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VENI VEDI BIKI
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I switched over from Kent to Hammock Camping last year due to a bad back. I have not hammock camp in the cold weather however. I am going to be going on a bike packing trip in a few weeks, and it is expected to get down to 40 degrees at night. Not sure what options are for warmth at this temperature range. my go to sleeping bag is an army Patrol sleeping bag which is technically rated at 40° but that is really pushing it at that temperature. I have a heavier mummy bag that should be fine at that temperature, but it is very bulky. I am deciding between whether to use the Army Patrol bag with an inflatable camping pad underneath me and then adding one of the makeshift Sol mylar blanket under quilts good letter on YouTube. The other option would be to purchase a actual underquilt. However, I don't want to carry both an underquilt and a sleeping bag, because at that point my weight is significantly higher than what my tent was. I have never used it under quilt before so I am not sure if I need use a sleeping bag with one as well. Another thought I had was rigging up the Army Patrol bag as a underquilt / pod. Any thoughts and advice appreciated. Sorry for any goofy Spelling's as this was dictated
 

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Skip the sleeping pad and use the under quilt.
The pad will still give you cold contact points inside the hammock, whereas the underquilt will protect the entire outside of the hammock.
You’ll still need a bag of some type inside your cocoon though.
It just is what it is at those temps.
if it’s cost that’s keeping you from going hog wild, grab a cheap underquilt from Amazon. That’s where I’d skimp, but not on my main bag (which ism ore versatile in other camping situations).
 

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The sleeping pad may work for you, but rarely works for me bcz I shift around too much and it comes out from under me. At those temps, it’s hard to get away from having a UQ. I get your concern on not wanting to carry the UQ and the bag. I don’t like carrying the UQ and my TQ (both are reasonable light) — I just feel like it’s more space and weight than my comparable rated sleeping bag. But I’m more comfortable in the air than on the ground, so I haul it.

I haven’t seen the DIY setup you mentioned, but Costco sells cheap down blankets you might be able to sew some webbing points into and use shock cord to make a cheap UQ. Eddie Bauer blows their down throws out this time of year too.

But if you’re going hammock, you might as well face the the reality you’ll need a decent TQ/UQ setup at some point. Mine are from hammock gear and I like them.

Good luck!
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I have managed with a foam sleeping pad for the few cold nights I've spent in a hammock (one which involved light snow). It may not be ideal, but it works. One thing that helps with it is having a Coccoon synthetic sheet to lay over the top of it and stave off some of that clammy sweaty-skin-next-to-foam feeling. I do have a nice top quilt, though. Sewed it up myself almost 15yrs ago now. It's warm...have slept near 20F in it (on the ground).
 

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the underquilt should eliminate the need for your sleeping bag and a camping blanket/overquilt will work. i do use my 25 year old summer bag still sometimes, but only as a blanket when combined with the underquilt.
 

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If I purchase an underquilt, will I still need my bag in the hammock, or will a camping blanket suffice/
exactly what do you mean by a "camping blanket?"

the underquilt does not fulfill all of your insulation needs. It just keeps you warm from underneath. If you don't have insulation of some sort beneath you in a hammock, even a light breeze will make you COLD. Depending on conditions and your equipment, you'll still need something on top. In deep summer, all I need is a light sheet. But when it's cold, I need some serious insulation and protection. I have a big tarp that I can button down pretty tight to cut down on breezes, which makes a difference. A breeze over top is going to mean you need more insulation, too.
 

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VENI VEDI BIKI
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
exactly what do you mean by a "camping blanket?"

the underquilt does not fulfill all of your insulation needs. It just keeps you warm from underneath. If you don't have insulation of some sort beneath you in a hammock, even a light breeze will make you COLD. Depending on conditions and your equipment, you'll still need something on top. In deep summer, all I need is a light sheet. But when it's cold, I need some serious insulation and protection. I have a big tarp that I can button down pretty tight to cut down on breezes, which makes a difference. A breeze over top is going to mean you need more insulation, too.
So, you would recommend still bringing a 40 degree bag to use as an overquilt then?
 

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VENI VEDI BIKI
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks...Thats making me reconsider the Hammock option.... hammock, cords, rainfly, bag, and underquilt is far bulkier than my 1 man tent, poles, pad, rainfly, bag, and that may start to exceed the tent in weight....... Hammock is just so much more comfy though.
 

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if your trip is only 2-3 nights, bring the hammock to test it out. For me personal once i switched to a hammock I never looked back. Similar to most things, if it works best for you then you will dial it in over time. i live in the high country, so most nights are going to be sub 40. An underquilt combined with a 30-40 quilt or bag is enough for me, but i do sleep pretty darn hot. Bad for the city, great for the mountains.
 

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VENI VEDI BIKI
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Its a 1 night trip. I have used the hammock 4 times in warm weather and am comfortable setting it up...I just haven't used it in the cold before. I do have a tent and accouterments, but I have a low back injury that makes sleeping on the ground painful...I rarely sleep and at most get "rest"
 

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mylar reflective sheet (emergency blanket) as last layer on hammock
 

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Death Mud
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I’ve used a hammock tent for crossing the US on a motorcycle and bikepacking trips in Ohio and VA. For 40 degree weather in the hammock I’d suggest either a sleeping pad or an under quilt, and a sleeping bag rated to 30 degrees or cooler. For reference, I slept on a windy ridge in my hammock w/ under quilt and a 20 degree bag quite comfortably, and was surprised to find it had snowed overnight.
The only issue with a sleeping pad is that it won’t fit quite perfectly and you may need to adjust, while an under quilt will fit better but may be more bulky to pack. Always a trade off somewhere.
 

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If you're just trying out hammocking, a pad is usually something you already own, and works fine. This makes it the cheapest way to try out a hammock. Closed cell foam is best, but some inflatables also work as well.

If you decide to stick with it, then an underquilt is nicer, but usually pricey. Another good option is a topquilt. They are much easier to manage in a hammock, and the upside is that its really hammock specific piece of equipment, as they work equally well in a hammock, or on the ground in a tent.

I've backpacked with my hammock setup for about 4-5 years now. I use an inflatable pad with an R value of 4.4 (Klymit Insulated Static V) in the hammock with me when I am in temps of above freezing. Its small to pack, and it gives me the option to go to ground if needed.

If its going to be below freezing, then I'll use an actual UQ. I've hammocked down to ~17f with a 15f rated UQ, and a 20f sleeping bag (I don't have a warmer TQ). Works just fine.
 

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There are some reasonably priced, pretty well built under quilts on Amazon if you're not married to the idea of having top of the line ultra lightweight stuff. I think I paid around $60 for mine and it works great. It's a bit bulkier than a sleeping pad would be, but still much smaller than a tent setup.
 

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If you're just trying out hammocking, a pad is usually something you already own, and works fine. This makes it the cheapest way to try out a hammock. Closed cell foam is best, but some inflatables also work as well.

If you decide to stick with it, then an underquilt is nicer, but usually pricey. Another good option is a topquilt. They are much easier to manage in a hammock, and the upside is that its really hammock specific piece of equipment, as they work equally well in a hammock, or on the ground in a tent.

I've backpacked with my hammock setup for about 4-5 years now. I use an inflatable pad with an R value of 4.4 (Klymit Insulated Static V) in the hammock with me when I am in temps of above freezing. Its small to pack, and it gives me the option to go to ground if needed.

If its going to be below freezing, then I'll use an actual UQ. I've hammocked down to ~17f with a 15f rated UQ, and a 20f sleeping bag (I don't have a warmer TQ). Works just fine.
The pad is what I have been using however my issue is that the pad likes to pop out the side of the hammock and just will not stay in place.
 

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The pad is what I have been using however my issue is that the pad likes to pop out the side of the hammock and just will not stay in place.
Are you using an inflatable pad?

I've found that the "trick" with inflatable pads in single layer hammocks, is usually to under-inflate it compared to what you'd do on the ground. With more air pressure they just try to stay straight, and pop out on the side like you're describing.

For kicks, next time you use the pad in the hammock (assuming its an inflatable pad), fiddle with the air pressure, and see if that helps.

I'm not claiming its the best option, but my pad usually doesn't rotate much on me (maybe 8" or so in either direction on a "bad" night). YMMV of course though.

I do hear that closed cell foam is easier to manage, I've just never tried that. You may try that and see if you have the same issues even at lower pad pressures.

And SingleSpeedSteven is right, there are some cheaper UQ options available (Snugpac is a good example). I personally wouldn't prefer to use them for backpacking long trips (they're somewhat heavy, but mostly bulky, and I have a small volume pack right now), they are still a good option. Good callout.
 

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Are you using an inflatable pad?

I've found that the "trick" with inflatable pads in single layer hammocks, is usually to under-inflate it compared to what you'd do on the ground. With more air pressure they just try to stay straight, and pop out on the side like you're describing.
Yeah the exact same pad as you. I will mess with the inflation on it if I go again before I get a underquilt.
 
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