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  1. #1
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    Any Cold Sleepers?

    I am definitely a cold natured person, and even have trouble keeping warm, no matter the season, while sleeping on the ground. I'm thinking of switching to hammocks for comfort, but really don't want to carry more weight than I currently have with the ground setup.

    I'm still not sure if I'll have the time to test a HH Hyperlite in the next 3 weeks before I leave for my AT thru-hike for cold-weather usage, but was hoping to use one in the summer months at the least. Do any of you find that you need added insulation underneath even in the summer? On the ground, I typically use a 2.5" inflatable pad, jag bag silk liner, and JRB Shenandoah quilt to stay warm, and then sometimes still get cold. I'll throw on my Rain Jacket sometimes to help warm up. If I'm floating in the sky, I'm afraid I'll be even worse. Perhaps some sort of undercover would be necessary? I usually carry a torso length ridgerest, mainly for a sit pad, but that could be used in the hammock if necessary...

  2. #2
    2Questions's Avatar
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    Warm sleep suggestions

    Here's an article I kept on warm sleeping. Hope it helps.
    Warm slumber suggestions-taken from an article by Steve Gorman

    1. Any bag fresh out of the stuffsack isn’t going to be as warm as one that’s had a chance to loft. As soon as you pitch your tent (or hammock), unstuff it and let it loft…the longer the better.

    2. A good sleeping pad with a good R-value (typically closed cell foam somewhere in the mix) makes a world of difference. My note: I use a full length 3/8” CCF pad covered with a “Neatsheet” which is velcroed at the top. It’s good down to 30 degrees for me. I slide a second ¾ length CCF pad in to get me down to 5 degrees. I also have detachable CCF wings for under my arms/shoulders. They all roll up in my pack, everything goes down inside the roll.

    3. Watch for condensation! Keep the bag or quilt dry and air it out as soon as you can. Your body emits a fair amount of moisture that may get trapped in your bag. My note: I often use my Marmot down bag when it gets in the teens and find that my raising my tarp a bit more, the condensation doesn’t touch anything important. On a sunny day, spread it out a hot boulder… does the job

    4. Wear a hat! Amazing how much heat you loose through your noggin’. I wear a balaclava.

    5. Food is fuel. Don’t be afraid to eat and drink before bedtime. A few jumping jacks helps too. Dehydration makes many cold sleepers. Therefore every time you wake, take a swig. I carry a “midnight run bottle” hung from my ridgeline on my HH hammock. I hate to get up and lose my body heat to make a midnight run! It takes some practice, some say an art form maybe, Ha..but it can be done. Furthermore, if you try to hold it, your body has to exert energy to keep it warm too.

    6. Don’t’ crawl in exhausted! If it’s been a hard day, take some time to relax. Hit the Vitamin I if you need to, and drink something hot and grab a munchie. Sometimes I’ll set my watch for 30 minutes and catnap to take the edge off before I do these things.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I generally need something below me...the JRB is also an underquilt and should be enough for summer temps. Of course, that means carrying something else for on top. You can always boil up a hot water bottle if you get cold.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  4. #4
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Hammockers go Springer to Katahadin every year.... 12-15 lb hammock base weights are routine, some lower....no need to restrict a hammock to summer...lots of light weight and low volume ways to stay warm.... good advice in post #2... would add site selection, pick a place out of the wind and not at a creek bottom where the cold air collects.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I would definitly do some testing, a lot of testing actually, before you decide to do cold weather camping. Tent or hammock.

    I love my hammock and intend to hammock the whole way, but I also spent a lot of time figuring out what I need to keep warm.

    Not very hard. It just takes some time. On the AT in a pinch you could always hit the shelter floor. Not very comfortable, but with a simple ccp and all your insulation on top of you could be very warm.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  6. #6
    Certain's Avatar
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    Hey vaporjourney....VERY cold sleeper here (and like you, I get cold on a summer day if clouds go in front of the sun). I've done some cold weather testing and am glad I did. Just so you can see what works for me here's what I use/wear and some additional info about temp ranges. The BIG thing is location...do everything in your power to set up in an area where you are sheltered from the wind. And if cold, really pitch your tarp close to the hammock and put leaves between the small gap between the bottom of the tarp/ground to prevent air from circulating over/under you as much as possible. I found I can go much lower in temps if there is not wind (which takes away my body heat through convection).

    I also stay hydrated and eat something before going to sleep, and if chilled already I do some jumping jacks to generate some intial body heat.

    Low Temps In The 50's (this is the boundary of ccf pad usage..if lower 50's I may add it):

    JRB Nest used as underquilt
    WM 20 degree bag unzipped use as overquilt
    Wearing mid-weight thermals and wool socks

    Low Temps in the 40's (All of the above plus the following):

    Wally-world blue ccf pad inside of hammock
    200 ct fleece pants
    Long Sleeve synthetic shirt
    Silk bag liner
    Might add another top layer in early morning or zip up bag

    Low Temps in the 20's-30's (this is where I really have to layer up, so all of the above plus):

    Short Sleeved shirt
    Montbell UL Down Jacket
    Knit Cap
    Balaclava OVER Knit Cap (I lose TONS of body heat through my head)
    Stop using bag as quilt and zip it up w/hood and neck collar cinched tightly


    Other Measures I Can Take If Still Cold:

    I've got 2 plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in that I'll use as a vapor barrier over my feet w/wool socks over them.

    Fill my (2) Nalgene collapsible water canteens w/HOT water and place them inside my bag on major veins (one around neck, one laying on major vein running into leg by my crotch).

    I'll also be carrying a ccf sit pad and can add that under my butt (which tends to be the part of my that gets cold first in a hammock)

    Drink a hot beverage just before going to bed

    Last but not least....Pan and others will tell you that it's VERY important to have your underquilt properly adjusted (and I'm not 100% sure I did on all my testing). I am going to go out and do that next weekend though, and I bet my comfort level will be better.

    From one cold sleeper to another...hope this helps some. I'm starting my thru on March 12, and am slightly nervous about warmth issues, but also feel I've got several options. Hell, if all else fails, I'll drop to the ground and use both my underquilt and sleeping bag as blankets and be toasty warm. Good luck!
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