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  1. #1

    Hammock Camping In The Cold

    Hey guys,

    What are your thoughts on hammock camping when it gets fairly cold out? Like right now it's getting down to the mid 30's at night.

    It seems like a hammock would be too cold in this kind of weather with all that air circulating around you. What do you think?
    When you head out for the weekend, don't forget the camping essentials

  2. #2
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Just need the proper insulation. I believe the current record is -27F by our very own Shug.

    This is one example of winter camping!


  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Mid 30s?
    That's a heat wave.
    Trust nobody!

  4. #4
    Administrator Yukon's Avatar
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    Mid 30's is comfy sleeping weather

  5. #5
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Yep, 30's is a very comfortable night in the hammock and a lot of people have done deep cold minus degree hangs, especially us Minnesotans.



    Fronkey

  6. #6
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Camping in the 30s is just about my perfect hammock temp. Wait, anything about 15° is perfect hanging temp.

    Your are right, with all that air circulating around you, hammocks shed heat very easily. Anything below about 70°, and you are going to need something to prevent this. It is all about insulation. Sleeping bags in the hammock do not work well, because as you sleep in the bag compressing the material (which happens more completely than when on the ground because the hammock wraps around you); compressed insulation allows heat to readily transfer to the air.

    There are two obvious solutions. First (and cheapest) is to use a foam or insulated/inflatable pad under you in the hammock. The second (and more expensive) option is to use an Underquilt (UQ). This is an insulating barrier (goose down or synthetic material) which is slung under the hammock and snugged up under you to prevent drafts.

    Underquilts can be expensive, but for me (and I probably speak for most on the forum), this is where the hammock really shines. A quality UQ will make sleeping in the hammock at any temperature just a heavenly experience.

    Look at the forums on Top Insulation, Bottom Insulation, Pads, and Underquilts to learn more. The above posted videos will speed up the learning process as well.

    FWIW, watch out for those Minnesotans--they are a little out there...
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  7. #7
    Chard's Avatar
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    Check out our wintercamping trip report. We got down to around -26C or -15F and survived. Trip Report: Eastern Great Lakes Hang - Feb 2012 - Snowshoes across Algonquin

    You're right, hammocks compress traditional insulation and the cold air below steals away whatever little you manage to keep. Check out Shug's videos for tips on underquilts/top quilts and pads. I'd personally recommend quilts if feasible.
    Survival is about getting out alive, Bushcraft is about going in to live

    Upcoming EGL Hangs: Winter Backcountry 2014. For EGL notifications, subscribe to the EGL Hang Notification Thread
    EGL Trip Reports: Feb 2014, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Winter 2012, Fall 2011, Video: Algonquin - Spring 2011 - Part 1 of 2

  8. #8
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    One more comment quick, to reinforce the significance of underquilts.

    When camping (hammocking), I use 4 pieces of gear. I have a Hammock, Tarp, TopQuilt and UnderQuilt. I own only one hammock, but 2 different each Tarps, TQs and UQs. My hammock cost less than half what I paid for each TQ and UQ. For me, how I camp and the UQ I choose is all based upon the overnight lows. I love my Winter UQ (good to about 15°) and every fall, I look forward to using it again. And yet every spring, I look forward to the warming temps so I can use my Summer UQ (good above 40°). I truly value them both.

    I truly consider my UQs to be the most important part of my hammocking gear.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  9. #9

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    Winter hammock camping, yes please!

    David

  10. #10
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Oh yeah.....cold and colder can be done for sho')))))))
    Shug

    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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    Shug and Friends Jammin'

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