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  1. #21
    ObdewlaX's Avatar
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    Having the proper temp rated insulation based on the weather conditions you expect to encounter, is always a good idea. In low temps, I like mid-weight wool top & bottom base layers added to the overnight equation. While pricey, Smartwool, makes some good stuff and comfortable too.

    My .02 worth.

  2. #22
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    I'm not sure what an UQP is. Under Quilt Pad?


    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmeat View Post
    Did you feel the cold from the top or the bottom? Is your hammock Double Layer? How tall are you?

    You are at the edge of your current insulation's ratings. Some like to keep a 10 degree "cushion" so I use a 20 degree bag until it gets a little below 30 degrees, then I grab "the big dog" (0 degree gear). If you closer to 5' 6" than 6", a length UQ is almost full length for you. You can always put some Reflexit (mentioned above) or other pad near the foot end.

    Because you said put the inflatable inside your sleeping bag to keep the pad from shifting, I'm guessing you have a single layer Hammock. Rather than the inflatable, I'd go for an UQP but I know you don't want to buy any more gear. I'm concerned that your pad is interfering with the UQ and without an UQP, you might have gaps - so many parts in your setup.

    Then there's the clothes issue. Some advocate less sleeping clothes. There is less constriction. I wear light cotton pajamas - feels good after a hard day on the trail. But if I'm getting down to single digit temperatures - even the 20's - I'd have a balaclava with me for my head/face. I might even add a light, synthetic, sleeping jacket - but that's only when it is way below 20 degrees.

    Is there anyway you can test some systems out before the trip - 4 days is a commitment with gear that might not work. You don't even need it to be that cold at home; you'll be testing combinations and hopefully clearly feel it when you've found the winner.

    You didn't mention your tarp. How well were you covered? does the tarp have doors? did you stake it down low at bedtime?

    Will there be snow? With snow - it's your friend; it's your buddy - you can use a shovel and/or snow saw and create a 3 sided area with snow walls/berms to keep the wind draft at bay..

    The last thing - sort of my rant - is all that insulation and ratings are not making heat - you have to make the heat. If you are not generating heat - the insulation has nothing to ... insulate. So that might suggest attention to what/when you have to eat before you go to bed.

    Once I had to spend some winter months sleeping in my station wagon. When born, I was a premie at 7 months and was put in an incubator - glass and metal all around. So when I lay in the station wagon, looking up at the ceiling and windows - it was like MOM! It was also interesting to see the frost on the INSIDE of the car in the morning. I soon learned that if my body didn't make heat at night, there was nothing for the sleeping bag to hold in. You can't be passive (too yin) about this.

    You can add heat - with hot water bottles, those hand/pocket warmers (be careful, some leak and make a mess). But better if you figure out what evening meal will add the calories and digestion that will assist your body in making its own heat.

  3. #23
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    UQP = Under quilt protector

  4. #24
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    The under quilt protector - UQP - is a very light nylon layer that hangs under, but near your hammock and underquilt. It is usually breathable and acts as a shield against the wind. It can increase the "warmth range" of an underquilt and has other benefits found by searching the forum posts for UQP philosophy. It's like a wind shirt for your UQ.

    I don't want to spend the time advocating - though I do believe in them - UQP's because I think the following is more important:

    >One of my camp mates offered his 0 degree bag for this trip. I think that might just solve all my problems.

    Your comment raised an eyebrow because it seems to put emphasis on the wrong side of things. I think you would benefit from a short review of heat loss because it sounds like you are thinking like a ground camper. I'll explain ...

    First - you always are usually making heat (some people more that others; especially when they learn to control it). What keeps you from burning up? Heat loss. So if you want to be warmer you simply need to stop the ways you are loosing the heat you are making. One main way to loose heat is by conduction - contact with something cold. This is what you are fighting when you sleep on the ground. Your sleeping pad provides insulation from that cold ground - blocking the conduction heat loss. Your sleeping bag may keep the top of you warm, but notice that the down or synthetic fill is compressed by your body weight underneath you - it provides little or no insulation under you and hence the use of the pad.

    With a hammock it's different. And it's important to understand it is different so you adjust the right things. The second large way to loose heat is by convection - air currents taking the heat away. That's what is happening in a hammock (and in a cot for that matter). In fact, even on a warm summer day, if a little breeze flows under/around the hammock and you don't have any bottom insulation, you will feel it. So in a hammock, I'd say bottom insulation is more important than top insulation. The Zero degree bag you will borrow will be just as compressed on the bottom as when you'd use it on the ground. So it is really important to get that bottom insulation dialed in.

    I'm not going to expect you to go out and buy a UQP right now, but you do need to protect your underquilt from heat loss. You can do that by adjusting your tarp to minimize the air flow. In my previous post I suggest building some snow walls if you have that resource. If you are going to use the blow up pad, I'd suggest not blowing it up too firm, you want it to mold to the hammock shape. but it isn't breathable so if it is right next to you, you'll probably feel trickles of sweat.

    Your best bet - without buying anything - is put someone else in your hammock momentarily so you can check the fit of your UQ - make sure it is snug up against the bottom of the hammock with no gaps. depending upon the manufacturer, some UQ's have a differential cut. That means the bottom of the UQ is cut larger that the top of the UQ so you won't compress the loft when you pull the top of the UQ snug against the bottom of the hammock. If your UQ doesn't have a differential cut, then you have to be careful to make it snug against the bottom of the hammock but not too snug that it compresses the loft [One of benefits of a UQP is it's an extra protection if the UQ fit isn't just right.] Next, make sure your tarp is rigged so the sides come close to the ground to reduce air currents.

    Once you stop the convection loss - the main heat loss in a hammock - then you start to keep the heat you make. But you still have to make that heat.

    And for clothing, be sure to have a sleeping cap or balaclava.
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 11-05-2019 at 19:57.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  5. #25
    aka 'Extra' MikekiM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmeat View Post
    .....Your best bet - without buying anything - is put someone else in your hammock momentarily so you can check the fit of your UQ - make sure it is snug up against the bottom of the hammock with no gaps. depending upon the manufacturer, some UQ's have a differential cut. That means the bottom of the UQ is cut larger that the top of the UQ so you won't compress the loft when you pull the top of the UQ snug against the bottom of the hammock. If your UQ doesn't have a differential cut, then you have to be careful to make it snug against the bottom of the hammock but not too snug that it compresses the loft [One of benefits of a UQP is it's an extra protection if the UQ fit isn't just right.] Next, make sure your tarp is rigged so the sides come close to the ground to reduce air currents.

    Once you stop the convection loss - the main heat loss in a hammock - then you start to keep the heat you make. But you still have to make that heat.

    And for clothing, be sure to have a sleeping cap or balaclava.
    ^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^

    It doesn't sound like you're coming up short on insulation.. rather you have some leaks that letting cold air in. The best UQ will be near worthless if cold air is leaking in from head or foot. The UQP could help block any leaks. You could make one with no sewing since it's essentially a gathered end hammock hanging under your gathered end hammock.

    It's good practice to have your bottom insulation more robust than you're top insulation.
    * The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.

    * I can lift all the weight I want at the gym. Walking shouldn't be a workout. ~ Just Bill


  6. #26
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jharpphoto View Post
    Im going out with friends for 4 nights soon. Forecast has temps dropping to 21F one night. The last time I camped at this temp I froze my butt off. I have a warbonnet BB with. 20 degree warbonnet yeti 3/4 UQ, a wiggys sleeping bag rated to 20 and an inflatable sleeping pad I put inside the sleeping bag to prevent it from moving around. With those 3 items I was on the verge of hypothermia. Im considering pitting a SOL thermal survival bag inside the sleeping bag as well or trying to use an old sleeping bag for a makeshift additional UQ. Any other suggestions to keep a little more comfortable at night?
    For backpacking in the winter it is best to keep things simple.

    What you have described is, to me, an unwieldy (and heavy!) patchwork of incompatible items that just aren't working together to retain heat.

    My suggestion is to first get a good quilt set specifically designed for hammocks, such as a HG Incubator UQ (full length) and Burrow TQ, temp rating of 20F, or 0F if you're typically a very cold sleeper. I'd call myself an average temp sleeper and for me HG's ratings are accurate. HG has an Econ line and a Premium line of quilts and both work great, but if you can afford the Premium quilts (Argon 67 shell, 950FP down) get those because they are significantly lighter and more compressible. Ditch the air mat and the Wiggy's bag... very heavy, nigh impossible to compress and uses the same material employed for sofa stuffing for insulation. Without the air mat, and with oodles of downy goodness hugging your backside, you'll be comfortable and warm.

    If you're consistently going to be heading out on multi-day trips in extremely cold weather (say 10F to well below 0F) I'd suggest learning about vapor barrier (VB) shells for sleeping. A long thread but well worth reading where serious cold is concerned.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

    Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. Leo Babauta

  7. #27
    Senior Member mab0852's Avatar
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    Not what you want to hear, but proper down quilts are the answer. Pads are survivable, but far from comfortably warm, with or without an adequate underquilt. I usually want a winter underquilt to be rated 20* colder than my lowest expected temp. I have a 0* and in my area I've never been cold since I bought it. I have a 20* top quilt that I augment with a Costco down quilt, down puffer jacket or both if it's really cold. You also have to insulate your head. I always have a wool buff in my pack. I wear it to keep my head warm and when condensation is a factor, I wear it in balaclava mode to keep my breath from wetting out my quilt. Usually by the time that's not enough I'm in my puffer jacket and have the buff plus the jacket's hood. I also have a merino base layer in my winter load out and I normally only wear it in camp so it doesn't wet out and I can sleep in it without bringing moisture (perspiration) into my sleep system. Finally, when it his the 20s I take a loose fitting pair of loosely woven (think hand made sweater not knit) wool socks to sleep in. You want them loose so blood can circulate and the looser weave just gives me some extra loft around my toes and lets my feet breath well so they aren't accumulating moisture and getting damp as I sleep. As noted above, you have to think of your sleep system in a hammock from the bottom up and inside out as opposed to the ground where you are normally thinking top down and outside in.

  8. #28
    aka 'Extra' MikekiM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mab0852 View Post
    Not what you want to hear, but proper down quilts are the answer. Pads are survivable, but far from comfortably warm, with or without an adequate underquilt. I usually want a winter underquilt to be rated 20* colder than my lowest expected temp. I have a 0* and in my area I've never been cold since I bought it. I have a 20* top quilt that I augment with a Costco down quilt, down puffer jacket or both if it's really cold. You also have to insulate your head. I always have a wool buff in my pack. I wear it to keep my head warm and when condensation is a factor, I wear it in balaclava mode to keep my breath from wetting out my quilt. Usually by the time that's not enough I'm in my puffer jacket and have the buff plus the jacket's hood. I also have a merino base layer in my winter load out and I normally only wear it in camp so it doesn't wet out and I can sleep in it without bringing moisture (perspiration) into my sleep system. Finally, when it his the 20s I take a loose fitting pair of loosely woven (think hand made sweater not knit) wool socks to sleep in. You want them loose so blood can circulate and the looser weave just gives me some extra loft around my toes and lets my feet breath well so they aren't accumulating moisture and getting damp as I sleep. As noted above, you have to think of your sleep system in a hammock from the bottom up and inside out as opposed to the ground where you are normally thinking top down and outside in.
    All good advice ^^^^^^ Especially the bold...

    If you want to add some versatility, try a pair of down pants. cmoulder has had them on every winter trip we've done and I have lusted over them every time (I think everyone in camp has wanted to hijack those pants!!). Perfect for around camp during long dark winter nights, and will augment your quilt set when it's time to turn in. Classic dual purpose item. I added a pair this year.. finally.
    * The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.

    * I can lift all the weight I want at the gym. Walking shouldn't be a workout. ~ Just Bill


  9. #29
    Senior Member BigE94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goobie View Post
    Surprised nobody has asked yet. What clothes are you sleeping in? Loose fitting clothing, worn only in the hammock, is a must for staying warm in the cold. Less is definitely more in cold temps.
    Yeah, that's what I was wondering. Some folks dont change clothes before bed and it does make a huge difference.
    I would rather be in the woods... my dog would rather be in the pool. My wife thinks we are both nuts.

  10. #30
    Senior Member m00ch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikekiM View Post
    and will augment your quilt set when it's time to turn in. Classic dual purpose item.
    Good advice here, especially using the Yeti. I use the heck out of my Yeti but it is as minimalistic as it can be. It is not very forgiving if your set up or other gear is not dialed in.



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