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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    I think it would be just as miserable to have a wet synthetic - the Ray Way I have would turn into a sopping mess weighing a ton. Maybe it would keep me alive when wet, but maybe I would wrap up in a mylar blanket instead - might be less damp.

    I'm just curious - what do you think a synthetic underquilt does for you when it's wet and sagging away from the bottom of the hammock on shock cords? Wouldn't the wet material be heavier and harder to adjust up? Has anyone actually had a wet underquilt?

    I was reading a thread elsewhere where someone was wanting a good synthetic bag he would be able to launder while thru hiking - he didn't want down because he thought he couldn't get it wet. I'm a little boggled by the ideas people get. Wouldn't there be a dryer in the laundromat too?

    In the environments I frequent it doesn't get humid 24/7, doesn't rain for weeks on end, and I have yet to fall into water. I have heard of people using down in wet environments successfully, probably with specific precautions but still. I don't see any reason to have one or the other specifically in places like the Sierras.
    I'm with you. I was just holding back on starting all of that. I have full confidence in keeping my stuff dry. And any insulation wet would be very bad.

    I almost did I test with my DIY down quilt and Doctori's DIY Ray-way. I was going to measure skin temp for wet and dry over time. It would have made an interesting experiment. The only thing stopping us was neither of us wanted to soak our quilts to test this.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  2. #12
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    I started a thread - maybe we'll get some real world examples of what wet UQs do. I'm wondering if it's as much of an issue as we think it is.

  3. #13
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    I can see his concern with the crazy England fog, but I never had any problems. I think that a bigger tarp or better setup skills can solve most problems.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  4. #14
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    Wow, so many replies. I am a fan of Down insulation, I have a Down bag to sleep in and prefer it to a synthetic bag by a long way. I like the idea of a Down underquilt due to it's compressability and warmth, I suppose it's just the idea of this thing being outside the Hammock and exposed to the elements, especially in our unpredictable weather here. Even with a tarp I could imagine it getting damp and therefore losing it's thermal qualities.

    However I'm just making assumptions here based on zero experience so really any advice from you seasoned hangers is good.

  5. #15
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    I think it would be just as miserable to have a wet synthetic - the Ray Way I have would turn into a sopping mess weighing a ton. Maybe it would keep me alive when wet, but maybe I would wrap up in a mylar blanket instead - might be less damp.

    I'm just curious - what do you think a synthetic underquilt does for you when it's wet and sagging away from the bottom of the hammock on shock cords? Wouldn't the wet material be heavier and harder to adjust up? Has anyone actually had a wet underquilt?

    I was reading a thread elsewhere where someone was wanting a good synthetic bag he would be able to launder while thru hiking - he didn't want down because he thought he couldn't get it wet. I'm a little boggled by the ideas people get. Wouldn't there be a dryer in the laundromat too?

    In the environments I frequent it doesn't get humid 24/7, doesn't rain for weeks on end, and I have yet to fall into water. I have heard of people using down in wet environments successfully, probably with specific precautions but still. I don't see any reason to have one or the other specifically in places like the Sierras.
    That is a debate that will go on for ever. My personal opinion is, as much as I love down and though I mostly use it, synthetic is far superior if you have the misfortune of getting soaked. Now some one is bound to respond with: Just don't get wet, you dufus! Wise words indeed, but I have seen it happen to smart, careful people. Things like limbs falling out of trees and puncturing tarps in raging snow storms, or just major leaks suddenly developing on a name brand factory sealed tarp. A major surprise from massive condensation. Read the threads here where some report significant trouble on multi-day trips from soaking fog. I have friends- when I was using my SS once and my PeaPod another time- expressing concern (at the end of a week in wet and/or foggy weather) because their down bag and PeaPod was starting to lose loft. For whatever reason, my PeaPod was fine as far as I could tell, and of course my SS on the other trip(really wet in the Olympics) was completely unaffected.

    And packing up with a wet surface DWR apparently can be a major problem, but that might can be worked around with camp towels and such.

    You can get wet no matter how smart, experienced and careful you are. I think Preacha Man also had a real interesting thread on that. So one thing it depends on is how easy will it be for you to just bail out? Do you have enough over kill ( some synthetic clothing, more down than you actually need, etc) to make it through the night simply real uncomfortable as opposed to dead from hypothermia? Can you just say "to heck with it" and hike out a few hours to your car or civilization? Or is 20 miles and a couple of mountain passes between you and your car and it's heater?

    Read Ray Jardines explanation of why he switched away from down, just one man's opinion based on a bad experience.

    That is an interesting point about a syn UQ heavy with water sagging away from the hammock. But,wouldn't the same apply to a soaked down UQ, which would also be heavy and might have zero loft and would be a LONG time drying in the field with bad weather? And you could wring the synthetic quilt out, and it will dry much quicker in my experience. And even while still wet, I can almost guarantee more warmth than soaked down. See the FIELD tests at BPL. I have a thread on here somewhere where I soaked my PG jackets with several cups of H2O in a sink, briefly wrung out, put on and went walking for 30 minutes in about 33*F rain with heavy wind, more than one test. I was always plenty warm enough while walking ( though the wet did not feel good). More importantly, by the time I got home the jacket was bone dry as far as I could tell, except maybe at the very ends of the sleeves. I can't say how my down garments would have done in the same circumstances, I have not tested.

    I only have down UQs. And they have shrugged off some serious wet exposure due to some really great DWR.

    Other than sweating in trail clothing, I have not got wet in the field since 1985! ( I have had stakes pull loose in high winds and rain soaked ground with a lot of rain hitting my PeaPod once and my MWUW another time-- but that was in the back yard- good DWR) But the time I did I was grateful I did not have my down bag, and would feel the same today if I had the mis-fortune of getting cold and wet far from civilization.

    Still can't help but love my down though!
    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

  6. #16
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    I started a new thread asking for real world experience with wet UQs over in the underquilt subforum. tune in and we'll see how the wild hangers tame the damp.

  7. #17
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Go through the NOLS equipment lists. In some environments they strongly discourage down and I have heard that they will not let anybody on some courses with down bags.

    They speak from experience.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  8. #18
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    Go through the NOLS equipment lists. In some environments they strongly discourage down and I have heard that they will not let anybody on some courses with down bags.

    They speak from experience.
    FYI, I posted this info in an earlier discussion about NOLS...

    NOLS absolutely will not let people use down during some of their courses...
    Here is a link the NOLS rocky mtn equipment list - here - No down.

    Of course, when 2 NOLS instructors decided to lighten up and reduce their loads from that MONSTER pack they require their students to carry to a 25 lb pack (story here), the started carrying DOWN sleeping bags...gear list here

    hmmmm...seems like DOWN was the perferred choice when they wanted to lighten their packs
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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  9. #19
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animalcontrol View Post
    FYI, I posted this info in an earlier discussion about NOLS...

    NOLS absolutely will not let people use down during some of their courses...
    Here is a link the NOLS rocky mtn equipment list - here - No down.

    Of course, when 2 NOLS instructors decided to lighten up and reduce their loads from that MONSTER pack they require their students to carry to a 25 lb pack (story here), the started carrying DOWN sleeping bags...gear list here

    hmmmm...seems like DOWN was the perferred choice when they wanted to lighten their packs
    NOLS grad here. One reason they would not allow ( way back in 85) down bags or clothing was they were always taking a large group of novices into deep wilderness, many of whom were teenage boys. The odds of someone getting wet during 30 days without being in a town was pretty high.

    In addition, they taught expeditionary behavior, and the type of behavior that might be used to tackle a major peak any where in the world. At least they taught that on my mountaineering course. When it was time to move, you pretty much had to go. Normally, a rain/snow storm with heavy winds did not keep us hunkered down in camp, though there were some severe conditions or injuries that might require that.

    Teenage boys or not, this 36 year old- after being out for 3 straight weeks- got wet with every one else one day. Everything was at least damp. They did not let me take my down bag, I was glad on that night.

    But, maybe even on NOLS, there are different kinds of trips. On some trips you might not be required to hike all day and do a Tyrolean traverse across raging white water during a blowing snow storm ( on June 27 no less!). And a bail out might be far more doable.
    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

  10. #20
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    All of this keeps coming back to 2 major points, major points to me.

    1. You should have absolute faith in your pack keeping all of your stuff dry in the conditions you will hike in. I found a great dry bag, tested to work when canoeing, that weighs around 14 oz for a 65 liter bag. Add in a pack cover and I don't think about the rain. (haven't fully tested the drybag hiking but upgraded from a packliner with the same concept but less waterproof)

    2. You should have faith that you can setup you tarp/shelter with out worring about getting wet in the weather you are sleeping in. If you can't survive the rain you need to upgrade the shelter, move, or practice setting up more.

    To me it all comes down to these two. Something that shouldn't get lost in the discussion.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

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