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  1. #21
    Senior Member OneThing's Avatar
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    Used VBL for 2 Years

    I used the VBL system off & on for over 2 years. The temps were from 0F to 40F. I have tried the full VBL mummy sleeping bag liner (6ozs), and VBL Clothing (@ 18ozs). Like most systems, there are pros and cons to the above.

    Needless to say, the VBL bag liner covers you head to toe. I would wear Wal-Mart silk tights, shirt, and silk socks. Theyre almost the same as Underarmor. It just feels better getting into & sleeping in them in the liner. If they get wet, they dry fast. However, getting into them is the same hassle as a regular bag. However, its not like I have anything important going on when I get in the hammock, so a few minutes, with lifting, twisting helps warm you up as well.

    A few times, I woke up cold, swimming in my sweat inside my liner. My thoughts on the reasons were, I ate late, I didnt wake up, I didnt vent and I ran out of fuel inside my core which produces the heat to keep me warm.

    Im a male, so a pee bottle is my best friend when I hike. So once Im in, Im in. The only reason Ill exit my hammock at night is for falling trees and amorous bears who heard me fart and thought it was a mating call.

    VBL clothes for me, work great. I wear the same silk tights & shirt. I have a Stephenson's Warmlite VB Shirt, Gram Weenie Silnylon Rain / Vapor Barrier Pants, VBL Socks, & use a plastic bag on the top of my head with a Balaclava. The Warmlite VB shirt has a full zipper, which makes it very simple to vent. I wear over these, a middle layer Polyester pants & shirt and down booties.
    The above system allows you to sit around a camp fire, do chores, etc

    There is a ton of new technology coming out all the time. And while I think the VBL sleeping liner, is the lightest, less expensive, and the most effective for me, Im always looking for the next best & the greatest to come along.

  2. #22
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    ....and full VBL liners can be had in cuben
    .....and this same liner can be doubled over and act as pack liner. I used to
    carry a sil-nylon pack liner that doubled as full length VBL.

    Speaking of pee....you may notice if you put your finger into your stream that it is
    body temp. You must keep the pee warm. When you void you have less to heat and the heat can be redirected. Point, don't hesitate to empty your bladder. Pee bottle can be priceless in saving joules at 0300.

  3. #23
    Senior Member ibgary's Avatar
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    I've slept on the ground, no tent, more than anywhere else. I wear snug fitting Polly pro top and bottom along with a hat.
    If the hat comes off my head gets cold. The best I've found for staying on is a Buff. Baklavas r good also but aren't as versatile.
    In the hammock I dress the same. In a tent I wear less.
    I love the hammock. I'll probably be on the ground again if there r no trees, but my tenting days r done.

  4. #24
    TZBrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Wolf View Post
    it took some getting used to .. and a leap of faith .. but I learned VBL worked.

    I'm still on the fence about high level activity using a VB .. I've had an ongoing dialog with Andrew Skurka about the use of VB for hiking .. material choice's are more of what we discuss then whether they work .. they work .. no doubt .. you have to pay close attention to thermoregulation when your activities vary so much as they do when hiking, snowshoeing, etc. Having a way to vent easily while wearing VB clothes is paramount .. VB clothes don't fit, stretch, and move with your body. I'll be using polyolefin and neoprene as well as Thremoflect for hiking and snowshoeing and see how these work. (for me) ..
    VBL take a lot of faith to use, as BW noted. Most folks when using a VB during activity overdress.

    They cannot wrap their head around anticipate your activity level. A thin undergarment, VB, and a thin outer wind shell are all that's necessary in 20f, with activity.
    But when you stop, you will chill immediately, you need to have insulation very handy, and use it before you chill.
    When activity starts again take off the insulation BEFORE you get to warm and start to sweat.

    In the Hammock using a VB, much less insulation is preferred to start, and careful regulation to keep from overheating
    Life's A Journey
    It's not to arrive safely at the grave in a well preserved body,
    But rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting,
    Woo Hoo!....What a Ride!

    My PHOTOS

    My VIDEOS

  5. #25
    DivaB's Avatar
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    Thank you Black Wolf, BillyBob58, OneThing, and everyone.

    To those of you who are confident in the VB; do you really have to also include you feet, hands and head in that VB? I can see the feet, but the hands and head?? I do sleep with a hat on (not a vb hat), but I prefer my hands to be free.

    Makes me wonder if just making a DIY sil nylon hammock for cold weather camping would work, and a sil nylon TQ liner? Probably not, since it can't be controlled as well?

    I don't think I need any of this, as I'm pretty happy with my set-up...but, I just may experiment with the VB come this winter. I've done so much learning and experimenting with the hammock camping stuff, that I might as well jump on this one too. I think I'll start with a cheap sauna suit with leggings and yoga shirt under it. Just to get an idea of what I think. When I get in better shape, and if the health becomes more manageable, it would be nice to have a lighter system and actually use a backpack rather than my cart (although, I sure like my cart!!)

  6. #26
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    Regarding long underwear, this is about the only stuff I buy Guide Gear Poly Fleece, it's inexpensive and very good. I don't use VB technology, I don't rule it out for the future but I haven't seen a need yet. FWIW my UQ and all my SB's are synthetic insulated.

    I do like to wear enough so the idea of getting out to sign my name in the snow isn't frightening, and no more (that can include down booties, a layer of the polypro in the link, down pants, down sweater, hat and light gloves if it's silly-cold). I've never had a problem with the long johns or down gear being overly sweat-loaded, usually if I use a pad the moisture gathers on that.

  7. #27
    fishbait's Avatar
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    Before I hit the hammock, I change into my Midweight Thermals and throw on a pair of wool socks. I also where a knit cap and a baklava to keep my head and face warm. Since I have a long top quilt, I have a tendency to pull that over my head at night as well. I store the clothes that I plan on wearing the next day at my feet (learned this threw Scouting). I use my coat as a pillow under my neck, this way it's close by if I need an extra layer at night. I carry a thin pair of gloves that I wear on my hands to help keep them warm at night as well. Everything that I'm doing with Hammock Camping I've done winter camping in a tent.

  8. #28
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneThing View Post
    I used the VBL system off & on for over 2 years. The temps were from 0F to 40F. I have tried the full VBL mummy sleeping bag liner (6ozs), and VBL Clothing (@ 18ozs). Like most systems, there are pro’s and con’s to the above.

    Needless to say, the VBL bag liner covers you head to toe. I would wear Wal-Mart silk tights, shirt, and silk socks. They’re almost the same as Underarmor. It just feels better getting into & sleeping in them in the liner. If they get wet, they dry fast. However, getting into them is the same hassle as a regular bag. However, it’s not like I have anything important going on when I get in the hammock, so a few minutes, with lifting, twisting helps warm you up as well.

    A few times, I woke up cold, swimming in my sweat inside my liner. My thoughts on the reasons were, I ate late, I didn’t wake up, I didn’t vent and I ran out of fuel inside my core which produces the heat to keep me warm.

    I’m a male, so a pee bottle is my best friend when I hike. So once I’m in, I’m in. The only reason I’ll exit my hammock at night is for falling trees and amorous bears who heard me fart and thought it was a mating call.

    VBL clothes for me, work great. I wear the same silk tights & shirt. I have a Stephenson's Warmlite VB Shirt, Gram Weenie Silnylon Rain / Vapor Barrier Pants, VBL Socks, & use a plastic bag on the top of my head with a Balaclava. The Warmlite VB shirt has a full zipper, which makes it very simple to vent. I wear over these, a middle layer Polyester pants & shirt and down booties.
    The above system allows you to sit around a camp fire, do chores, etc…

    There is a ton of new technology coming out all the time. And while I think the VBL sleeping liner, is the lightest, less expensive, and the most effective for me, I’m always looking for the next best & the greatest to come along.
    Great info! I have had my feet get sweaty, but they did not get cold. I suppose this was because there was no evaporative cooling going on, and the sweat did not get into my insulation. I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by MedicineMan View Post
    ....and full VBL liners can be had in cuben
    .....and this same liner can be doubled over and act as pack liner. I used to
    carry a sil-nylon pack liner that doubled as full length VBL.
    ......
    Dual use VB! Saving weight!

    Quote Originally Posted by TZBrown View Post
    VBL take a lot of faith to use, as BW noted. Most folks when using a VB during activity overdress.

    They cannot wrap their head around anticipate your activity level. A thin undergarment, VB, and a thin outer wind shell are all that's necessary in 20f, with activity.
    But when you stop, you will chill immediately, you need to have insulation very handy, and use it before you chill.
    When activity starts again take off the insulation BEFORE you get to warm and start to sweat.

    In the Hammock using a VB, much less insulation is preferred to start, and careful regulation to keep from overheating
    More useful info based on experience in serious cold camping! I think "They cannot wrap their head around anticipate your activity level" and "much less insulation is preferred to start" are major important points to successful VB use. I know at 1st it was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I quickly felt wet ( clammy or damp ) and even though I knew the theory I almost bailed thinking I was going to get cold. Fortunately I didn't immediately bail and thus soon realized I was actually quite warm. That just seemed impossible at first, but was true. The only thing cold about it was whenever I finally decided to come out of the VB. The damp lining would provide quite a shock as the humid or damp liner layer hit me with a jolt of evaporative cooling, even if only for a few seconds as I got out of the VBs and replaced with dry insulation. ( and no real reason to do that if just sitting around camp ) But that was also quite a lesson on how, without me realizing it, how effective the VB was. Maybe not too bad with only the thin VB on, and BAM! A blast of serious cold when taking it off! It was a learning experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Wolf View Post
    BillyBob ..you pretty much hit the nail on the head .. Very well said .. tight fitting poly works best next to skin .. then the VB .. I have made some VB articles out of Thremoflect (it has an absorbent layer) that I'll be toying with on "The Winter Trek" ,, ( Thremoflect and Allied Down have sponsored me for this hike, I'll be testing Resist Down 850 and Thremoflect for use as VB) ..
    Well how cool is that? We will be anticipating your report!

    you want some moisture on your body to keep it from sweating .. it will condense in your insulation if you don't keep it out ..

    VBL's ( IMHO) are the best for sleeping for they are easier to vent .. with a liner, as opposed to clothes. A VBL can be used anytime you need to keep your down from getting wet from the inside out .. So Diva , any temp. is fine for a VB .. on the temps you mentioned .. a brief dip into the 20's .. and daytime temps into the 40's .. you can get away from the VB's if you wanted and dry your quilts when you stop at lunch .. this is one reason I use Black as much as I can .. it's a PITA to unpack to dry your stuff out .. but more of one when you're butt is cold due to the lack of loft. I can feel the moisture in the morning when I pack if I'm not using a VBL .. I have 30*F sleeping bag with a VBL made into it that I used before I elevated my perspective .. and you'd be surprised on how thin it is .. and light .. and packable .. it took some getting used to .. and a leap of faith .. but I learned VBL worked.

    I'm still on the fence about high level activity using a VB .. I've had an ongoing dialog with Andrew Skurka about the use of VB for hiking .. material choice's are more of what we discuss then whether they work .. they work .. no doubt .. you have to pay close attention to thermoregulation when your activities vary so much as they do when hiking, snowshoeing, etc. Having a way to vent easily while wearing VB clothes is paramount .. VB clothes don't fit, stretch, and move with your body. I'll be using polyolefin and neoprene as well as Thremoflect for hiking and snowshoeing and see how these work. (for me) ..
    Great info!



    Quote Originally Posted by DivaB View Post
    Thank you Black Wolf, BillyBob58, OneThing, and everyone.

    To those of you who are confident in the VB; do you really have to also include you feet, hands and head in that VB? I can see the feet, but the hands and head?? I do sleep with a hat on (not a vb hat), but I prefer my hands to be free.
    Certainly not, just whatever you feel like. Maybe just try some VB socks if you are suffering from cold feet or getting condensation in the TQ foot box when using a leg pad. Probably a fairly well sealed VB shirt, inside your TQ with or without a fleece jacket or parka, would be your best bang for the buck and weight. ( hmm.. wondering about a Packa or similar worn over a thin liner layer? ) But if your hands are getting cold, some disposable thin latex gloves or actual VB liners can have impressive results.

    Makes me wonder if just making a DIY sil nylon hammock for cold weather camping would work, and a sil nylon TQ liner? Probably not, since it can't be controlled as well?
    Hey Diva, what is probably the most used VB by HF members? The space blanket as used by most HHSS users, and also used occasionally by down UQ users, as I do in my Pea Pod sometimes. And with, mostly, a lot of success I might add. He is going to get tired of me mentioning him, but it is just impressive: Dirtwheels just recently was warm at 23F in a 45F rated WL SS UQ simply by adding a space blanket under the hammock. I think this would be similar to a sil-nylon hammock. Some one here did that ( Just Jeff? )and I think it was successful. As for the TQ liner, are you thinking of the TQ inner shell being Sil-nyl, or a separate liner you would get inside? If the former, venting might not be as easy? If the latter, if you are going to get inside a VB liner, then you won't need a VB/sil-nylon hammock, will you?

    I don't think I need any of this, as I'm pretty happy with my set-up...but, I just may experiment with the VB come this winter. I've done so much learning and experimenting with the hammock camping stuff, that I might as well jump on this one too. I think I'll start with a cheap sauna suit with leggings and yoga shirt under it. Just to get an idea of what I think. When I get in better shape, and if the health becomes more manageable, it would be nice to have a lighter system and actually use a backpack rather than my cart (although, I sure like my cart!!)
    Diva, I don't think most of us need this most of the time. Plus, as always, some folks are just not going to like it ever. But I think it's greatest advantage will be on longer trips with down. And by longer, that might just be a week, especially if opportunities to dry in the sun are limited. I've seen this in action a couple of times already with one of my buds. The other big advantage might be if you find yourself pushing past the limits of your insulation. Again, look at Dirtwheels summer UQ at 23F experience. And how many folks report being much warmer in a HHSS if they add the SB. But if you are just out for a few days with more than adequate insulation, or will have lot's of opportunity to dry out in warm sun, then what is the point? Because for me, not counting maybe being cold, no VB is more comfy than with a VB. Although, I never even notice any comfort problems using SB/VB between me and an UQ or HHSS, just more warmth and bone dry UQs. But it is fun to play around with!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 12-04-2012 at 10:17.
    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

  9. #29
    Senior Member
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    Wow, what a great thread. I am going to think all of this information through.

    My home is in the Far North of Canada. However, I am now in Western Oregon, closing out my parents estate. I get so cold here, I decided it is the humidity. I wear way less clothing when it is -40 than I do in Oregon at 40 F. In Oregon, I sleep with a down quilt year around, inside or hanging. I am almost always cold.

    My trusty old Durofold, works great in Canada, not so great in Oregon. I think I am beginning to understand why, thanks to these posts.

  10. #30
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HURTHEART View Post
    Wow, what a great thread. I am going to think all of this information through.

    My home is in the Far North of Canada. However, I am now in Western Oregon, closing out my parents estate. I get so cold here, I decided it is the humidity. I wear way less clothing when it is -40 than I do in Oregon at 40 F. In Oregon, I sleep with a down quilt year around, inside or hanging. I am almost always cold.

    My trusty old Durofold, works great in Canada, not so great in Oregon. I think I am beginning to understand why, thanks to these posts.
    WOW! What a post! Colder in Oregon than in north Canada! Just goes to show once again how difficult it is to give any insulation a temperature rating. There are just so dang many variables!
    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

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