View Full Version : 2004 cold weather tweaking

10-26-2004, 17:28
Ive narrowed mine down to a Pea Pod, underquilt, and breathable shell, all underneath my hammock. Dont need too much more in the way of extra clothing to stay warm just at freezing temps inside the Pod with this system.

Hammock, underquilt, Pea Pod, shell = 5lbs 12oz

I guess my goal is to cut more weight and stay warm enough with just an underquilt and top quilt alone, but hesitant it will keep me comfortable below freezing. Your thots??

10-26-2004, 20:39
Did my 25F test last night in the back yard. Unfortunately, this target is intended to get me through May-Oct backpacking, not winter. You know, Northern Rockies...higher elevations...snow every month, blah, blah, blah.

I have the Hennessey Explorer UL Asym and use the 1/4" pad from Oware covered by a light fleece throw from Campmor. The combination adds 22oz to the Hennessey.

I dressed in the same clothes that I always carry because it can get cold in May/Jun and Sep/Oct:
Integral Designs Dolomitti jacket w/hood and Denali pants
Smartwool long underware set (8oz heavier then my polypro but so comfy)
fleece balaclava and gloves
mid-calf wool socks and down booties.

No sleeping bag; no quilts, top or bottom.

The weather was mostly clear, dry, and no wind. I left the clothes outside during the evening to make things realistic but dressed inside and entered the hammock shortly after 2:00am at 24.6F. Although I was comfortable temp-wise, and really comfortable hammock-wise, I could not get back to sleep. Three hours later, with the temp at 22.3F, I went back into the house. To be completely valid I should have been out at least six, if not ten, hours but - hey! - you try listening to the sticks crack in the woods and a half dozen coyotes kick off their hootenanny every 20 minutes for 3 hours! I got bored.

As during my first-ever hammock bp in May, toes were the issue. This time they got cool, but not cold. I need to upgrade the foot wear or start using foot warmers. Interestingly, the toes did not warm up when I went back to the "real" bed -- something tells me this is related to my boomer-aged circulatory system or my very light dinner. I also experienced some coolness on the bottom of my lower legs as the cold started to sink in. I had no insulation of any kind under them (the pad ended at my butt) but on the trail I'll have my trail clothes underneath my legs which should help a bunch.

For three hours I was comfortable and I have no doubt that after six+ hours things would have been cooler but tolerable. This at 22F-25F.

Last month I didn't use the long underwear pants but added my bag as a quilt (we anticipated bad weather and got snow/sleet/rain... fortunately it was more wet than cold). It got down to 32F with lots of wind and I was just short of sweaty hot. I don't think I've ever slept warmer and remained comfortable on the trail. But then, this was with the bag on top which I think was overkill.

So, I'm good to go May thru Oct...total weight for shelter, sleeping system, and cold weather colthing: 8lb14oz


10-26-2004, 20:52
Help me understand... all you used was a 1/4 foam pad with some fleece over it for hammock insulation, and the rest was clothing and coats,etc... and you stayed comfortable in the 28* temp range?
If thats true, your name is no longer Fiddleback.. but I knight you... Iceman

10-26-2004, 22:12
Naw...I used to live in San Antonio...Iceman is already taken by the Spurs' George Gervin.

Seriously, that's the third sub-freezing night with that combination and I've had no problems with it. I think everyone gets use to different temp levels. I've seen forum posts seeking the proper pad to get down to the 50s whereas I've only had one night that warm here. Last night's 22F+ was my personal best in the hammock...:clap and until I change systems/add a quilt it'll probably stay that way.