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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Supershelter @ -27F

    Shug and I headed up to the Superior Trail for a coupla nights of snowshoeing. My gear was my typical HH stock configuration with added insulation. Hammock picture here: That's me with my head behind the tree...
    Yes, my tarp isn't real taut, but we weren't expecting any snow so I didn't bother to tighten it up.

    Gear common to both nights:
    Hammock: HH Explorer UL, stock tarp, Supershelter + overcover
    Bag: 0F REI Zenith mummy bag, synthetic insulation
    Clothing, torso: smartwool SS T-shirt, LS Powerdry shirt, Marmot Precip jacket for VB
    Clothing, legs: Powerdry longjohns, Marmot Precip pants as VB, polypro ski pants, 200 wt Polarfleece pants
    Feet: silk liner socks, bread bag for VB, heavy wool socks, 400g Thinsulate boot liners. 1L insulated Nalgene filled w/ boiling water pressed against bottom of feet.
    Head: Psolarx fleece balaclava without the heat exchanger

    Night one, -5F: in my Undercover, in addition to standard space blanket, did my typical cold-weather configuration of Exped Multimat on the bottom, and a down jacket under my back in between the OCF and Multimat.
    Clothing - Torso: 200 wt Polarfleece pullover as outer layer

    Night two, -27F: added my down +30F REI Sahara down bag between Multimat and OCF in the UC.
    Bag: added fleece bag liner, and Primaloft parka thrown over legs
    Clothing - Torso: 300 wt Polarfleece as outer layer
    Clothing - Neck: fleece neck gaiter to pull up over eyes

    Picture of me in the 300 wt Polarfleece here:
    This is an LL Bean Ascent jacket that I highly recommend for VERY cold weather. It is much too warm to hike in when the temps are > 0F, but I was comfortable hiking at -20F and it worked well at night.

    I was plenty warm both nights. No sensation of cold except for the bridge of my exposed nose.

    The hassle factor on night two was excessive. I do OK getting into a mummy bag in my HH, but the fleece liner was a struggle with the fleece clothing I was wearing as an outer layer and little wiggle room with all the layers on. Too much friction, no sliding, no space.

    The overcover worked well - really kept the cold wind off of me. Lots of condensation on night two - about 1/4" on my reading glasses hanging from the RL.

    The down bag as an underquilt worked very well. The SS OCF pad is "sticky", and I use the Exped Multimat with the "sticky" side up so anything I put between them stays in place all night long without moving with no cords, tiedowns, etc.

    The synthetic mummy bag contributes a lot to the warmth. It doesn't compress nearly as much as a down bag so I needed a big pack (90L) to carry it in, but didn't compress as much beneath me either.

    I used a lot of fleece in my configuration, and that holds up well under compression as well.

    This was my first attempt using VB liners. The Precip jacket and pants helped out a lot, but getting the pants off & on to pee was a pain in the butt due to the Velcro attachments and zippers on the side. The bread bags worked great as VB socks, but I used them only at night, I didn't hike with them.

    Summary: it is possible to use a stock Hennessy configuration with Supershelter in arctic-type conditions with the addition of a LOT of additional insulation. I was able to re-purpose gear I already had without going out and spending a bundle on down UQ's.

    What would I do differently? If I had unlimited $ I'd go out and buy a -40F bag. The biggest irritation was all the !@#$%^&* layers I had to wear. On night two I had to pee 3 times (it was a good thing I had a Gatorade bottle in the hammock so I didn't have to venture out), and getting all my pants pulled back up properly was a pain. The first time I got all done and noticed my underpants were still down around my knees Plus with a -40F bag I wouldn't have to change my clothes so much from what I was hiking in. Nothing like getting down to your skivvies at -27F in the morning to get your blood pumping

    What I'd like to hear from other folks is: "What's in your Undercover?". I've tried all sorts of things, from Garlingtion insulators to parkas, and you can see where I've ended up. I'd like to hear what others have tried and not abandoned.

    Hope you find this useful.

    --Kurt

  2. #2
    Senior Member BEAS's Avatar
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    thats the post i've been waiting for
    BEAS
    From the Great Southern state of
    TENNESSEE
    Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less. General Robert E. Lee

  3. #3
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    Wow, that's great. I can't even imagine temperatures like that!
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoikurt View Post
    Wow, that's great. I can't even imagine temperatures like that!
    You don't get those in Panama City?

    That's alright, they would melt in Panama City in July.
    Youngblood AT2000

  5. #5
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    where in your clothing order did you wear the Precip jacket and pants?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
    where in your clothing order did you wear the Precip jacket and pants?
    Directly on top of the base layer, i.e. as close to skin as possible, yet not directly touching the skin. Beneath all the fleece and polypro layers.

    --Kurt

  7. #7
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Kurt, great report!

    I have three questions, if you don't mind...

    Did you have any trouble getting the tension of the UC right when you added the sleeping bag between the pads?

    Did you prepare your feet inside the hammock, or before entering?

    How in the world did you get into the stock hammock with all that gear inside?
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member hikingjer's Avatar
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    Question

    Wow!, -27 F and warm at night.

    A lot of that gear you'd have to carry anyway if sleeping on the ground. Do you know about how much lighter your load would've been if you slept on the ground?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikingjer View Post
    A lot of that gear you'd have to carry anyway if sleeping on the ground. Do you know about how much lighter your load would've been if you slept on the ground?
    That was kinda my goal, to re-purpose as many items as possible. I'm cheap.

    Maybe a pound or two lighter on the ground. My Thermarest Prolite-4 for ground dwelling is 2 lbs, my tent is 1 lb heavier than my HH. Subtract the extra down bag, SS, a few clothing layers, probably get to 1-2 lbs less than my HH weight.

    The difference is negligible when I'm carrying close to 50 lbs on my back. Its the difference of a 1-liter water bottle full versus empty...

    --Kurt

  10. #10
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Great adventure and report. You no doubt will struggle much less once you have a roomy bag closer to the temp you are expecting, rather than struggling with so many layers. OTOH, if you need most of those layers for when you are not in the hammock/sleeping bag, then you will have to carry their weight any way. But on the other other hand , if you don't need those layers in your sleeping bag, they can go down below to either increase warmth or possibly allow you to lighten up on whatever you already have down in there. Of course, one of your main goals was to use what you already have, and you have succeeded grandly.

    The only items I have used ( and not abandoned) in the UC are clothing and Garlington insulators. I also have extra OCF pads, in the form of HH kidney/torso pads. But then I'm not dealing with -27! As far as I know, you are now the record holder for the SS with or without all the extra augmentation.

    Please give us your thinking for the Exped in the UC. It is obviously working for you, I'm just not sure how. A pad in the UC is actually advised against by HH. You already described the "sticky" factor of both the HH OCF and the Exped keeping insulation in place. But here is what I am thinking: Your Exped causes a gap, normally a bad thing. However, you are placing high lofting insulation between the HH and Exped pads, which will close the gap. The gap caused by the exped greatly decreases any compression of down that would be normally caused by the UC.

    If that is not it, what do you think is the benefit of the Exped in the UC, insulation wise?
    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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