Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekend Cold Weather Hammock Tests

Copied from my Journal:

Last night I slept in the hammock on the back deck. I'm not sure what the temperature was when I headed out a little after 9 pm, but when my bladder forced me out around 3:30 am, it was around 33 degrees.

Overall, I slept good. Every once and a while I would feel a little coolness around my arms where the side of the hammock touched and wasn't on the pad. There was very little discomfort that a long day of hiking wouldn't mute.

One slight concern, but not entirely unexpected, was quite a bit of condensation on the bottom of the tarp and within the hammock. The top of the sleeping bag was quite damp, but should dry quickly with the dawn. I may have to bring it inside though since that northern facing part of the deck doesn't get any direct sunlight this time of year.

After the bathroom break, I returned to the hammock, but already was feeling quite awake. I read some, dozed some and decided to get up just before 5:00 am. I felt refreshed enough.

After being inside for a while and getting a couple cups of coffee in me, I went out to the deck and the top of the tarp had a heavy frost on it.

I'm pretty satisfied with my setup down to around 32 or so. Any changes I would make would be adding weight I may not want to carry.

Being dressed well also helped I'm sure. I wore all hiking clothes. A thermal/under armor base layer, with a fleece on top and hiking pants down below. Head and feet were covered with fleece and wool respectively.

The GA/NC mountains in late May shouldn't be a problem at all. We shall see.


On Friday I made a few adjustments/changes to the setup and slept out there again.

I ran a ridge line and moved the tarp up to it to provide a little space between the hammock top and the tarp.  I also rigged the homemade woovie under quilt (UQ) between the under cover and the hammock.

I had added a loop to the edge of the UQ and leisurely adjusted it to where it covered the bottom properly.

I headed out about half past midnight after our wallyball league into a drizzling rain.  It was around 37 degrees.  When I got myself adjusted in the sleeping bag I realized the fleece was going to be too much, so I removed it for the night.  I was warm throughout the night.

I awoke some time after 7 am.  The drizzle was still intermittently hitting the tarp, but there was far less condensation this morning.  The temperature had remained rather steady during the night at about 36 degrees.  Every once and a while a drop will fall to my face from the tarp and screen, but that is mainly because I have to angle one side of the tarp rather steeply due to space limits.

This would be a good cold weather set up, but the UQ weighs in at about 1.7 lbs.

I wanted to try one more configuration, but tonight it is supposed to get into the lower twenties and snow is in the forecast. 


The temps were forecast to get into the mid 20s last night, so I decided to go one more night in the current configuration (under cover, DIY Woovie UQ, 30 degree bag with Thermarest inserted in bag sleeve).

Slept good again. No major coldness felt. No condensation problems at all this morning. Temp in the morning showed 28 degrees or so.

I have some minor adjustments to make on the UQ to make installing it a little easier, but I like it. If I can handle the weight, I may bring it. If not for me, my cold sleeping bride may want to use it.

I will do one more test with the full Super Shelter setup (add the thin under pad) and complete my research when the temperatures are forecasted to be somewhere in the 40's or so.

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