On September 9th of 2011 I decided to stop dreaming and start doing. Seriously how did I not die? My hammock was suspended between two trees, I was attached to my climbing line with a single prusik made out of 6mm cord and I didn’t have any bottom insulation in my hammock. There are too many dangerous variables in that equation.
I ascended my rope 25′ into a tree using two prusik loops and after struggling to get everything set up I fell asleep with a smile on my face. I was awakened in the middle of the night by this really annoying movement in my hammock. It was me, shivering. I had only brought a sleeping bag rated to 50 degrees with ZERO bottom insulation and it was September in Minnesota. Have you ever been unable to stop shivering no matter how hard you try? My hammock was setup in a tree-belt behind my parents farm. I contemplated running up to the house but I didn’t want to give up.
My little 6mm prusik cord gave me so much confidence that night but looking back I cringe even thinking about it! By the time the sun came up in the morning I was wearing everything that I could find in my backpack which included a plastic garbage bag. I never again tried sleeping in a hammock without bottom insulation. Oofta, lesson learned!
2 thoughts on “And so it began…”
The first time I camped in the cold, I had a sleeping bag that was bigger than my 90L pack stuffed full! It was so thick that I didn’t compress the insulation enough to let the cold in. Now that I am using a backpacking sleeping bag, I understand the importance of a CCFP, or underquilt. Don’t go without one.
Haha! That sounds like my first winter sleeping bag too! The insulation on the bottom of the sleeping pad was thicker than a closed cell foam pad and didn’t compress at all. I think the bag weighed like 12 lbs, haha!