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  1. #1
    Senior Member DiscoveryDiver's Avatar
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    Thinking back to one cold night on our trip...

    I've only got about a dozen nights in a hammock now, but all of them have been at or below freezing...our low has been around the mid-teens F.

    On our last night in hammocks in Southern Utah last week (Little Creek Mesa not too far from Zion) my wife and I were out in the hammocks and the boys were going to sleep in the car (lots of coyotes that night, spooked them a bit).

    The day was really warm (in the 60s) and the night forecast in the nearest town was predicted to be 40F. Piece of cake, I thought...Since the boys were in the car, I grabbed one of their 4 season incubators....I thought at 40, I'd be a bit hot (Exped 650 unzipped as TQ) so I took off my fleece "sleeping suit" (actually a scuba diving undergarment for drysuit diving) and wore some thin thermal polypro liners and a fleece jacket.

    Well, I woke up sometime in the middle of the night chilled from every direction. I reached out to adjust the incubator side to side (it was good) felt down to make sure it wasn't sagging (seemed good). I felt the inside bottom of the hammock with my hand and it was ice cold...first time I've felt that.

    I reluctantly got out and suited up into my fleece suit and climbed back in. that did the trick, but I had lost some core temp, so I got behind the curve and never really warmed up to where I usually am...

    I don't know how cold it actually got...certainly a lot colder than 40...when we drove away in the morning around 8am, it was still 30F...maybe it went down to 20F...?

    I've never gotten cold like that when camping (except once w/o a bottom pad on the ground in Tibet...long story), this last night really shook my confidence...in my bag?, my UQ? my setup?... just the thermals...?

    Maybe the thermal bottoms are way weaker and a much poorer choice than I had imagined...and the dip caught me by surprise...fair enough

    My wife slept fine that night, and she's very sensitive to cold (also had a 4 season incubator, but wearing fleece sleepers)...

    So, I'm left pondering...

    1. What do folks usually wear to sleep...My fleece suit is great, but way bulky to bring on an overnight pack, which I hope to start doing with the boys...

    2. The UQ looked properly snugged up...could I have done something wrong to have caused that much cold to migrate up through the bottom like that...? I was really surprised when I touched the bottom and felt that much cold. I tied an extra knot at one end of the bungee to take up some UQ suspension slack and made sure I had the head and feet oriented correctly...

    Picture attached of our rigs on that night...thought hard to tell fit w/o a person in it, I know..

    Happy to hear any musings offered on related experiences...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kallorne's Avatar
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    Others can probably give better suggestions but my thoughts are perhaps the uq was too tight and the down got compressed when you got in or opening a gap at the foot end, the other I had was did you skip dinner and have a fast metabolism? I've been chilled to the bone like that if I dont get enough calories and I'm pushing the temp ratings of my sleep system.
    "don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go and do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

  3. #3
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Tarp?
    Windy?
    Topcover?
    Could your system have collected condensation from the previous nights?
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DiscoveryDiver's Avatar
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    K...good suggestion on the calories...we had some really good Mountain House...I think I remember being full...

    G...no wind, no tarp..beautiful, starry nigth. We got to see some satellites as well.

    I've thought the possibility of something reducing the warming efficiency for the down...We had spent the previous two nights in a hotel...and they were kept in fluffed bags, not compressed, so I'm thinking not likely...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Unless it is full-summer I always wear a smartwool base-layer (full long-johns and long-sleeve + extra thick smartwool socks).
    This works for me in all temps ranging from -20^C (my best-low) to +20^C anything over +20^C (~69F) I switch over to short-sleeve mid-weight shirt.

    Sometimes I add jogging-pants if it is windy and extra cold.

    You mentioned that you checked your UQ for gaps. I have noticed that when I am half-asleep and cold I only check the UQ near my left shoulder and under my bum, there has been times when the gap in the UQ was at my right thigh (and thus affected both my legs), the UQ was totally snug and perfect at the head end, but floppy at the foot end.

    A gap like that is enough to make even the best UQ ineffective at those low temps.
    just my $0.02.
    I ride a recumbent.
    I like to HAM it up on the CW.
    I use Linux.
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    Of course I sleep in a hammock!

    Rug.

    Hang On!

  6. #6
    Senior Member DiscoveryDiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rug View Post
    Unless it is full-summer I always wear a smartwool base-layer (full long-johns and long-sleeve + extra thick smartwool socks).
    This works for me in all temps ranging from -20^C (my best-low) to +20^C anything over +20^C (~69F) I switch over to short-sleeve mid-weight shirt.

    Sometimes I add jogging-pants if it is windy and extra cold.

    You mentioned that you checked your UQ for gaps. I have noticed that when I am half-asleep and cold I only check the UQ near my left shoulder and under my bum, there has been times when the gap in the UQ was at my right thigh (and thus affected both my legs), the UQ was totally snug and perfect at the head end, but floppy at the foot end.

    A gap like that is enough to make even the best UQ ineffective at those low temps.
    just my $0.02.
    Thanks, Rug
    I'll have to check into some compact/packable warmth solutions as you suggested...

  7. #7
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    From looking at your picture I'm going to guess your UQ suspension was not tight enough.
    The ends and sides may have been sealed but Ill bet you had a gap between the hammock and UQ in the
    butt/lower back area.

    When I am not in my hammock the tension from the UQ suspension lifts the hammock up.

    UQ on SwitchBack


    UQ on WBBB


    Next time you set your kit up. While laying in the hammock put your hand in between the hammock
    and UQ and feel around the small of your back. If there's a gap tighten the suspension.
    It is not uncommon to have the new tension knot 8-10 inches from the factory knot.

    hth
    Last edited by OutandBack; 04-04-2011 at 23:59.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DiscoveryDiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutandBack View Post
    From looking at your picture I'm going to guess your UQ suspension was not tight enough.
    The ends and sides may have been sealed but Ill bet you had a gap between the hammock and UQ in the
    butt/lower back area.

    When I am not in my hammock the tension from the UQ suspension lifts the hammock up.

    UQ on SwitchBack


    UQ on WBBB


    Next time you set your kit up. While laying in the hammock put your hand in between the hammock
    and UQ and feel around the small of your back. If there's a gap tighten the suspension.
    It is not uncommon to have the new tension knot 8-10 inches from the factory knot.

    hth
    Many thanks for that! I'll give it a shot...

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