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advice for winter hammocking
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Don (Biloxi) Carter
(donjuan70) - F

Locale: Red Neck Riviera
advice for winter hammocking on 08/19/2007 19:54:58 MDT Print View

ok,I need some feedback from the experts.I am trying to get the best possible setup for winter hanging.I want to get the JRB 4 season.but I am VERY concerned with it getting wet through condensation and blowing snow underneath. since they are not producing the weather shield what would be the next best bottom cover option to use? and with the 4 season quilts and under quilts with enough clothing layers should I be warm enough.being cold concerns me greatly since so many people say they froze at even at 0 or less it's a concern ..please help.also should I carry a ground pad anyway? incase I need to go to ground?looking at the POE uber mountain.the r-value is off the charts.all feedback welcome

Kyle Hetzer
(Ghost93) - F

Locale: Western MD
winter hanging on 12/30/2007 20:31:13 MST Print View

I would carry a pad of some sort. Im partial to the GG 1/4 wide thinglight. You could make a hammock sock to protect your down quilts. A sock can also add about 10 degrees inside. You can make it a simple tube that should only take an hour or two to cut and sew every thing. Im going to make one out of 1.1 oz ripstop, so it shouldn't be too heavy. Although make sure that you make it out of breathable materials with a DWR so you dont have to worry about condensation. Go to and search hammock sock for pic's, as well you can go to (Just Jeffs site) to find a pattern for a scok. Look under homemade gear.

Edited by Ghost93 on 12/30/2007 20:33:24 MST.

Rob Mcrae
(emptyman) - F

Locale: the other, big Ontario
advice for winter hammocking on 03/20/2008 10:25:15 MDT Print View

advice for winter hammocking : dont do it!

That is my experience anyway. I have wrestled with buying the underpad/undercover setup for Hennessy, quilts and down bags and the end result, I believe, is that the weight and comfort advantages of a hammock are cancelled out completely by having to use excess insulation in the winter to compensate for convective heat loss underneath.

I use my hammock now only for pure summer hiking. When it is cooler - I go to ground. It is more comfortable and lighter in the end.

Just my two cents after a couple years of really, really, really wanting to use my hammock in the winter.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Winter hammocking on 03/20/2008 14:52:26 MDT Print View

First, those who go to ground for the Winter are missing some of the best most comfortable hanging time.... It is as easy to be warm in the air as on the ground, properly equiped.

Second Winter hanging gear is no heavier than equivelant ground gear (save perhaps the tarping minimalist. Most any camping hammock can be had for about 1.5 pounds including the rope or strap suspension, A tarp capable near full enclosure, nominally 11x10 is 18-19 oz the JRB four season set totals 71 oz including three stuff sacks and the Suspension System. Add 5 oz for guy lines and half dozen pegs and the total winter weight is 118 oz or 7.4 lbs for a winter set up that will be capable of 0-10 degrees given normal caviats of sheltered site, well fed , well hydrated etc.(A zero degree bag, ground cloth, adequate winter pad, and large tarp or solo tent complete with all lines and pegs will easily approximate this total weight). I could reduce this weight by about 16-20 oz with alternate quilt and cord/peg selections, more if i want to push the edge and count clothing in the sleep system... However,a 7.4 pound mark is a good start point for a full winter camp comparision...

Pads and the Weather Shield are not necessary to achieve these results....

Getting wet from the bottom is a non issue with an adequate tarp and a sheltered site...FWIW, The Weather Shield Type2 (WS2) was recently released and again sold out. They are expected back in stock 4 April.

I'm biased ... but these are simple facts.

Let the snow balls fly... :-)))


Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Winter hammocking on 03/21/2008 07:55:17 MDT Print View

Reviews on this site related to the topic:

Edited by djohnson on 03/21/2008 07:55:35 MDT.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: Re: Winter hammocking on 03/21/2008 13:14:07 MDT Print View

We need to define our terms here. "Winter" means something different to Roger Caffin than to Roman Dial.

I think that we should institute a convention of always stating the region to qualify the season. "Tennessee Winter" has 10x more meaning than "Winter". Considerations for a "winter" trip are different in the Utah desert than they are in the Sierras or in New England.

My sister's University Outdoors Club did trips in the Smokies because the conditions resembled a cold snap during July in Canada. They said that the trails were empty despite the incredible "warm" weather. Yet Erin and Hig would probably dream of conditions like the ones I won't go out in down here in BC.

It's all relative!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Winter hammocking on 03/21/2008 15:02:37 MDT Print View

> It is as easy to be warm in the air as on the ground, properly equiped.

Bit tricky when the wind is doing 60 mph with driving snow, and the only trees around are about 2" thick and 6' high ...

Sometimes a nice double-wall tent with good stakes has some merit.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Some winter hammocking know-how on 03/28/2008 16:31:32 MDT Print View

I have used hammocks down to 20 degrees F. Here is my current arrangement. I use the Travel Hammock with a skeeter net (holds in a bit of heat, esp. underneath a tarp). I hang my Adventure Medical Kit space blanket directly underneath the hammock to block all wind and provide some reflective heat. Then I tie the necessary number of pads to the back of my REI down bag, which has some convenient loops. I have also begun wearing a 5 oz soft Tyvek overall as a vapor barrier with good results. Very comfy system.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Some winter hammocking know-how on 03/28/2008 18:53:07 MDT Print View

Rick, cool idea on the near-vapor barrier tyvek coveralls.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
winter hammocking on 03/28/2008 20:34:27 MDT Print View

I hung this winter at 3 degrees and was OK. I won't say "warm" but I slept plenty. I had on thermawrap top and bottoms over fleece pants and merino longjohns/ hooded shak. merino skullcap and fleece balaclava. Then over that a JRB RMS quilt (thanks pan!) and under were two oware pads, one doubled to be a 30x40 torso pad and the other flat, and then a .5" insulmat foam pad. All this on a HH with the stock tarp. It wasn't very windy.

I just bought the JRB 10x11 tarp and a stealth summer quilt, and I think all of this would have me ok to -10 or so. I don't really intend to go out in those conditions again, but it's nice to know I'd be fine.

I do think hammocking is heavier than tarping, but not by enough that I care. YMMV

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
advice for winter hammocking on 04/03/2008 23:12:58 MDT Print View

My best advice? Test your setup at home before in the field at least a couple times. It took me at least 4 unbelivably frigid nights in the field to get my system dialed. Even small things like how tight to keep an underquilt to avoid drafts but not smash the loft made a major difference.

Location matters at LOT - well protected from the wind is a major thing.

Figure out how much loft you have on top, now figure how much insulation on the bottom it would take to equal the R value that you are using on the top - that's probably a good starting point.

When it's cold enough the down quilts stay perfectly dry. Do however pitch the tarp appropriately to break the blowing stuff.

Even with socks and down booties my feet always were my coldest spot in a hammock so I always bring those chemical toe warmers. Not good on extended trips but they work for a couple nights to really add some extra insurance.

Pads are more fail safe but no where near as comfortable. A self inflating or foam torso pad however can however nicely complement a down underquilt if you are in for a really cold night.

Down compresses more than synthetics and the hammock cups your sides. I've heard some people having better luck with synthetic bags. I still use down anyway but just be aware that your shoulders and sides of arms need to be insulated so if you go the pad route make sure you have something extra wide otherwise you won't have enough coverage.

So far the coldest I've hung out is 5 degrees with around 30-40mph winds. I used a HH with tarp pitched to the wind in the most sheltered spot I could find, leaves piled up under the hammock, JRB down underquilt, JRB weather sheild, HH overshelter, torso sized foam pad and hand wamers for the feet. Even with every trick I had I was still nippy. I slept "ok" I guess but I wasn't comfortable. My breath froze pretty hard on the mesh too so it was a sheet of ice.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 04/03/2008 23:14:01 MDT.

Randall Miller
(speyguy) - F

Locale: Cascadia
Advice for winter hammocking on 04/23/2008 14:28:29 MDT Print View

First off I'm no expert but I am a fellow hanger. I was just reading on the Hammock forum about the Dry Ducks rain pancho. It looks very interesting to me because it could easily pull double duty as an underquilt weather shield. It's listed at 9oz for $12.00 with free shipping. As stated by Pan, if you have an adequate tarp you may not need a shield but for use with a smaller tarp it could be a good option.