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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    New personal record for HH SuperShelter

    And most importantly I did not even have to resort to a Garlington Insulator. And the usual caveat: as usual in backyard hangouts, I did not stay the entire night. Once I got up to take a leak, I just went in to bed.

    So anyway, it was a windy 18F when I hit the sack about 10PM or so. That right there is a record for me to start the night. I had no tarp and though I did have a roof just barely over me, the wind chill was stout and forecast for below zero. And quite a bit of breeze was still managing to get under that back porch.

    I wanted to minimize the variables, and I don't have a true winter quilt. I just have my Golight quilt with a debatable 20F rating and I think a shell that is probably not very wind proof. So, after much debate I decided to use my PG winter bag. I wanted the test to only be for under insulation as much as possible.

    Gear used:
    1:HHULEXPL no net, no tarp
    2:top insulation 5*F TNF PG bag plus my usual light puffy clothing and one thin layer of long johns and neck gator, fleece hat
    3:Under insulation:HHSS with regular pad plus kidney/torso pads, a Heat Sheet space blanket on top of the pads, and a thick Patagonia down vest under the pad in the lower back/butt area and Mt.Hardware Monkey Fur fleece jacket under my upper back. I thought about putting my MW4 or Pea Pod down there, but I wanted to test just using clothing I might conceivably have with me on a really cold winter trip.
    4: Because I really had little faith in this system at these windy temps, I used a thick leg pad, and PG booties.

    Off to bed I go, without even a hot water bottle. I was pretty cold at first, but it wasn't long until I was plenty warm on top, and to my utter amazement, I was even actually warm on the bottom. Frankly, I was quite surprised. There was not even any cold butt syndrome. I was extremely comfortable on my back in the HH except the leg pad did not seem to fit right. And since I was bundled up in my mummy bag ( major pita, but so warm!), it was too inconvenient to reach out and adjust the pads position. I felt like my feet were on the pad but outside the hammock, but it was comfortable and warm so I passed out like that. I had ear plugs with me but stupidly did not put them in.

    I woke up after a couple of hours and realized I was almost too warm on top, and plenty warm on the bottom. I was still totally amazed. And the winter stars were awesome, pretty as I have ever seen in the east! I decided to add to the adventure: I came out of the bag, and removed the leg pad, and went quilt style. This proved(no surprise) much harder to stay warm enough, mainly due to poor seal around the neck and no hood. ( I did have my Marmot hood available, but didn't use it). Still, after a little while, and after working hard to close off all drafts( no way to cinch around my neck like with my quilt), I was again warm enough.

    Then I decided to go on my side, fetal, and laid the hood over my head leaving a breathing hole. I had to plug a few drafts, and my left knee had a pretty good cold spot. I either got that fixed or it wasn't bad enough to keep me awake, not sure. I went back to sleep, comfortable and warm.

    When I had to get up an hour or two later for a bathroom break, I decided to just go in, it was 14.8F with a wind chill of 6. Because I was actually more than warm enough, and the forecast was only for 14 anyway, I figured I might as well go in. I am bad to wake up from back yard noises, including from wind rattling patio umbrellas and such. But I really wish I had stayed out, because when I got up a few hours later(0700), it was a windy 9F! Took the dog for a short walk in that and the wind would cut you in half. Should have stayed to see if that would have been too cold. Heck, it's only 12 now, at 0900!

    So, there you have it: it can be done. I'm pretty sure I could have gone a few degrees colder, especially inside my bag, because I was SO warm. And I was not as warm but still warm enough without the leg pad and using the bag as quilt, especially on my side with the hood over my head. ( or a separate hood would have worked well). but I was fine for under insulation.

    Most likely, I would never choose this set up for these kinds of temps. It is all just a bit of a PITA getting everything adjusted so that the SS UC and pad are snug against your back but not compressing loft. It is a hassle compared to just hanging a MW4 and being done with it, or throwing a vest and/or space blanket into a Pea Pod. I had no condensation problems at all, but I do have a worry about the foot of a down TQ being up against the sil-nylon UC causing condensation. Plus, you have to have enough clothing you are not wearing to throw down into the UC. So this would not be my first choice for way below 30, but it shows ( once again KWPapke) that it can be done. If this is what you already have, or cost is a limiting factor, experiment and give it a try. It can be done!

    Final thought: I was not at all totally exposed to wind, but with no tarp there was enough of a breeze coming into that back porch to contribute wind chill. Under similar conditions, using much warmer quilts, I have been able to tell the dif when the wind would blow, even if I still stay warm enough. Still, I can often feel whatever warmth is there decrease with the wind, if I don't have the tarp set up to completely block the wind. So, even though this system would not be my first choice for extreme cold, I still feel that the sil-nyl UC helps a lot preventing the wind from sucking out whatever warmth has been built up. The system has a built in wind block on the bottom, or sort of a "sock" if you use the over cover, which I don'y have. It would of been nice last night.
    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

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    congrats BillyBob on setting a new low record with what you used.
    There are times that the only way you can do something is alone that waiting on the convenience of others means that a lot of opportunities will pass you by
    Spirit Walker

    Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. ― Mark Twain

    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Trooper's Avatar
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    Thanks for testing the SS for us! I plan to do a stock SS test tonight, adding layers until it is comfortable. Next week, I should have the Hennessy overcover, and a whole new round of testing begins.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I'm going to have to dig one of the Super Shelters out and start playing. I keep putting it off, but this has inspired me to give it a go. Thanks BillyBob!
    Trust nobody!

  5. #5
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    but with the OC you will miss seeing the stars!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerMegan View Post
    but with the OC you will miss seeing the stars!
    Nah, there's a breath hole right above my head.
    Besides, it's a rare event that I'm still awake after 5 minutes in my hammocks. Stars are tough to see with your eyes closed.
    Trust nobody!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    Sounds like impressive results. Thanks for the report.

  8. #8
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Well, I guess I'm going to have to dig one of the Super Shelters out and start playing. I keep putting it off, but this has inspired me to give it a go. Thanks BillyBob!
    You're welcome. And me too, I have put off further experiments ever since I got the Pea Pod Christmas 07. And getting a MW4 only made me even less likely to experiment with it. Now that I have finally put it to the test, I'll probably go back to my other systems.

    Keep in mind that having no net makes it a lot easier to figure out what is going on underneath. It is so darn easy to either have a gap or the opposite with loft compression.

    Also, I'm sure I got a little boost(how much?) from the PG bag under my back before I switched to quilt style. Still, I got by OK without that layer once I switched to quilt style, but I could tell the dif. By that time the insulation in the UC had warmed up some.

    I went back out after breakfast, at 16F. I hung around for 30 minutes or so, quilt and bag style. It was taking quite a while to warm up below, but finally it was OK again. A hot water bottle thrown in a bit before hand would have helped.

    I found a less unpleasant way to use the bag for side sleeping. Zipped up and sealed up head/neck as usual, but left the zipper (lt side) unzipped maybe a foot. This allowed me to have my arm out, then when I turned on my left side and curled up with my hand under my head and pillow, I had zero drafts to worry about no matter how I moved my legs. And it was still easy enough to to seal up around that relatively small left side(down side) opening. With the hood and neck colar still doing their job.

    Man, that bag is so bombproof. PG insulation and a quite wind proof and VERY water resistant shell. With a big, thick hood and neck collar. Too bad it weighs 4 lbs. And too bad it is a bag! If you can just keep covered and draft free, a thick enough quilt is so much more luxurious. And being able to move my arms and entire body around inside a Pea Pod with TQ with no worries is such a luxury!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-08-2010 at 16:11.
    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 Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    And being able to move my arms and entire body around inside a Pea Pod with TQ with no worries is such a luxury!
    Yeah, yeah. Don't rub it in. I spent my PeaPod money on vet bills.
    I think I made the right choice.
    Trust nobody!

  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper View Post
    Thanks for testing the SS for us! I plan to do a stock SS test tonight, adding layers until it is comfortable. Next week, I should have the Hennessy overcover, and a whole new round of testing begins.
    You're welcome. Thing is, the SS is tricky and like many things, has a learning curve. Maybe more so than most insulation. The tricky part ( especially if by yourself with a net in place!) is determining when the UC tension is adequate enough to prevent a gap and yet not so much as to compress loft. If you have even a small gap, count on freezing! If you have down in there, and it is thick enough, and the UC is way loose ( maybe not even connected by the end elastics), then the down may loft up enough to fill any gap. If there is a little loft compression, you may still be left with a significant boost. Using things like fleece that are not very compressible allows you to cinch things up for zero gap without much worry about compression.

    And then there is the whole condensation issue. No matter what they do, some folks are swamped in condensation trying to use the SS. As long as I use that space blanket under me, even though I sweat like crazy in the summer time, I have remained bone dry. Go figure, but YMMV.
    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

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