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View Full Version : Staying Warm... Why not talk about it some more?



Gruntacious
2009-11-04, 03:35
I finally get to use my HH this year... and its November. Oh well, better late than never I guess. However, this raises the age old question- How do you stay warm in a hammock?

I have been pouring over the many many threads on this topic here and a few other sites and have learned a great deal. From what I gather, the most important factor in staying warm while in a hammock is creating an effective barrier between you and the cold air beneath your hammock. A sleeping bag alone isn't enough as your weight compresses the insulation which makes it less effective. A combination of closed cell foam pads and quilts seem to be the biggest part of the solution.

Unfortunately for me, I have neither and I leave tomorrow (last minute decision). I can get a pad but I can't shake the feeling that I'm totally unprepared.

I'm looking a night time temps in the high 30s to low 40s. Am I naive to think that 1 pad (which will certainly shift through the night), a heavy blanket, my 0 degree rated bag, and many layers of clothes will keep me warm? I will also set up my hammock low to the ground with my rain fly blocking the wind.

Should I go for it or get out the ole' tent?

Edit: Oops. Probably should have put this in the "Staying Warm and Dry" section. Oh well.

Bearpaw
2009-11-04, 10:32
I finally get to use my HH this year... and its November. Oh well, better late than never I guess. However, this raises the age old question- How do you stay warm in a hammock?


I'm looking a night time temps in the high 30s to low 40s. Am I naive to think that 1 pad (which will certainly shift through the night), a heavy blanket, my 0 degree rated bag, and many layers of clothes will keep me warm? I will also set up my hammock low to the ground with my rain fly blocking the wind.



Worst comes to worst, buy two cheap walmart blue closed cell foam pads. lay them overlapping in the hammock. This will effectively wrap around your body enough that you should be reasonably comfortable in your hammock (at least in terms of warmth). You may experience a bit of condensation and you may have to adjust the pads from time to time, but this is the best short notice fix available. There are plenty of folks who hammock down to freezing with just a closed cell foam pad and and pad extender which places foam section further out along the arms/shoulders and hips. Using two overlapping pads should provide a comparable effect, though they will be bulkier. But that's a reasonable price to pay for your first cold hang.

You may be able stay warm with just tucking the blanket along one side and your spare clothes along the other to extend the warmth of your pad. But an extra pad is possibly the best way to cover your bases.

taildragger
2009-11-04, 11:13
Take the pad, if it gets to cold just head down to the warm ground

Hog On Ice
2009-11-04, 19:53
I used pads for several years - best insulation was the Army surplus closed cell pad - cheapest insulation was one or more wally world blue ccf pads - in either case I would chop off the lower right and upper left corners to keep the pad from shifting as much as it would otherwise (these corners are the ones that are sticking into the sides of the hammock and can cause the pad to end up looped around you) - I never tried stacking the pads offset from each other - too difficult to keep aligned - if I was using more than one pad I would strap the stack together - to keep my shoulders warm I would stuff extra clothing next to the shoulders or use a single small pad - personally I did not like the segmented pad extender but other people like them.

generoll
2009-11-04, 21:26
get contact cement if you want to overlap them and then just roll them up as one unit. You might try triming one of them to the length of your torso and then having single thickness for your head and lower legs. It'll make it less bulky and put the most insulation where the most compression will be.

Bulldawg
2009-11-04, 21:28
Or get the gossamer gear extra wide pad and trim it to work. Or sometimes the foam pad at Target is wider than the wally world pad.

dixicritter
2009-11-04, 22:09
Rock now has my Pocket/No Sniveler pad that we made (instructions here (http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2439)).

We made me a new one outta the same pad material just it is two pads glued together solidly. I guess I twist around too much for the pocket/no sniveler pad because I kept getting wrinkles in it.

Gruntacious
2009-11-05, 00:33
Thx for the info everyone. I feel a bit more confident now. This will be my first "cold hang" and also a learning experience. If push comes to shove I'll just curl up next to the fire.

I'll be sure to let everyone know how it went upon my return. Thx again.

Gruntacious
2009-11-09, 14:04
The trip was a success. The only night I was cold was the only night I didn't use my HH.

We hiked about 3 mi. into Red River Gorge, KY. By the time we got to our campsite it was dark. I was so warm and toasty with my many layers of clothes that I decided to sleep out by the fire. I threw down a heavy wool blanket and my sleeping bag and was nice and cozy when I fell asleep. Then, about 5am I woke up chilled to the bone- it was about 30* give or take. The fire was out and there was frost on my bag- you know you're pretty freakin' cold when ther's ice on your sleeping bag. I got up, stoked the fire, and dozed in my chair. It was actually pretty nice as I was able to watch the sun rise. It was pretty cool to see the sun slowly illuminate the awesome view we had camped over.

The next day we moved our camp further up the ridge. I set up my hammock low to the ground with the rain fly blocking the breeze. Inside I put down my ccf pad, the wool blanket, and my sleeping bag. I wore 2 pairs of socks (one of which was heavy wool), long underwear (top and bottom), jeans, a t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a sweat shirt, a hooded jacket, and a wool hat. I also threw my heavy winter jacket over my bag. Before I went to bed I had some chocolate to stoke my internal fire. It got down to the mid 30s that night, but I was nice and cozy.

The trick, in my opinion, was the pad and blanket. They made all the difference. During the second night I shifted my legs off them so that my bag was directly on the bottom of my hammock. I could feel the cold air coming through almost immediately.

I'm going to shape the pad a bit so it fits better in the hammock. I'm also going to look into buying or making a quilt. Perhaps I can convince my friends to come camping this January.

Thanks again for the advice.