View Full Version : The staying warm saga...

2007-09-19, 09:25
As many of you know I've recently started taking short hikes with Rock and the boys. I've now spent a total of three nights in the hammock (I know not many to some of y'all). Anyway, we're still working out the system for keeping me warm at night in the thing.

Here's what we've done so far...

Night #1: March 10, 2007. I used Rock's No Sniveler as an under quilt, one of his Army sleeping pads (felt like sleeping on a slab honestly), and had a top quilt (shoot can't remember the brand but it was once his and it's yellow...LOL). I was quite toasty but that sleeping pad was really uncomfy, took away from the whole hammock experience.

Night #2: August 10, 2007. I used my new Thermarest Z-Lite Short and the same top quilt, no under quilt this time. Ended up sleeping mostly with the top quilt under me and hot on top cool underneath. Sleeping pad MUCH more comfy though, except it slides around... We'll get this right yet I just know it.

Night #3: Sept 15, 2007. Decided this time to try just using the No Sniveler under quilt and the top quilt with no pad (sick of chasing a pad all night). Temps got down to around 45 to 50 degrees... and I was OK as long as I laid on my side, otherwise I was cold but mostly the cold part was towards my right side (really odd). Oh and not to mention my joints decided to get stiff from staying in one position too long... nice huh?

So we decided I definitely need my own No Sniveler, and got Extremely lucky to find one being sold on WB (saw the ad go up LOL) at a really great price. Should hopefully have it in time for our trip out this weekend. ~fingers crossed~ Next issue is my sleeping pad, I'm going to borrow the one Rock made for himself to try this weekend and see how that works for me (his doesn't slip around inside the hammock) and if it works and most importantly I stay WARM, then we'll order the material to make me one.

I'll keep y'all updated on how this goes. Let us know if y'all have any other suggestions or see anything else we might not have thought of to try. With my medical conditions I have to stay warm or I hurt and that sort of takes all the fun out of it for me. I really am enjoying going with my guys too and want to continue. :)

2007-09-19, 16:41

There are a couple of tricks to getting the pad to slip less in a hammock. One of the easiest is to lay a section of grippy shelf liner between the hammock and pad.

Check out the "SPE," or segmented pad extender at Ed Speer's site. In addition to helping keep your pad in place, it can also help you to be warmer by reducing cols spots.



2007-09-19, 17:26
I'll second using the Speer SPE. It works really well.

2007-09-19, 18:58
Thanks y'all. That looks like a neat idea too. Will see how this weekend goes first, but will definitely keep the SPE in mind.

SGT Rock
2007-09-19, 20:56
I recommended something like that this weekend.

2007-09-24, 11:00
Well I survived the weekend...LOL.

Seriously, we had a good time. Temps didn't get as low as they did the weekend prior at Hot Springs, which was fine by me. Here's what we tried this trip...

We made me a dual layer "T" style pad system using my Z-Lite and a Blue WalMart Pad. We attached the two together with Industrial strength Velcro and Gorilla Glue. This gave me a double layer for my torso area that was also wider. Also created less slippage although the foot end still slipped around some.

My hammock was set up with my new No Sniveler underquilt, the "Critter pad", and my Nunatak top quilt. I was ready to roll. I also decided to sleep in my newly acquired polypro long underwear (I'd been using a set of SGT Rock's).

All in all I stayed warm, almost too warm truth be told. (I know, I know can't please that critter gal...lol) However, that pad kept twisting on me past the cheap blue WalMart section... go figure. :rolleyes2

So, I've made up my mind that I want to just go ahead and make a pad like Rock made for himself, then I'll cut that darn Z-lite down for a sit pad since I have to carry it in my pack as a pack frame.

2007-09-24, 22:52
Well...I know the hammock sleeps well. I have a HH Asym Expedition. I also use a Mountain Hardwear Piute which is down and rated at 20 degrees. I have a short Thermarest inflatable which is only 1 pound and a Thermarest closed cell too. I carry a Granite Gear Vapor Trail also...
I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to figure out how to hike and not freeze with my hammock. What little hiking I've done has mostly been with a cheap tent. Long story short is that I don't want to sleep with bugs nor carry a tent over 3 pounds...so I have a HH. I guess I will wait for colder weather and experiment in my backyard. I did walk the half mile out to Clingmans Dome this weekend with my son. He's only 10 and hasn't been bit by the hiking bug yet but I'm hoping he will soon.

lucky luke
2007-09-25, 01:02
hi dixicritter,

you havenīt thought of the easiest solution yet!

how about a heating blanket that even walks on its own? if you pack smart the blanket will even carry your hammock! ( or your 6-pack...)

try the quilt at the bottom and the sgt. rock blanket to lie on top of you.... in really cold nights you might still need a blanket for the blankets buns. just make sure the ropes are strong enough... ;-)

sleep warm
lucky luke

2007-09-25, 17:15
MrSparex - Have faith you'll get it figured out. I know I'm having faith I'll get my system worked out soon. :)

Lucky Luke - Thanks for the giggle. I had this mental image of ropes breaking, it really wasn't pretty...LOL.

2007-09-26, 01:38
Thanks dixiecritter for the reply...
...when we get all this figured out it should be well worth it.
The few times I've hiked ( 30 lbs or less) with a tent have not been very restful but the hammock is actually comfortable (obviously).
IT'S A HAMMOCK of course! Gotta LOVE resting in a hammock!
I've also wondered if a piece or two of velcro on the rain fly might help keep the rain out during nasty weather. I've not had that problem but have heard of a couple of AT hikers who did...
Even if someone ultimately succeeds in their timing and avoids cold weather while backpacking, it would still be fulfilling to know how to handle the cold and rain.

SGT Rock
2007-09-26, 09:11
Well I use a stock tarp and just pitch it really low to start off with - then when you get in it comes out right. I'll see if I can find a picture.

As to staying warm - get a really wide pad. Forget inflation pades - cheap foam works best. Now for my OWARE USA plug.. Their pad starts at 40" wide and the material is ultra soft so it doesn't feel like other pads in the hammock. Add to that it is VERY damn light and won't slip under you in the hammock. So a double layer (I reccomend this above a single layer) weighs less than 10 ounces.

Now once you make the pad (I plan to put up some instructions on the site when we make Dixie's) is so light and works so well you will probably end up like me and use just the pad and a top quilt 70% of the time. For the last 25% you may want to get an underquilt of some sort. Now many people prefer the underquilt instead of a pad - more power too them, but I am a weight weenie first. And if I am totally comfortable and warm with a 9.something ounce pad I don't want to exchange that for 2 pounds of quilt and stuff for most of my hikes. For the last 5% - well 4% of that is where I am doing stuff like undershields with the quilt and pad and 1% is going to ground because it is so dang cold.

But you gotta figure out what works for you.

SGT Rock
2007-09-26, 09:26
Here is a pic (not great) of a hammock in storm pitch with a stock HH Tarp. Pull the sides down tighter so that the tarp is still resting on the ridge-line in the empty hammock position, then tighten the ends. When you are donw it should look like the picture. After that - when you get in, the hammock will pull down some so there will be a gap for air, but in my experience this will keep you dry in driving rain.

2007-09-26, 10:20
I must agree with Rock on how well those Oware foam pads work in a hammock. Two of those pads with a Jardine top quilt took me down to freezing on a windy night last March. They are LIGHT! I was wearing smartwool socks, REI nylon pants, a SS underarmor T-shirt, and a long-sleeve PP top with a balaclava. I was starting to feel just a hint of coolness coming through the bottom of the hammock, though it was nowhere near being uncomfortable. This is also an excellent system (pads and Jardine top quilt) if you are trying to get started hammocking without maxing out a credit card. Hennessy Backpacker UL's show up on ebay from time to time. If you or someone you know could sew the quilt this is an economical system.

2007-09-26, 10:37
How thick are those Oware pads?

SGT Rock
2007-09-26, 10:56

I hit the enter button too fast. When I got mine you could get two for $40 or one for $24 if I remember right. They are 3/16" each - so a double layer comes in at 3/8" - almost a half inch. What I did is cut one where the top is about 28" wide (I cannot remember the exact dimensions off the top of my head) and stays that width for about 18", then it tapers to the foot end at about 18" wide. The length listed is 60" on their site, but I got mine at about 61". Once I had one cut, I made another the same size and used spray adhesive to match the two together. Together they came out at 9.72 ounces.

The main drawbacks are packing this big old pad somewhere and the fact that this pad is very easy to tear. So my pad is a little dog eared after 3 years of packing and such. You just have to be careful when packing it and when trying to pull it around under your body when trying to get it set in the right place.

2007-09-26, 22:31
Thanks. .

2007-09-26, 23:13
Sgt Rock,
I would like to thank you for the devotion you have given to answering questions on the internet concerning lightweight hiking.
This is the first time I have ever replied to one of your posts but have read and learned from MANY things you have written.
You are also the catalyst that caused me to buy a hammock.
Thanks for the answers to my questions.
(I do have a few inexpensive sleeping pads to experiment with)

SGT Rock
2007-09-26, 23:17
No problem MrSparx. Maybe I will see you out on the trail somewhere.

2007-09-27, 09:34
Yeah, ditto what Sparex said. If it wasn't for Rock I never would have gotten this hammock thing to work.

SGT Rock
2007-09-27, 19:25
As I help my wife try to work through her set up, I went ahead and made something I have wanted for a while - a hammock stand. We don't have a good set of trees in our yard for hammock testing.

This year at Trail Days I saw the stand I wanted made by a fellow nammed Warbonnet and today I knocked one out: http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/browseimages.php?do=member&imageuser=817

I'm taking orders - $100 each. Shipping will cost you extra. ;)

2007-09-27, 20:32
It's a cool stand. Rock fell in love with them at Trail Days this year when he saw them...lol. He's been talking about making one ever since too, we just finally got around to it. ;)

Hey at least now we have a "lab" for testing out the hammock set ups. LOL.

2007-09-27, 21:06
That's pretty sweet looking and adjustable too?
Good thing I didn't make mine out of pressure treated lumber so I can look forward to building a new one like that.
How much does it weigh and how many loose pieces when it's strapped onto your back?

SGT Rock
2007-09-27, 21:29
LOL, it weighs too much for carrying by one person. And it all is one piece even when broken down.

2007-09-27, 21:33
You Know with some titanium tubing you might be able to make a light weight packable version.LMBO

2007-09-27, 22:05
That stand looks cool. It looks like the uprights fold down on strap hinges, and those two by four braces just unbolt. I'm guessing the two by fours on the ground will spin 90.

Speaking of Warbonnet, have you heard anything about his new underquilt?

SGT Rock
2007-09-27, 22:18
You figured it out. But I haven't seen warbonnet's quilt.

Hog On Ice
2007-09-28, 08:13
dang $100 is half the price I paid for the material for my hammock stand - a Speer type pipe stand - but at least I can put mine into the trunk of a Honda Civic ;-)

Good job Rock

2007-09-28, 20:49
For general information, My yard has 3/8 inch wet snow on it and more coming down.
Welcome to eastern Oregon.
Time to break out the 3/4 season box and change up to my 3+ pack list.
(whine) And I finally got a weekend off work.
life is what happens while you are busy planning your dream hike.

O well. Midori snowballs for desert.

SGT Rock
2007-09-28, 21:00
Snow already? It is still damn warm around here.

2007-09-30, 12:10
Given my very limited experience so far in hammock camping, I relutantly add my 2 cents here.

I find that the bottom side gets cold in direct proportion to the speed of the wind blowing over the surface of the hammock. Since your body is pressed tightly against that material, the heat easily transfers to the air.

I thought about adding a couple of windbreak sides to the setup. Two sheets of ripstop, about the length of the hammock and wide enough to reach the ground from my typical low setup height. Velcro these onto the sides of the hammock and stake 'em out tight on the ground. If you set up diagonally to the wind (and it doesn't shift too much during the night), the windblocks might help create a deader air space under the hammock.

If you more experienced types see any big holes in this plan, please feel free to point them out. Sometimes my mind just drifts off........:ciao:

SGT Rock
2007-09-30, 12:31
There are some tricks for doing this. Yougblood has a tarp that you can use which goes all the way to ground and closes the sides. HH makes the SuperShelter and JRB made the Weathershield that can do this. You could come up with some other idea like taking a poncho and making a second skin around the hammock body. I have a JRB Weathershield but rarely ever use it.

I decided I needed to come up with a use for the leftovers of the pad. So I trimmed them down into 3each - 12" wide sections and 2each 6" wide sections and used some more gorilla glue to make a 1/2" x 24" x 28.5" pad that can go into the pocket if you plan to go out in cold weather. The nother pad came out at 5.44 ounces (154 grams). So the two of them together can give you a 1" pad in the area you need it most and wings all the way out for shoulders and feet. You only ned to have your own clothing bag pillow option for the head. Total weight of both pads is 16.57 ounces or slightly over a pound.

2007-10-14, 17:14
Updating on the staying warm issues...

Have now tried the pad that SGT Rock made for me (the pocket pad). It works great for not sliding around inside the hammock... almost too well in fact as adjusting it once you are on it is a PITA. Also I think because it is only attached along the outside edges on three sides it seems to have some wrinkling issues. We're hoping that'll work itself out over time once the pad stretches out more with use.

As for staying warm, there were no cold spots with this pad that's for sure. Actually I almost was too warm, to the point of hot. This was only using the pad without an under quilt, however the night temps were mild not that chilly.

Playing around with this more, I decided to try making my own hammock (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=1832&catid=member&imageuser=817). I've never really been that comfortable in the HH, not because of the way it sleeps but I've felt like it was closing in on me. I can't even sleep with a blanket over my head at home. So I looked at Just Jeff's site for instructions (thanks Jeff for making it dummy proof...lol) and said to myself "oh that looks fairly easy".

Rock helped me do the whipped ends, but I did the rest. I even put side tie outs on it with mesh bag pockets near them to hold "stuff" after I get in the hammock. I've also re-used a tube style stuff sack (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=1830&catid=member&imageuser=817)to store it in and put a blue cord-lock on the end I want to be my foot end.

I think I'm going to really like this hammock (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=1831&catid=member&imageuser=817). We have a separate bug net I can use if I need to, or I can switch back to the HH either way. Time will tell.

Rock liked mine so much, he pestered me to make him one (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=1829&catid=member&imageuser=817)...LOL.

2007-10-25, 09:15
Went to Max Patch this past weekend and used my new hammock for the first time. It worked GREAT for keeping me warm!!! I think the problem is solved. Temps were in the low 50's with high winds, but I stayed comfortable most of the night.

The only time I got a little chilled was on my face when the wind changed directions and was blowing through my tarp end to end. No controlling that though, and I can't handle covering my face so I just dealt with it.

We also got up around 2:30 am and watched the meteor showers for a little while. That was pretty cool.

Great family fun this weekend.

Attached is a pic where you can see into my tarp.

2007-10-25, 12:53
Dixie, my daughter also feels a little claustraphobic in a Hennessy hammock. She doesn't care for lying on the diagonal anyway so I thought about getting her a Lite Racer since it is narrower and the net would come down lower. I asked Tom Hennessy if he'd consider making one in the same fabric the hyperlite is made from and he chuckled and said he'd have to think about that. I can't get past those day-glo colors he makes that thing in.

2007-10-25, 14:37
What about making her one? You can always get a bug net to drape over a line like a canopy for warmer weather. I think that's what I'm going to try when the weather warms up and the bugs come back out.

I didn't even use a bug net last weekend. First of all it was way too windy for any bugs to be able to stay around. And secondly it was too chilly out for them as well.

By making your daughter a hammock she could just about pick her own color for it. They really aren't that difficult to make either, I've now sewn two hammock bodies.

2007-10-25, 20:01
I'll think about making a hammock when I get synthetic underquilts made for us. It is probably the way to go. Just reverse engineer the hennessy and size it off his dimensions. If he'd just make what I want I'd buy it. If the Jacks would make a non-day glo underquilt I'd buy that.

SGT Rock
2007-10-25, 20:17
You can get the instructions to make a DIY Hennessy like clone over on hammock forums.

2007-10-25, 20:18
Awww I like my No Sniveler. It's really not that bright a green once you get used to it...LOL.

SGT Rock
2007-10-25, 20:32
Mine is a great color of olive green, but they can't get that material anymore.