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  1. #1
    Senior Member litetrek's Avatar
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    Can I stay warm at 35 degrees

    I want to purchase a hammock for lightweight backpacking and after reading all I could find about insulating I've concluded a couple of things 1) a pad won't keep me warm at 35 degrees in a gathered end hammock. 2) an under quilt may keep me warm in a gathered end hammock at 35 degrees if I'm willing to pay for it and I'm willing to carry the bulk 3) a clark nx-250 MAY work for me at 35 degrees without an expensive and bulky underquilt. I'm in Atlanta where we have a really short spring and relatively short fall. Those are the seasons I like to backpack and I need to be warm at 35 degree night time temps which we get in the mountains at night. Can anyone give me some idea of what I would need to go with the NX-250 to stay warm with a 20 degree down bag. I'm 6', 250 lbs and generally can sleep comfortably in a 20 degree bag on a thermarest ridgerest pad in a tent in 20 degree temps. The microclimate developed by the clark when enclosed leads me to believe it could sleep much warmer than a gathered end hammock, but I don't want to shell out the dough only to find I'm cold using it. I'm a lightweight backpacker and the hammock, any hammock, will weigh more than the gear i've got. so, experimenting by adding more insulation after I buy the hammock won't work so well for me due to the additional weight penalty. Any comments about insulation and particularly the nx-250 are appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Opinions about and experiences with the Clark pockets are widely varied but here's mine.
    In my experience you will need something more to sleep down to 30 degrees.
    I can sleep down to the mid 50's with no added insulation below and a 30 degree bag on top. Clothes or other items in the pockets work well as extra insulation but I would likely never carry enough stuff to put in all the pockets (some have used leaves or inflated ziplock bags). The best thing I have found to use in the pockets is windsheild reflector material cut into sizes to fit. They are warm, cheap, light, pack flat, and can be used as a sit pad. But - no matter what I put in the pockets my feet will stay cold so I have made a poncho liner into a custom-fit underquilt that completely covers the bottom and wraps up around both ends. I have slept down to 30 degrees with that and a poncho liner as a top quilt.
    Remember - the warmer you are below the less you will need on top. That weather sheild is worth its weight in gold.
    "...With saddle and pack, by paddle and track, let's go to the land of beyond."

  3. #3
    Caveman's Avatar
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    A pad should keep you warm at 35, but an underquilt is so much more comfy. As far as bulk goes....My UQ packs down pretty well. If you choose a 3/4 uq it will pack down even smaller.
    If you ain't havin' fun, you're doin' it wrong

  4. #4
    Fish<><'s Avatar
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    A pad will work just fine, I am unsure of where you heard otherwise. Anyways if you would like to keep it minimal, look at reflectix or a thinner pad from gossamer gear.

    From what I know, the Clark hammocks have the pockets and they are more or less windproof. That all fine and dandy, but it just means you don't lose convective heat as quickly. If you wanted to go super dooper crazy, you could just shove leaves in there and make a "natural" uq. I personally recommend a nice uq and forget those bags underneath your butt are there.
    "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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member OldRagFreeze's Avatar
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    I've been comfortable down to about 20 degrees with a Walmart CCF pad. Just sayin'.
    "We're the Sultans of Swing."

  6. #6
    Brady's Avatar
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    Just want to point out that you can always resell the Clark if it doesn't suit your needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldRagFreeze View Post
    I've been comfortable down to about 20 degrees with a Walmart CCF pad. Just sayin'.
    +1 on this, works for me too. Cheers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member litetrek's Avatar
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    Actually, I won't know if just a ccf pad will keep me warm or not in a Clark nx-250 until I try it. BUT I have read dozens and dozens of posts on Hammock forums and elsewhere that indicate that in general in a gathered end hammock below 45 degrees a ccf pad and a 20 degree bag is not enough. I know that everyone is different that's why I asked for opinions. However, I would say its pretty dependant on your whole system and your metabolism. I am warm in a 20 degree bag and my daughter is cold in a 5 degree bag sleeping in the same tent in similar clothing and gear. A person who says that a ccf pad keeps them warm and doesn't mention that they are wearing a hat, heavy socks a fleece top and pants to stay warm with just a ccf pad and a 20 degree bag is not the same as someone who is warm with a ccf pad a 20 degree bag and shorts.

  8. #8
    Caveman's Avatar
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    I always suggest testing out your gear in a location that you can bail if you have to. I'm fortunate enough to be able to set up in my back yard, so that's where I do my testing. This prevents me from putting myself into a situation that could not only be uncomfortable, but dangerous. As you mentioned, everyone is a bit different, but you wont know what's going to work for you until you get out there and do some testing.
    If you ain't havin' fun, you're doin' it wrong

  9. #9
    Senior Member OldRagFreeze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by litetrek View Post
    I have read dozens and dozens of posts on Hammock forums and elsewhere that indicate that in general in a gathered end hammock below 45 degrees a ccf pad and a 20 degree bag is not enough.
    I don't know where you've read that, but the responses in this thread and my own experience disagree. As I said, I've slept down to 20 degrees with a CCF pad below me comfortably. I've slept below 20 degrees with the same system and I was OK, but I wouldn't say comfortable. Anything over 30 degrees and I'm toasty warm, even venting my bag a bit.

    To give more detail on my system; my sleeping bag is rated to 15 degrees. I always wear wool socks to sleep in, that's a given. Below 30 degrees I will wear a balaclava on my head, but above I usually don't need anything on my head. In the bag I'm usually wearing synthetic base layers like Under Armor or the like... Nothing terribly heavy. Above 30 I could get away with just about nothing, but I don't like the CCF on my skin and I use the bag as a TQ so I wear a base layer.

    Of course you need to try it and see what works for you, but to say that comfortable sleeping below 45 degrees with a 20 degree bag and CCF is impossible is just not accurate. Maybe some wouldn't be warm with that gear, but I think most would.
    "We're the Sultans of Swing."

  10. #10
    UrsaMajor1887's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with the Clark, but it does not look like you have purchased anything yet and are still open to other suggestions.

    I am in the Atl area as well and use a gathered end Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 single layer (Dutch suspension) with 20* Hammock Gear top quilt in M50 and 20* Hammock Gear Phoenix underquilt in M50 weighing 19.5 oz, 17.6 oz and 15.7 oz respectively. I have been down to 30* and toasty with this set up in a 8 to 13 mph wind in an open field (backyard).

    Before going with the TQ and UQ I was using a 20* synthetic sleeping bag and tired blue CCF Walmart pad, Thermarest (half inflated), Zrest and NeoAir (half inflated) pads. I was never cold with any of these setups (other than my shoulders) down to the temp rating you are looking at, but in the single layer hammock, it was tough to stay on the pads and everything moved around; plus being stuck in a sleeping bag.

    My base weight is generally in the 13 lbs area in the spring/fall seasons.

    I hope this helps.
    "When you see something wobble, push it."
    - Unknown

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