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  1. #1

    Red face Newbie Setup - First Hangs

    I've been lurking here for a while, gathering information and making my set up.
    Making one for my son, too. I've hung outside in my backyard for the last three nights. I've got a DIY gathered hammock, Tadpole Tarp and single line suspension with tree hugger straps. I bought a cheap (I know, you get what you pay for) Suisse Sport 30* bag from Amazon because it got such rave reviews. The weather has been eerily awesome for March here on the East Coast in Virginia so I gave everything a hang. Well, the temps got to about 58*-60* at night and I FROZE after about 1:30 am. Oh, I'm using CCF blue from Walmart. I taped shoulder and knee extensions to my pad and bought a Marmot Aspen Down Adventurer 15* bag from ****'s yesterday. Last night the temps got to 46*-50* and I got cold again! I think my bag, being a regular adult is just too big for me. I could turn and curl up in it just fine and it is mummy type. I'm 61 yrs old, 5'2" and 112 llbs. I'm a girl.. In the doctors office years ago, I measured myself on the tape on the wall and I am the size of a typical 11 year old!!!
    I'm thinking that I definitely need a woman's bag or even a child's. Am I right? Would the size make that big of a difference? I was wearing poly/cotton long underwear.

    My brother is bringing his wife's down bag this weekend and I will give that one a try and report back.
    Thanks for listening and any feedback
    Mitey Mo

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bondo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Central Cal via Liberty, Tx
    Skeeter Beater Pro
    WB Super Fly Camo
    DIY PLUQ w/Pad
    Bag size could be a problem. Sleeping bags keep you warm by trapping and holding a layer of "dead" (non-circulating) air next to your body. Your body heat warms this dead air, and the bag forms a barrier between it and the colder ground or outside air. The less air space there is to heat, the faster you warm up and stay warm. Camping bags are roomier than backpacking bags for greater comfort, with the tradeoff being less efficient warming of this dead space.
    "Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."

  3. #3
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    DIY GreenBeanHammock
    DIY Tarps/HG Cuben
    Whoopie Slings
    Where were you cold? Mainly underneath? On top?
    May be the bag....but the pad should have kept the back warm.
    Did you eat well before sleep?
    Tried the hot water bottle trick?.......
    Carry Forth.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Lorax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    WBBB (1.7,1.1) Nx-200 and ENO DN
    Superfly and MJ
    Pad and HG UQ
    Straps with mods
    Fill up some of that unused bag space with the next day's clothing or your jacket stuffed down in the bottom.

    1. It will take up the space your body would need to heat
    2. You would appreciate the nice warm clothes the next morning
    3. At your size, you wouldn't risk over-compressing the insulation by adding things in your bag. you would have enough room to maintain a decent loft.
    4. Read up a little on cold weather or winter camping/backpacking. There are tips and tricks to having warm nights when the temps drop. See Shug's post above.

    Half the fun is finding your own system that works.

  5. #5
    Bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    WBBB 1.7 SL
    WB Superfly
    WB and UGQ
    Whoopies or Straps
    You need the heat your body generates to be trapped in your insulation. If you are of small stature I suspect a smaller bag may feel warmer for you. More dead air space between you and your insulation means you'll feel colder. Also, an underquilt would wrap around your back better. Since you DIY'd a hammock you could convert a sleeping bag into an UQ.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Yakfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Kerrville, Texas
    Blackbird 1.7
    Warbonnet straps
    I like a larger sized bag and dislike the mummy style for comfort reasons. I take manufacture's temperature ratings with a grain of salt, I have found them to be way too optimistic. However, for those temps I think the Marmot you have should be on the money.
    I would try adding bottom insulation, and adding clothing. Since you already have wings on your pad, try adding another pad. Cut it to make a half pad to cover your butt, back and shoulder region. You can do that for 10 bucks and it will tell you if you are going in the right direction. Secondly, try dressing more warmly. I almost always wear some sort of jacket when sleeping at those temps. I wouldn't feel odd getting into the bag dressed for 40 degrees if that was what the temp was going to be at night. You might be too hot but that is real easy to fix. On the other hand it might be real comfy. Lightly inflated thermarest type pads I have found to be both comfortable and good insulators. I do just fine with a 15 degree bag a blue walmart pad and a thermarest down to freezing, but I dress warmly. I got a used military thermarest off of ebay for cheap. It does not hold air very well but it does not need much to be a good insulator in a hammock. Also you might want to experiment with some reflective bottom insulation. If you can't buy insultex by the foot around town somewhere get a car windshield reflector. You probably only need about half of it though. Be sure to wear a watch cap or something to keep your head plenty warm, you loose a lot of heat there sometimes without realizing it. Don't get discouraged, often comfort is very individualistic and requires experimentation.
    "To turn from this increasingly artificial and strangely alien world is to escape from unreality. To return to the timeless world of the mountains, the sea, the forest and the stars is to return to sanity and truth." --Robert Burnham Jr.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Durham, NC
    CatCut Hex/GG12
    Fur I grow myself
    Of Disbelief
    When I first started hanging I used a 35* bag with the Walmart Blue CCF pad and got cold as well. I had crawled into the bag to use as intended and then layed ontop of the CCF. Something about this caused me be uncomfortably cold enough that I could not stay asleep. I started using the bag as a TQ and sleeping directly on the pad, but then my back got extremely clamy. So I tried wearing wicking clothing with the bag and pad and finally a dry warm night sleeping.

    I've since switched to a proper DIY UQ and TQ combo that together weigh less than my old sleeping bag and compress to about half the size.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  8. #8
    Well, last night it got down to 58* and I used my sister in law's down bag and slept pretty well. I discovered that the cold this time was coming from my back. One pad isn't enough for me. Tonight I'll try the car windshield and see how that goes.
    I am surprised that I would need a down bag when the temps only reach 60* or so. I expect even in the summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains the mornings will get that low. I just didn't expect to need one. Seeing as I hate the heat and prefer to hike in the cooler temps I need to perfect my system. I don't know when I'll sleep inside again! Ha!
    My husband is very understanding. He knows he has a kookie wife.

  9. #9
    Success!! I used my Marmot 15* bag and put the windshield screen on my pad and put the extra fleece clothes in the bottom of the bag and I slept toasty warm all night. The temp got to 52* Thanks for all the support and suggestions.

  10. #10
    Stormstaff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Kankakee, IL
    Dangerbird or The Great Pumpkin
    Whoopies/ Dutch
    From what little experience I have and from what info I've gotten from this board, it seems like your bottom isulation is normally the key. Sounds like most folks need extra underneath when it gets cooler.

    Congrats on a toasty night!
    Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

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