View Full Version : Last minute insulation, tarp, WS2 questions

2009-03-16, 17:08
I have a Claytor Expedition with the double layer bottom/pad sleeve. I have used it down to approx. 35 degrees with just a Thermarest foam pad and a 15 degree down bag. I was a little chilly below 40 but it was in a high wind, so I think I could have done better with some more substantial thermal sleepwear perhaps. So 40/high-30's has been my cutoff temp until I invest in more better colder weather system. I am probably a 6-8 night per year backpack hammock camper, but plan some longer-term hikes this summer.

I might also add that I have been using a "bikini" tarp - an Integral Designs sil poncho at 5x8' on the diagonal as my fly. It weathered some straight down heavy rain storms just fine but didnt do much to deflect wind on that cold night.

All of a sudden I have two campout opportunities in the coming weeks. The temps are probably going to be in the 30's at night, but have the potential to dip in to the low 20's based on historical extremes. (North GA mountains in March, and Smokies in April). I find I have squandered all my local Atlanta cold nights for testing insulation combinations and setup, and certainly don't want to attempt anything too untested in the backcountry. So I have a few questions for those of you who have tried more of this than I have:

Is my best bet just to plan to go to ground, using the hammock as a bivy, if it looks like the temps are going to be below my known comfort zone?

Have air inflatable pads proven to be any/ much better than CCF or fancy wavy CCF?

I noticed that Sgt. Rock's Tips were skeptical of the Underquilt solution, but noticing how old those entries were am curious if you stand by the skepticism. There is no way I can afford a real underquilt, but might be able to rig up something like the army poncho liner variety on short notice.

Does a larger tarp help much with temps, by blocking wind or perhaps creating more of a still air pocket around the hammock? I saw that Sgt Rock had a Moonbow poncho tarp made, only a few inches larger than my ID Silponcho. Is that still your main hammock fly, and how has it worked out for you?

Looked at the JRB Weathershield2 online - not sure I fully understand it. But does is add much insulation, just by itself, as sort of an under-tarp / still-air-pocket? And...can it work as a gear hammock? Use your clothes as insulation? .....leaves...pine straw...? 7oz weight certainly beats a lot of other options...even a ground cloth. And the price is OK too.

Anyway - sorry for so many questions all at once. Was scrambling for solutions, but feel the best bet might be to ground camp rather than try something I haven't fully worked out, at the last minute. :albertein

Hog On Ice
2009-03-16, 17:59
before I finally got an underquilt I would use a stack of CCF pads (wally world blue 20 inch wide, half inch thick) - I was good down to 10 deg. with a stack of 4 - for 30 deg I would just use 2 pads - one other item that may help considerably is to use a hot water bottle - if I am pushing the temp range a hot water bottle makes all the difference in the world

2009-03-16, 19:41
WS2 will not add more than 6-10*..... Leaves are a poor plan.... possible emergency.... but even then findind dry one in a three day soaker is a long shot at best....

Pads are the best low $ answer..... Under quilts are a great higher $ answer....breathable , side as well as bottom insulation, lighter than multiple pads and way less bulk.... easy to use....lux not having anything else other than a TQ or bag in the hammock.... oh, and since those early post UQ users number in the thousands.

Ground is ok, if you like it hard, cold, uneven, and just all around unpeasant.:ahhhhh:

Remember I'm biased.... But this is a fair summary.


PS Hammock central is pretty much www.hammockforums.net these days.

2009-03-31, 13:05
I like my old Army closed cell because I sit in the hammock and uncurl the pad down to the opening. When I get out in the middle of the nite for a head call it rolls back up, when I get back I just roll down to the opening and pull my poncho liner over and go back to la-la land.
Sometimes I put my poncho down then the pad then the liner, the poncho kinda acts like a space blanket. Note: Never tried this rig below 40.

2009-03-31, 13:16
I've been playing around with a Neat Sheet UQ (http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1860&highlight=neat+sheet). Mostly for use in windy conditions, not so much as an insulator. You might give the link a read and see if it will serve your purposes. At only $20, it's a hard solution to beat.

There are some pretty inexpensive UQ solutions out there these days; a KAQ (kickass quilt) and the Yeti are both less than $200 and will take you to the temp ranges you're talking about pretty easily. I've seen you over on HF so I'm sure you already know about them; just making sure.

kayak karl
2009-04-01, 02:08
its April now, how did your first trip go? hope all went well.