View Full Version : Cold Sleeping System

2003-02-19, 01:22
I think I've finally refined my cold weather sleeping system so that it employs multi-use/multi-season items and is as light as possible. Here it is (this is mainly a compilation of Sgt. Rock, Ray Garlington, and Ed Speers' work, so thanks very much to them). I use a HH Ultralite with a Nunatak Arc-Alpinist as a blanket inside. Outside, I use my poncho set up like a Garlington Insulator (http://www.mindspring.com/~rgarling/Insulator.htm). Instead of plastic bags, I use a Speer Hammocks (http://www.speerhammocks.com) Top Blanket (with foot box open) in the Insulator. For increased warmth, I can add an emergency blanket to the insulator as well as my disposal bag packliner partially filled with air (albeit with some duct tape patches). This works well because the Arc-Alpinist weighs 19.75 oz. The poncho weighs 9 oz., but does double duty as the insulator and raingear. The Speer Top Blanket weighs 12 oz, only 2 oz. more than a 3/4 Z-Rest. I already plan on carrying the emergency blanket and the packliner, so there's no weight penalty there. Basically, I get the cold weather performance of more traditional gear for less weight and the comfort of a hammock (figuring 2lb. sleeping bag, 10oz. pad, 10 oz. raingear) Plus, during the summer, I can use the poncho instead of the Hennessy tarp, thereby losing 7-8 oz. I can also use the Speer Top Blanket inside the hammock instead of the Arc-Alpinist, saving almost 8 oz. Anyway, don't know if this helps anyone, but I thought I would share.


PS- Something I'm going to try tomorrow is pinning the poncho over the hammock ridgeline with clothespins or something. I think this will help seal out wind from getting into the hammock through the mesh, increasing warmth even more. Not sure if it's wide enough to make the stretch though. I'll post more after I experiment some.

2003-02-20, 01:57
Well, I tried to get the poncho to completely envelope the hammock today, but it didn't work. I got a bunch of those no-sew fabric snaps and put them along the long edge of the poncho. The poncho is large enough to wrap around the hammock body, but when I got in, there was just too much volume and not enough fabric. All of the snaps popped open. Set up as a Garlington Insulator, the poncho still covers some of the mesh though and affords some wind and rain blockage. Also, the drawcord on the bottom hem is ideal for cinching the fabric up around the head side of the hammock. I'm thinking about putting another drawcord on the other short hem that's accessible from inside the hammock. Hopefully, that will seal the foot end better than the current design. (See post above for link.) Back to the drawing board.


Also, those no-sew snaps are crap. I wouldn't reccomend them to anyone. They came with a little plastic device that was supposed to help you place them. I got two packs and the device broke from both packs. I also ruined probably 40% of the snaps when they slipped out of the device at the wrong time. :mad:

2003-02-21, 08:56
I have also done some experiments with cold in the HH and in the Speer hammock. If you have not seen them before, please take a look at:


Here is the picture of my 5 degree night:


Hope you enjoy hammock camping year round!


2003-02-21, 10:21
That is one trippy photo!:eek:

2003-02-22, 13:55
Flyfisher, yes, I had seen your site earlier, maybe from the Hammock Camping list on Yahoo. I really liked the break-down of your cold weather experimentation, really informative. I'm definitely not as brave as you are, however. I'm pretty sure I'd have wimped out on the 5* night. Thanks for the site.


I also realized that I am no good at math. Replacing the Speer Top Blanket for the Arc-Alpinist saves 19.75 oz., not "almost 8," as I stated earlier.