View Full Version : Hammock betrayal?

12-30-2004, 22:27
Im kinda thinking of straying. This is my set up for 30* plus weather...

Hammock and Pea Pod 3# 13 oz
Speer Top Quilt 1#
Target Blue Pad 9oz
8x10 sil tarp 1#
JrB under shell 8oz

Total 6# 14oz


Betamid tarp tent 2# 4oz
Big Agnes Insul Mat 1# 5oz
Blue Kazoo Bag 2# 9oz
tyvek floor tarp 5oz

Total 6# 8oz

Hmm... the tent set up will give me plenty of room and shelter in bad weather where I can cook, read, sleep in pretty good comfort. Do I cheat during these cold weather months for the sake of convenience?

12-30-2004, 22:57
Hmm... the tent set up will give me plenty of room and shelter in bad weather where I can cook, read, sleep in pretty good comfort. Do I cheat during these cold weather months for the sake of convenience?========================
Well ...I didn't base my decision on weight but your comparison is interesting. I really like my hammock but just wasn't willing to go to all that trouble to make it comfortable in the colder months. I opted for the increased room to spread out my gear.

AT 2003

12-30-2004, 23:09
I had similar thoughts on my recent section hike. I like/love the hammock for great sleeping in the first few days of the hike. I like/love my Nomad for the warmth and weather protection later in the hike. I found the hammock/peapod and such took far more volume than the tent for shelter in my pack.

This is purely a judgement call.

12-30-2004, 23:36
30*+ isn't very cold...try a different approach. Get dual use of your cold weather clothes by incorporating them into your sleep system. Then you won't need the Pea Pod, Speer top quilt, or JrB under shell...that's a lot of weight and bulk you can drop while still keeping the comfort of the hammock...:-?


01-03-2005, 14:47
I think I read something similar that you commented about before? Im a cold sleeper so Im wondering if just the cold weather clothing would be enough for me. Could you give me some more ideas of what you had in mind?

01-03-2005, 19:01
Yeah...my postings probably outnumber my experiences this summer...:rolleyes:

During a normal summer's night I expect temps in the 40s here in the Northern Rockies. Snow is possible in any month and I believe, for my own safety, I have to be prepared for lows in the 20s, May-Oct. Because of this I carry an insulated jacket (w/hood) and pants set. My sleep clothes in the past were long underware (did polys, will try Smartwool next) and fresh wool socks. Since I've been doing the hammock without a sleeping bag or quilt I've added booties and a balaclava, sleeping with fleece gloves and the insulated pants and jacket. I've not found it much different from my previous sleep set in terms of getting use to sleeping in clothes. The point here is getting dual use from clothing that I'm carrying anyway. I can carry a bag and sleep lightly dressed, or I can leave the bag and sleep fully dressed. Right now, I'm saving the weight of the bag and sleeping in the clothes that I'm already carrying.

I was surprised at the sense of convience and comfort I found when, being fully dressed already, I had to get up in the middle of the night. Likewise, getting up in the morning. There was no mad rush to get dressed in the cold...I was already dressed and warm and I could wait until after breakfast and warmer temps to change into my trail clothes.

Just laying in the hammock (with a 1/4" pad) dressed as above has been OK to 28F or a little less. I did about 22F as a backyard experiment for 3 hours but after that time I could feel the cold (and boredom) seeping in. So, with the system above, I think I've hit the limit -- somewhere in the mid-20s. Likewise, I've probably hit the limit with the 1/4" pad.

On the down side (no pun intended), I miss the psychological pleasure of pulling the covers up... However, on a trip in September I took my sleeping bag to use as a quilt along with everything above. The forecast was for crappy weather and we got it. It wasn't that it was so cold (hovered at freezing) but it was windy and the precip, which was nearly continuous, kept changing from rain to sleet to snow and back again. Yuck! But in using the bag as a quilt I was the warmest I've ever slept on the trail...almost too warm (it was also the first time I used the hood on the jacket which probably had a lot to do with my "toastyness"). So now I'm buying 'some kind of' lightweight quilt...I figure the extra pound or pound and a half will extend my comfort range a whole bunch, give me a psychological lift, and keep me really toasty, not just OK. I expect it will help with my chronic cold toes, too. And in the middle of summer, when it's pretty confident that I won't be facing freezing temps, I can drop the insulated pants saving about the same weight that I'm planning to add with the quilt. And maybe I'll upgrade the pad or just get a second one. The huge Oware pad I use weighs only 7oz.

As I said, I think 30+ at night isn't all that cold and the system above is more than warm enough for me in such temps. But you might need more -- try some backyard experiments and find what works for you. But for me, the above system is lightweight, convenient, and works. And it lets me stay in the hammock the whole of our no-snow season (being new to both the area and hammock hangin' I've not tried the much colder winter season yet).

I owe a lot to folks on this and other forums and to Ryan's writings at backpackinglight.com . There is nothing new here and they've been doing it a long time before I started. I merely stole every idea I could...:D


01-03-2005, 23:01
Thanks for the time you took to respond. Some very interesting ideas...food for thought. I was wondering if you had any weight comparisons?

SGT Rock
01-03-2005, 23:10
I have gone lighter by not carrying the hammock, I just always end up back in it because of the comfort.

01-04-2005, 09:05
I have gone lighter by not carrying the hammock, I just always end up back in it because of the comfort.
That's it! my hammock setup in the winter maybe heavier but its the comfort that beats everything else and why we go hammocking.

01-04-2005, 10:29
Get Real....stop the whining....think about it....

Winter is cold...in the air or on the ground you need more !!!! I'm tired of reading posts comparing winter hammock rigs to only 3 or sometimes 2 season ground rigs.

Winter hammock hangers can routinely go to the 10s for 5-6 pounds total shelter and sleeping bag/quilts .................................90+ percent of ground dwellers are well over that when they get to bags rated to this level (3-4 lbs), tents (2-6 lbs), or tarps supplemented by bivi sacks (2.5-4 lbs), pegs (3+ - oz) , thicker pads (1-2 lbs) and ground cloths( 2-6 oz).

Well thought out winter hammock rigs work, are reasonably light and are a whole lot more comfortable than the frozen ground....

Pick a campsite and sleep well, wherever, however.... Carry what it takes to
make you comfortable...

see u at the Soruck...remember it will be cold on that river...

01-04-2005, 10:31
The integrated sleep system I described tops out at 8lbs. The cold weather clothing and sleep set is about 5lbs and the hammock and fleece-throw--covered pad makes up the rest. Initially that sounds heavy but I think 8lbs is good for a system that works in the mid-20s. I've essentially cut out the weight of the sleeping bag by leaving it home. Virtually everything else in the system is always packed.

There's a lot of convenience and even speed in camping with a hammock. And my Hennessey weighs less than half of my 'lightweight' tent. But Crash and Sgt Rock are spot on...for me the overriding consideration is the comfort. I've had good night's sleep on the trail but nothing like what I've experienced in the Hennessey.


The Hammocker
01-30-2005, 19:01
I feel so left out, all I do is stuff clothes around me (LOL)

01-31-2005, 06:42
After you reach the bliss of truly whole body restfull sleeping in a hammock you will want to be able to hammock at any temperature.
Revolutions are on the way in the guise of ceramics that will soon transcend into the hiking world, beyond that are gels that will easily surpas ceramics in insulatory value....
but for now most of us could easily drop 1-2pounds from our guts and make up the difference (if any) in what it takes to get off the ground.
On a philosophical tangent think of it this way, do you want to lie on the ground like a dog or hover like an eagle? OK that was bit much i agree.............

01-31-2005, 09:53
Did you hear about the WB hiker Aladin ? he had a magic photon...stroked it and the trail genie appeared to give him a wish....He wished for a flying hammock and now he is thuing in total comfort both night and day.

Oh you want three wishes !!! How about a double hammock !! And the illusive hiking princess to share it !!!

Flash...photon stock soars!

Hang out in luxury or defect to the dirt. Don't "lower" your standards... :D

01-31-2005, 10:41
I love hammocking but I want one for my dog.....

01-31-2005, 10:58
Im kinda thinking of straying. This is my set up for 30* plus weather...

Hammock and Pea Pod 3# 13 oz
Speer Top Quilt 1#
Target Blue Pad 9oz
8x10 sil tarp 1#
JrB under shell 8oz

Total 6# 14oz

Good to the teens quite easily for me... and I don't sleep all that warm:

ZHammock with TravelPod 22.1 oz
Walmart blue pad 9.7 oz
(cut in half and used as an overlap pad)
5x10 silnylon tarp 11.2 oz
TOTAL 2# 11 oz

To that I add a down quilt which weighs 1 # 8 oz

The reason I have done testing is not to persuade others to use a hammock in the winter, but just to assure myself that I will be able to do fine in the weather that I may find.


I am interested in light weight, yet warm hammock camping. It is possible with home-made gear.