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  1. #1
    mountainhanger's Avatar
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    Question winter hammocking for noobs

    I find a lot of bits n pieces but when it comes to a all around specific way toinstruct us noob's there isn't a whole lot. So maybe this is a call out to shug,fronkey and all the experienced winter hangers and hikers to maybe make a dedicated sticky or video series on the how to and what nots. I am still wondering how any of you actually hike without overheating and then hypothermea. When do u need the pulk? What is a pulk? What kind of stakes u use? What if its too frozen. How do u carry ur backpak if ur all bundled up? What clothing works best and how do u care for ur hammock when they freeze? What about suspension lines?
    See what I mean? Lots and lots of ?? but something that is really pullin at me right now. Mods hope this in the right place
    Tim
    It's not the boulders that throw us off balance, it's the pebbles beneath our feet

  2. #2
    Gary_R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainhanger View Post
    I find a lot of bits n pieces but when it comes to a all around specific way toinstruct us noob's there isn't a whole lot. So maybe this is a call out to shug,fronkey and all the experienced winter hangers and hikers to maybe make a dedicated sticky or video series on the how to and what nots. I am still wondering how any of you actually hike without overheating and then hypothermea. When do u need the pulk? What is a pulk? What kind of stakes u use? What if its too frozen. How do u carry ur backpak if ur all bundled up? What clothing works best and how do u care for ur hammock when they freeze? What about suspension lines?
    See what I mean? Lots and lots of ?? but something that is really pullin at me right now. Mods hope this in the right place
    Tim
    PULK: A sled designed to carry gear or other cargo more comfortably than you could on your person while crossing various terrains on non friction surfaces such as snow and Ice. They are pulled behind you or dogs while snowshoeing or skiing. They are simply used to carry much more gear than you could carry otherwise, with much less effort.

    I use mine any time there is enough snow to let me!
    Big advantage of the pulk is its lets your back breath making it much easier to regulate temperatures.
    I find I don't need many layers to stay warm while hiking.

    Stakes: I use the same stakes I use in the summer I just stomp the snow to get it firm enough to hold. You can also use CD's, small bags, sticks.

    When bundled up and cant use a pulk.. Adjust your pack to fit.
    Last edited by Gary_R; 08-02-2012 at 13:40.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Well, lot's of interesting questions. I think my suggestion to you would be to start out by getting more experience in the outdoors during the winter months just doing dayhikes.

    Shorter, gradually longer hiking trips will help you sort out a lot of your own solutions to these questions on your own. Especially those not tied directly to hammocking, but tied to winter outdoor recreation in general.

    Layers...clothing is all about layers. When you get hot, layers come off. When you get cold, layers go on. When you're working (hiking) in the winter, it's better to feel slightly cold than overly warm...because if you're right at/just above comfortable...you're sweating and getting moisture into your clothing.

    The only way to know how much layer to remove or add will be your own personal experience.

    Carrying your gear also varies greatly. Pulks are great under some conditions...less so in others. Plan for the conditions you'll be out in.

    Start out with some short day hikes, close to home. Take your hammock, carry the gear you intend to use...get used to it. Practice putting it up cold, tearing it down cold, using it cold. Figure out how much you sweat under what conditions, and learn what layering system works best for you.

    THEN worry about trying an overnight in supported conditions. If it goes well...expand off that.

  4. #4
    Alamosa's Avatar
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    Great points Owl. Get to know the winter environment so that you can add/test new conditions incrementally.
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  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a predisposition to overdressing, or bundling up, as you call it, in winter weather. Sgt. Rock has some great tips on how to stay warm here:

    http://hikinghq.net/stay_warm.html

    Personally, I don't even wear any thermal base layer when I'm hiking until it gets below ten degrees - I just get too hot. Most of my heat regulation revolves around adding/removing hat, gloves, balaclava and wind protection. If I get hot, I'll usually remove my balaclava first, then hat, gloves, then windproof shell. If I get cold, I add them back.

    I pretty much use the same system when I ski (though the gloves never come off skiing). I have a windproof shell, a fleece or merino wool underlayer (or two, if it's cold), and a polyester wicking shirt. I have never employed a puffy layer when hiking or skiing - that's for when I stop.

    I'm a hot sleeper and a hot hiker, though. Everybody is different.

  6. #6
    Member brownham's Avatar
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    How do you avoid trees with dead limbs on them when everything is naked?

  7. #7
    Senior Member XSrcing's Avatar
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    I'm have yet to hammock in deep winter, but I have camped and slept in snow caves.

    Like above it's all about layers, layers, layers!

    When hiking or working down to 10*f I wear Under Armor cold gear long sleeve, synthetic long sleeve shirt, fleece pull over and a Carhartt rain shell. I regulate my temp by unzipping or taking off the outter shell.

    From what I've been reading, the same principles apply to hammocking in the cold. If you can manage your dead airspace, you can stay warm.

    If the whole top quilt, under quilt, footbox, 4-season tarp gets confusing stop thinking about everything separately. Instead remember that to stay warm, you must cover your entire body with layers. Then use the pieces mentioned above to piece together you equipment.

    If you have a full length under quilt that goes from head to toe, then a footpad would be redundant.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownham View Post
    How do you avoid trees with dead limbs on them when everything is naked?
    LOL...this is a good question. My first hammocking overnight was in early spring before the leaves and buds started coming out. I found a great spot, tied off, slept that night.

    Came back three weeks later and found that one of the trees I had tied off to was dead as a post. Not a single leaf.

    So...good question.

    My general suggestion is to always make sure you stop to camp when it's light enough to see out. Grab the trees that you think may have limbs anywhere near where you're sleeping, and shake the snot outta them. I'd prefer to be looking up and ready to dodge anything that could potentially come down then, rather than have it land on me in my hammock in the dead of night.

    Other suggestion...do not camp anywhere near rocky outcroppings. They may look real stable, but you never know when one might calve and crush you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member XSrcing's Avatar
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    Use a fingernail to see if the cambium is totally dry to check if it's dead.

  10. #10
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainhanger View Post
    I find a lot of bits n pieces but when it comes to a all around specific way toinstruct us noob's there isn't a whole lot. So maybe this is a call out to shug,fronkey and all the experienced winter hangers and hikers to maybe make a dedicated sticky or video series on the how to and what nots. I am still wondering how any of you actually hike without overheating and then hypothermea. When do u need the pulk? What is a pulk? What kind of stakes u use? What if its too frozen. How do u carry ur backpak if ur all bundled up? What clothing works best and how do u care for ur hammock when they freeze? What about suspension lines?
    See what I mean? Lots and lots of ?? but something that is really pullin at me right now. Mods hope this in the right place
    Tim
    Staying comfortable in winter temperatures is all about moisture management and staying dry. How you do that is entirely up to you as there are several ways to get the job done. You just have to find what works for you and your style of winter activity.

    The thing most people miss is to ensure that your clothing system is breathable enough to effectively move the amount of moisture generated to the outer most layer of your clothing. This is why most experienced people in winter camping and traveling use wool and canvas despite the miracle insulations and fabrics available. For everything you ever wanted to know on winter camping and hiking head on over to wintertrekking.com.

    Cheers

    Brian
    Last edited by BrianWillan; 08-02-2012 at 21:11.
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