Rookie mistakes...

A place for new hammock users to get resources to help
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BillyBob66
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Posts: 716
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Tupelo, MS
Hammock: Claytor/JRB/HH/SB
Tarp: JRB 11X10
Suspension: CinchBuckle/WS/TriG
Insulation: HHSS,P.Pod,MWUQ,Yeti

Re: Rookie mistakes...

#16

Post by BillyBob66 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:02 pm

In order to avoid my worst rookie mistakes, have some clue how under insulation actually works( i.e. UQ, Pea Pod, HH Supershelter(HHSS), or even pads in a hammock) and how all of these things might- and probably will- be quite different than on the ground. It is different trying to stay warm in a hammock than on the ground. Not really harder, but quite different, and it pays to know the difference.

Don't be like me me, trying to slip a closed cell foam pad into the Under Cover of an HHSS because I did not trust the HHSS or even understand the principles of how it worked. Later to find out that it probably not only did not help but probably interfered with how it was supposed to work. And later realizing that it would have been infinitely smarter to slip a jacket under the HH OCF pad on that 22F early Sept night.

If getting inside of a sleeping bag rather than using it as an Top Quilt(TQ) or rather than using an actual TQ, be aware that it can be amazingly difficult to get zipped up inside a mummy bag if inside a hammock, unless you know one of several tricks. Probably the easiest of which is simply to lay something on the ground to step on, put your feet down into the bottom of the bag and then pull the hood up over your head and partially zip up, then sit down in the hammock. Don't be like me, trying to get into my 20F mummy bag on what turns out to be a 22F night, and finally giving up in exhaustion(severe altitude sickness/low oxygen to the brain adding to the problem) and passing out only 1/2 inside the sleeping bag. Only to wake up about 0200 shivering violently, to find I am laying in the hammock net. That somehow, during all of the acrobatics as I tried to get n my bag in the dark, I had actually rotated the hammock around the ridgeline. Under insulation was now above me. Seems impossible, doesn't it? But afterwards I found other people- a few-had done the same. But Kudos to the HH net which did not dump me and continued to function for years!

If using a TQ or bag as TQ, be aware of the much greater risk of drafts compared to being zipped up in a bag. Learn to be aware of them and to be ready to quickly correct for them. A small section of the edge of the TQ along your side or around your neck/shoulders can turn your 20F TQ or bag into a 40 or 50F TQ right quick. A small gap/draft can also do the same for an UQ. Watch out for drafts, or prepare to be cold.

If using a TQ or bag as TQ instead of a mummy bag, be aware of how much of a mummy bag's temp rating is based not just on loft, but on the head and neck insulation provided by a mummy bag's hood and neck collar, in addition to it's general draft proofing as already mentioned. If your mummy bag has 2.5" of top layer loft, and you switch to a TQ with the same amount of loft, but you have now lost the hood and neck collar, you might not be any where near as warm as you were when you also had 2.5"of loft surrounding your entire head and maybe face, plus a nicely sealed neck area from the collar, preventing any warmed up air from slipping out around your neck and shoulders. Solutions? A parka with a nice hood along with some layered hats, learning to use a sleeping bag in semi TQ mode where you can still use the bags hood, or a separate hood such as the JRB. Or one heck of a hat or layered hats. (Takes a lot to make up for a sleeping bag hood) Also, if using a true TQ rather than bag, having a neck area that can snap behind your neck and easily be cinched down, especially if not sleeping in a hooded parka, which seems to make neck drafts a bit less problematic. Though I admit that in recent years I seem to have more luck just letting the TQ drape down on my neck area, usually works OK. But it won't take much tossing in your sleep to open up a neck draft, so be alert. More on those hoods in the next post.


Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

User avatar
BillyBob66
Reactions:
Posts: 716
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:43 am
Location: Tupelo, MS
Hammock: Claytor/JRB/HH/SB
Tarp: JRB 11X10
Suspension: CinchBuckle/WS/TriG
Insulation: HHSS,P.Pod,MWUQ,Yeti

Re: Rookie mistakes...

#17

Post by BillyBob66 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:40 pm

Do you think I am overemphasizing the importance of head/neck insulation when switching from mummy bags to TQs? Consider this real life experience: Go back to the 1st ( far as I know) official group hang in this area, organized by a different forum, in the Sipsey wilderness of north AL in Feb. 09. We hiked several miles in a cold rain which surprised all of us when it turned into 4 or 5 inches of snow that night, getting down into the high 20s, with plenty of damp wind. The group was mostly all camped inside a small, narrow canyon with a couple of small waterfalls pouring over the cliffs into that canyon. The (now ex) moderator from that forum, Angrysparrow, was hanging just a few feet uphill from my head end, snugged up in his PeaPod, and a new friend up from Mobile, Mrprez, was just down from my foot end in an HHSS, both slept fine. I was under a JRB 10X11 rectangular tarp, so wind was well blocked. I settled into my JRB bridge hammock with a super warm JRB 0F MWUQ. On top I had a 20F rated 21 oz, wide/long Golight down TQ which sealed off quite well around the neck/shoulders. Most people felt this TQ should have been rated 25 or even 30F rather than 20. But I wasn't worried as I also had some warm longjohns and my standard very light weight Polarguard hooded parka(12 oz) and pants(8 oz), with that(relatively thin) PG hood layered over a Patagonia fleece cap.

I woke up in the middle of the night to pee and realized I was on the cool side. Not really cold, but definitely not warm like I had been the 1st few hours. Just sort of cool all over, though not my back that I was aware off. And there were a few hours to go before get up time, so this was a little worrisome. Any bit colder and I would definitely have been uncomfortably cold. And a bit surprising. But I remembered I had a Marmot separate down Goretex shelled sleeping bag hood in my pack. I put that on and got back in the hammock. I can not remember if it went on over my other head gear(probably did), or replaced it. But it wasn't long before I felt toasty warm again, and drifted off to a nice sleep for several more hours, staying luxuriously warm until time to get up. That hood made a big difference.
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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