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Thread: Cold Feet

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    Reverie Reverie's Avatar
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    Default Cold Feet

    The last time I was out I experienced the coldest feet I have every felt while sleeping in my HH. I'm not really experienced with this but I think these are the particulars:

    Outside Air Temperature was about 38F
    Hammock Insulated with reflector
    20F Kelty LightSpeed
    Wool Socks (For Sleeping, not Hiking)

    Any suggestions? I REALLY like using my hammock but if I can't keep my tootsies reasonably warm I might have to go back to a tent in colder weather. I read people on this site saying they have camped in some unreal cold weather. How did you cope? I hate to sound like a wuss but I finally had to get up and put on my boots. I have camped in far colder weather but that night was the coldest feeling night I have ever experienced.

    Or I could just be getting old.

    Reverie

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    Springer - Front Royal Lilred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverie
    The last time I was out I experienced the coldest feet I have every felt while sleeping in my HH. I'm not really experienced with this but I think these are the particulars:

    Outside Air Temperature was about 38F
    Hammock Insulated with reflector
    20F Kelty LightSpeed
    Wool Socks (For Sleeping, not Hiking)

    Any suggestions? I REALLY like using my hammock but if I can't keep my tootsies reasonably warm I might have to go back to a tent in colder weather. I read people on this site saying they have camped in some unreal cold weather. How did you cope? I hate to sound like a wuss but I finally had to get up and put on my boots. I have camped in far colder weather but that night was the coldest feeling night I have ever experienced.

    Or I could just be getting old.

    Reverie
    Did you try taking your socks off?? I experienced the same problem with temps much colder. Soon as I took my socks off, my feet warmed up. I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with your body heat warming up the inside of the bag. Maybe someone on here knows better why that worked for me.
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

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    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverie
    The last time I was out I experienced the coldest feet I have every felt while sleeping in my HH. I'm not really experienced with this but I think these are the particulars:

    Outside Air Temperature was about 38F
    Hammock Insulated with reflector
    20F Kelty LightSpeed
    Wool Socks (For Sleeping, not Hiking)

    Any suggestions? I REALLY like using my hammock but if I can't keep my tootsies reasonably warm I might have to go back to a tent in colder weather. I read people on this site saying they have camped in some unreal cold weather. How did you cope? I hate to sound like a wuss but I finally had to get up and put on my boots. I have camped in far colder weather but that night was the coldest feeling night I have ever experienced.

    Or I could just be getting old.

    Reverie
    My bet is your reflector isn't doing what you want. What I have found that works is to sleep with a pad inside the hammock (mine is only 10 ounces give or take) that goes all the way to my feet.If you change to an underquilt, also make sure it does the same thing.
    SGT Rock
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    Registered User Fiddleback's Avatar
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    I've had the same problems but I've not used a bag or quilt. I slept in cold weather clothing with wool socks and down booties and still had uncomfortably cold toes. I think Sgt Rock's suggestion may be right...I have a long pad but it doesn't reach down to under my feet. 'Something' will next time...I'm looking forward to the improvement!

    FB

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    What did you have on your head? An old outdoors trick says that the fastest way to warm up your feet is to put on a hat. Your head will lose a LOT of heat due to the closeness of its blood supply to the skin. The body's temperature regulating mechanism will cut off the bloodflow to the extremities in order to keep your head warm.
    kncats

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverie
    The last time I was out I experienced the coldest feet I have every felt while sleeping in my HH. ...
    Where your feet cold all over or were they just cold on your heels where you were compressing your sleeping bag?

    If they are cold all over, try using liner socks with plastic bags under your regular sleeping socks or just try plastic bags under your sleeping socks.

    If they are just cold on your heels where you are compressing your insulation, try slipping some low compression insulation in the footbox of your sleeping bag to rest your feet on... clothes (maybe in stuff sack), small piece of closed cell foam, etc. It shouldn't take much, maybe an 8"x10" piece of foam.

    Staying warm in a hammock is more of a challenge, you have to pay attention to exactly where you are getting cold and then figure out what you can do. Sometimes it doesn't take much.

    Youngblood

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    Default My great discovery..

    I have found that after even a few hours of hiking my socks accumulate a certain amount of moisture. I have learned to either dry out my socks before I go to the sack or change to dry socks. Youd be amazed at the steam that comes out of those socks at a fire

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    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    [QUOTE=Reverie]The last time I was out I experienced the coldest feet I have every felt while sleeping in my HH. I'm not really experienced with this but I think these are the particulars:

    Outside Air Temperature was about 38F
    Hammock Insulated with reflector
    20F Kelty LightSpeed
    Wool Socks (For Sleeping, not Hiking)

    Any suggestions? I REALLY like using my hammock but if I can't keep my tootsies reasonably warm I might have to go back to a tent in colder weather. I read people on this site saying they have camped in some unreal cold weather. How did you cope? I hate to sound like a wuss but I finally had to get up and put on my boots. I have camped in far colder weather but that night was the coldest feeling night I have ever experienced.
    ================================
    I don't do cold weather hammocking any more ...but if the rest of your body is comfortably warm and just your feet are cold the problem is mostly likely circulation. Some folks were just born that way and people in general lose some peripheral circulation as they age. One solution, although it involves dragging something else with you on hiking trips, is to carry the small chemical hand/foot warmers with you. Activate them and stick one on the sole of each foot before pulling on your wool socks. They will cause dilation of the blood vessels and increase circulation near the skin.

    'Slogger
    AT 2003
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  9. #9
    Hammock and Bicycle camping Crash's Avatar
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    Try down booties. and make sure your pad is long enough to insulate your feet.
    When the Trail calls you,
    its not on your cellphone!

  10. #10

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    Chemical heat packs are extra stuff to bring in and extra stuff to carry out. Instead, boil up a liter of water, pour it into a good nalgene bottle (of course you have to carry one of those, some of us still do). That bottle goes in the foot of your bag, perhaps wrapped in a spare bit of clothing to keep the bottle from scorching your feet. Guaranteed to keep you warmer. Use a 1/2 liter bottle if it's not that big a problem.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

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    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

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    Default Cold Feet

    rock hit it about right. the reflector has to be under the feet to be able to keep them warm. one thing i noticed is that when i tie my hammock up with the head too high (or even with more rope between tree & hammock) i have a tendency to slide closer to the foot end of the hammock. this will also put my feet off the reflector. if i tie it just a slight bit higher at the foot end (or with more rope between the tree & this end) my feet will stay on top of the reflector area and stay warmer.
    NECKBONE

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    Default Cold Feet

    i might have got my wires (ropes) crossed a bit. the rope on the head end needs to have just a bit more between the tree & the hammock than the foot end does.

  13. #13
    GA -> PA <-ME '04 Pooja Blue's Avatar
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    Those Mycoal/Grabber hand warmers work pretty well. I also sewed a pair of double-layer fleece booties and carried them in my cold weather gear. I could never stay warm enough in a hammock, but then I sleep really, really cold.

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    Reverie Reverie's Avatar
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    Thanks for all that great advice. I have to admit that cold feet were never a problem until the last three years or so. This roughly coincides with middle-age (according to my physician) so I suppose that might be it. I do need to remember to tie the foot of the hammock a little higher. I was off the reflector. I can't afford the price of the underquilt just yet but I am dreaming.

    I absolutely love my hammock and really want to use it in every circumstance that will allow it. I will be back out in a couple of weekends so I'll cheat and bring both (It's a truck camping weekend, anyway). I'll try the hammock and if it works out I'll leave the tent in the truck. If it doesn't work out then the hike back to the truck will warm up my feet anyway...

    Reverie

  15. #15

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    When I backpack at 40 degrees or below, I take a heavier "winter jacket", the insulation is thinsulate. I zip it up and pull it on over top of the foot area of my down sleeping bag, it adds extra insulation up to my calves. No more cold feet.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by icemanat95
    Chemical heat packs are extra stuff to bring in and extra stuff to carry out. Instead, boil up a liter of water, pour it into a good nalgene bottle (of course you have to carry one of those, some of us still do). That bottle goes in the foot of your bag, perhaps wrapped in a spare bit of clothing to keep the bottle from scorching your feet. Guaranteed to keep you warmer. Use a 1/2 liter bottle if it's not that big a problem.
    =======================================
    This is a great idea and I've done it on weekend hikes when I've had a lot of extra stove fuel to spare.

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  17. #17
    Section Hiker, 1,040 + miles, donating member peter_pan's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Sgt Rock, and in my pre under quilt experience, cold feet was normally a result of no or inadequate insulation under the heels....

    OBTW, down booties are super addition to any winter set up for the cold footed sleeper...much better than wool socks...combine them for real heat... get them with the thin insole of CC and a waterproof material bottom and you are set for the mid night call...hassle free warm hammocking...mmmmm.
    ounces to grams
    WWW.JACKSRBETTER.COM home of the Nest and No Sniveler underquilts and Bear Mtn Bridge Hammock

  18. #18
    Registered User oldfivetango's Avatar
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    Default No more Cold Feet Here

    Quote Originally Posted by peter_pan
    Have to agree with Sgt Rock, and in my pre under quilt experience, cold feet was normally a result of no or inadequate insulation under the heels....

    OBTW, down booties are super addition to any winter set up for the cold footed sleeper...much better than wool socks...combine them for real heat... get them with the thin insole of CC and a waterproof material bottom and you are set for the mid night call...hassle free warm hammocking...mmmmm.
    Most of you know i am in the yard testing phase with the HH before i go into
    real time mode.Cold feet had been a problem until i put on extra heavy duty
    wool socks that i got from Cabela and did the following.One of those space
    blanket material bags that Campmor sells is in the bottom of my sleeping bag.
    I do not get in it inside the sleeping bag because of moisture problems.
    HOWEVER, if i leave it sort of wadded up in a heap and get my feet on top
    of it with DRY socks on then i am warm as toast.Biggest problem i have now
    after fixing my airleak is one most of you older guys like me know something
    about.
    Here's the scenario- you are laying there in the HH in your bag warm as toast.You have your mummy bag adjusted "just right" so that the incoming
    air is not scalding your nose and throat with its frigid temp-then the thought-"I gotta go.No i dont.Yeah you do,too.Not now,just hold it.Man,I
    am so comfortable otherwise.Just a little longer-you can make it a while longer yet.OH NO YOU CANT!!! WHERE'S THAT ZIPPER?!!!!! WHERES THAT SLIT IN THE BOTTOM OF THIS HERE HAMMOCK?GET ME OUTTA HERE!!
    -Then when it's all over and you are outside in the cold night air looking in.
    SHAZAM! I got to get back in this thing and start over again.I will likely buy
    that underquilt and just use the bag as a quilt-I JUST CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!
    Cheers to all,
    Oldfivetango

  19. #19
    Registered User Fiddleback's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=oldfivetango]
    Here's the scenario- you are laying there in the HH in your bag warm as toast.You have your mummy bag adjusted "just right" so that the incoming
    air is not scalding your nose and throat with its frigid temp-then the thought-"I gotta go.No i dont.Yeah you do,too.Not now,just hold it.Man,I
    am so comfortable otherwise.Just a little longer-you can make it a while longer yet.OH NO YOU CANT!!! WHERE'S THAT ZIPPER?!!!!! WHERES THAT SLIT IN THE BOTTOM OF THIS HERE HAMMOCK?GET ME OUTTA HERE!!
    -Then when it's all over and you are outside in the cold night air looking in.
    SHAZAM! I got to get back in this thing and start over again.I will likely buy
    that underquilt and just use the bag as a quilt-I JUST CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!/QUOTE]

    Spent all of my first year using a Hennessey without using a sleeping bag (...to be accurate, I did use a bag as a quilt on one night). Nighttime temps ranged from about 28 to about 53. There are advantages and disadvantages to what I did but the above was an unanticipated advantage. Not using a sleeping bag and being fully dressed in my cold weather clothing made getting up not much of a problem... Ditto those cold morning starts.

    FB

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    I had the same cold foot problem a few weeks ago using a full length blue Target pad under my feet at 37F and attributed the problem to the fact that my feet may have been slightly elevated reletive to my heart (heavy but* syndrome) and hence the circulation to my feet may have been reduced. I considered getting out of the hammock and sleeping level on the ground, but as this analysis was just a theory, I opted to stay put.

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