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  1. #1
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    Question on Winter camping.

    When winter hammock camping has anyone tried digging a small snow trench for the hammock to go in or piling the snow up on each side of the hammock for additional insulation benefits? This of course assumes that the hammock will not touch the snow in either case.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member TheBrewGuy's Avatar
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    I think if you piled it up on the sides of you under the edges of your tarp it would help block wind and trap air. You would have to orient yourself correctly of course. I dont think it would be a good idea to get yourself down into a trench though. In snow shelter/igloo building its common to dig a trench next to where you sleep because the cold air settles into the trench and not around you.

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    Senior Member brambor's Avatar
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    wow. that is the first time I heard that piece of advice. Very cool! Thank You.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrewGuy View Post
    I think if you piled it up on the sides of you under the edges of your tarp it would help block wind and trap air. You would have to orient yourself correctly of course. I dont think it would be a good idea to get yourself down into a trench though. In snow shelter/igloo building its common to dig a trench next to where you sleep because the cold air settles into the trench and not around you.

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    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Snow trench can still be an excellent idea.
    Often when bringing down the tarp to ground level the hammock must go down too.
    If you have a snow trench to stand in it's easier to get in and out of a low hung hammock
    and as mentioned above it is a place for the cold air to settle in
    Forgot about this pic, just lifted it off Darby's website, it was his setup at a Roan High Knob group hang:
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  5. #5
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    So it sounds like:

    Snow trench = bad
    Piling = good if done right

  6. #6
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    The advantage of a hammock is that you're already off the ground, so if you dig out under your tarp, then you're creating a large trench, the walls of which will help protect you from the wind. And since you already elevated in the hammock any cold air will automatically fall below you at night.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

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  7. #7
    Stand outside your upright freezer on a hot, humid day and when you open the door "watch the cold" roll out the bottom and drop to the floor like a cold quilt. Or, as mentioned, most igloo instructions tell you to dig a "well" near the door and sleep above that well height for greater warmth.

    I'm with the crewe that suggests you pile snow around the perimeter of the tarp (careful, as the melt and refreeze can lock things up!) to stop the heat exchange from a breeze blowing under your hammock. Using a 12 x 14 tarp, piling snow around the edges and closing the ends like doors will minimize any wind chill inside your tarp. A darker color tarp will gain some solar heating during daylight hours...but once the sun goes down so will the temps inside!

  8. #8
    Senior Member titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    the winter hang Mt Rogers thread has some good advice- like don't put your tarp all the way down to the snow, so that the snow can slide off and so your tarp doesn't collapse.

    TH
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
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  9. #9
    Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shuag View Post
    When winter hammock camping has anyone tried digging a small snow trench for the hammock to go in or piling the snow up on each side of the hammock for additional insulation benefits? This of course assumes that the hammock will not touch the snow in either case.

    Thoughts?
    Thanks for bringing this up. I was actually just thinking about it the other day.

    I'm also curious what the feasibility of hanging in a snow cave or igloo would be. Probably be a lot of work but you wouldn't need a tarp and probably less insulation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DuctTape's Avatar
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    I do not dig a trench, but instead stamp down with my snowshoes as much as possible, as I will soon be taking them off and do not want to sink in. A depression will also provide a well for the cold air to settle.

    DO put the tarp all the way to the snow to provide maximum wind protection. To allow for additional snow fall to slide off, stamp down (or dig) a straight down from the edge for snow to accumulate as it slides off the tarp. A steep pitch is necessary to allow wet snow to slide better. But definitely get the edge of the tarp down to the snow level. Piling it inside the tarp edge also works to get that seal.

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