How did you keep your water from freezing? And what did you do for water, melt snow?
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?
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Congrats on a successful trip! Amazing temps! So how did you sleep in your hammock once situated? Did you like it better than in a tent at these conditions? Did you like it better than in a tent when you weren't sleeping? Did you all make a fire? It looks like you have the originial suspension on your HH??? Any trouble with getting the right hang and the knots at these temps?
The picture of you and your pack looks like you may have a drinking tube??? How did you keep that from freezing up?
Also used an insulated Nalgene.
Yep, all water came from melted snow.
Since I bought my HH in March I've only spent one night in a tent, at Teddy Roosevelt NP where there are no trees to hang from.
No fire -- with 3 feet of snow on the ground its too hard to gather wood, clear a spot, etc. Plus we were plenty busy with other chores. Shug did bring a tea candle, but that didn't provide much warmth, though I really enjoyed the pleasant light it gave off.
Yes, I have the original suspension on my HH, I've made no mods whatsoever to it. The HH figure 8 hitch works just fine at any temperature.
As I mentioned in another post I'm testing an insulated Platy for BGT. I didn't keep it from freezing up after the first night
Something I haven't read anywhere from you or Shug...pack weight? Do you consider (worry) about pack weight or just volume?
At those temps, is it a conscious plan or "bring all you need X2" mentality. Ultra lightweight mistakes will kill you at -25*...just curious to how you approach it.
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I think staying warm at those temperatures means what he had didn't have any issues with air gaps. I suspect he had enough insulation between the bottom silnylon to fill it all in with only slight compression. Not enough compression to cause him to get cold. I thought he was using an Exped Multimat which I think is a fairly flexible piece of very thin closed cell foam pad that has nylon attached to one side.
I think you've correctly analyzed how everything is working in the UC. How much its really adding in these conditions I do not know, as I haven't tried the same configuration minus the pad. In the testing I did last Fall where I was adding only the Multimat, it seemed to give me about another 10F.
It was -23F in my backyard last night, but I wasn't up for any more cold testing. My wife thinks I'm crazy enough already.
Sure I worry about both pack weight and volume. I'm using a High Sierra Long Trail 90:
On day 2 I had my Nalgene, the Multimat, SS OCF pad plus my down bag I used as an underquilt all hanging off the back of my pack. Photo Shug took is here:
I don't think I could have carried much more bulk, though a few more pounds would not have been a problem.
Shug was using a pulk sled to minimize carried weight and bulk, and we'll hear about that in his trip video. He carried my Primaloft parka in his sled, so even with everything I had loaded up I had overflow.
Last edited by kwpapke; 01-15-2009 at 08:56. Reason: added note on parka in pulk