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  1. #1
    2new2hang's Avatar
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    Winter Hammock Condensation Issues

    Just got back from a trip up to the mountains of Nagano, Japan. Temps in the low 20's to upper teens. There was about 4 feet of snow on the ground. Needed snowshoes just to break a trail to get to where I was going to hang. I took my Smokehouse tarp, my Ti-Goat wood burning stove, and my Clark NX-250. Under the Clark I had a JRB Mt Washington 3 season convertible. I was using a Golite Ultra 20 TQ. I was wearing Wiggys mesh long johns, base layer, with a down jacket and hat. I had wool socks with hot socks over the top. The stove keeps the inside of the Smokehouse at about 65 degrees constant until she burns out after about an hour of its last stoke. Temps drop off sharply after that. I closed the WS on the Clark over me and slept like a baby all night until nature's call at about 6am. When I opened the Clark WS, the interior was covered with mist, and the top of my TQ was really soaked to about my chest. On the underside of my Smokehouse tarp there was a fine sheen of frozen mist. My question is, should I have left the WS on the Clark open? Was there a problem in having the WS closed inside the closed sides of the Smokehouse, or was my issue with simply my breath in the cold of both enclosures? I would have assumed some passage of vapor through both surfaces. Since I am a noob to all of this (especially cold weather), is this something that just happens? I know Shug uses a type of "bib" to prevent condensation. I have just ordered a Wildernesslogics TQ which has a fleece condensation protector, so this may help? What can I do next time to help avoid this situation? Thanks in advance for your wisdom!
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    2new2hang

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  2. #2
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    That is flat out an impressive set up you have with that tarp and wood burning stove!!!
    Condensation from breathing is an ongoing problem for me too. I carry a (homemade) silk sheet. During the winter, I'll drape it over the interior ridgeline inside my hammock and have it positioned around my head. It then tends to gather most of the moisture and I only have to leave it out for a few minutes in the morning to dry. This has cut down on most of the dampness that I used to have on my top quilt.
    I used to have a Clark and to cut down on inside moisture building up, I'd not zip the weathershield up all the way. At least on one side!! This was when I started carrying a piece of silk to help with that. I've found that anything you can add around/near your face will help.

  3. #3
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Condensation and moisture management is always going to be a problem! You mentioned Shug's fleece bib, this is used to catch the moisture and condensation from his breath, thus it staying on the bib and not coming back down onto the insulation (your down)! There will still be a little that get's on the TQ but not as much! The reason you had so much I suspect is due to the ambient temp inside your shelter then you factor in the moisture from your breath and body collecting on the tarp (and rest of shelter) then dripping (or moving as vapor) onto you and your quilts as the moisture will fall! One thing you can try is a vapor barrier around you in between you n your quilts, this will stop most (not all) of your body moisture from getting into your quilt's, then just use something like the bib to catch your breath as you sleep!

    I really like your set-up by the way, the stove is sweet!!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

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  4. #4
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2new2hang View Post
    What can I do next time to help avoid this situation?
    Ventilate!

    Shug's bib collects condensation from breath that would otherwise wet his TQ... it doesn't prevent it.

    - MacEntyre
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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  5. #5
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what all the Clark WS consists of. But, it would seem that if you are closed in completely, and the weather shield is fairly cold, the moisture your body gives off and that you breath out are going to condense when they hit that cold layer, period.

    A huge amount of this is what you breath out all night, very moist warm air. This is where the Shug style Bib can come in very handy. Notice that, if it is cold enough inside the WS, your breath will condense on the bib no matter how breathable it is.

    Something that remains a bit of a mystery to me is why I have never had NOTICEABLE condensation issues with my PeaPod even with the smallest vent holes, and even fully closed. At temps as cold as 10F. I expected to get at least some and did not, except when "snow" ( my breath exiting the PeaPod vent and freezing then falling back in?) would sometimes fall on my face. But the pod fabric never seemed damp, nor was there any noticeable loft loss. I think with much larger vents, I would have had more cold air close to my face and would have gotten condensation. I realize if I had weighed the pod I might have found it to be a little heavier from condensation that was not obvious.

    OTOH, I have used my Golite 20- like you- in a JRB BMBH with JRM MW4 UQ- at 10F(plus warm clothing) and had tremendous condensation on the TQ near my face. Soaked. ( under a tarp with an open pitch) Even though the loft had not collapsed yet, this left me a little cold on top, so as I was in the back yard, I switched to a winter Polarguard hooded bag and finished the night toasty warm. That bag laughed at the condensation, if there was any. But a bib might have got me through the night with just my Golite Ultra 20 quilt.
    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

  6. #6
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Now used to nightly cold sleeping, I leave the weathershield -- just a layer of zipped-in DWR nylon fabric -- deployed on both sides just up to my neck, covering the TQ. Because of dew, I'm seriously considering a winter top-sheet with bivy-function which does not wet from dew and fallen condensed respiratory vapor. Maybe a linear 1/2 yard of Gore-Tex. Cheap and cheerful. And hot-****: camo!!

    I'd love for someone to find and post here some estimates of mean respiratory vs body- sourced water vapor. (Not worst cases we read that are largely irrelevent and misleading. Do I get guidance from learning that in the Antarctic, with temps never exceeding -10F that sleeping bags are 3lb heavier after 3 months of use? About as much as I do in life planning from knowledge an asteroid may crash into the Earth.) I don't doubt there is serious variation between people and situations. But, I'll bet the respiratory sourced quantity doesn't vary much between people. Dunno whether, as some claim, breathing through a pad in winter reduces water loss and condensation.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 01-02-2012 at 16:29.

  7. #7
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Possibly wearing too much to sleep.....try without the down jacket. You may seat less in general.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Slo's Avatar
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    just like a glass of iced tea in the summer time in the south. Once that humid moisture ridden warm air touches that ice cold glass, it turns into liquid. Same exact principle with your weathershield and your breath.
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  9. #9
    Jsaults's Avatar
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    Wondering out loud.........

    I was going to fabricate a condensation shield similar to Shugs, but I just had an epiphany:

    Take one old wicking T-shirt (or a really cheap one from China Mart). Cut from the hem, up each side (along the underarm seams) to the shoulders. Cut around the front of the arms, across the shoulders, in back of the knit collar hole. Discard the back, or use it as a hankie.

    What you should have left is a knit neck hole and the front of the shirt. Through the hem of the shirt slide a section of 1/8" polypropylene tube - the stiff but flexy stuff. Melt a small hole in the center of the hem for a light shock cord to pass through and tie to the poly tubing.

    Stick your head through the neck hole. Attach the shock cord to the interior ridgeline and adjust as needed. The tube acts as a batten to give the device some shape to reduce the humid exhaled air from condensing on your TQ.

    Yes, I know. Pictures would have been better. I will post some when I construct it.

    Jim
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    Last edited by Jsaults; 01-02-2012 at 15:33.

  10. #10
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jsaults View Post
    I was going to fabricate a condensation shield similar to Shugs, but I just had an epiphany:

    Take one old wicking T-shirt ...
    TZ did something slightly less elegant, but similar, described here.
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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