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  1. #1
    New Member Monday's Avatar
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    Clothing to sleep in: is less more or is more more?

    I am totally new to winter hammocking and the forums. I just ordered my underquilt and top quilt from hammockgear and I am eagerly awaiting it's arrival

    I have read several people say that you don't want to overdress or you will lose warmth, but when watching videos from the Frozen Butt Hang it seemed like everyone was wearing everything they had! So does that rule have a temp limit?

    Here is my question: What are the best materials, layers and amounts of clothes to wear if you are not concerned with over heating, but only warmth and moisture management. Thanks!

    (I hope this is not a duplicate, but I didn't see anything after briefly searching.)

    Daniel

    P.S. I ordered a 0' Incubator and Burrow if that factors in to the question and I am not sure how cold I will go, but I frequent Colorado and the mountains so I want to be ready for 0'-ish.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DuctTape's Avatar
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    More insulation is more insulation. However it must be done correctly.

    If one wears too much, you may sweat and get damp then you will get cold. The same is true with a VBL. Second, more clothing is sometimes restrictive to good blood flow, which may make you colder. Just like an extra pair of socks in your boots might not be an improvement.

  3. #3

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    There are a lot of variables and opinions. You want something breathable with moisture transport. I like mid to heavy weight long johns depending on the temp/trip. Some folks wear their outer layers to bed but I was always taught it was bringing dirt and moisture to bed with you. Strip off outer layer and stow just before getting into cozy nest. ;-)

    Now let's see what the others say... ;-)

  4. #4
    Member Jolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
    There are a lot of variables and opinions. You want something breathable with moisture transport. I like mid to heavy weight long johns depending on the temp/trip. Some folks wear their outer layers to bed but I was always taught it was bringing dirt and moisture to bed with you. Strip off outer layer and stow just before getting into cozy nest. ;-)

    Now let's see what the others say... ;-)
    Could not agree with this more.

    I have a good friend who, due to his gram-weenie-ness, will sleep in his clothes to save on pack weight. Don't get me wrong, I think [smartly] shaving ounces is a good thing, but there's nothing better than slipping on a nice dry pair of heavyweight smartwool long johns and long sleeved base layer for sleeping. I will gladly carry that extra weight anywhere.

  5. #5
    Senior Member blackd's Avatar
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    Personally i stick with a fresh pair of wool socks, and my long john shirt tucked into a baggy pair of jogging pants. Works like a charm for me.
    Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
    Mark Twain

  6. #6
    lonetracker's Avatar
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    i spend normally about 25 nights a year hammocking in weather below 32degf .i have been at both frozen butt hangs.i used to strip down to my long undies before hitting the hammock.i started to notice that by the time i got redressed in the morning i would be half cold again.also getting up to visit a tree at night was downright uncomfortable in my long undies.now i stay mostly dressed.i prefer wool.usually i wear wool pants,and a wool sweater or two if its really cold.i normally start without socks and put them on if my feet get cold,unless its below about 10 then i start with the socks on.i wear a wool hat or hat and balaclava.
    diyin to hang

  7. #7
    Black Wolf's Avatar
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    It depends on temperature .. as well as how long you'll be repetitively using your gear .. and the ability to dry it out. This is why Vapor Barriers work so well, they keep moisture from penetrating into your down and freezing there.

    I'm gonna' technical on ya .. fabrics which are sealed are warmer because it prevents cold air blowing through to remove heat and it retains some humidity to reduce the evaporative chilling of your skin. Insensible sweat glands keep your skin moist for flexibility, even when cold. Highly porous clothes lose a lot of heat through convection and evaporation.

    When insensible sweating cannot keep up with the excessive drying your skin gets dry and chapped. Your body constantly produces, and loses heat. If heat loss matches production you stay comfortable ... clothed or unclothed, increase heat production, you will overheat. Your body responds by perspiring , to increase cooling by evaporation. ( Perspiration > Evaporation > Condensation )

    When the relative humidity in the air next to your skin is less than 100 percent moisture in your skin will continue to evaporate, cooling and drying your skin excessively. When humidity next to you skin reaches 100 percent evaporation stops, chilling stops, and insensible perspiration stops.

    The air will only "accept" so much water vapor. this is why it condenses in your outer layer.



    Staying warm in freezing to sub-zero temps is very technical .. long term even more so .. on average we lose 4 lbs of water a night .. 1/2 gallon.. that's a lot of moisture to manage even on an overnighter.

    Staying hydrated helps keep you warmer .. dehydration thickens the blood and thus slows circulation.
    "The wise man questions others wisdom because he questions his own, the foolish man because it is different from his own." Leo Stein

  8. #8
    DivaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Wolf View Post
    It depends on temperature .. as well as how long you'll be repetitively using your gear .. and the ability to dry it out. This is why Vapor Barriers work so well, they keep moisture from penetrating into your down and freezing there.

    I'm gonna' technical on ya .. fabrics which are sealed are warmer because it prevents cold air blowing through to remove heat and it retains some humidity to reduce the evaporative chilling of your skin. Insensible sweat glands keep your skin moist for flexibility, even when cold. Highly porous clothes lose a lot of heat through convection and evaporation.

    When insensible sweating cannot keep up with the excessive drying your skin gets dry and chapped. Your body constantly produces, and loses heat. If heat loss matches production you stay comfortable ... clothed or unclothed, increase heat production, you will overheat. Your body responds by perspiring , to increase cooling by evaporation. ( Perspiration > Evaporation > Condensation )

    When the relative humidity in the air next to your skin is less than 100 percent moisture in your skin will continue to evaporate, cooling and drying your skin excessively. When humidity next to you skin reaches 100 percent evaporation stops, chilling stops, and insensible perspiration stops.

    The air will only "accept" so much water vapor. this is why it condenses in your outer layer.



    Staying warm in freezing to sub-zero temps is very technical .. long term even more so .. on average we lose 4 lbs of water a night .. 1/2 gallon.. that's a lot of moisture to manage even on an overnighter.

    Staying hydrated helps keep you warmer .. dehydration thickens the blood and thus slows circulation.
    Ok BlackWolf; to boil all of that down, can you just tell me at what temps it would be good to sleep in one of those sweaty suit things/or a trash bag with bread bags on my feet... and should I be naked to do it? If naked is better, then how does one handle mother natures calling at 4am? I can understand if in a sauna suit, but a trash bag would be tricky! These aren't me being funny type of questions....they're real

    Ohio just seems to have such borderline temps in the winter, with it really dropping super low late at night or early in the morning for just a small amount of time. It's that 35 to 20 area that frustrates me on what to really pack for, if you're only going to be in the 20s for a couple of hours.

    Play nice with me on the play ground. I'm good for the kickball and basketball team

  9. #9
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    I go to sleep in less and add as I get up in the night to pee or howl at the moon....
    By morning I am nearly all dressed up.
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DivaB View Post
    Ok BlackWolf; to boil all of that down, can you just tell me at what temps it would be good to sleep in one of those sweaty suit things/or a trash bag with bread bags on my feet... and should I be naked to do it? If naked is better, then how does one handle mother natures calling at 4am? I can understand if in a sauna suit, but a trash bag would be tricky! These aren't me being funny type of questions....they're real

    Ohio just seems to have such borderline temps in the winter, with it really dropping super low late at night or early in the morning for just a small amount of time. It's that 35 to 20 area that frustrates me on what to really pack for, if you're only going to be in the 20s for a couple of hours.

    Play nice with me on the play ground. I'm good for the kickball and basketball team
    Diva, I'm not Blackwolf, but I am somewhat partial towards a VB approach, at least sometimes, so may I comment while we await BW's response?

    Not sure how the naked thing would work or if it is needed, except to say that the less between you and the VB the better. EXCEPT, VBs don't always feel the best anyway- all of that humidity can freak you out when you 1st feel it and your brain screams "your getting wet and you'll soon be cold, do something!". But if it is bare skin against the VB it feels even worse, just not a pleasant feel. So I'm thinking at least a very thin layer of non-absorbent Long Johns against the skin, then a VB ( cloths or sack ) then all other insulation.

    I've done it that way a few times over the years, but what I really like is the fairly inexpensive VB clothing from Stephenson's Warmlight in NH. Their VBs are already lined and it feels better to me than the a separate thin layer. But either way, I think you are going to need something between your skin and the VB.

    Have you ever thought of this: If you block evaporative cooling, which can be a quite significant factor at cooling you down, then you also keep your insulation dry. Because your bodies vapor output can not get into the insulation and maybe condense. If you use your VB with less than old pro skill, and over heat and sweat, this won't be the most comfy possible scenario, but at least your sweat stays next to your skin and can not get into your down. (And after all, it is possible to over heat and sweat with no VB.) And if your vapor or sweat can not get into your down, then you are free to use any type of outer shell, including totally non--breathable, water and wind proof, fog proof Sil-nylon for one.

    Are you worried about overheating and sweating? The only reason to be concerned about that is because that moisture won't feel right. But, at least it won't make it to your down. Still, we don't want sweat of course. So try this experiment. Rig up some kind of VB, for torso, pants or socks or all of the above. With no other insulation, go sit outside a while when it is cold or cool. If you are like me, you will not sweat. You might be way warmer than you would expect with no thick insulation. But maybe it is colder, enough to feel cold even with the VB. Then add a thin layer of insulation. Once again, you probably won't sweat, but you might be way warmer than expected at those temps with such thin insulation.

    It is worth experimenting with. Probably the easiest to start out with are VB socks, or bread bags. Just make sure that whatever socks you put over them are still nice and loose even with the VBs added.

    Dirtwheels just used a 45F UQ to stay nice and warm at 23. What was different? He added a space blanket, which also functions as a VB. As if adding ~ 20F additional warmth is not good enough, you also have bone dry insulation even after a week or two, unless you let the rain get to it.

    Lastly, I'm not sure the temps have all that much to do with it, as long as you regulate your insulation with skill. I have sat around in the house for lengthy periods, wearing just the VB top, temps around 70. With no sweating observed. Of course, the warmer temps at some point do become a problem with possible sweat.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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