View Full Version : Coldest temp you have used your hammock?

SGT Rock
2003-01-20, 19:00
What is the coldest temp you have used your hammock?

Hog On Ice
2003-01-20, 19:43
It was a learning experience - basically I did everything wrong. I wanted to see just how bad it would be so I set the hammock up on top of a ridge in a car camping site on a night that was headed for 10 deg. F. I used a 0 deg. bag with a Guidelite full length pad. Mistakes made - 1.) not eating a good hot meal before going to bed 2.) not picking a site that blocked the wind - it got up to probably 15 mph wind speed 3.) not putting a hot water bottle or two in the bag with me 4.) putting a couple cold water bottles in the bag to keep them from freezing - at least I wrapped them in some fleece 5.) using too thin of a pad. Anyways I ended up giving up on sleep at 5 AM - I got up and once I was moving I was OK. Other details - something about that situation caused me to get up 4 times to piss - oh well it was a learning experience. Since that time I have been in below 30 deg weather and was just fine but if I expect freezing weather I use a thicker pad (LE), eat good hot meal before hitting the hammock, set it up in a sheltered area that is not on the top of a ridge (and also not in a hollow), and of course use the 0 deg. bag.

Wander Yonder
2003-01-20, 22:20
I've slept in mine in the 30's. Was miserable with just a blue foam pad. Hubby and I were camping together at the time, so I went back to the car and got a thick afghan, folded it, and put it over the pad, then I was very comfortable.

SGT Rock
2003-01-20, 22:28
My latest experinece was going to bed with the temp in the mid 30's. I was in my Hennessy Ultralight and there was cold freezing rain falling. I slept on a 1/2" thick x 24" wide closed cell foam pad, my sunscreen, and had my polypro on under my Nunatack Blanket. I awoke to 26* F and slightly cold shoulders probaby from a combination of gaps around the shoulder wher I had let the blanket come up, and slightly less than adequate insulation under me. I think that I have enough clothing and bag down to about 15 degrees, but I might need an extra layer of pad under the butt and shoulders to get that low in my hammock.

An interesting point was despite the 26* weather, the water on my tarp was not frozen until about 1/2 hour afer I got out and started tearing down. Apparently my body heat inside the hammock kept the tarp warm enough to prevent freezing.

And I consider myself a cold sleeper. I like heavy blankets at home.

2003-01-21, 00:25
I have slept in weather around 40 degrees and raining. between the canvas bottom (jungle hammock) and the wind I was really cold not to mention I woke up every 1.5hrs so that I could tinkle. I was told I could say "tinkle".


SGT Rock
2003-01-21, 09:53
Pee is fine, but we prefer you don't say tinkle, that is just too offensive.

2003-01-22, 02:12
Don't forget you can always fill a Nalgene with hot water to warm up the air in your sleeping bag, just be sure to close the lid tightly.

SGT Rock
2003-01-22, 10:28
Oh yes, there are lots of little tips:

1. Wear polypro or fleece. It doesn't compact ewasy as some insulation so still works under your body. It also reduces your body's radiant output to something like 2%

2. Wear a hat and socks. It's amazing how much that helps.

3. Use olive oil (1-2 ounces) in your dinner meal. It's like putting the body furnace on high but also makes me sleepy.

4. Don't drink any muscle relaxants (see the Lxicon)

5. Get a small hollow out of the wind. Thick brush upwind as a wind break works well too for places like Louisiana that doesn't have a lot of dramatic vegitation.

6 Make some tea or hot water to bring to bed, but don't drink a lot of fluids before bed.

7. Wind proof materials outside you insulation. I think this is the #1 benifit of so called heat reflectors. That is a long discussion I may add here.

8. Dense non-compressing pads. A 1/2" dense pad is better than a 1/2" pad that compresses too much. Ed Speer recomends eggcrate (at least that is how I took it) but I find that a dense flat pad works better.

9. Good loft over you.

10. Get the tarp down a little closer to the hammock to help dreate a smaller enviroment for you body heat to keep warm.

11. You could get naked inside your bag and use a vapor barrier, I still haven't tried this yet.

All this is before adding special underquilts or pea pod type bags. BTW, any of you underquilt users that is sold on the idea, let me borrow it please! I would love to be proved wrong on my old theory of those things being heavier than they are worth.

2003-01-22, 11:19
My most uncomfortable night in a hammock (HH) was my first. The temperature was just at the freezing level -see how I avoided the Farenheit/Celcius thing - and I was using my new Golite Fur 1 sleeping system. I was experimenting with two new pieces of kit at the same time - never a good thing to do! My site was well sheltered but right by the ocean, so the humidity was fairly high. The Fur 1 fitted sleeping pad was completely inadequate - too thin, and uncomfortable to the skin as well. It was also very bulky and difficult to pack. The quilt itself was excellent and I had no real problems with air leaking in at the sides. I was just losing too much of my precious body heat through the pad and bottom of the hammock. I ended up more or less fully dressed, slept fitfully at best and spent most of the long night actively praying for morning to come. Since then I've ditched the crappy pad and reverted to my trusty 3/4 length ultralight thermarest, which I've modified to suit chilly conditions. I took an old thermarest chair kit - minus the stiffeners and straps - turned it inside out and sewed in two layers of reflective material. When the pad is inserted, one layer is beneath the pad and the other on top next to the sleeper. The old chair kit material also provides some anti-puncture protection to the inflated sleeping pad, and is pleasant to the touch. I know this adds some weight, but not all that much, and besides, the damned thing works well. I can really feel the heat coming back at me. The original Fur 1 quilt had velcro tabs that attached to its fitted pad. I've sewed a short sleeve to the underside of the quilt to help keep it in place on the pad, and this works well in both the hammock and a conventional tent. My thermarest modification met with some derision in another very well known ultralight site - guess it isn't ultralight enough. But like I said, it works and keeps me warm and comfortable. That's what's important on a long hike. Like our Mr. Rock, I am very interested in the various experiments to winterize the HH by adding bottom insulation. At this point I also have the feeling that these are heavier and bulkier than they are worth. I would be delighted to have someone change my mind.



2003-01-22, 14:36
HI all. I got to be the first to cast a vote for <10 degrees. Just tried a new Crazy Creek Crib LE last night in my backyard in Mass. It was 10 degrees when I went to bed and probably dropped to around 4 or 5 overnight (6 at 6:30 am). This hammock has a full length sleeve for a pad, and I used 2 pads overlapped in the center so there was full coverage to both sides. Worked great. I think roughly equivalent to being in a tent at that temperature, and this was without a tarp over the hammock. I'll keep testing and let you know. Wouldn't want to try hammocking in a blizzard though.

2003-01-28, 11:07
I'm down to -5F. Used a Crazy Crib hammock with 2 closed cell foam pads, a 20 degree down bag, and an old polarguard semi-rectangular bag set up around the hammock like a Peapod. Really comfortable.

2003-01-28, 19:09
The coldest night in my Hennessey was near Blood Mountain, just after I purchased it. Temps dipped to low 20's and the wind came a howling ! I had a 10 degree down bag and was sleeping in long johns but I may have well have been in the buff. I had a thermarest and mylar windshield reflector under me but the cold still penetrated my bag. Impossible to sleep with the wind pitching me back and forth between those 2 trees. At around 3 in the morning I finally crawled out of the bag and took down the fly rather than watch it go up like a kite.
That was the night I decided that hammocks and me were meant for warmer weather. I still truly dig the hammock and have had many comfortable nights in the trees but I won't start out with it at Springer this year.

Wander Yonder
2003-01-29, 05:59
I talked with a guy who had used the 2" very heavy Wiggy's pad in his hammock in 20 degree temperatures and was very comfortable, while his buddies who were using lighter pads froze.

So I think it's possible to stay warm in a hammock in winter if we can find the right insulation. The problem is weight and bulk.

If my Ridgerest Deluxe combined with the blue pad works at 15 degrees, I will be happy. If not, then it's just not worth it to me to make it work as a hammock. Then I will just pitch it on the ground as a mini tent when it's really cold.

The extra large rainfly on the Clark will make a roomy tent on the outside of the hammock body which will give me the advantage of a double-walled tent.

Please excuse my bragging, as I know most people here have Hennessy Hammocks. But the ability to unzip the netting, reach out, cook under a covered tarp and then drink a hot drink while still cozied up in your sleeping bag is one of my favorite things about the Clark. As is being able to unzip the netting and let breezes in on very hot nights. That bug netting really holds in the heat!

2003-02-09, 23:28
I used an early Expedition 2.5 HH. The 20^ holofill mummy bag is augmented with a tapered silk f--t sack and between the silk and the bag I deploy a foam pad (24" X 71") that is "waffled" (1/2" & 3/4") on one side smooth on the other (very firm and fine textured-dunno the brand - yard sale score) with the waffle towards the ground.

On the body is a watch cap, mittens (wool), poly-pro long johns, and tomarrow's clean sox.

Keep the pad beneath yourself, follow the other good ideas here, and try the pad between the silk and the bag. I've had no cold spots.

Any luck at all, and I may be able to claim a new all time LOW in the next couple weeks....winter found its way over to my mountain.

2003-02-12, 16:07
I have posted my early experiments with cold here in balmy Dayton, Oh. Just to prove to myself that I could do it, I slept the night at 5 deg and enough wind that the weather service called it -10 wind chill. I cheated a bit and used an extra pad that I normally would not have carried.

If you would like to see the continuing saga of my experiments, they can be viewed at:


I am presently exploring the edges of the envelope. I have been defeated by calm 30 degree temps with a single 3/8 inch Target pad. I was certainly defeated by 15 degrees and 50 mph gusts last night. I look at all of it as a fun experiment.

F2 <><

Major Slacker
2005-02-07, 23:24
11. You could get naked inside your bag and use a vapor barrier, I still haven't tried this yet.
This is pretty much a repeat of my "keeping warm and dry" post:

The hammock was an 11 oz. Byer Traveller. I used a Campmor 20 down sleeping bag and, inside the bag, a 3/8" generic blue pad, three 30x40x1/8" sheets of closed cell foam layered under my torso so they wrapped around my arms and shoulders and an "emergency" bivy as a vapor barrier liner. Having it all inside the bag was easier than squirming around in the hammock to get everything aligned.

I don't know about the naked thing whatever Stevenson says. I think it would be clammy in the VBL. I was comfortable wearing silk long johns, liner socks, thick wool socks, a balaclava/helmet liner, a fleece hat and maybe some gloves. I had in reserve several layers of clothing and a VBL suit but didn't need any of it. I'm guessing I might have been comfortable down to 0 using everything, though I probably would need more insulation under me at those temps.

2005-09-29, 18:11
i have been down to -15 in my Hennesy Hammock with a -20 bag from alps mountaineering and a cheap sleeping pad and been very comfortable....i have used hot water in a nalgene bottle before and that works well....so does a bottle of boiling chilli or oatmeal in a nalgene bottle, the great thing about that is you can stay in your hammock for a warm breakfast!

Hog On Ice
2005-09-29, 20:01
-15 deg F - now that is impressive - what did you use for a pad/bottom insulation?

did you have any frost build up on the bug net?

2005-09-29, 21:36
-15 deg F - now that is impressive - what did you use for a pad/bottom insulation?

did you have any frost build up on the bug net?

i use a cheap walmart camping pad(its really very light and i dont mind abusing it)

an alps mountaineering sleeping bag that is totaly wonderful
(only bag that i have been comfortable at its comfort rating (-20)

and a nalgene bottle full of breakfast...i make breakfast before i go to bed and put it in a nalgene bottle (usually oatmeal or chilli...although some people have issues with eating chilli for breakfast)
i keep it hot until im ready to go to bed and it works great as a heater (oatmeal holds its heat alot longer than water and does not seep out if the lid is not completely sealed) and when i wake up i can have breakfast while basking in the warmth of my sleeping bag and hammock, smugly watching other people freeze there butts of making breakfast. :biggrin:

i did not have problems with frost on the net. i have had that problem mainly between 15-30 degrees in humid conditions (it was pretty dry air)

Just Jeff
2005-09-29, 23:34
How thick was the pad? Was it the .5" convoluted foam one?

2005-10-23, 02:15
ah, come on! I live in Hawaii on the Island of Oahu - cold here is under 65 and I really don't mind that too much - but the HH performed nicely on that occasion!


2005-11-16, 16:49
I use the HH undercover and underpad, which is a thin, open cell foam pad.
The undercover is silynylon and not that heavy, but with the undercover, underpad, and a silver emergency blanket, this helps keep me toasty.

I need to wiegh everything, but I am sure it comes out lighter than a sleeping pad.


2010-02-07, 03:09
I have used my Hennessy Hammock Explorer Deluxe with the under pad, under cover and automotive windshield reflector, down to 28 degrees F. I was wearing heavy thermals and wool socks, -10 degree bag over the top of me. There was no wind, I was at 4500 feet on an October night in the Cascade mountains. Did not get cold at all.


2010-02-07, 23:00
Dec 21, '08; Springer Mtn: Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Wind blew all night around 30 to 40 kts. Temp at 1800 was 30*. Temp at 0730 was 11* in my buddies tent. Don't know what the wind chill was. HH ULBA with a Nest UQ, BA insulated Air Core mummy (partially inflated) and a 20* bag. Patagonia lightweight thermals, poly pro hat, and wool socks. Stayed warm as long as I didn't fall off the BA pad. DON'T care to do that again without more stuff around me. Reminded me of Ft Leonard Wood, Mo, Jan '70: never got above 0* for a whole week.

2010-02-07, 23:40
14* with a JRB Old Rag Mtn & Nest layered for an underquilt and a MontBell UL SSDH #0 for an overquilt. I was surrounded by at least 6" of down and could have easily gone colder