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Winter Hammock Camping

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by killeroy154, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    It was nice and warm in these parts last week. Highs in the 60's and lows at night mid 30's. I was talking to a hammock camping group about their planned camping trip in two weeks about a 2 hour drive from my home. I was all in to meet up with them, and hang out a couple of nights. But now old man winter rolled in, it's supposed to be in the teens tonight and maybe 40's tomorrow. Brrr now I'm thinking of backing out.
  2. brianb2

    brianb2 Novice Camper

    Sounds like you need to do a gear temp test. Any chance you can setup in your backyard or something similar and do an overnighter? Someplace where you can keep some extra gear nearby to fine tune your setup.

    There’s lots of tricks to adding additional warmth. If you’re still thinking about going post up what gear you’re thinking about using, and how far you’ll have to hike if it’s not a base camp style trip. If it were me I’d still go. Good luck.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    I was given that advice and I was smart enough to take it. It has saved me from making myself look ridiculous more than once. For water stuff, I use a Grand River inlet that is approximately fifteen minutes from my home.

    @killeroy154 I'm just smiling when you talk about those brr temperatures - and not saying anything. :)

    :bear: Baden Bear here. "Those new "booties" you have could be put to the test."

    killeroy154 and brianb2 like this.
  4. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    Welcome @brianb2. It was 17°F the other day when I got home, so I set it up. I hung my 40 degree underquilt under my hammock and climbed in. Little to cold for underquilt, but I was curious. I was wearing a pair of non-insolated socks with my down booties, blue jeans, 2 undershirts and a fleece hoody. The top quilt kept sliding around and slipping off, now I know why they make them with a foot box. My lower back and "love handles" fat sides, were cold. Not real bad but enough to be annoying. The underquilt wasn't rated for that cold, and I was under dressed. Everytime I would get up to try something different, I would hurry to get back in the hammock where it was warm.

    [​IMG] The next day I set it up in my basement where I could experiment with out freezing every time I would get up to try things. The quilt I made fits perfectly between my hammock and underquilt, and I don't think it weighs enough to sag everything down. A sewed a sleeve on my hammock, a while back, so I could slip my insulating pad in it. This doesn't work because the pad buckles and let's air in, but I can put a fleece blanket in that sleeve for extra insulation. I will be experimenting more with it.

    @Norther Dancer tell Baden Bear I sure like my booties.
    Northern Dancer likes this.
  5. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    @killeroy154 - I love your descriptions. Baden Bear told me he liked his paw booties.

    ANYWAY! only because you are a fellow Babbler. And - you probably know this stuff already. BUT :thumbsup: I'll share it with the people who may not know it - I hope this is okay?

    We are experiencing cold weather or winter weather camping conditions. Here are some of the things I do/teach.

    I never wear denim, ever.
    There are far better fabrics that will keep you warmer or cooler for that matter.
    I never get into my sleeping bag cold.
    I do jumping jacks, take a small solid snack and avoid caffeine and liquid drinks.
    If need be I take a hot water bottle and place at the end of my sleeping bag to warm up the feet. I've even used hot flat rocks [covered in a towel] to keep me warm.
    I always wear a toque for my head or a ski toque that covers my entire head and most of my face.
    I do not cover my head in my sleeping bag but always keep it outside using the above technique.
    Oh, yes. I have a secure night bottle. If I'm all snuggly and warm the last thing I want to do is to get up in the middle of the night - things get cold mighty fast.
    A fleece sleeping bag insert [make your own out of flannel] could add from 5 to 10 degrees greater heat.
    The pros recommend that if you must wear clothing - it should be a fresh change and not the clothes that one has worn during the day.

    ...just sayin!


  6. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    Whaa?! No denim? Naw ain't no way. I'm a cotton boy, all the way from head to toes. Ha. Why not denim? Is it because of the tight weave in the fabric? That's all I have, I think? Maybe find fur lined pants, like my fur hat, ooh that would good...
  7. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Everyone has their own style for whatever reason and we rationalize our decisions based on our own preferences. So...one decides what one will do.

    In a nutshell here are the reasons I do not use denim for hiking/camping.

    Denim will attract flesh biting insects.
    *When wet they are a cause of hyperthermia.
    *They take longer to dry when wet and do not retain body heat.
    They do not protect you from the elements such as heat and cold.

    Denim is cotton, so wearing jeans (and jean jackets for that matter) is a poor choice for any hike/camp, especially in rainy or cold weather. That’s because cotton retains moisture instead of wicking it away like wool and polyester fabrics. Once cotton gets wet, it takes a long time to dry out; that moisture on your skin siphons away body heat through convection, leaving you shivering in your boots, and more susceptible to hypothermia (hence the aphorism “cotton kills”). Jeans are the worst of all kinds of cotton because they can ice up in below-freezing weather. I learned this lesson on my first major winter hike. I’ve remained cotton-free ever since, except on short summer hikes where getting chilled isn’t a danger.

    Other than that they can be mighty stylish.


    FOR ME - being practical is more important than style.
  8. brianb2

    brianb2 Novice Camper

    Thanks for the warm welcomes @Northern Dancer & @killeroy154

    Fur lined pants sound pretty nice. Go with those. :) Unless you're planning to get another underquilt I'd explore the pad option you mentioned above. One trick that I think works exceptionally well is using reflectix. I normally pick it up at Lowes. The one I linked to isn't wide enough for an average person, so I tape wings on mine. The main piece is around 4' long, and the wings are about 3'. No reason you couldn't cut it the full length of your body, I do a lot of backpacking and try to keep my pack light. The wings help keep your shoulders and sides warm, and taping them like that allows them to fold in to make packing it a little easier.

    If your not familiar with using this stuff it's basically bubble wrap with an aluminum layer on top. Similar to the silver sun shields you'd use in the windshield of your car. It doesn't breathe at all, so you don't want to use this in the warmer temps but when it's cold out it can make a huge difference. Put a piece of this in your hammock and that fleece blanket on top for comfort and you'll be amazed at how low your underquilt can take you. Since you said you did some sewing, and underquilt protector is a quick project that blocks the wind at least.

    On the whole denim debate, you gotta be you. Good luck with that.

    Northern Dancer likes this.
  9. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    Wow! I didn't know that about denim. What type of material is good for pants? I hate to sound narrow minded, but I've never looked at anything else.

    Thanks for idea about the reflectix, shoot I was just by lowes and I could've looked just 10 minutes ago.

    This is a lot great advice, thank you both.
  10. brianb2

    brianb2 Novice Camper

    Funny, I thought you were just joking about the denim. If you've got a walmart they've got two brands that i've purchased - wrangler and swiss tech that both have a great outdoor pant right now. $20 and a heck of a deal. I've got a couple pairs from more expensive brands, and in my opinion these are just as good if not better.
  11. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I like to provide suggestions, while on the other hand, I tend to be light on advice.

    The Three Clothing Layers
    • Inner – Wicking • Middle – Warmth • Outer – Wind and Moisture Barrier
    *Cotton is the worst material for winter and cold weather clothing! Try to avoid it – especially for under-garments like t-shirts or long-johns. It not only absorbs and retains moisture, (body perspiration), but it also compresses when wet – losing all of its “dead-air,” (space between fabric fibers), heat retention capabilities. Clothing does not keep you warm based purely on its thickness or bulk – it does it because of the amount of “dead-air” space it contains. Heat transfers through solid materials, (like clothing fibers), a lot faster through air.

    * Polypropylene:

    This material doesn’t absorb water, so it is a hydrophobic. This makes it a great base layer, since it wicks moisture away from your body. Athletes swear by it since they need the sweat to get off the body as fast as they work it up.

    * Polyester:
    This is essentially fabric made from plastic, and it’s good stuff for keeping you toasty warm by holding in heat. The material has good insulating and wind stopping value, and can be made into many different thicknesses.

    * Nylon:
    The fabric is pretty tough and can be used as your outer layer. It doesn’t absorb much moisture, and what does evaporates quickly.

    * Wool:
    Try a good pair of wool pants and wool socks.

  12. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    @killeroy154 - it's -21 degrees Celsius [-5.8] fahrendheit...can I borrow your booties?
  13. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    Good morning. I just woke and fixed some coffee and lit the lamp. [​IMG]I always enjoy sitting here on Sunday mornings for an hour or so.

    I believe it's a little colder where your at. It's 21°F here right now. [​IMG] It was in the upper 50's and raining yesterday.

    Sorry, I'm wearing my booties this morning or I'd let you borrow them.
  14. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    Sorry, I missed this one. The only thing I saw at my local wal-mart was cotton and denim. Oh well it's warming up now. Another week and it'll be shorts and sandals, yay! I'll be on look out for for non-denim pants for next winter tho.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
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