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  1. #1
    Member rocketBoy's Avatar
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    Went to ground... what would you do?

    I was camping at the local state park here in north Alabama the day before yesterday and ran into some challenging weather conditions. It was windy and extremely humid and foggy. It had been raining and everything was wet. We set up the hammocks and tarps early in the evening. After standing around the camp fire, eating dinner, etc. I checked on the hammocks to find them quite wet. We were getting tons of condensation on the under-side of our tarps and the wind was shaking the tarps causing the condensation to rain down onto the hammocks. We ended up using the four season tent which, fortunately we had with us. Also, fortunately, to avoid exposing it to the humidity for any longer than necessary, we hadn't put out our down insulation, so that was still dry.

    I've dealt with both condensation and wind but not both together like this. Usually the condensation on the inside of the tarp isn't really a problem but it was getting shaken off by the wind onto the hammocks. Usually when it's been windy I haven't had much condensation. How would you have handled similar conditions? What could l have done differently? It doesn't seem like larger winter tarps with doors would have helped because there would still have been lots of condensation.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Fog is tough. Gets through everything. I have had experience with lots of fog (coastal) but not with wind. So take what I would do with that in mind. I bring a big tarp with doors and pitch it low closing off all the doors to minimize fog entry. Then I would use a hammock sock around my rig to protect from the mist and drops coming off the tarp.

    S

  3. #3
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    Hi RB, Good senario.
    I grew up in Hunts-patch and have experienced what you discribed.

    Possible options if you have these items with you:
    1) Lay poncho, space blanket, ground sheet over hammock and quilts attach as required.
    2) Use your UQP and rig it(tie, clip,etc) to cover the top portion of you as well.

    Of course in these conditions, I would not deploy my hammock or quilts until bed time to keep them as dry as possible.
    Shake the crap out of your tarp then hang hammock, quilts and cover right a way.
    hth


    Side note: I've been hammocking since 1976 and never once had to go to ground.
    There is always away if you go prepared.


    1976 fishnet hammock, ensolite pad, down SB, Poncho Tarp.

    Last edited by OutandBack; 11-17-2013 at 12:13.
    O&B
    May your mileage in the backcountry exceed your post count.

  4. #4
    Member arbitrage's Avatar
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    Awesome photo, outandback!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seeker's Avatar
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    Tough scenario... Not sure you CAN do anything about a heavy misty fog like that... I've experienced it in tents before too, so I'm not sure it's a hammock specific problem. I find that most of my weather problems are solved by burying myself deep in a thicket, which cuts the wind and overhead rain. Hopefully, any damp winds would drop their moisture in the vegetation before they reached me. I'd probably have broken out my poncho and tried to make an additional layer/buffer between the wind and my sleeping bag.

  6. #6
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I've only had one experience in dense fog. As I lay in my hammock with my headlamp on, I could see the moisture coming in under the tarp, infiltrating everything. The humidity must have been 100% - hope I never see that again.

    I don't think going to ground would have changed anything in those conditions.

  7. #7

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    I had a very similar situation one night on Cape Cod last month - after a warm day temperatures plummeted in the evening and the moisture condensed on every surface available. I was at a Boy Scout camporee using a bamboo turtle-lady stand and due to space limitations I couldn't pitch the tarp taut, so the wind was blowing the wet tarp into the edge of the hammock all night. Despite my early concerns, it wasn't a huge problem - the exterior fabric of the very old sleeping bag rigged as an underquilt shed most of the moisture. Most modern fabrics used in your quilt or underquilt will.

    Fog and prolonged cold don't go together. Whatever little dampness might get into your gear from a foggy night is likely to leave it the next day.

    FWIW, all of the tents in our troop had similar issues that night.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    If a tent works in these conditions, it stands to reason that a hammock sock would work equally well. However, I haven't camped in the heavy type of fog you describe. I had rain driven under my tarp and settle on my underquilt and parts of my sleeping bag, though, and it had no noticeable effect on the insulation. I think down gear can take a lot more humidity than most people believe. As long as it's only for one night, I wouldn't worry about it. The main thing is, that it can dry out the next day - or won't be used wet for weeks on end.

  9. #9
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutandBack View Post


    1976 fishnet hammock, ensolite pad, down SB, Poncho Tarp.

    Excellent O&B.

  10. #10
    JaxHiker's Avatar
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    If I had to go to the ground I'd climb to the top of this and hurl myself off.

    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
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