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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Pads inside sleeping bag?

    I'm very new to Hammock camping. I slept out once in an HH Expedition, and then bought the Explorer Ultralight before a trip from Davenport Gap to Hot Springs last May. It was the last freeze in that area, and we hit it just right. One night I just froze. I'd been sleeping with my pad on the inside of my bag, and slept inside a very light liner.

    In the warmer months, I could totally just pack the liner, pad, and a warm-ish top and bottom just in case, leaving the sleeping bag at home.

    But was I committing a major no-no and making myself colder by having the pad inside the bag with me? I just move a lot at night, and so the pad would be EVERYWHERE if it weren't in my sleeping bag.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Underquilt. Read some of the threads about them. They will give you insulation up the sides as well as below you. I'd start with an under-quilt and sleeping bag with maybe the bag opened as a top quilt.
    A pad in the bag works but the insulation value of the pad depends on the material. A large CCF pad works similar to an under-quilt but is not as cozy. The typical backpacker CCF pad lets the cold sides come in on you. Pressure anywhere collapses the sleeping bag so there is not a lot of insulation value there.
    An SPE is another alternative.

  3. #3
    Senior Member The RidgeRunner's Avatar
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    I have used my Thermarest pad inside my fleece bag liner with my sleeping bag as a tq down into the 30's. I too toss and turn and i would find, even in a double layer hammock, that my pad and i would make an X in the hammock and me bum was the only thing on the pad.

    I would still have to adjust every now and then but it was more an inch this way or that and not get out of the hammock and fish the pad out of the hammock and adjust.
    Experts are the ones who think they know everything. Geniuses are the ones who know they don't.

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  4. #4
    jbrianb's Avatar
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    My recent underquiltless trip

    I got off for a trip recently before finishing my DIY underquilt. No problem, I decided, I'll take a pad.

    I also know about how one's butt cheeks compress insulation, but being hard headed, I decided to take two sleeping bags (we were car camping, so it was easy enough).

    I left the thicker bag (a 20 degree rectangle bag) zipped up and placed it on top of my pad which was on my hammock. I then took the second bag (a 40 degree bag), used it as a top quilt and wrapped it around me, tucking it in to the sides so it was snug to the bag/pad setup.

    Temps got down to 28 the first night. Other than my nose, I slept fairly comfortably. Was it warm? No. But it wasn't cold either (except on my beak)

    The second night, it hit 29. I pulled my top bag over my head and left a small breathing gap in the bag. While it was basically just as cold as it was the night before, I slept a lot warmer.

    Compressed insulation loses a lot of its value, but it still retains some unless you squish it totally flat. My doubled up underbag had a little loft in it even where my cheeks focused most of my weight.

    The best answer has been given: get an underquilt. Short of that I'd recommend putting the pad down first, as much loft as you can find between your butt and the pad and a good top quilt, blanket or sleeping bag on top.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    It shouldn't make much difference whether the pad is inside your SB or under it. If the pad is inside your bag it implies that it's pretty narrow, and has been stated in cooler temps you definitely want coverage on your sides as well as below you. A hammock will compress most of the insulation on your sides as well as below you and can be a major source of heat loss. I find a 26" width to be the absolute minimum, and wider is better.

    What kind of pad and how thick are you using? Of course for lower temps, more insulation (thicker pad) will be required to stay warm. If you're using the same pad that you use during warmer months, it's likely that it's simply not enough insulation to comfortably take you to lower temps. Personally, a 3/8" or 1/2" pad is good down to about 32F. Anything colder and I need a thicker pad or multiple pads to keep warm.

    You can always use a shorter section of pad laid in a "t" configuration to provide extra width and thickness under your torso, or an SPE (Speer Pad Extender) to hold extra padding under you as well as "wings" for the side areas or think about an UQ. UQ's are great. Far more comfortable, and somewhat easier to use, but have their own challenges to deal with. Inexpensive ones can be made from military poncho liners (search MPLUQ for some DIY threads) or Insultex (a thin foam material).

    Pads work fine though. I used them for quite a while without major issues.


    PS - Welcome to HF!
    Experience is the worst teacher - it presents the exam first and the lesson later. - Unknown

  6. #6
    New Member rocketrobinhood's Avatar
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    Pads work fine

    With all the promotion of underquilts and their corresponding costs in these forums, I'm suprised that an experienced hammocker will admit that pads actually work!

    You must be fomenting rebellion.

    Rob

  7. #7
    Senior Member mangus7175's Avatar
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    When hammock camping, I use my cut to shape gossamer gear thinlite pad inside my bag. This system has worked for me so far but the only issue I've found is that it gets too hot inside the bag even in 30 degree nights.

  8. #8
    Senior Member The RidgeRunner's Avatar
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    There have been times when I do a section of the AT here in PA where I had a pad packed and switched it out i originally packed it in case I needed to go in the shelter. I had to once with just an UQ and froze me bullocks.

    Got into camp late and it was snowing to beat all and I couldn't see passed my nose through the snow. I decided to take the open bunk in the shelter and all I had was my 3/4 UQ to lay on.

    Now I do a little more planning to leave enough time to set up shop.
    Experts are the ones who think they know everything. Geniuses are the ones who know they don't.

    Gather round your hearts the tinder,
    lay the oak and pine together,
    kindle all that is within you with a warm and cheerful spirit.

  9. #9
    Member 1mtndude's Avatar
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    My first hammock was a HH Exployer Deluxe. I used a Big Agnes sleeping bag ( i.e. the Palmer Hoyt a zero degree bag for winter and the Pitchpine a 35-40 bag for the other seasons) together with a Big Agnes insulated pad. Both bags have a non-insulated bottom and a pocket or straps to hold the pad in place.
    This system works if you are committed to using a pad.

  10. #10
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketrobinhood View Post
    With all the promotion of underquilts and their corresponding costs in these forums, I'm suprised that an experienced hammocker will admit that pads actually work!

    You must be fomenting rebellion.

    Rob
    Pads have always worked. That's what people used before underquilts came out. The difference is that underquilts do it better. I've used both and still use both. In the summer, I usually just take my JRB 26X40 evazote pad to get me into the upper 50's. Below that, I usually switch to one of my UQ's.

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