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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    39

    First Hang: Grrr, Zzzz, Brrr.

    My first real hang is done and I have issues. Hammock issues, that is.

    The gear was a Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym, a SuperShelter (+ emergency blanket), a Double Bubble pad, a 15 year old 20 degree down sleeping bag, balaclava, fleece hat, fleece pullover, a synthetic pullover, synthetic t-shirt, cotton sweatpants, and two synthetic wool socks. The hammock is hung on my screened porch, so no temperature difference between the outside and the hang location. Haven't figured out a good set-up for the tarp yet. I turned in at 20 degrees, and got up at 20 degrees.

    I started off with everything but the DB pad.

    New Hampshire was (is) being visited by a Nor'easter. The snow started falling around 11:00pm, which was the time I turned in. At first it was nice to listen to the snow tapping against the few stubborn, dry and brittle leaves that refused to fall to the ground with the rest. But then the wind picked up, and its intermittent roar kept me from dozing off properly. It did happen, just took a while.

    Then, at 12:45am, my WONDERFUL neighbors (and I mean that in the most curse-ridden way possible) decided it would be a good time to take the four-wheeler out and blow donuts. For a half hour. I was feeling a bit cool at that point, and I desperately missed my earplugs. Luckily the porch door was 2 feet away, so I put on foggy glasses and combined a pee trip with earplug hunting. Back out in about 5 minutes, where I put the DB pad in the hammock.

    It was pretty comfortable sleeping on my back. Twice during my hang I snored. No big deal except for those listening, right? Unfortunately I'm one of those who listen, and wake up from snoring to turn to the side or stomach. That wasn't comfortable for long, so I turned back to my back. And snored. Vicious cycle.

    My second try lasted until 4:30 when I just couldn't get back to sleep. The DB pad worked great initially, but my shoulders and back ended up cold... or were they? The sensation is all new to me. I couldn't tell if I was sweating and that was chilling me, or if it was an issue with the hammock. I was centered on the pad, the sleeping bag wrapped around my shoulders... don't know. My legs were toasty warm with only the sweatpants, my double-socked feet were fine, but my bundled core seemed chilly. Maybe I was over-dressed.

    Went to bed and woke up with a sore shoulder. Not sure if that was bed related or hammock related, as the bed has been giving me problems lately.

    So not really a great first experience, but there's more testing to be done to stop the chill.
    The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail.
    - Gustaf Lindborg

    The suspense is thrilling me!

  2. #2
    Senior Member rickycodie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Hammock
    m50 diy whoop whoop!
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    big agnes floor
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    Great write up. I has a similar experience with a set of boy Scout troops. Its never fun when they are noisy.

    Where were you cold? Was it cbs or cts? (cold top syndrome). What is the temp rating of the bag?

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    39
    My top was temperate and my butt was balmy. The cold area was my shoulders and upper back.

    To escape my familial horde, I stole away to the porch this evening. Spent about 1.5 hours there, at 21 degrees and a kicking wind. Cold shoulders again... but now I know why. The bag wasn't wrapped around my neck enough. While my shoulders weren't outright exposed, there was a gap for cold air to sink down to them. Once I closed that up, I was pleasantly warm. And with one less layer on my feet and torso. Still woke up to myself snoring though.

    This may take a bit more experimentation. Gee, does that mean I need to take more naps?

    The bag is a 20 degree "Wide Body" bag. Semi-rectangular with a detachable hood. I think it's better suited than an attached-hood mummy would be, and have mostly used it as a quilt, be it in a tent, or relegated to the couch for detestable behavior.

    But there's that nasty bit of fabric on it (the bottom) which has much less insulation. Under the top, sure, that's fine at 20 degrees. Under the bottom (?) is probably more like 50 degrees. I guess I could ditch the bottom and convert it into a quilt (if I had a sewing machine... and any skill whatsoever), but will make do for now, and get a top quilt at another time. O for a top quilt, with super squishability and wrap around snugness!
    The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail.
    - Gustaf Lindborg

    The suspense is thrilling me!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    mercer,pa
    Hammock
    diy gathered end
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    diy, syl nylon
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    PLUQ&TQ IXUQ&TQ
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    1" plypro web & ws
    Posts
    203
    I don't know what a db pad is but it may not be wide enough at the shoulders. Your shoulders could be touching the side of the hammock causing them to be cold.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    39
    The Double Bubble Pad is from Hennessy Hammocks:



    As you can see, it's wider at the shoulders. (Unless I install it backwards and have really fat ankles)

    I did consider that to be a possible issue, but was able to confirm that each shoulder was on the pad.
    The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail.
    - Gustaf Lindborg

    The suspense is thrilling me!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    California
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    WBBB
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    160
    Start saving money for an Under Quilt. I think they are worth every penny for ease of use and comfort. In the meantime, do what you got to do to get out there.

    Happy Holidays.

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Tupelo, MS
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    Quote Originally Posted by zim View Post
    My top was temperate and my butt was balmy. The cold area was my shoulders and upper back.

    ............................
    Well this was not only a poor 1st experience at cold weather hammocking, but it is also quite a variation on how folks are usually cold in a hammock! IOW, usually the 1st place people get cold is their butt and lower back, also popular is cold feet. But your butt was balmy, and your feet were fine! Quite the predicament this is!

    Here are then just some general thoughts. If I am reading you right, you were inside your bag and not using it quilt style? Because if quilt style, there is a learning curve to avoid drafts around the neck and shoulders or anywhere if you move in your sleep. But you were warm enough on top, so probably not a factor.

    There is quite a range over which people find the base HHSS to be warm, from not at all, to 40 or 30 and a few folks do well quite a bit below 30F. But I remember Tom Hennessy used to call the base system of hammock, space blanket, 1 pad and undercover a 30* system, and that is about how it has always worked for me. If it was a windy 20F with no tarp, you might have really been pushing past the limits of the HHSS even by the standards of those who do very well with it.

    EXCEPT, you added the HH bubble pad, which many people have used by itself to 40 or even below. Sense you were previously- after a couple of hours at 20F or lower plus wind chill, only "feeling a bit cool at that point", you would think that adding another 30F worth of protection would push you right into toasty land. But instead your " shoulders and back ended up cold" after a couple more hours.

    I don't know. Any chance of the HHSS being installed incorrectly?

    Can you determine if there was any condensation? Remember, the key to a condensation free space blanket use is to have it close to your body on top of your pad and keep it warm. Needless to say, condensation occurs on cold surfaces. You mentioned maybe being over dressed. I suppose that could keep a person from warming up the space blanket and maybe lead to condensation? Maybe.

    Most helpful tip I know of: If you are plenty warm on top and have insulation you don't need to sleep in, place it ( for ex: a fleece jacket ) under the pad in the UC. Jacket zipped closed so it will form a double layer. This can provide an impressive boost of warmth.

    I will be very interested to see if you find an answer to why your butt was warm but your shoulders and back cold.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 12-28-2012 at 09:00.
    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

  8. #8
    Fish<><'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Yigo, Guam
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    DL1.1XLC/ BIAS WWM/ DIY
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    HG Cuben/ DIY
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    depends...
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    zim,
    my first couple of experiences were not too dissimilar to yours. I had a problem with shifting around a bit and sleeping light. I still woke refreshed, but until i had about 10 nights in my hammock did i realize how much better i slept overall. i still do a little turning in the night, but i think its just how i am. i now have great sleep everynight (since about july) in my hammock and my turtledog stand.

    your body will get used to the change of sleeping style/arrangement and you should be a very comfortable hanger in the near future. good luck and if you havent been welcomed to the forums yet, a warm welcome to you from guam. take care
    "We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it."- G. W. Sears

    My forum name is Fish<><; I'm in the navy; and I hate sleeping on the ground. If I didn't need ground to walk on or measure resistance to, I think I could happily give it up.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Les Rust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Athens, TN
    Hammock
    ENO DN--DIY 1.1 dbl
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    WL Big Daddy
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    AHE UQ/DIY TQ
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    AHE Webs/whoopies
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    924
    Zim, loved the title--an apt description of the night. +1 on getting a good seal around the shoulders whether you're using a bag or a quilt--it can take some fiddlin' to get that right. I, too, snore and have apnea, so I know about waking myself up. Many times I found it hard to get to sleep with tossing, turning, adjusting, etc. But once I've truly hit the sweet spot I've slept for hours in comfort--even surprised myself by sleeping in longer than expected. Keep after it--you'll get it dialed in and be better off for it.

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Apopka, FL
    Hammock
    Hennessy Safari/ENO Doublenest
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    Hennessy 70D Hex
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    Walmart/HH D Bubbl
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    ENO Atlas Straps
    Posts
    41
    A note on the snoring...I have sleep apnea and when I camp with my kayak club, I sleep about 40 yards away from everybody else so they can get a good night's sleep. Two years ago I got a CPAP which solved the problem, but you can't take it hiking. I was sorely depressed because I got used to sleeping well at night with the CPAP and figured I could never camp away from an electrical outlet again.

    One of my club buddies reccomended https://puresleep.com/s30/homepage.php which works GREAT!! It was 40 here on Orlando last night and I slept outside in my ENO DN. The mouthpiece allowed me to sleep deeply (no one was around to hear me snore). I used a Walmart blue pad, a poncho liner and a HH Double Bubble Pad. I was also somewhat cold around my shoulders cause the top of my sleeping bag kept coming unzipped, but pretty warm everywhere else.

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