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  1. #1
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Winter weather protection choices (thinking outside the hammock)

    As winter is approaching, I've been contemplating my first foray into truly cold weather hammocking. I've been camping out in mid-winter in New England regularly forever, but in a mountaineering tent.

    So, I've been scoping out some of the winter tarps with doors, which seem to me that they actually are giant tents that the hammock is hung within. This sounds like a lot of material that adds up to significant weight & pack volume.

    Well, here is the very uninformed question: Would it not be better to enclose the hammock in an IX peapod type of thing. It seems that this would require less material overall.

    I think that would accomplish blocking wind, trapping a bit of heat and, the IX would provide some additional insulation. Since the IX weighs about the same as 1.1 nylon, there wouldn't be any weight penalty for the extra insulation.

    Since we are talking about well below freezing temperatures, liquid precipitation wouldn't be an issue but, a small very small tarp or a silnylon cover on the top area of the peapod would still be needed.

    I'm hoping this will start a lively discussion that I and other newcomers can learn a great deal from.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Winter and water

    There will always be possibility of water, even in coldest winter temperature rises sometimes and it rains partly snow partly water. I think sleet is the correct word in english.

    Then there is a possibility of snow and rain going horizontally.

    And of course if it snows and rains whole day it is nice to have place to cook and organize your gear.

    I do not think tarps can trap heat very much (true temperature difference outside vs. inside tarp), put in real life it feels like that when there is no wind. That is why doors are good to have.

    And my personal opinion is that BlackBird's insect netting also helps to eliminate air flow significantly, no drafts around face when sleeping netting closed.

    And of course sometimes in winter the hiker is the most significant source of water. One breathes and sweats, clothes are moist. If one has got good winter tarp it is much more easy to handle the moisture. If using something small and confined there is no place for condensation to go.

    If one is going truly small and light there is always bivack-bag, small pad and sleeping bag. That would be the most economical solution. When sleeping at ground there is no need for all that extra insulation that hammock needs because of all that cold air flowing under it. There is no material flow when sleeping at the ground. So when choosing to use hammock, there is already something extra added for comfort of the hiker and extra bulk added.

    I vote for bigger tarps during winter time, even with little bulk. Hiking is more enjoyable that way. Invest good materials Cuben and SpinnUL if you want less weight and pack volume. SilNyl is also quite good, but when wet it stretch little bit.

    Last edited by voivalin; 11-21-2010 at 02:56.

  3. #3
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Voivalin has said it all (or most of it), and extremely well put, too. Thanks.

    I'll add a few details. A tarp that comes to within a foot or so of the ground but not all the way down will let accumulated snow slide off of it, whereas one that reaches the ground gets pressed down and in toward the hammock because the snow has no place to go.

    I made a small hammock tent to use under my tarp, and put a pad covered with Tyvek on the ground under the hammock, but small items could slip off the pad and get lost in the snow, so I modified the tent, adding a small diamond-shaped Tyvek floor (3' long by 2' wide'). It works pretty well, weighs about a pound, and affords some privacy. The bottom 2' of the tent is silnylon, and the top part is Pertex microlight.

  4. #4
    Senior Member creativeKayt's Avatar
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    WV -- this sounds interesting. Do you have any pictures of it?

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