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  1. #41
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Very informative/useful post, Pan! I may yet end up with an underquilt or Peapod one of these days. The reason I got a SS was because I didn't know there were any other options besides a pad in the hammock! I bought the HH, didn't even know there was any other kind of backpackers hammock. Found out about the SS while buying the hammock, and got them together. Hated it at first, but have learned to make it pretty usable.

    Did you have the pad/sweat problems when you used to sleep on the ground? I never had that problem with a pad under my bag on the ground, and so far not in a hammock on an SPE. I wonder if that's because, at least if it's cold, I tend to wear light fleece inside my bag, in the hammock or on the ground?
    BB58, et al,

    JJ's answer about the flat pad on the ground and the compressed bath tub wrap in the hammock is the difference.....No,I don't have a noticible back sweat issue on the ground. ... Though I haven't been to ground sice spring 2003.

    Sweaty back is worth thought.... My notes to newbies is to ask these questions. " If you sit on a naugahyde chair in a conference, or say church service, in a neutral to warm room for an hour; when you rise are you pulling a sweat soaked shirt off your back (most noticible for the non-tshirt wearers)? ...Do you look for a wall to stand against so you can pull your drawes free(TMI?), or do the descrete leg out stretch/twist? If you have had these experiences...then you will experience the sweaty back issues on pads to some degree when used in a hammock.

    Youngblood and I have had some discussion on this sweaty back issue in years past....He has theory that this is caused by over heating and that proper venting of the top will eliminate the issue.... While I agree that over heating definately exaccerbates the issue... in my experience, venting and reducing comfort to the neutral temp state does not eliminate the problem because approximately 50 percent of the body when effectively pad wrapped is not vented and like the chair test with full 85-90 percent of the body vented the close contact, non breathing 15 percent is still a problem.

    Your comment on the wearing of fleece is noteworthy also... When I used fleece to limit the sweat moisture....the fleece wicked away athe puddle....but, it became damp and less effective itself.... in warmer weather if I changed first on rising, it meant I packed a heavier sweated up fleece (note this can be mitigated by wearing it dry for 30 minutes or so in the AM).... same effect as the fleece pad cover I noted in the failed experiments post.... will say that wearing fleece is preferable to laying on a fleece blanket IMHO for both comfort, elimination of hassles and multifuncionality of separate garments..... BIG NOTE.... for those going this route, and for trips over a day or two.....I personally have switched from fleece to all merino wools....competitive in weight.... FUNK FREE.... warmer....equally compressable.... just pricier.... but then I'm worth it.... besides I figure that if I carry minimal gear I want the best, most optimal, most versitile gear.

    I would add to last nights post, that a major infuence in our movement to under quilts was Ed Speers true pioneering development of the Pea Pod... He proved external insulation was the most viable solution IMHO....They just didn't work for the HHs... Also we wanted to reduce weight by only insulating that portion of the hammock where we lay.

    JJ's comment on the Exped air matress is also instructive.... We did not test these in the early days as they did not exist then and the Big Agnes DAMS we largely unknown, though around... these do work for many folk...besides the surface material, the minor lateral ridge groves help in the back venting issue...They do maintain a go to ground capability for those that want to retain that capability, for whatever reason....They do raise the center of gravity, which can be a stability detractor in narrower hammocks (ex. M1965 commercial copies, travelpod, mosquito and home mades of the 40-50 inch wide range)... though lighter than the wide, thick inflatables they are still relatively heavy... they are still taking space, requiring placement and not as luxurious as the hammock material alone....but they do get a Go.

    Pan
    Last edited by Peter_pan; 03-31-2007 at 07:56.
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  2. #42
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    BB58, et al,
    .....They do raise the center of gravity, which can be a stability detractor in narrower hammocks (ex. M1965 commercial copies, travelpod, mosquito and home mades of the 40-50 inch wide range)... though lighter than the wide, thick inflatables they are still relatively heavy... they are still taking space, requiring placement and not as luxurious as the hammock material alone....but they do get a Go.

    Pan
    i have to differ w/ you my friend on those last two points about the insulated air mats.
    they don't raise the center of gravity enough to really be noticeable if only party inflated. i realize that at some point you began to lose the value of the insulation inside the air mat as you let air out & let your body sink closer to the hammock, but that brings me to the second point... comfort.
    it's going to be different for different bodies, but for me the difference in the air mat & the hammock body is huge. the air mat is luxurious!!! ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  3. #43
    I was pondering this same question last weekend at Mt. Rogers. I took a 36"x24" blue foam pad and my sewn-through down underquilt, hammock sock, ENO hammock, and 8x10 tarp. Never had to set up the tarp, but was glad I schleped the hammock sock. That thing makes a world of difference.

    Back to the question. If I did another thru-hike, I'd stongly consider taking at least a partial pad along no matter what. I rarely stay in shelters, but I'd hate to HAVE to give up that option. Yes, you can probably rig something up, but I'd want to have the option to go to the ground/floor for the one-off night that I want to hang out in a shelter and talk when it's pouring outside. Also, a pad is great for short breaks when I just want to lay down for 15 minutes and not deal with the whole hanging routine.

    I'm going to make a double hammock with some of my 1.1 Walmart fabric and see how that goes. If I can jam a pad(s) between the layers and get a good nights sleep, I'd likely go with that option just for simplicity's sake. I can live with a damp/wet pad, but drying a damp/wet underquilt in the field would be a pain in the arse.

    FWIW, I also took my down jacket last weekend (lows in the lower forties I'm guessing) as a backup to the underwhelming sleeping bag I was carrying. Never used it. I almost always take my DriClime windshirt (http://sourcetosea.net/gear/reviews.html) and am getting to the point of not bothering with any other shirt other than a Columbia long-sleeve supplex shirt. A down quilt with a sealable head hole would be great for this kind of clothing system.
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  4. #44
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    i have to differ w/ you my friend on those last two points about the insulated air mats.
    they don't raise the center of gravity enough to really be noticeable if only party inflated. i realize that at some point you began to lose the value of the insulation inside the air mat as you let air out & let your body sink closer to the hammock, but that brings me to the second point... comfort.
    it's going to be different for different bodies, but for me the difference in the air mat & the hammock body is huge. the air mat is luxurious!!! ...tim
    Tim,

    Agree that letting the air out helps reduce the issue, but as you say there is point of trading off insulation.

    Good point on luxury... It is a totally subjective value... so each gets to define their own.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  5. #45
    Senior Member Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Pan --

    Your's above is one of the great, all time posts on the subject...it's sure to be a classic and quoted and ref'd for a long time.

    ...and I don't even use an underquilt...

    FB

  6. #46
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    BB - so when I can feel the heat radiating off of my son, what's the heat transfer modality? Not evaporation or conduction. Convection? But it has to get into the air to cause a current. Which leaves radiation as the primary. Now if I could catch all that heat radiating from him and send it back towards him (like space blankets claim to do), that would be useful for insulating hammocks.
    I absolutely agree that no single mechanism can be completely isolated in a real-world situation. As you say, the air must be first heated to create convective currents. I would surmise that the initial heating is probably more evaporative or conductive rather than radiative, but it really doesn't make any difference. Once the air incident to the skin is heated, the primary means of transport across the air gap as a whole is still convection. Since there's a causal chain here, breaking any link will effectively control the heat flow. The insulation we use targets convective currents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    So the primary modality for a space blanket is already being carried...leaving only radiation as its contribution. And, IMO at least, the amount of heat returned by radiation from a space blanket doesn't justify the hassle and weight. (OTOH, if you were truly using it as an emergency blanket as it's designed, and that's all you were carrying, you'd get the convection block, the vapor barrier and the radiation...it might justify itself.)
    Definitely, absolutely, unequivocally agree. A space blanket by itself is effective, precisely for these reasons - but should be only marginally, as you mention, more effective than a comparable thickness of trash bag or other convection/vapor barrier. When used in conjunction with a system that's already blocking convection, it's contribution should be minimal however.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  7. #47
    Senior Member Fiddleback's Avatar
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    So many variables, so many different conditions, but...

    The only time I've experienced a sweaty back using my CCF in a hammock was my first trail night in a hammock. In place of a sleeping bag/quilt I was using a Michelin-Man--like jacket, a North Face Nuptse. It may have been too heavy and warm for the night (~26 degrees).

    I've always clipped a light fleece throw (13oz, commonly available from Campmor for about $12) to the CCF. I got the idea to cover the pad from Sgt Rock's site when I was first getting into hammocking. The express purpose was to mitigate condensation under the sleeper. I've never tried anything else in the hammock so of course I don't really know that it's working...but so far so good.

    Most of my hammock nights had the typical low humdity of the Northern Rockies and temps from the high-20s to the mid-50s. A SmartWool base layer and an Integral Designs Dolomitti are current parts of my sleep system.

    FB

  8. #48
    Senior Member blackie's Avatar
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    One of the reasons for sweaty backs is kidneys..the blood pools in the kidneys to filter...thus blood stays there and dumps body heat....ever sit facing a nice warm fire on a bitter cold night?? your face is warm and your butt is freazing...but if you turn around and place your back to the fire..presto...the whole body warms up..thats why the hh kidney pads help...they trap more of your heat and allow less to be lost...
    i have neither a under quilt / or hh super shelter...i use a folding 1/4 cc pad with a 5 degree sleeping bag..warm head cover ..silk long underwear..and fleece pants and top..this will take me down into the low 30's easy..if i think it will be colder i add...one of those therma care kidney wraps ..i wear it to bed..it last for up to 8 hrs and i sleep very very warm..with it directly on my kidneys heating my blood... warm blood = comfort

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackie View Post
    warm blood = comfort
    Cold blood = snipers, lol

  10. #50
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    So that's quite a range. Frankly, I don't think there is anyway I could take this system to zero! Nor could I take the basic system without kidney/torso pads to anywhere near 13* and only complain of gettig "a chill"! Though I guess she is also using the overcover? Regardless, I think my back would be cold for sure. But I can take it into the high 20's, and with a little bolstering underneath ( clothing, Garlinton Insulators) to at least 20, maybe 18*. Add a pad, and it's much lower.

    There is one other test that seems to be in the middle of these two.
    I got another chance to do some cold weather testing last night, due to our bout of record cold in the south. This just happened to coincide with my son's planned RV trip to Trace State Park. My wife, the son and daughter-in-law and grandkids all slept in the warm RV. Me, being known for my mental instability, hung from pine trees in the HHUL Explorer+SS. I made myself accept the offer to "hang out" with them, since there would be no temptation to give up and go in the house if I once again could not sleep. And I have definitely confirmed that I could not do 13* with the basic SS system, certainly not with strong winds.

    I went to bed at 11pm after sitting around a campfire for a couple of hours with my son, while drinking a couple of Coors, @ 38*, with winds thru the night at 15 to 25mph. My MacCat deluxe proved to be tight as a drum in these winds, after I finally got it tied up while trying to fight the winds. The wind chill stayed brutal thru the next morning. And yes, I know those 2 beers could possibly effect my ability to stay warm.

    I was trying to see what the minimum was I could get by with. So I had a lot available for backup. But I started with the Cat's Meow Endurance shell bag, a supposed 15-20* bag. This is the bag that I froze in during my first ever hammock night last september, at 23*( the night I ended up on the netting!). I have also been a tad cool in this bag once on the ground with a thick thermarest camprest at 27*. But I wanted to give it a chance now that I am a little more skilled at hammocking and using the SS. So I hit the sack about 11 wearing a very light fleece layer, a down vest and a larger loose fleece jacket over it all. Plus fleece pants/gloves and wool socks, cap and neck gator. I put my feet in the bag and pulled it up over my chest like a quilt. My shoulders and arms were mainly protected by my jacket. They were often outside of the bag, and at best I had a loose fit around the shoulders/chest.

    Underneath were the basic SS plus space blanket + SS kidney/torso pads. I guess the undercover did a fair job of cutting the wind. Because it was often "rockabye baby" all night. But I could not feel any big change underneath even during the biggest gusts, which would sometimes flaten the tarp against the hammock, at least untill I retightened one time about 2am.

    So the beer made sure I had to get up a couple of times, 1st about 2am. When I woke up feeling the call of nature, I noticed that I was a little cool on top, and realized I probably needed to get in the bag and use the hood. At the same time I noticed that there were a few spots under my legs and upper back that were a tad cool. Not cold, but definitely not warm. I don't know the temp, but I estimate about 29-30* plus strong wind chill. So since I was up to p*** anyway, I decided to add my Garligton insulator under my legs, and I took off my down vest and placed it in the undercover under the pad, beneath my upeer torso/shoulders. And I slipped down in my bag normal fashion and cinched down the neck collar and hood. Within a few minutes I was much warmer overall and the cool spots under were replaced by an actual slight warm sensation. I drifted off again.

    Up again at 0430 to p*** like a racehorse. I guess those beers were luxuries I should have avoided on such a cold night. I noticed that though I did still not feel any cold under me, but I just was not comfortably warm overall. I think I would have slept thru ok if I hadn't needed to p*** again. But since I was up, I decided to change bags, to my 5* bag that I have used on previous tests. It was now 27* with wind howling. I also decided to take off my loose fleece jacket to give me more room in the bag, I hung it from the rope, got in my bag and sat down, leaned back and zipped up/cinched down. Now in a few minutes I was way toasty, and actually had to looosen the hood and collar a bit.

    I passed out and slept very soundly until the sun came up bright, and the crows started hollering at each other from the trees I was hung from at 0730. I was so warm and comfy and sleeping so soundly I hated to get up, but I couldn't sleep thru that racket! So I got up and went in the RV, as they were getting up. It had warmed up to 29* by now, but still with winds 15-25 mph.

    After I got in the warmer bag, the only thing that was not perfect was when I would turn to my left side and then kind of lean back against the right side of the hammock. This would put my back off of the underpad, and my back would get a little cool, so that I would have to go back to my back. I might have been OK if I had turned to my right side instead, as this would have kept me lined up better with the diagonal pad.

    So there you have it, I guess that's a fairly realistic test. I don't know how much the wind chills decreased my warmth, but I am glad they were present for the sake of the test. And I'm not sure if the beer decreased my ability to stay warm significantly. But under the above conditions, using the 20* bag as a quilt, it looks like I'm just barely OK at 30*+ wind chill, but not particularly warm, using the SS/torso/kidney pads. I estimate that I need it to be about 5* warmer to be really comfy under those conditions.

    If I take off my vest and add it and GI underneath, and get in my bag normal fashion, then I was quite warm for a couple of hours. But after a couple of hours and a drop to 27*, I was no longer toasty, if not yet actually cold. Finally, if I take off my fleece jacket and get in the 5* bag, I am more than warm enough at 27*+wind chill, actually toasty enough to loosen up the hood and collar. This makes me wonder if I would have stayed toasty with the very 1st set up quilt style, if I had used this warmer bag to start with.

    It's supposed to be about 22* tonight, still windy. I am debating about experimenting some more. Maybe adding a light pad/SPE instead of stuff underneath. Or trying my pads/SPE with my Speer.
    Bill

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