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  1. #1
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
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    That was chilly.

    So I will go ahead and admit to this, but I spent a pretty cold night without much of the appropriate gear. I took my daughter camping this weekend, and it was a new campground. Where I expected it to be, would be in the mid 80's in temps, and nothing to fret over. Luckily my daughter is cold natured and brought a jacket with her. Me on the other hand ended up at about 5,500 ft elevation with what started out as a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. As we were approaching the campground heading up the trail my daughter was kind enough to point out "Whoa dad, it's 57 degrees outside" courtesy of the dashboard indicator. I then started to realize I was in for some fun.

    I guess I was a little prepared as I brought an extra pair of jeans and another shirt. I managed to find a third shirt in the truck as well. So after a while I found myself wearing the shorts, the jeans, and all three t-shirts. The last one, I pulled my arms in, and looked like I was limbless while attending the fire most of the night. I did have a hat, but would have preferred the wool cap that my daughter had brought.

    I still can't for the life of me figure out how she came up better equipped for the cold than me, but I used the pride to give me extra warmth. We both had hammocks (el cheapos from the store) and good sleeping bags. Nothing with a catchy name, but rated pretty good. I am guessing it was mid 40's with at times, probably 20mph gusts. We both slept good, but I had to take a nature break I would guess no less than 5 times that night, and it was quite chilly unzipping everything. I am considering a catheter next time. One funny exit was when the zipper on the mummy bag got actually caught on the nylon for the hammock. I had one arm out, one arm in, and was not only stuck inside the bag, the bag was stuck to the hammock. It was about 3AM, and all calls to my daughter were answered with snores. I was on my own so I mustered up the strength and "took out" the zipper. About an hour later when trying to use the bag as a quilt just wasn't working with the wind that was blowing, I did some surgery and got the zipper back on and working.

    Had a great time, though was a little on the cold side. Whew. So to sum up, don't forget the extra gear in the car, like a spare jacket or blanket. I was going for a "minimal weight, pack in what you want and that's it" camping expedition, but should have brought at least a jacket. I could have left it in the car if it wasn't needed, but I couldn't make one appear. My mistake. Also, this seems to be a catalyst to get the new hammock sewn up.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Welcome to the hammock world!

    Well, you did pretty good if you didn't freeze without a pad or under quilt! I'm guessing you had some synthetic bags which didn't 100% compress under you. That may have been one reason it wouldn't work as a quilt, because you were getting a little insulation under you.

    You probably had to get up 5 times due to being cold, especially a cold back and kidneys. Several of us have had the old "pee more when cold" syndrome.

    Not bad considering lack of gear! You will definitely need to add a pad or under quilt though, if you didn't have one on that night. Hammocks are COLD on the bottom without a pad or UQ, even in the 60s or for some, the 70s. Especially with wind.
    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

  3. #3
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Yup.... that old expectin 80* will get you every time....

    Old gospel recording, "Be prepared for 20* below the expected low"...

    Glad you survived....

    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

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Welcome to the hammock world!

    Well, you did pretty good if you didn't freeze without a pad or under quilt! I'm guessing you had some synthetic bags which didn't 100% compress under you. That may have been one reason it wouldn't work as a quilt, because you were getting a little insulation under you.

    You probably had to get up 5 times due to being cold, especially a cold back and kidneys. Several of us have had the old "pee more when cold" syndrome.
    Not bad considering lack of gear! You will definitely need to add a pad or under quilt though, if you didn't have one on that night. Hammocks are COLD on the bottom without a pad or UQ, even in the 60s or for some, the 70s. Especially with wind.
    That's your body's way of fighting the cold. You pee more so your body doesn't have to waste energy warming it. Meaning if you go more than usual, than you are colder than you think.

    Good report though. I think all of us start off with a few bad trips. Best way to learn. Plus it makes you appreciate the good ones later all the more.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  5. #5
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Fig: make note to self.... Look at "daughter's" gear before leaving house next time!!!!
    On the plus side, you made it!!! You didn't bail out.. and you "and your daughter" learned very valuable lessons. Oh, and it's probably a good thing that your daughter slept through your getting stuck in hammock/sleeping bag, zipper debacle thing!!
    Oh, something I tell all my scouts when we go camping (because I know, it's just a fact, they do not, ever, pack right) is to pack a space blanket.
    And the last thing: congradulations on you trip w/your daughter. It was still a successful trip!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member shrek's Avatar
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    I carry an Adventure Medical Emergency Bivy just in case. I've been caught out with it being cooler than expected. BTW, the bivy is less than $20 and comes in a package about the size of a tennis ball.
    "I used to be sane, but now I'm better."

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Walmart, blue ccf pad, ten-fifteen bucks, will work down to freezing - way more comfy in the hammock than on the ground.

    Welcome to the hanger's club!

  8. #8
    Senior Member shrek's Avatar
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    Another tip I just remembered. Buy some $.99 a pair disposable hand warmers. I threw 2 in the foot of my sleeping bag (20F rating) on a night it got down to 9F. Only took about 10 minutes before I had to start unzipping. For something so small, they keep you toasty all night.
    "I used to be sane, but now I'm better."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
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    I first posted in the "What made you a hanger" thread. I have been a hammock camper for about 30 years now. I started out with those el-cheapo mesh hammocks. I need to bug my parents to see if there are any pictures of me way back when camping out. We had a couple acres so my brother and I would spend weeks on end out camping. We alternated between tents and hammocks at times, and I have spent quite a few cold nights bundled up swinging from a couple of trees.

    Duly noted on all of the suggestions. I actually have the emergency blankets, but I guess at no point during the night would I have considered this "emergency" quality cold. My truck was right near us so our emergency plan if either one of us got too cold to stand it, would have been to shift operations to the truck with the heater.

    The funny part is that I was so focused on getting the weight of the pack down, I blanked on the extras like a jacket. I was even pulling gear out at the last minute, which is odd for me. I am usually packed up, ready to go, and spend the last bit of time checking everyone elses gear. I had previously helped my daughter load her pack so I knew she had all of the camping essentials, I just totally blanked on some cold weather gear for myself. I guess thats all part of the fun, and why we keep doing this. So we can be prepared no matter what situation we find ourselves in.

    Apologies in advance if this is to much info, but a few notes on the kidneys. It's interesting to hear that the cold makes you go more. I know my daughter didn't wake up to go, so that makes me feel better that she wasn't truly cold and just lying to me to make Dad happy. Here's my question. I would think that if you were going more frequently there would be less volume each time. I consider myself a pretty hydrated guy. Overweight, but well hydrated, and lets just say I was unloading a full bladder each time. They weren't "oh look I might have to pee" breaks, they were "when is this going to end" full bladder breaks. I am wondering, if I was peeing more frequently due to cold shouldn't the volume have been on the low side?

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