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  1. #1
    New Member LandoCommando's Avatar
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    First Cold Weather Overnight - Question/Concerns

    Enjoyed every second of it and even though it reached 0 over night I kept comfortable.I learned a lot of things and have a lot of questions.

    My friend and I have been batting the idea back and forth for a awhile and we finally decided to go. He had been messing with a peapod design made from an old army ECWS sleeping bag that he wanted to test out. I had an unrated pad and a -25 overly humungous sleeping bag. He also had a Hennessy tarp while I was slumming it with a cheap yet very effective 12x9 painters tarp.

    We hiked into a near state forest and set up shop about a mile in just up the hill from a pond and near a creek. We lucked out with our spot as we managed to pick the only area in the entire forest that had a downed cherry and maple tree. They were both off the ground and even though they were frozen solid and covered with snow, they were relatively dry. Long story short, they made some excellent firewood that burned forever and smelled delicious.





    Come time to crawl into the hammock I had this extra wide pad so it wouldn't move around under me in the hammock. I have slept in this configuration several times in the past and never had an issue (I have just never tested it out in this temperature). I was wearing a base and top layer head to toe and I kept warm all (most) of the night. I woke up in the early morning due to cold feet that I couldn't shake warm. In the dark I inspected the problem and it appeared that end of the bag had become stiff and frozen. The entire bag had a good layer of frost on it actually but for some reason only my feet were cold even though they were still on the pad.
    At this point I got out of the hammock and started my morning. After climbing out I discovered that the bottom of the bag had become frozen to the pad and I literally had to peel them apart.

    Did my feet freeze because they were maybe too warm, maybe condensation built up and then froze the outside of the bag or it was just frost? I stuck my hand down at that end and the stuffing of the bag wasn't frozen or all that cold for that matter.
    How did the pad freeze to the bag? Does that mean there was no heat transfer from the bag to pad at all through the night or did the 0 weather just overpower any heat exchange? If this is true why was the rest of my body so warm? If the pad froze wouldn't the bag start to freeze and get cold? I couldn't differentiate any difference in the feet area vs any other part of the sleeping bag, yet only my feet were cold. The outside foot area wasn't any more frozen than chest area. Is the answer as simple as just adding another layer of socks? I only had a single pair of smart wool on at the time.

    In the very near future I will be purchasing a 20* UQ. If I had an equal 20 TP would I be able to stay warm in 0 weather by just adding extra layers of clothing or would I need a whole nother sleep system rated for 0? Does having a tarp with doors do anything for residual heat or is that just for keeping the elements out?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    While my sub-freezing camping experiences have been limited (note the screen name......my coldest night was 21*), I've read of several folks having trouble with the foot box of their down quilts/sleeping bags collapsing due to moisture accumulation. So...the frozen foot thing? It's not just you. The thing that's oft-recommended by folks is to wear bread bags (hear me out here...I know it sounds crazy) over your feet, on top of a pair of very light, thin socks (so to not have the "plastic" feeling against your skin; think dresss socks here), in order to prevent the moisture from your feet collapsing--or freezing--your foot box. Then wear your normal wool sleep socks over that.

    Another thing that's recommended to avoid condensation on top of your pad (due to it being a vapor barrier) is to have it inside the foot box of your bag/quilt. This prevents it from getting cold enough for water vapor to condense on it, thus causing that vapor to pass through your breathable insulation and out into the surrounding atmosphere (in theory; often, it will wind up freezing in your insulation if the surrounding area is too cold).

    You may or may not be able to get down to 0* with 20* rated stuff and extra clothing; I know that I can stretch a 40* system at least to freezing with appropriate clothing...but it's heavier and bulkier than simply buying another set, and I wouldn't recommend it for true comfort. Simply warm enough for me to get some sleep; not warm as in, "I was toasty last night," warm. YMMV, though.

    Hopefully, some of the folks who do real deep cold camping will chime in here a bit, but that's what I've read and experienced over the last year or two...
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Are you completely sure that that part of the sleeping bag (or pad) weren't moist/wet before you laid down in it?

    If you're positive that it was all dry before you began, I'd suspect moisture from sweating inside the sleeping bag, or condensation from your breath building up and dripping down to freeze in that spot.

    I'd try slightly less insulation on your feet if you really do suspect that it's buildup moisture from sweating...or even slightly less insulation (clothing) overall.

  4. #4

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    Read up on vapor barrier clothing. It should teach you a lot about moisture management. It's something one needs to understand if camping out in below freezing temps. I'm glad you had a good time with a manageable problem. Can we say "learning experience"? ;-)
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  5. #5
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    I use a Thermarest Sit-Pad in the footboy of my TQ and never got condensation again. Used to get the end of my TQ and pad moist when I used a CCF pad under my feet between the hammock and TQ.
    Carry forth......
    Shug
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  6. #6
    New Member LandoCommando's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Are you completely sure that that part of the sleeping bag (or pad) weren't moist/wet before you laid down in it?

    If you're positive that it was all dry before you began, I'd suspect moisture from sweating inside the sleeping bag, or condensation from your breath building up and dripping down to freeze in that spot.

    I'd try slightly less insulation on your feet if you really do suspect that it's buildup moisture from sweating...or even slightly less insulation (clothing) overall.
    It actually might have had a bit of snow on it but definitely didn't have snow up the entire length of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
    Read up on vapor barrier clothing. It should teach you a lot about moisture management. It's something one needs to understand if camping out in below freezing temps. I'm glad you had a good time with a manageable problem. Can we say "learning experience"? ;-)
    Thanks, I'll research that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I use a Thermarest Sit-Pad in the footboy of my TQ and never got condensation again. Used to get the end of my TQ and pad moist when I used a CCF pad under my feet between the hammock and TQ.
    Carry forth......
    Shug
    I watch your channel and every time I watch a video I say to myself "I need to get one of those sit pads and a piece of reflectix"



    Are there any extra thoughts on the 20 rated gear in a 0 situation?
    Last edited by LandoCommando; 02-06-2013 at 09:58.

  7. #7
    swankfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I use a Thermarest Sit-Pad in the footboy of my TQ and never got condensation again. Used to get the end of my TQ and pad moist when I used a CCF pad under my feet between the hammock and TQ.
    Carry forth......
    Shug
    Maybe I have it wrong...I thought somewhere along the line you were using reflectix in your footbox...if so, why did you change, if you don't mind telling us?


    swank

  8. #8
    Member maztrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandoCommando View Post

    In the very near future I will be purchasing a 20* UQ. If I had an equal 20 TP would I be able to stay warm in 0 weather by just adding extra layers of clothing or would I need a whole nother sleep system rated for 0? Does having a tarp with doors do anything for residual heat or is that just for keeping the elements out?

    Thanks,
    I have a HG 20 degree UQ&TQ that I recently did some testing at 0 degree according to my Casio Pathfinder watch and the weather prediction...I used no tarp but was under my back porch hanging from my Turtle-Dog Stand. I also used a Frogg Togg Poncho as an over cover...and also a small fleece blanket that I partially covered my UQ with...and as for myself...I was wearing top and bottom typical longjohns, wool socks and a beanie and that was it. I had no problems ...slept through the night...
    Before this test I tested my 20 degree system at 20 degrees with just boxers, a wife beater(tank top under shirt), no beanie no socks just the poncho over cover. And I was fine...however I am a very warm sleeper(my wife loves me for that)and some people are the complete opposite (like my wife) so what works for me may not work for you. I hope this helps out and if you can test your gear at home that is the best ....cause if you get cold you can figure out why and fix it and if not just go back inside where its warm!!! And as for the tarp with doors....IMO..YES... a tarp with doors will help keep out the wind that can rob your UQ of its warmth...However a UQP can help with that as well.... Good luck and Hang On!!!!!
    Maz
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  9. #9
    New Member LandoCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maztrain View Post
    I have a HG 20 degree UQ&TQ that I recently did some testing at 0 degree according to my Casio Pathfinder watch and the weather prediction...I used no tarp but was under my back porch hanging from my Turtle-Dog Stand. I also used a Frogg Togg Poncho as an over cover...and also a small fleece blanket that I partially covered my UQ with...and as for myself...I was wearing top and bottom typical longjohns, wool socks and a beanie and that was it. I had no problems ...slept through the night...
    Before this test I tested my 20 degree system at 20 degrees with just boxers, a wife beater(tank top under shirt), no beanie no socks just the poncho over cover. And I was fine...however I am a very warm sleeper(my wife loves me for that)and some people are the complete opposite (like my wife) so what works for me may not work for you. I hope this helps out and if you can test your gear at home that is the best ....cause if you get cold you can figure out why and fix it and if not just go back inside where its warm!!! And as for the tarp with doors....IMO..YES... a tarp with doors will help keep out the wind that can rob your UQ of its warmth...However a UQP can help with that as well.... Good luck and Hang On!!!!!
    Maz
    Thanks for adding your experience.
    I wanted to get a UQ that I could use all year long and any trips below 20 would only make up about 5% of my yearly total. So I wouldn't mind carrying a tad bit extra gear for that 5%.

  10. #10
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swankfly View Post
    Maybe I have it wrong...I thought somewhere along the line you were using reflectix in your footbox...if so, why did you change, if you don't mind telling us?


    swank
    Never did use it in footbox but keep a piece in my pack as a sit-pad and on occasion may slip it under my knees/calfs.
    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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