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  1. #1
    Member TriSec's Avatar
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    Northern Tier deep winter - can I do it?

    Hi again.

    Obsessing over things, and I haven't even bought one yet.

    I'm reading about the various insulation methods, and I'm seeing a temp range starting around 40 down to about 25 for various levels of comfort with liners and underquilty things.

    I'm a Scout Leader; we camp year-round. I'm wondering about January and February out here in New England. In a tent, and my -5 sleeping bag, I'm perfectly comfortable down to about 10 degrees above the temp rating. I was last out in the cold a while back, and we did about 15 degrees without any trouble.

    Can I do this in a hammock, or is it just beyond the temperature rating of the various insulation methods?

    (Side note - I was out this past weekend at Nobscot Scout Reservation in Sudbury, MA....we were out for a portion of Saturday afternoon in shirtsleeves. I'm sure this is perfectly normal for early December, but I digress.)

  2. #2
    breyman's Avatar
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    Thanks for helping serve scouts in your area!

    When done properly/safely, you can go well below 0*F in a hammock. Most of the common quilt manufacturers offer 0* down UQ and TQ and are usually rated accurately. It'll cost a bit of money to purchase the gear, but it's definitely doable.

    Shug has several videos about winter camping that are worth watching. Otherwise, many of the general things you may have used in the past are worth considering. Hot water bottles, possible use of vapor barriers, appropriate layering, tarp that can cover up on all sides to protect in wind, etc. The key is the same as the tent - to protect yourself from moisture and wind and then make sure you insulation can protect you down a bit below the expected temperatures.

    Most importantly, figure out a way to hang in your back yard (via trees or a stand). Then, you can try things out in a way that's super easy to bail if needed. That'll let you dial in a specific approach that can be easily replicated with the scouts.

    If you think people will see you as a breed apart when hammock camping, try and do it in winter. It can truly be amazing.
    Brian
    Denver, CO
    Father. Husband. Scoutmaster.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I have been doing overnights with my hammock in the Whites for the past few years with -10 deg F as the lowest night so far.

    It's the camp chores that are the toughest thing for me. Staying warm overnight is just a matter of enough insulation.

    Come on out to the local hang in afew weeks to get a feel for people's set-up.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...230#post854230
    Love my JRB BMB

  4. #4
    SkyPainter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriSec View Post
    Hi again.

    Obsessing over things, and I haven't even bought one yet.

    I'm reading about the various insulation methods, and I'm seeing a temp range starting around 40 down to about 25 for various levels of comfort with liners and underquilty things.

    I'm a Scout Leader; we camp year-round. I'm wondering about January and February out here in New England. In a tent, and my -5 sleeping bag, I'm perfectly comfortable down to about 10 degrees above the temp rating. I was last out in the cold a while back, and we did about 15 degrees without any trouble.

    Can I do this in a hammock, or is it just beyond the temperature rating of the various insulation methods?

    (Side note - I was out this past weekend at Nobscot Scout Reservation in Sudbury, MA....we were out for a portion of Saturday afternoon in shirtsleeves. I'm sure this is perfectly normal for early December, but I digress.)
    ===> I just ordered a 0* TQ and UQ from Adam at HammockGear. Also just bought here in the FOR SALE area another HG set for 3-season (rated to about 20-30* I would guess). I have two Warbonnet Blackbirds, and you are welcome to come hang with me locally some weekend to try them all out.

    Be Well,

    ~ Sky
    SkyPainter - "... and then the police came."

    All these years people said,"He's acting like a kid!"
    He did not know that he could not fly, and so, he DID!

    Live Purposefully; Dare Greatly; Land Gently

    "Never knock on Death's door - just ring the bell and run! He hates that!"

    My outdoorsy YouTube channel is: "WMICommissioner"

  5. #5
    Moderator Nighthauk's Avatar
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    Trisec would love to have you at the hang in January. There will be all sorts of setups there, where you can have all the information that you want. None of us care if you are in a tent or a hammock come and enjoy the association with like minded people and all around great folks. The location is at the Chesterfield Scout Reservation. If you have any questions PM or go to our Trip planning page.
    Husband, Father, and Friend.
    Scout Master and Cub Master for Troop/Pack 705 of
    Chesterfield


  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    TriSec,
    Don't sweat it, so to speak. It's all the same, but with some alternative approach available and maybe preferable. But bottom line, it's all the same as you already know how to do.

    On top, nothing is different. If your bag is good at 15F on the ground, and if you get inside it in the hammock, then it is good ( ON TOP, NOT your back) in the hammock to 15F. No change! Now, there are variations, to be sure.

    One variable is most folks have trouble getting into a sleeping bag in a hammock, takes some practice. So, most folks prefer buying a Top Quilt (TQ) , or just use their sleeping bag as a quilt. There is a learning curve to this, because it is much easier to get a draft with a quilt than when zipped up inside a mummy bag, plus you need to provide enough head insulation to = a mummy bag's hood and neck collar. But if you want, just use your sleeping bag either as bag or quilt.

    If you are in a small tent with another person or a larger tent with 3 or 4 people ( heaven help you ) you will most likely be well sealed off from the wind and some of the body heat of you and the other folks will be trapped inside the tent. That body heat will mostly just radiate away under a tarp, and your friend's body heat won't be there anymore. So you will need to be familiar with tarp camping and you will need a large enough tarp to pitch to the ground and maybe close it off- or some sort of sock or other way of blocking the wind. For one of MANY examples, an HH Super Shelter Over Cover ( HHSS OC ) holds in a noticeable amount of body heat while also helping whatever tarp you are using block the wind. But most folks just get it done with good tarp skills, adequate sized tarp and most of all, choosing sheltered sites.

    This last, BTW, is a unique hammock advantage. If there is a hillside, for example, and the wind is blasting one side where all of the good tent sites are, you can just move to the other side of the hill and put the hill, or huge boulder, or some dense stands of trees, between you and the wind. No worries about sloping/wet/rocky/root covered ground.

    Still, a big tarp is never going to hold in your ( or your now no longer in the tent friends) body heat as well as a nice little double wall tent. So if you are not using something like an HHSS OC ( and for that matter the Under cover(UC) ) to hold in some heat and help with wind, you might need a little more insulation. So if you were good to 15, maybe now only 25F. So you might need to have an extra layer handy to be just as warm, to make up for the heat the tent would have held in. But making up for the heat given off by other folks who were in the tent with you will require a bit more insulation to be as warm.



    When you are sleeping on the frozen ground, you must insulate with a pad right? Plus, even if not all that cold, if you are like most you must cushion with a pad. So a pad serves dual function on the ground. So, especially if you have a double layer(pad pocket) hammock, you move your pad into the hammock where it simply provides insulation. Done. People take thick pads well below zero.

    But there are variations. Most people don't care for pads in most hammocks, they don't feel it is as comfy. Or they sweat, or in single layer hammocks especially they have trouble keeping th pad under them. Hence the invention of the hammock under quilt (UQ). An HHSS, or a quilt under you just as thick or a little thicker than the one on top, and you are warm if all drafts are conquered. And without a pad needed. Depending on hammock, there is also the Speer Pea Pod approach, a combo TQ/UQ and a no draft approach. Or you might be able to use your sleeping bag as a pod, search for Shug's videos on how to do that.

    But it can for sure be done. Just don't fail to either have a thick enough pad under you, or UQ or HHSS or Pea Pod, unless you want a frozen butt. You can not count on your bag for adequate back insulation, because your weight compresses the loft of the bag when you lay on it. But then you probably wouldn't count on just the bag on the ground/snow/ice any way, right?
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 12-10-2012 at 16:16.
    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

  7. #7
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    I have been down to -26F.....
    It can be done. Crazy but fun fun fun.
    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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  8. #8
    New Member
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    Gee..BillyBob, that was a pretty good explanation for anyone wondering how in the world do us hammock guys (and gals) stay warm in the winter! I started reading just out of curiosity and you held me to the end. Good job. Fudd

  9. #9
    sunshower's Avatar
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    If it helps, I have a 0deg underquilt and just bought a 0deg top quilt.. i used a 15deg sleeping bag and a sock last trip and the feels like temp was in the teens up in NH
    Megan
    In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. [Albert Camus]

  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fudd View Post
    Gee..BillyBob, that was a pretty good explanation for anyone wondering how in the world do us hammock guys (and gals) stay warm in the winter! I started reading just out of curiosity and you held me to the end. Good job. Fudd
    U R welcome, Fudd, and welcome to the forum! ( EDIT: OOPS, I see you joined in OCT, so a late welcome, but this is your 1st post right? )

    But ain't it really simple and the same as on the ground? You must insulate ( plus cushion ) your back on the ground. Just do the same in a hammock ( but no need to cushion)! With a pad or UQ of some type!
    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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