Sunday, February 23, 2014

GEAR TEST: Hammock Peapod and Wool Anorak

The quest for cold weather hammocking gear continues.  I feel like every week, I check my local outdoor stores for specials on sleeping bags or other gear that can be used to fight the cold temperatures in a hammock.  I never pulled the trigger until now.

At my local Army Surplus store (Prefair) J-S and I were lucky enough to come across the last two Canadian Army down sleeping bags that were in good condition, and for only 50$ each!  Add to the shopping cart a 95% French Army wool blanket for 25$, and my kit for winter hammocking and camping majorly improved.

So, back to J-S's house for some DIY work.  He took out his sewing machine -  Exuse me - "thread injector", and got to work.  3 hours later, I was sporting a beautiful custom Anorak, minus the hood as we ran out of blanket.

Later that day, back at my place, I took the time to wash and dry out the down army bag.  The brown water in the bathtub during the wash confirmed this was a wise decision.  When everything was dry, I went to work on the foot end of the hammock, to make an opening large enough for my hammock.  Very simple work and I managed to do this without losing any down.

With all that gear in hand, I had to go out and test it.  The following video is the said test.  It was a very warm morning, so not ideal conditions to test a cold weather system, but nonetheless, I headed out to Mont Saint-Hilaire.

The test was  very conclusive and I can't wait to try this in colder weather.  After getting my butt kicked by some -33C conditions two weeks ago, and having to leave camp at 5am because we were too cold, I told myself that next time I would be warm and cozy.

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