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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Bad freezing from breath condensation!

    It got a little cold last night. (-6C/~23F) I woke up to a thick frost all around me on the ground. But there was a small problem; The entire inside (top and sides) of my hammock (especially the bug-netting) was frozen and/or wet.

    I woke a couple of times throughout the night because my goatee was frozen to my pillow. (that hurts by the way!) I can only assume that the condensation from my breath was what caused the excessive amount of moisture inside my hammock. I was dry underneath me and quite warm (JrB Quilts FTW!) but I did have to don my goretex balaclava midway.
    I ride a recumbent.
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    Rug.

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  2. #2
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Wow ... now that's cold. Had frost on my whiskers but never had them freeze to me!

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


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  3. #3
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rug View Post
    It got a little cold last night. (-6C/~23F) I woke up to a thick frost all around me on the ground. But there was a small problem; The entire inside (top and sides) of my hammock (especially the bug-netting) was frozen and/or wet.

    I woke a couple of times throughout the night because my goatee was frozen to my pillow. (that hurts by the way!) I can only assume that the condensation from my breath was what caused the excessive amount of moisture inside my hammock. I was dry underneath me and quite warm (JrB Quilts FTW!) but I did have to don my goretex balaclava midway.
    Maybe Pan will chime in here. He has used some type of face mask/balaclava that really did great at preventing that breath condensation. It can really be a bear. I have had my breath go up and out the breathing hole on my Pea Pod, freeze and snow right back down on my face, waking me up! I have also had really heavy breath condensation form on the top quilt layer nearest my face.
    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

  4. #4
    canoeski's Avatar
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    You are right about the exhaled moisture! (more than a quart per night IIRC)

    That's the exact reason I'm skeptical about using an over cover.
    I even had concerns about my HH and its non-removable bug net being a condensation point. (That's why I got a BMBH). Sounds like you experienced this. How much ice was there actually on the net, and was it only over your head?

    When it's really cold I wear a Thermax balaclava that covers my face and nose during the night. Sure, it gets damp. but that's better than your insulation getting wet. At 20 below (F) I have resorted to covering my eyes with a bandanna to keep my lids from freezing shut.

    Whenever you're under a fabric shelter there is going to be condensation on the inner walls which freezes and falls back on you in the form of snow if you bump it. Another reason I hate fully enclosed tents; but even an open tarp will do this. All of my down sleeping bags (Marmots) have Goretex covers for this reason (and dew in the summer). I usually try to shake this down before fully unzipping my bag. If possible, I prefer to sleep under the open sky at extreme cold temps, but sometime you really need a shelter due to wind and falling snow. I have several of the original Chounard (now Black Diamond) Pyramid tarp/shelters. I installed a fabric chimney in one for ventilation.

    The BEST winter shelter, better I dare say than a hammock, is a snow cave or quincey! (?sp)
    Not all who wander are lost.

  5. #5
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    It can really be a bear. I have had my breath go up and out the breathing hole on my Pea Pod, freeze and snow right back down on my face, waking me up!
    that, sir, would be the funniest thing to see. can you come to mt rogers on the off chance that it happens there so we can record it?

  6. #6
    i've found that in really cold weather, a cover (even netting) is better than nothing. a couple times i went with just a no-net hammock, i awoke with a frost covered sleeping bag.

    for my face, i've been meaning to try a cheap disposable dust mask, (the semi ridgid ones from home depot), they stay off your mouth and nose (the ones that don't touch except along the sides of the mask), and really do a good job of allowing you to breath warmer air which may help with overall body warmth. it might even help with moisture condensing on your shelter. maybe i'll remember to take it next time and try.

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoeski View Post
    You are right about the exhaled moisture! (more than a quart per night IIRC)

    That's the exact reason I'm skeptical about using an over cover.
    I even had concerns about my HH and its non-removable bug net being a condensation point. (That's why I got a BMBH). Sounds like you experienced this. How much ice was there actually on the net, and was it only over your head?

    When it's really cold I wear a Thermax balaclava that covers my face and nose during the night. Sure, it gets damp. but that's better than your insulation getting wet. At 20 below (F) I have resorted to covering my eyes with a bandanna to keep my lids from freezing shut.

    Whenever you're under a fabric shelter there is going to be condensation on the inner walls which freezes and falls back on you in the form of snow if you bump it. Another reason I hate fully enclosed tents; but even an open tarp will do this. All of my down sleeping bags (Marmots) have Goretex covers for this reason (and dew in the summer). I usually try to shake this down before fully unzipping my bag. If possible, I prefer to sleep under the open sky at extreme cold temps, but sometime you really need a shelter due to wind and falling snow. I have several of the original Chounard (now Black Diamond) Pyramid tarp/shelters. I installed a fabric chimney in one for ventilation.

    The BEST winter shelter, better I dare say than a hammock, is a snow cave or quincey! (?sp)
    Absolutely! With a snow cave, what's going on outside matters naught. I speak from personal experience, with tents and tarps in heavy snow and wind for comparison. There is a vast dif in the effect of winter wind shaking a tent of pushing a tarp against you- and being unaware of the wind inside a cave. Plus the insulation of a snow cave keeping the temps from going below freezing no matter what the outside temp is!

    But most of us don't have the luxury of a snow cave most of the time, especially if we are using hammocks. But I guess if it is time for a snow cave, we won't be thinking about a hammock anyway.
    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

  8. #8
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fulminated View Post
    that, sir, would be the funniest thing to see. can you come to mt rogers on the off chance that it happens there so we can record it?
    Strange, I didn't find it all that funny when it woke me up! But, it would be funny to observe, happening to some one else anyway! Maybe someone could film it?

    Does all of this talk of condensation not make you wonder if some of that moisture does NOT make it outside of our quilts, no matter how breathable? Some of us should test this winter by weighing after one or more nights sleep below 20*F. Colder the better.

    Think about it: if it is zero F, just how cold is the inside of the shell and even the last inch or 1/4" of insulation before the shell and outside? No matter how breathable ( like mossy netting for ex) the shell, what happens when warm body vapor contacts a surface that is way below freezing?
    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

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gailainne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Absolutely! With a snow cave, what's going on outside matters naught. I speak from personal experience, with tents and tarps in heavy snow and wind for comparison. There is a vast dif in the effect of winter wind shaking a tent of pushing a tarp against you- and being unaware of the wind inside a cave. Plus the insulation of a snow cave keeping the temps from going below freezing no matter what the outside temp is!

    But most of us don't have the luxury of a snow cave most of the time, especially if we are using hammocks. But I guess if it is time for a snow cave, we won't be thinking about a hammock anyway.
    Indeed, while we camped out in an emergency snow shelter, (on a survival course, avatar picture), not only did the ceiling drip on us, it got that warm inside, there was a raging storm outside that we didn't even hear, one of the quietest places I've ever slept.

    Now making it deep and long enough to accommodate a hammock, sheer bliss

  10. #10
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I've had that happen as well - not as bad as you describe, though! I use a Serius neofleece facemask that helps keep the condensation down a bit...but I have a hard time sleeping with a solid fabric over my mouth. One of the drawbacks of winter camping, I guess. I'd be interested in hearing how the dust mask works.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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