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 Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?

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GuitarMyFriend

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Age : 24
Location : Ludington, MI
Registration date : 2012-02-23

PostSubject: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:17 pm

Last night I tried my winter setup for the first time. I expected to be chilly, but this setup outperformed my expectations!
(This is by no means a lightweight setup, more like a base camp/day hike list).
This test was done beside my house just in case it got too cold.
Here's my gear list;

-Kelty Catalyst 65
-Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro
-Snugpak Underquilt
-Snugpak Topquilt
-Snugpak Jungle Blanket
-Klymit Insulated Static V (Recon)
-ENO Atlas Straps
-Modified ENO Profly
-Stakes for Fly
-Black Diamond Spot
-Ivation Collapsible Lantern/Charger (Hanging from my Ridge Line)
-Old Camping Pillow from Wally World
-Sea-to-Summit Aeros Pillow Premium (Large)
-Since I'm right outside of my house, I brought my 7" Samsung Tablet and Tough Tested Ranger Headphones. Nothing better than streaming movies outside in 19º F weather.
-1l Smart Water Bottle
-(2) Mountainsmith Pinnacle Trekking poles (To turn tarp into porch mode).

Items I wore were;
-Run of the mill Columbia Beanie
-Turtle Fur Fleece Neck Warmer with Head Cover
-Coldpruf Base layer Top (Merino Wool Blend)
-Columbia Fleece
-Hawke & Co. Duck Down jacket with hood (Ended up stuffing down in the footbox of my quilt)
-Columbia Omni-Heat Gloves (Put them on for about 1 hour, then stuffed them into my pocket)
-Exofficio Mens Give-n-Go Boxer Briefs
-Coldpruf Base Layer Bottoms (Merino Wool Blend)
-Old Pajama Pants, (Didn't want the old neighbor lady to see me walking around in the middle of the night in the snow in "Long Underwear").
-Darn Tough Hiking Socks
-Mountain Warehouse Merino Wool Socks

So my wife made me a big dinner, and we watched a movie with some bourbon and popcorn. At 11 Pm, I picked up my Kelty pack, and went to my predestined spot beside my house. At this time, it was about 24º F. It took me about 20 Minutes to completely set up my sleep system, using the awesome Red Light setting on my Black Diamond Headlamp so to not disturb my neighbors. Gave my wife a good night kiss, then went out to get situated. Before getting comfortable, I had to work on covering a few cold spots. My lower back was pretty cold, but my feet were sweating. (Wearing two pairs of Merino Wool Socks was not a good idea). After getting the Jungle Blanket and Topquilt in place I felt snuggled right in.

(Before the movie, I had to take off my beanie because my head was sweating).
I listened to some music, texted my wife, and watched a movie before turning in. At about 1:30 Am, the temperature was at about 19º F. That's when I was feeling it, and had to put the gloves and Turtle Fur on.

As I was just about to fall asleep; comforted by the sound of the Lake Effect Snow hitting my tarp, and the slight breeze rocking my hammock, creating a creaking noise where my suspension system was rubbing on the tree, a small herd of drunk 20-somethings walked outside of the apartment complex across the street from my house all for a smoke break. Kinda ticked-off after being woken up from a half sleep by slamming doors, after one of them screamed at the top of their lungs, "D*MN IT'S COLD OUT HERE", I yelled back, "YOU HAVE NO FREAKIN' IDEA!". So they shut up after that, and retreated back indoors. 20 minutes after this, I actually fell asleep; surprisingly for quite a while. At about 5:15 Am I woke up to snow plows scraping the roads 30 feet from where I was sleeping. After climbing out to water the lawn and climbing back in, I felt pretty awake, so I started another movie. It was snowing pretty hard at this point so I was having to hit the sides of my tarp every 15 minutes or so. Halfway through I fell asleep to wake up at 8:00 Am. I laid around for another half of an hour and then climbed out to pack up. The thermometer said 30º F.
(Found my slippers covered in snow)








Everything stayed pretty solid, but I noticed I'm going to have to find a different type of cord for my Continuous Ridge Line besides 550 Paracord. It really stretched out over the night, allowing a lot of slack in my tarp. Also, I'll have to figure out a solution to keep my sleeping pad from sliding down the hammock, leaving my back exposed.

After packing up I headed indoors to a warm cup of coffee, and a nice hot breakfast prepared my lovely wife.

Pretty pleased with this setup, I think I'll be trying it again in the lower teens or single digits when that time comes.

Thanks for reading,

Zach


Last edited by GuitarMyFriend on Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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loneredtree

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Age : 75
Location : Nevada City, CA.
Registration date : 2011-05-28

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:38 pm

No. I sleep right on the snow. Have a tarp ground cloth that I have excess to flip over me if it starts to snow. But, that is in California weather. drunken
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:02 pm

Yah, not in a hammock for me.... I pitch the set up right on the ground and encourage snow drifting up around the cover and go for the insulating effect of the snow. Of course I sleep with an entrenching tool next to me in case I get buried alive. Hasn't happened yet though, knock on wood............
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Thistleoak

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Age : 35
Location : Northwest Michigan
Registration date : 2012-08-14

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:36 pm

Zach you're more of a man than I in this case
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:29 am

I'm a side and stomach sleeper. I can't do hammocks. Though, I can definitely see their benefit in swamps and particular situations. Between a good ground pad and a good sleeping bag, I prefer the ground anyway. I used to winter camp fairly often in the UP of Michigan. My setup would be: some small tarp fixing around my head to dampen any wind around the face, a ground pad, and then my 0° sleeping bag inside a goretex bivy sac on top of the ground pad. If I had continued living in the area, I would have eventually bought a very expensive down and special fabric more breathable than goretex but still water-resistant sleeping bag just for winter camping. With one of those, I could have removed the bivy sac from my process.
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GuitarMyFriend

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Age : 24
Location : Ludington, MI
Registration date : 2012-02-23

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:57 pm

Zeno,
I too am a side/stomach sleeper. With a little wiggling around and the adjusting of quilts, side sleeping in a hammock is really easy and super comfortable.
I do tent camp often also. I use the Klymit Insulated Static V, and a Kelty 20 degree down bag in the snow. The only tent I have right now is a Marmot Aspen 2p, but by next year I'm hoping to end up with a Marmot Force 2p. The Aspen does well, but it's pretty heavy. Any colder then 20 degrees F I'll use a Sea-to-Summit sleeping bag liner.
My wife and I are planning to do The Porkies this coming year in the U.P. I'd love to see The Lake of the Clouds, and Lake Superior in the early Spring.

Zach
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:01 pm

GuitarMyFriend wrote:
My wife and I are planning to do The Porkies this coming year in the U.P. I'd love to see The Lake of the Clouds, and Lake Superior in the early Spring.

Zach
The Porkies is a glorious, very special place to me. Weekenders don't tend to bother with that area. It has such a wonderful, pure vibe because the people who go there are serious about the outdoors and know they're walking into a special place that is off the beaten path.
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:04 pm

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GuitarMyFriend

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Age : 24
Location : Ludington, MI
Registration date : 2012-02-23

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:21 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
GuitarMyFriend wrote:
My wife and I are planning to do The Porkies this coming year in the U.P.  I'd love to see The Lake of the Clouds, and Lake Superior in the early Spring.

Zach
The Porkies is a glorious, very special place to me.  Weekenders don't tend to bother with that area.  It has such a wonderful, pure vibe because the people who go there are serious about the outdoors and know they're walking into a special place that is off the beaten path.

Zeno,
You just bumped my excitement up another notch because of that description. That's what we look for when backpacking!!!

Ozark,
I've seen those, and they have got to be one of the coolest things I've ever seen!!!

Zach
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:17 pm

Ozark Wizard wrote:
http://odditymall.com/hovering-hammock-tent#!

I might in this though

Wow! Those are very cool. Alas, my camping days are long over though - but would've jumped on this back in the day.

Cool



Cheers,

RR
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:21 pm

GuitarMyFriend wrote:
Zeno Marx wrote:
GuitarMyFriend wrote:
My wife and I are planning to do The Porkies this coming year in the U.P.  I'd love to see The Lake of the Clouds, and Lake Superior in the early Spring.

Zach
The Porkies is a glorious, very special place to me.  Weekenders don't tend to bother with that area.  It has such a wonderful, pure vibe because the people who go there are serious about the outdoors and know they're walking into a special place that is off the beaten path.

Zeno,
You just bumped my excitement up another notch because of that description. That's what we look for when backpacking!!!
I'm sure you find it in travel information etc, but another cool thing about The Porkies is it is also the only place in the Midwest (possibly the only place in-between the coasts, but I wouldn't swear to that fact) that has stands of old growth virgin forest remaining. People, like myself, assume most remaining forest is old growth. That's not true. Very few places remain like that in the USA. And to snowshoe backpack it in the heart of winter is on another level. You can't get the miles in, but the solitude is spiritual and quickly found (at least I can't get the miles in...snowshoeing with a pack is hard on the hips!).
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GuitarMyFriend

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Age : 24
Location : Ludington, MI
Registration date : 2012-02-23

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:00 pm

Oh that sounds magical!
Unfortunately the wife isn't so much into the winter camping, so we'll either be going late spring/early summer.
I've been up and around the Porkies, but never backpacked them.
Isle Royale is also on our list. Right next to the JMT, and AT, and PCT, and NCT, and CDT, and The Camino de Santiago, and ...
Zach
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:29 pm

Yes. Isle Royale was a dream trip that was never realized. Someday. I'd like to visit in warmer season (not summer), but I also thought cross-country skiing and pulling a sled out there could be a trip of a lifetime. The whole region is for dreaming.
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old_salt

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Age : 66
Location : California Wine Country
Registration date : 2008-06-09

PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:47 am

Zeno Marx wrote:
GuitarMyFriend wrote:
Zeno Marx wrote:
GuitarMyFriend wrote:
My wife and I are planning to do The Porkies this coming year in the U.P.  I'd love to see The Lake of the Clouds, and Lake Superior in the early Spring.

Zach
The Porkies is a glorious, very special place to me.  Weekenders don't tend to bother with that area.  It has such a wonderful, pure vibe because the people who go there are serious about the outdoors and know they're walking into a special place that is off the beaten path.

Zeno,
You just bumped my excitement up another notch because of that description. That's what we look for when backpacking!!!
I'm sure you find it in travel information etc, but another cool thing about The Porkies is it is also the only place in the Midwest (possibly the only place in-between the coasts, but I wouldn't swear to that fact) that has stands of old growth virgin forest remaining.  People, like myself, assume most remaining forest is old growth.  That's not true.  Very few places remain like that in the USA.  And to snowshoe backpack it in the heart of winter is on another level.  You can't get the miles in, but the solitude is spiritual and quickly found (at least I can't get the miles in...snowshoeing with a pack is hard on the hips!).


Look into using a Pulk, { lightweight plastic sled for packing loads over snow }

Shug has several utube vides of hanging out in sub zero temps. about :45 into this vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTuGJgka1qc
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:12 am

old_salt wrote:
Look into using a Pulk, { lightweight plastic sled for packing loads over snow }
In that situation, it wouldn't have been possible. We were snowshoeing through somewhat dense forest. At the time, I wanted to cross-country ski it, but with a little research, and copping to my lower skill level, we found the best method to explore The Porkies in winter was with snowshoes because the skis would be a nuisance and get caught on everything. I'd be willing to try, but I think trying to keep the pulk clear of snags and not running into stuff as we zig-zagged through forest would be a real hassle. I would definitely pull a pulk across Lake Michigan to Isle Royale. That's the way to go for sure.
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GuitarMyFriend

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Age : 24
Location : Ludington, MI
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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:11 pm

Pulks are awesome, and I'd love to get one! Shug is an awesome YouTuber to watch, he's got a lot of great info and he's downright hilarious!!!

And Zeno, did you mean Lake Superior when talking about walking across the lake to Isle Royale?

Zach
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Does anyone else Hammock Camp in the Winter?   Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:55 pm

GuitarMyFriend wrote:
And Zeno, did you mean Lake Superior when talking about walking across the lake to Isle Royale?
I did. whoops.
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