfortunately don't have time to test it before the first mt rogers trip. When I was in Dolly sods a month ago for my first hang, I had a 15 down BA bag and the insulated air core pad to 42 degrees and was cozy.

    My other concerns are my really good bags are big agnes bags which has no insulation on the bottom (you slide the pad there), so to use as a top quilt is ok, but when i unzip it to drape, not having insulation on the bottom seems a bit of a hindrance, provides major gaps. I was going to use my marmot trestles xwide bag this trip so I could really wrap it all around me. Probably for the winter hang, I will suck it up and buy a new 0 bag and bring an extra blanket.

    Before you ask, I know all the tricks about staying warm...hot water bottles, light exercise before bed, warm drink before bed, eating a spicy dinner, change socks, etc.... Cold weather is not an issue, as I was a major winter groundling before, just trying to make transition to winter hanger.

    Thanks ahead of time for all your input and comments, you are all a vast wealth of information for us newbs.
    Big Papi,

    Do it right... and be warm and comfortable.... the bottom is as important as the top...if not more so.... For minimum issues in the hammock and maximum coverage get a full length under quilt... Order from onhand stock and have it for your Thanksgiving outing.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  3. #3
    Senior Member Big Papi's Avatar
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    Pan, with respect to you and your company, I am interested in your large quilts, but won't be able to purchase until after first of year. I don't have $300+ right here/right now. Should I simply carry a second sleeping bag instead of the insulated air core pad? I could use the 15 degree syntehetic on the bottom and a 15 degree down for the top. So I have to use what I have for now.... I have plenty of bags and pads, plus I have the clarks nx250, so it is enclosed like a tent, so I am just worried about bottom insulation.

    What are people's thoughts? should i forgo the pad and just bring the second sleeping bag (only 1 pound more weight) or should i use the pad and an xtra blanket? That combo would be the same as a pad and blanket.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bigbamaguy's Avatar
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    Big Papi:
    I have the NX-200 CJH, very similar to the 250, and have been in freezing weather with an inflatable mat and a 50 degree bag. It was during the Sipsey Feb 09 trip. If you look at the Clark website under the testamonials you can read what I had to say about the Clark. I survived, was a little chilly in the mid to upper 20's. I left the pad partially inflated, climbed into the bag and used a small fleece blanket on top. I wore my rain pants, longsleeve baselayer and fleece jacket to sleep in. It was a very wet, cold night that night and when we woke up we were covered in 3" of fresh snow. I know no big deal, except we were in Alabama!!!!!!!
    Par Si Vis Pace Para Bellum

  5. #5
    Senior Member molawns's Avatar
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    I use my NX-250 without an UQ all the time. My lowest temps so far were lower 30's to upper 20's F. I wore merino wool thermals and wool socks, along with my clothes from that day (BDU trousers and a long sleeve cotton shirt). Had a North Face Bighorn bag (+20 degree rating), an Ozark Trail fleece sleeping bag from Walmart (probably +50 degree rating) and a military issue poncho liner (not sure of rating). No CCF/inflatable pad whatsoever. I did the hot water bottle trick and ate a little something before bed to stoke the "internal furnace".

    I never had a problem...stayed comfy and warm the whole night. Just saying...it can be done without an UQ, regardless of what others may say. The Clark's weathershield really helps hold in heat, and as long as you give yourself enough insulation underneath you you'll be fine. Just be sure the insulation is thick enough to take the compression of your body weight, but still provide some "loft" to trap heat.
    Yesterday's tomorrow is tomorrow's yesterday. It's the only day that counts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Big Papi's Avatar
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    didn't get as much feedback here as i thought i would. After talking to some friends, I think I am going to use a 15 degree synthetic bag as an UQ, a 15 degree down bag as a TQ, and throw in a CCF (ridgerest) pad for extra insulation. If I get real cold, I can add clothing layers.

    Any advice or recommendations for this thought process?

  7. #7
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
    didn't get as much feedback here as i thought i would. After talking to some friends, I think I am going to use a 15 degree synthetic bag as an UQ, a 15 degree down bag as a TQ, and throw in a CCF (ridgerest) pad for extra insulation. If I get real cold, I can add clothing layers.

    Any advice or recommendations for this thought process?
    My only question is "where are you putting the sleeping bag/UQ??" If you're putting it inside the hammock and then you're getting in and laying on top of it, it's not gonna give you the insulating propertys that you're needing. If you're hanging it outside and under the hammock, how are you attaching it to your hammock to avoid air gaps??

    If you're attaching it under your hammock, a 15 degree bag should be enough to keep you warm (depending on the temps that you're expecting where you'll be camping). Also make sure you bring extra warm clothes to layer on yourself. Like you said, You can always remove them if you get to hot.

    I've slept in my clark with just an Exped down matt inside the hammock (plus a top down quilt, mid 20's degrees). Only had problems with my shoulders getting cold and when rolling around, I'd roll off the matt. I stuffed extra clothes under/around my shoulders and that fixed that problem.

    Air gaps under your hammock will be what makes you cold. During the winter/cold camping trips I've done, as long as I've got the bottom sealed up, I'm warm. I've camped in warmer temps and been cold because I didn't properly put my UQ on and had air gaps. I've camped in much colder temps with the same UQ and been toasty because I put my UQ on right. Just so you know, my UQ is rated for colder than the temps I camp in because I'm such a cold sleeper. I need more insulation to stay warm. You say you're a much warmer sleeper so you may end up not needing as much insulation. You really wont know though until you've tried it. Just make sure you've got a "plan B" incase you do get cold.

    TinaLouise

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinaLouise View Post
    . . . . Just make sure you've got a "plan B" incase you do get cold.

    TinaLouise
    That is the best advice/plan . . . of all . . .
    Bradley SaintJohn
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  9. #9
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    didn't get as much feedback here as i thought i would.
    Sometimes with questions about insulation on the Clark the conversation gets into whether the pockets work as insulation or not. Many members have never used the Clark so they are hesitant to give advice. Really the Clark is just like any gathered end hammock and needs the same bottom insulation

    Do it right... and be warm and comfortable.... the bottom is as important as the top...if not more so....
    Pan's advice is spot on as always IMO bottom is more important than top in the hammock. Your sleeping bags can be used as TQ's so I would suggest your first purchase be a quality UQ instead of another SB.

    Air gaps under your hammock will be what makes you cold. During the winter/cold camping trips I've done, as long as I've got the bottom sealed up, I'm warm. I've camped in warmer temps and been cold because I didn't properly put my UQ on and had air gaps. I've camped in much colder temps with the same UQ and been toasty because I put my UQ on right. Just so you know, my UQ is rated for colder than the temps I camp in because I'm such a cold sleeper. I need more insulation to stay warm. You say you're a much warmer sleeper so you may end up not needing as much insulation. You really wont know though until you've tried it. Just make sure you've got a "plan B" incase you do get cold.
    Repeat with the quote because the advice is so good

    In the meantime make sure you have enough pads to keep you warm. IMO you will be better with a SPE pad setup instead of trying to make a SB work as a UQ. It will be very hard to get the SB to seal to the hammock properly. The 15* bag may only work to 40* because of the air gaps mentioned in the quote above.

    I have used ccf pads in the single digits and stayed warm. Did they compress into my pack like a UQ or as comfortable? No but I had a good nights sleep and did not freeze my butt off. They also provide plan B, You can use your Clark like a bivy (God forbid) with the pads. CCF pads in a "T" shape to cover the torso/shoulder area will work great. Use the ziplock bag idea in the Clark pockets just to add a buffer from the wind if you are in the teens or lower.

    I am just an occasional Clark user now, but I used a Clark for several years with pads on some of my coldest hiking trips. Backyard testing is highly recommended

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