Winter Hammocking

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sean_iow
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Winter Hammocking

Post by sean_iow »

So as not to go off-topic in the Bivi a Month thread I'll start one here to share advice for winter BAM hammocking.

My original curiosity with the use of a hammock was the possibility to use sites too sloped for laying on the ground, which applies to a lot of the more out of the way places on the Island. With the current wet weather it also might be handy to get off the wet floor.

On my November BAB I used the following

Mountain Warehouse down blanket adapted for under-quilt use - 300g 750 FP down and stitch through construction
Cumulus 150 quilt as a top quilt.
Under a tarp and out of the wind.

I was wearing bibs and knee warmers (too lazy to change into my long-johns) hooded base layer and lightweight hooded down jacket (decathlon MT100 - great piece of kit)

I woke up in the night feeling cold but survived - I've been colder for longer :lol: Thermometer said it got down to 6 degrees.

Went to Mum's at the weekend to test the new under-quilt.

Set-up was,

Cocoon Hammocks under-quilt - 400g 750 FP down with offset (box) baffles
For the top quilt I zipped up the foot end of the Mountain Warehouse down blanket to make a TQ and had my Cumul 150 inside of it.
Under a tarp in winds so strong I could feel the trees moving, oh, and it was at times blowing through the tarp from the end.

I put my long-johns on but had the same base layer and down jacket as the BAM.

I woke up too hot and ditched the 150 quilt and was still warm. Thermometer said the low was 12 degrees :roll: I'd hoped for colder.

So assuming it does get colder, what are people tips for staying warm? Does an under-quilt protector make any noticeable difference? If so any tips for making one? I'm thinking just a copy of my MYOG hammock in the lightest wind-proof water resistant fabric I can get.
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whitestone
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by whitestone »

OK, there's a few on here with (much) more hammocking experience than me but here's my 2p'worth...

I wouldn't *wear* your down jacket but lay it on top of you that way you get the most loft - if the hood's detachable then do so and wear it on its own. I have a 45nrth balaclava with large neck cowl that I use. One of the tips from Shug's videos is to zip the jacket up, tuck the arms in and use it around the footbox of your quilt - I think he's using a 3/4 length UQ when he does this.

Stitch through construction will definitely let the wind through, even virtually none! There's a surprising amount of air movement that you don't detect. Underquilt protectors seem to be made of the lightest material you can get your hands on, for a MYO project have a search on YouTube for @jellyfish540, she does quite a few hammock related sewing projects (here's the actual video on a UQP - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdZIMKE7E2w ).

Coldest I've hammocked in so far has been about -1C with no wind. Used Cumulus Selva 250 UQ, Cumulus 350 quilt, no UQP. Wore my usual merino full length base layer + the above mentioned 45nrth balaclava.

From your shots it looks like you've no doors on your tarp. Do a search for Grizz Beaks - they are basically detachable doors for a hammock tarp - I made a set using the remnants of the material I used for my tarp.
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Taylor
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by Taylor »

Underquilt porotector would make a significant improvement to the bottom insulation.
Grizz beak doors will also make a difference. I've got some new ones that have never been used if you're interested in them? I bought them in preparation for a winter then went and bought a tarp with built in doors.

Like Bob said in his post, "Shug" is your man for all your hammock info.
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sean_iow
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by sean_iow »

Cheers both, it's watching Shug in lockdown that got me started on this :grin:

I've just had a small windfall from British Gas (they'd made my monthly payment too high and I ended up quite a bit in credit - phoned them up to suggest they didn't need me to loan them any money - got a refund) so I did the sensible thing and put it away for the future...

Oh, hang on, I didn't save it, just ordered a new tarp, Warbonnet Thunderfly :grin: I'll make an underquilt protector as well.
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whitestone
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by whitestone »

sean_iow wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 8:09 pm Oh, hang on, I didn't save it, just ordered a new tarp, Warbonnet Thunderfly :grin: I'll make an underquilt protector as well.
The tarp I made from a design on hammock forums is a version of the Thunderfly, thread here - https://bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk/phpB ... hp?t=22668. I think it's between the Thunderfly and Minifly in the length/depth of the partial doors.
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sean_iow
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by sean_iow »

I did consider making one but the minimum order from Extremtextile is only a few pounds less than the cost of the Thunderfly I'd not save any money.

Plus I've made 3 tarps and 2 tarp-tents before so I like the idea that it just arrives finished :grin:
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yourguitarhero
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by yourguitarhero »

I once camped in a campsite in Bruges in January.

Canvas army style campbed
Alpkit synthetic under quilt
Alpkit cloud something down quilt
Electric blanket (we had mains hookup)

This was in an awning so no wind.

Was bloody freezing!

Ended up carting it all in to the disabled loo (which had underfloor heating) and sleeping in there
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sean_iow
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by sean_iow »

yourguitarhero wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 2:12 pm Ended up carting it all in to the disabled loo (which had underfloor heating) and sleeping in there
Back in the 80s when I was in the Scouts we had a camp in October at a local campsite, for the East Wight area. As the wind increased during the night more and more of the tents either fell over or were evacuated before they did, until just about all of us (I'd estimate 100+) were sleeping on the floor of the toilet blocks :lol:

Following the advice above I've made an under-quilt protector. First test last Saturday. Conditions looked good as the temperature at my house at 19:30 was -2. Packed the bike and headed for Mum's woodland. Sadly it was only +3 there but did dip down to +1 overnight but no sub-zero :sad:

Kit was,

Warbonnet tarp
Mountain Warehouse quilt + Cumulus 150
MYOG hammock
Cocoon down underqilt (400g 750 FP box baffles)
MYOG under-quilt, windproof/splash-proof nylon

Wore logn-johns and 2 base layer tops - I was only going to wear one that has a hood but I was wearing the non-hooded one under my jersey and when I got changed I didn't want to take the warm one off so put the other one over the top :lol:

I was warm enough but only just. I'd say that with a down jacket on and maybe my Montane Prism trousers I could go another 3 to 5 degrees lower, so I'll say the limit for a comfortable night would be -5. I might try my Pipedream 600 bag in place of the stacked quilts. More of a faff to get into and obviously the bit underneath will be compressed but it would be guaranteed draft free.

Image

Image

All the sleep kit fitted in the bar bag. I also took some 900mm long poles (can be seem in the 2nd pic) as in the morning these provided more space underneath - porch mode as Shug would say :grin:
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whitestone
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by whitestone »

The first thing I'd look at would be the cinched ends of the UQ: not an easy thing to get right especially if you are on your own. They want to be just snug enough to pull the material up against the hammock but not too snug. If there's a gap then it feels like there's a draught and you get Cold Butt Syndrome :lol:

I've used my (the narrower old style) Cumulus 150 and Cath's 350 in my quilt with no problems - without looking I think they are wider than their hammock specific top quilts. The Cocoon UQ is about 10cm wider than the Selva so you should be fine in that regard.

On paper your setup is warmer than my Selva UQ with the 350 quilt which I've used at -1C and been really cosy, no UQP, so I suspect there's a couple of degrees more that I can go.
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by fatbikephil »

What's the thoughts on the DD hammock with the pocket for a sleeping mat? Looks like less faff and will keep the hammock spread out a bit...
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whitestone
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by whitestone »

fatbikephil wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:14 pm What's the thoughts on the DD hammock with the pocket for a sleeping mat? Looks like less faff and will keep the hammock spread out a bit...
Double skinned hammocks tend to be stronger, i.e. have a higher weight limit, than single skinned but unless you are American then it's a bit of a moot point :grin:

I think they work better with CCF style mats rather than inflatable ones - when you lie in a hammock on the diagonal you essentially have two triangles of material rising up on either side of you and the CCF mat will bend to accommodate that. The other thing is that because you are also laying on the diagonal on the mat then that also needs to be a bit wider - there are jerry-rigged mats with "wings" to allow that. I've not tried a mat with a double skin hammock but it was a right faff with a single skin one.
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sean_iow
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by sean_iow »

whitestone wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 5:43 pm The first thing I'd look at would be the cinched ends of the UQ: not an easy thing to get right especially if you are on your own. They want to be just snug enough to pull the material up against the hammock but not too snug. If there's a gap then it feels like there's a draught and you get Cold Butt Syndrome :lol:
The gap closes up when I'm in the hammock. The shock-cord on the ends is quite thin so plenty of give so it's not too tight.
fatbikephil wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:14 pm What's the thoughts on the DD hammock with the pocket for a sleeping mat? Looks like less faff and will keep the hammock spread out a bit...
When I started out I used my mat inside the hammock. I've used a full length thermarest neoair which was ok, I had it less inflated than normal to help it bend to shape, but I did have to adjust the position from time to time. I also tried a klymit xframe which I put inside my sleeping bag as I thought it would help hold it in place, which worked ok.

There is more faff with the hammock than a bivi bag and down here I'm not sure it would be worth the effort where I'm usually arriving late/leaving early. In Scotland it would be great as I could arrive earlier and sit in the hammock eating dinner and chilling.... except the midges might make that impossible :lol: I've been using it partially for the novelty as after all these years it's hard to get motivated to head out. Must be working as I've been out 3 times in the last two weeks - twice at Mum's but outside is outside, you don't get to watch the red squirrels from your bed indoors :grin:
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Verena
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by Verena »

fatbikephil wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:14 pm What's the thoughts on the DD hammock with the pocket for a sleeping mat? Looks like less faff and will keep the hammock spread out a bit...
That's the one and only way I've ever done winter hammocking....and I found it fine.

In fact, reading all this makes me fancy a night out in a hammock very soon...
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PaulE
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Re: Winter Hammocking

Post by PaulE »

fatbikephil wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:14 pm What's the thoughts on the DD hammock with the pocket for a sleeping mat? Looks like less faff and will keep the hammock spread out a bit...
We use the (appropriately named)DD Scout double skinned hammock with my scout group, and get the scouts to put a ccf mat or slightly soft self inflating mat between the layers. Not quite as cozy as an underquilt, but pretty close in my opinion, and one less thing to buy.... the last point may be a positive or negative, depending on your viewpoint!
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