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  1. #1
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Body Fat/Metabolism and Staying Warm.

    In the Coffee (Hammock Engineer) at Hurricane Shelter thread it was mentioned that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammock Engineer
    At lost mtn Shelter I had a ridgeline temp of 22 degress, inside my hammock sock with my tarp. After that I hate to say it, but I am sending my hammock ahead a week. I'm adding some extra insulation to help. I was just freezing in my hammock with what I had been comfortable with before my hike well below zero. That and there was a nice layer of frost everywhere in the morning. I have to be warm at night at all costs, even if that means the hard ground.
    This a pretty startling revelation to me, especially when a hard core hammock user like HE decides to give up hanging and goes to ground in order to stay warm. It had been mentioned that gear that was not as clean as it had been, resulting in a loss of loft, may have been partially to blame.

    I think the main culprit was the weight that HE lost during his thru hike:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammock Engineer
    'm sitting close to 25 pounds lighter now than when I left. I am usually freezing anytime I am not hiking. I think my body is using up everything I eat right after I eat it. But we'll see.
    Going by that statement, you would loose about 1 degree of cold protection for every pound that you shed during your hike. There was also talk of not being able to build up enough calories to help keep you warm at night. Basically you are expending more calories than you are taking in and when you do eat the body consumes everything and leaves nothing to "keep the furnace going" at night. At the same time I have always heard that younger people tend to be warmer sleepers due to higher metabolisms and that as one gets older you sleep colder (meaning you need more insulation to stay warm).

    It's almost like saying that getting and shape and loosing weight may not the best thing for winter camping or a long distance hike.

    I know almost nothing about the intricate workings of the human metabolism except that as I get older I put on weight more easily I wanted to open this topic up for discussion because it intrigues me. Has anyone else had experiences with weight loss/gain and staying warm on the trail and in your hammock.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    this has nothing to do with a hammock but with weight loss.
    I lost right at 50 lbs this yr. I get colder now than I ever use to.
    I lost a lot of fat everywhere I found muscles I didn't know I had once the fat went away I can wait to get out in cold weather to see how well I do. I might have changed from a warm sleeper to a cold sleeper

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    I get cold very easily, and I know it is because of a lack of body fat. On the other hand, I don't get hot.

  4. #4
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ewker View Post
    this has nothing to do with a hammock but with weight loss.
    I lost right at 50 lbs this yr. I get colder now than I ever use to.
    I lost a lot of fat everywhere I found muscles I didn't know I had once the fat went away I can wait to get out in cold weather to see how well I do. I might have changed from a warm sleeper to a cold sleeper
    Did you loose your weight mainly by a change in diet or exorcise or some of both?

    Although HE lost 25lbs he has probably put on muscle from walking up and down mountains while hauling a pack for 6 months. His fat lossmay be higher than 25 lbs, some of that weight counteracted by the addition of muscle, which is heavier than fat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus
    I get cold very easily, and I know it is because of a lack of body fat. On the other hand, I don't get hot.
    You are also a pretty young guy, so you have that on your side. I know you said you have trouble gaining weight, but I would try to pack on as many pounds as you can (within reason of course ) before you start your thru next year.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  5. #5
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Fat is a great insulation device, besides being a very good flotation device - fat people float and well muscled people sink. That's how they measure body fat.

    Look at the animal world, specifically, walrus, seals, whales, etc. They keep a lot of body fat for insulation from the cold water at depth.

    So if you lose the fat, you have more sex appeal, but less survival appeal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    I lost my weight by going to Weight Watchers. You basically learn how to eat and what a serving size really is. To my horror I discovered that a rack of ribs is actually 4 servings
    I really doubt how many know what a serving size is. everything has been upgrade to a Super Size. A small coke today was probably a large coke 20 or so yrs ago. Portion sizes have changed right along with that.

    Other than backpacking I didn't go to the gym until I had lost almost 40 lbs. I am sure if I had started going earlier I would have lost my weight faster.
    The correct amount of weight to lose each week varies from 1 to 2 lbs. It will vary per person also.
    There were some weekends after a hike I would gain 6 lbs but lose 8lbs the following week.

    A pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle, it just a different size

  7. #7
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    I think HE just needs to use more olive oil with his meals, it is a healthy fat, so the only reason not to use it liberally is weight gain which, apparantly isn't his problem currently.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Yes, chubby is better for cold activities. As a diver in the Northeast I noticed that the vast majority of the hardcore types all looked like they enjoyed dinner, or dinners. I always got nervous diving with skinny divers. In flordia, they all look like twigs. Course the water temps are a wee bit warmer here.

    That's why my chubby butt is heading north. I'll still have some insulation for the coldest weather and walk into the warm.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kanguru's Avatar
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    I too lost about 40 lbs a few years ago and require more insulation for the same warmth. And while a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle your body reacts differently to each. Fat stores calories and muscle burns them, even some while at rest. Fat also provides insulation. Someone super fit, like Coffee after hiking for months, uses more calories just to idle his engine.
    Gentle raindrops and mighty oceans...neither can exist without the other.
    Time heals all wounds...but it usually leaves a pretty big scar.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lost's Avatar
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    Originally quoted by Headchange4u
    You are also a pretty young guy, so you have that on your side. I know you said you have trouble gaining weight, but I would try to pack on as many pounds as you can (within reason of course ) before you start your thru next year.
    Talking about Cerberus, we go out to eat and he ask the watress what has the most calories! I do hope he puts on some weight before his thru next year. He doesn't have 25 lbs. to loose!

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