Hammocking, or ‘mocking for the cool kids, is taking the outdoors by storm. But temperatures are dropping, thus the risk of the Cold Butt Syndrome (the scientific name for when your rear end gets, well, cold) is increasing. There are ways to battle the chill however, so here’s a quick roundup of the dos and don’ts of how to stay warm in your hammock.
- Don’t rely on JUST your sleeping bag – Sleeping bags work by using their thickness to prevent your body heat from escaping. The thicker the bag, the more heat will be kept inside. An awesome trick for tent camping or general warming up, but not so great when you’re in a hammock. When laying in a hammock, your body, specifically pressure points (think hips/shoulders/calves,) compresses the insulation and reduces the loft. As a result, what was once a 5” thick bag capable of a temp rating of 25 ° F, becomes a ½” thick bag that wouldn’t keep your butt warm on a cooler summer evening. Swopping your bag out for a Top and Under Quilt, or using your bag in conjunction with an Under Quilt is a wonderful answer to this potentially freezing situation.
- Get a sleeping pad. – There are some stiff pads out there, but try to find one that can mold/be cut into a smaller strip so that it doesn’t affect the way you actually sleep at night. This will also add another layer of insulation underneath your tush.
- Up your snack game – Maybe your dinner was only an hour ago, but putting some foot in your belly – especially complex carbohydrate deliciousness like Snickers bars – will help keep your body burning the fuel to keep it warm. Adding ginger to your bites is also a good idea – not only does it warm you up, but it boosts your immune system to help keep those annoying winter bugs at bay.
- Cover your ends – You lose heat fastest from your feet and head, so it makes sense to cover them up with cuddly warmth. Get some warm socks and a good winter cap to keep them happy.
Utilize the Under Quilt – Quilts work similarly to sleeping bags, but wrap underneath and around you (think a warm, quilted hug), axing the risk of loft compression. Instead, the Under Quilt effectively traps in heat pockets, allowing you to re-use your body heat to stay warm.