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  1. #1
    Senior Member markrvp's Avatar
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    Help... need some pad advice for below freezing this Sat

    Hi, I'm taking 3 people with me to a hang this weekend where the overnight temps are supposed to be 27 degrees. Two of these people are my kids and the other is my girlfriend, so I feel at least a small responsibility to keep them alive and/or not miserable

    For one hammock I have a down underquilt that's really only good to about 35 degrees. If I add a 1/8" Gossamer Gear CCF pad inside the hammock will that help or hurt? I also have some reflectix I can put under the feet and around the shoulders.

    The other two hammocks will be dependent on pads. I have a Thermarest Neo-Air Xtherm which has an R-Value of 5.7 (on the ground), but I'm assuming it would be warm inside the hammock as well? The other two pads I have are an Alps Mountaineering Comfort Series self-inflating pad and a Wal-Mart blue CCF pad. Which of those two pads would be better?

    I can supplement any of these with Reflectix and/or a space blanket.

    How would you do it?

  2. #2
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    I know this site prefers positive statements or say nothing but, no way would I use pads for ladies and kids in those temps unless they are really experienced campers and know what they are getting into.
    Best of luck.
    O&B
    May your mileage in the backcountry exceed your post count.

  3. #3
    Senior Member markrvp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutandBack View Post
    I know this site prefers positive statements or say nothing but, no way would I use pads for ladies and kids in those temps unless they are really experienced campers and know what they are getting into.
    Best of luck.
    That's a valid statement, and I appreciate it. I'm already figuring that my girlfriend will go in my hammock with the appropriate top quilt and underquilt, and I will take one of the hammocks with a pad.

    My sons and I are experienced Boy Scouts. My older son and I have over 80 nights of camping (each) including Philmont. My younger son is a First Class scout who has been camping for 4 years.

    The purpose of this thread is to determine which pieces of my equipment will work best. If all else fails we'll go to ground where we are VERY proficient.

  4. #4
    Brute1100's Avatar
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    I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one a bit concerned about sub freezing temps... I have no answers for you brother, sorry..
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

    Buy, Try, Learn, Repeat

  5. #5
    Member TriSec's Avatar
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    I think you ought to have a plan B....if it's not too much trouble, bring a tent as a backup. You know the gear works on the ground, so that could be a safe out if somebody is too cold in suspension.

    Also, If you have one of those aluminized survival blankets, in a pinch you can wrap it totally around yourself. That saved my hide one bitter night when the temps fell far below what was forecast, and below the rating of my bag.
    I prefer to remain an enigma.

  6. #6
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrvp View Post
    That's a valid statement, and I appreciate it. I'm already figuring that my girlfriend will go in my hammock with the appropriate top quilt and underquilt, and I will take one of the hammocks with a pad.

    My sons and I are experienced Boy Scouts. My older son and I have over 80 nights of camping (each) including Philmont. My younger son is a First Class scout who has been camping for 4 years.

    The purpose of this thread is to determine which pieces of my equipment will work best. If all else fails we'll go to ground where we are VERY proficient.
    Ah, that helps. Scouts are tough. If they have good sleeping bags a single blue WW pad should work great.
    Sounds like you've got a pretty good plan for your girlfriend giving her the warmest kit.
    With down underquilts I've found they work best if they are right up against you. Even an inch of air space with result in a cold spot. I would not recommend adding a pad.
    Something you might consider is an Underquilt protector to add wind protector and help hold in heat.
    A DIY UQP is pretty easy to make just some breathable 1.0 nylon suspended with shockcord works great.

    Good sleeping cloths will also help a lot. Loosely fitting wool socks, gloves and hat will really help. In Colorado I have a down jacket with hood just for sleeping. It keeps the drafts out.

    Hope these suggestions help I know it not a direct answer to you which pad for what hammock question.
    O&B
    May your mileage in the backcountry exceed your post count.

  7. #7
    DuctTape's Avatar
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    Pads will provide enough insulation if done correctly. I use pads at subzero all the time. I consider the twenties "too warm" for reflective pads, they will collect a lot of condensate on them. First, the uq and 1/8 ccf will work well together. For an exclusive pad solution, I would get some wallyworld ccf (3/8 inch) and stay away from the reflectix. Use 1 pad lengthwise and then cut the other to fit the width of the hammock and place it crosswise between your shoulders and butt. The extra pad pieces can be placed strategically during the night (most likely under the butt). The pads work better in double layer hammocks and those with less sag. If you only have a single layer hammock, a fleece blanket works great to put over the pad (if using quilt). The last recommendation I have is to hang a poncho under your hammock as a garlington insulator. A plastic garbage bag with or without the crumpled mylar blanket will do much to extend the range of any system.

    edit: I just saw you had some self-inflators. I never found them to be that great insulators in the hammock. Use more ccf instead.

  8. #8
    lazyboy's Avatar
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    Last Saturday my son used a 1/8 " pad I Got from Lawson Equipment and a Cat's Meow 20 degree bag, It got down to 35 f and he said he was just a Little cold. I think a back up tent is way to be safe just in case

  9. #9
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    My son and I have gone as low as 25 degrees with just blue ccf pad, space blanket, and a 15 degree bag. Then again, he and I are warm sleepers. When I woke up to check on him about 4:30 in the morning, he had kicked off the sleeping bag and was sleeping in the open air in a t-shirt (and was sweating). That's a warm sleeper!

    If you have cold sleepers, then you're really pushing it.

  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrvp View Post
    That's a valid statement, and I appreciate it. I'm already figuring that my girlfriend will go in my hammock with the appropriate top quilt and underquilt, and I will take one of the hammocks with a pad.

    My sons and I are experienced Boy Scouts. My older son and I have over 80 nights of camping (each) including Philmont. My younger son is a First Class scout who has been camping for 4 years.

    The purpose of this thread is to determine which pieces of my equipment will work best. If all else fails we'll go to ground where we are VERY proficient.
    Quote Originally Posted by DuctTape View Post
    Pads will provide enough insulation if done correctly. I use pads at subzero all the time. I consider the twenties "too warm" for reflective pads, they will collect a lot of condensate on them. First, the uq and 1/8 ccf will work well together. For an exclusive pad solution, I would get some wallyworld ccf (3/8 inch) and stay away from the reflectix. Use 1 pad lengthwise and then cut the other to fit the width of the hammock and place it crosswise between your shoulders and butt. The extra pad pieces can be placed strategically during the night (most likely under the butt). The pads work better in double layer hammocks and those with less sag. If you only have a single layer hammock, a fleece blanket works great to put over the pad (if using quilt). The last recommendation I have is to hang a poncho under your hammock as a garlington insulator. A plastic garbage bag with or without the crumpled mylar blanket will do much to extend the range of any system.

    edit: I just saw you had some self-inflators. I never found them to be that great insulators in the hammock. Use more ccf instead.
    What he said. The pads should be no problem at all for the temps you are facing, if you can stay on the pads and if they are wide enough. And for some folks just not as comfy as an UQ, but there is no reason you should not be warm.

    Are the hammocks double layer? If so, that will make dealing with the pad much easier. If not, probably too late for you to make or get hold of an SPE. Try the pads in your back yard if possible and see how well you can stay on them. If the pads prove too slippery, consider some dabs/strips of seam sealer on the CCF. Or take some shelf liner. BTW, a bridge hammock is usually a real winner for using with a pad.

    But always remember, you were campers before hangers, right? Boy Scouts and all of that? So if some how it all hits the fan, and if your insulation is a pad, you can just go to ground when all else fails. No reason for any one to freeze. If you can't stay on the pads or some other problem arises, just lay under your hammock tarp on the ground on the pads that you brought for your hammock. Hopefully some thick cushy pads to minimize the hard ground misery.

    I know that is not what you want, you want every one to have a warm, happy hang. But it beats shivering all night. This was in fact how my 1st ever hang went, when I was unable to get in my bag and zipped up. Fortunately for me, I had brought pads as a backup. So when I woke up shivering at 0200 and 22F, I just abandoned the hammock, found some flat ground, put my pad down, got in my bag and slept warm under the stars. Admittedly I was cursing hammocks and swearing I would never do that again. But by the next evening I got it all worked out and never looked back. But like Ed Speer always said, if you just can not keep warm enough for whatever reason on a particularly bad night, just go to ground like you always did before.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    My son and I have gone as low as 25 degrees with just blue ccf pad, space blanket, and a 15 degree bag. Then again, he and I are warm sleepers. When I woke up to check on him about 4:30 in the morning, he had kicked off the sleeping bag and was sleeping in the open air in a t-shirt (and was sweating). That's a warm sleeper!

    If you have cold sleepers, then you're really pushing it.
    Holy Cow! That IS a warm sleeper alright!
    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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