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  1. #1
    the_lorax's Avatar
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    First 20* Hang - a partial success

    While I was unable to make it out to the Afton State Park hang this weekend, I did at least get a chance to test some gear below freezing out in the yard. When I headed out it was about 24*F and dropped a few more degrees as the night went on. I was nice and cozy in my synthetic mummy bag with a SPE underneath. Everything was fine until around 2am when I realized my blue pad had slid and was threatening to dump my feet overboard I got up and tried rearranging things but when it had slid again a half hour later I called it quits and headed inside.

    Clothing:
    • Light weight poly base layer
    • Sweatpants
    • Sweatshirt
    • Down vest
    • Wool socks


    Bottom:
    • Poncho Liner UQ
    • DIY Blue Pad SPE
    • Reflective Sun Screen


    Top:
    • Swiss Gear Crevasse 0* Mummy Bag


    Lessons Learned:
    1) My big test was the new Mummy Bag - it cost a whopping $25 on sale at KMart . It claims to be rated to 0*F but I was understandably skeptical. It weighs 4lbs 9oz, so it's not exactly light weight but isn't horrible either. Quality seems pretty good. In the low 20s I was plenty warm, not sure if it'd really handle 0* but I think I could probably handle down into the teens alright. In all I'd say it compares favorably to the Marmot Trestles 15* I've previously borrowed from a buddy - and it costs 1/4 as much. For anybody starting out and looking for a cheap cold weather option I'd recommend it.

    2) Pads can be troublesome. I've slept with the DIY SPE several times before and been just fine, but for whatever reason last night it was sliding like crazy on me. It's kinda funny I started out thinking gee I really like the pad for insulation, no fuss just toss it in and you're good maybe I don't need a "real" UQ and a few hours later I was cursing it. I was plenty warm - thanks mostly to the generous wings I had put on the SPE which prevented me from ending up off the pad even with the shifting. I'm thinking if I'm going to stick with pads I'll have to make a double layer hammock to more reliably keep the pads where they belong and maybe make it a tad longer then my Grand Trunk UL.

    3) Pad + PLUQ compo - mixed here. I think it probably helped a little but not a ton, I had plenty of coverage with the SPE anyway. Further, once the pad had started sliding over the edge of the hammock it actually caused the PLUQ to slide completely off to one side.

    In all it was a fun and valuable experiment. I learned that even with my cheap bag I can handle sub-freezing temps alright. Pads might work for me but I need to refine my setup a bit to avoid the sliding.

  2. #2
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Try raising up the hammock foot end at the tree strap....may help keep that pad from popping out on you.
    Shug
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  3. #3
    Doody's Avatar
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    Try putting the pad in your sleeping bag. I've got a thermarest backpacker lite pad that I have had good success with inside a Eureka 15 degree mummy when I first started hammocking. Also, the rubber shelf liner stuff works wonders keeping things from sliding around.

  4. #4
    the_lorax's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    Smile Thanks for the tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Good stuff. Try raising up the hammock foot end at the tree strap....may help keep that pad from popping out on you.
    Shug
    Yeah, I had it marginally higher but likely could have had it a couple more inches higher. Ultimately I think that my full length pad and relatively short Grand Trunk UL maybe aren't the best match - no matter what it just barely fits and both the head & foot end of the pad end upright on the edge of the hammock. Wonder if having a torso length pad in the SPE and a separate pad/reflectix piece for my feet would help - might be easier to reposition anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doody View Post
    Try putting the pad in your sleeping bag. I've got a thermarest backpacker lite pad that I have had good success with inside a Eureka 15 degree mummy when I first started hammocking. Also, the rubber shelf liner stuff works wonders keeping things from sliding around.
    That's an idea. Not sure how well it would work for me since I tend to switch from sleeping on my back to on my side/fetal but if you're one who just gets into the sweat spot and stays on their back that'd definitely solve the issue of the pad getting away from ya. The shelf liner might be the way to go until I can get the double layer hammock done. I think I've seen a few dots/lines of silicone mentioned too.

    Oh darn, guess I'll just have to sleep out in the hammock more to figure out what works for me.

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