Sleeping gear help

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by BlueDogScout, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    okay so I like the hammock concept but have always been a ground camper. In the summer I spent some time hammock camping but with winter approaching I don’t have the right gear. I have been slowly upgrading to high end low weight gear and that brings me to the point I need everyone’s help. So my current pad is 2lbs and 14oz has 2.5” of comfort and an R rating of 5 to help me down to 0 degrees. My plan was to buy the Kifaru doobie and the kifaru quilt to be paired together or used separately depending on weather. Independently they are rated around 20 degrees I figure paired with my pad I would be okay to 0 degrees. That has been my plan. I keep going back a forwards on the hammock idea. I have been looking at the Dutch ware chameleon since it is modular and can be set up to accomadate needs for all 4 seasons. I also found decent top and bottom quilts with a 0 rating from hammock gear. The weights of the two set ups are within half a pound or so of each other with the ground camping being lighter when everything is packed for the hammock. Price wise the hammock is more expensive since the hammock would also be needed. (Quality and warmth of sleep is more important to me than the cost.) Pack size of the two options would also be about the same looking at all the website listed dimensions. So I figure weight, pack size and comfort (temp wise) would all be about equal. I need help deciding please weigh in your thoughts. Thank you!
     
  2. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    My thoughts:

    There's really only one reason to sleep in a hammock in winter conditions (and acquire, and carry, all the gear to do so), and that's because you just really, really want to sleep in a hammock. I don't think there are any advantages in terms of weight or packability, and it seems like you're coming to pretty much the same conclusion when totaling everything up.

    Some people swear they sleep much better in hammocks than on the ground, and if you're one of those people, then it might be worth it for you. Winter camping is hard enough - add not sleeping well into the mix and it can quickly become a not so fun experience. But if you sleep equally well regardless, then a ground sleeping setup (esp. in cold temps) is generally going to be lighter, simpler and more efficient in my experience.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  3. 480 RUGER

    480 RUGER Member

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    Bear in mind that anything you do in the winter obviously takes more and heavier gear. Set up is always harder and takes more time and effort so adding weight, bulk or complicating things doesn't seem to make much sense unless there is a good reason for it.
     
  4. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Thanks hammer! I have come to the conclusion that hammock camping is not really superior and so far my quality of sleep is the same from hammock to ground. I sleep like the dead and wake up rarely but always to shift position. My only concern has been warmth and finding new high quality but light weight items. The biggest thing I have taken away from the hammock camping concept it that the insulation underneath you is worthless. The pad is all that matters. I am interested in trying the quilt idea out since it is lighter but in theory just as warm. That is the biggest point of contention in my current dilemma. Your input has helped I wonder if anyone here has expierence with the kifaru gear I mentioned?

    Oh I agree it will be heavier and more weight. I am just trying to control that as much as possible. At first I though the hammock would be less space but I found that to be less true once you add in the other cold weather gear required. It is defiantly harder setting up a hammock over a pad. I agree
     
  5. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    Yeah, it may not always feel like it in the middle of winter, but the ground underneath you (or even better - snow) is an effective insulator. With a hammock, you have all that cold air circulating underneath you, so it takes a lot more insulation to keep your underside as warm as a pad on the ground.

    I played around with hammocks for years, but ultimately I came to the conclusion that hammocks developed in the tropics for a reason. And when using them in that environment, they're great. But trying to adapt them to N. American winter conditions becomes such a stretch, and requires so much more specific gear, that it just isn't worth it for me.

    Plus, the other big advantage of hammocks - that you don't need to worry about what the ground surface is like, becomes moot when you are camping on snow.

    Sorry, but I don't have any experience with those Kifaru pieces.
     
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  6. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Thanks! I wonder if the quilt is worth it in cold weather over a sleeping bag.
     
  7. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    My .02 - insulation that is underneath you in a sleeping bag is compressed flat and not doing much of anything to insulate you from below (that's where a pad with a high "R" rating comes in). So the only real difference for sleeping warm in a quilt vs. a sleeping bag of comparable temp rating is how the quilt seals around your sides where it meets the mattress. Some quilts (like Enlightened Equipment) have a strap system that attaches the quilt to your pad and creates a very effective seal when needed.

    The only other difference I see between a sleeping bag and a quilt is that winter sleeping bags have a hood, and quilts often don't, but there are easy ways to address that.

    In the end, if you have a sleeping pad with a warm "R" rating and a quilt, you can easily save a pound or more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  8. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Thanks. That has been my thought process but I keep getting sucked into the hammock hype but something has made me not want to pull the trigger. Thank you
     
  9. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    So I think thanks to @Hammer i have decided to stay a ground sleeper. So that has been narrowed down. I think I am going with Kifaru gear. I do not own any but I have heard great things. So I think I will get the doobie no matter what. (Both the doobie and either bag I pick will get the compression sacks for travel) I have been looking at their body bag, which is a more traditional square sleeping bag (I can’t do mummy bags), and I have also been looking at the quilt as mentioned before. To get the long quilt it is $10 more to get the body bag. They are around the same temp rating, similar pack size, and weight only varies by 2 oz. does anyone have expierence with these sleep options?
     
  10. JV3

    JV3 Member

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    i've converted from a ground setup (at one point i had a kifaru supertarp complete with a titanium stove) to a winter-ready hammock setup...i just sleep much better with a hammock due to a bad back. pluses for me is that where i go there are a lot of trees and it's easier for me to find the properly spaced trees than flat and non-rocky ground...also i tend to camp more often during the rainy and winter months so muddy ground doesn't affect me and i don't need to clear the snow on the ground. another plus is with a hammock the tarp is off the ground so i don't need to monitor the snow level whereas on the ground tarp i have to shovel it off when it gets too deep and putting pressure on the tarp itself and i'm losing interior space.

    kifaru supertarp with all-titanium wood stove.

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    i have a dutchware 11' wide hammock with a 0 deg 850-fill down hammock gear incubator underquilt (i use it year-round) and a loco libre 850 or 900-fill 0, 20 and 30 deg down top quilt. i bring the appropriate top quilt for the expected temps and for the underquilt i just loosen it to vent it if i get too hot.

    in warm weather i will often hang the tarp over the hammock but leave it rolled in itself and if it starts to rain i just unroll it and stake the corners and it's good to go.

    [​IMG]

    i have extensive experience with kifaru gear...their woobie and doobie are awesome especially now that they've switched to the newer climashield apex insulation. however theirs is more bulky and heavier than an equivalent 800+ fill down so i just tend to use it at home or keep it in the truck for emergency (what can i say that kifaru fabric feels like silk to my skin hehehe).

    i too hate the mummy bag/constricting stuff so when i ordered my top quilt from loco libre i opted for a non-tapered foot box (they call it a hot box) and paid extra to stuff 2 oz more insulation in the foot box to compensate. as a side note, what makes loco libre standout is it was the first maker i believe to sew the baffles in a zig zag pattern (he calls it a chevron) instead of completely horizontal to prevent the down filling from shifting reducing cold spots.

    if you do go with kifaru woobie/doobie i highly recommend you buy their compression stuff sacks...it's pricey but it's the best way i've seen so far to compress it...and it compresses it like a hot dog rather than a bowling ball so it sits nicely on the bottom of your pack.

    as far as ground vs. hammock...you just have to try it extensively to see which setup is for you. go car camping if you have to and bring both setups and bring wool blankets, reflectix, foam pads, etc. as your hammock underquilt so you don't have to buy the quality stuff right off the bat only to find out later hammock during the winter isn't for you after all.
     
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  11. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    That's a sweet setup.
     
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  12. JV3

    JV3 Member

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    i do sometimes miss having the ability to cook/boil water inside my shelter though when it's rainy and windy outside...the stove was nice in drying my gear too without it smelling all smoky.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  13. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    That super tarp is nice. Very cool setup. You provided a lot of great info! I think I have decided to get two hammock gear top quilts. One 0 degree and one 30 degree. Then I’ll get the woobie for nicer weather. That will get me through the winter. I’ll get a hammock in the late spring and test further on if I like it or not. The eno single best is a little small for me. Then if I like hammocks then I’ll get an underquilt. For now though I will continue to be a ground dweller. You made a great point about mid and snow making me rethink. I am also looking at that shelter you posted down the road lol
     
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  14. BackwooodsNomad

    BackwooodsNomad Member

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    Hammock camping is great but takes up alot of space in your pack. Suspension, rainfly, topquilt (use an unzipped sleeping bag..), underquilt .... There is also the fact that youll spend alot of time looking for two trees of the proper size and distance apart. But it can be argued that time is also spent clearing ground for a tent.
    After the hammock and rainfly i would recommend an underquilt before anything else.
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  15. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Thanks I alsways go back and forth on the idea of hammock camping maybe one day I’ll bite the bullet
     

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