Does damp make a difference?

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Jan 13, 2018
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Rural Lincolnshire
Thanks. I have thermals I can use. I think the problem is my mat. I just found out it only has a summer rating.
Have a look at the Exped DownMat. I'm very, very impressed with mine.

Having a good mat is more important than a 'good' sleeping bag - it is the mat that insulates you from the ground

It has a comfort rating of -24*C, rolls up 'fairly' small and weighs in at 880g, Built in pump,

DownMat 7 M
Size: 183x52x7 cm / 72x20x2.8"
Weight: 880 g / 31 oz
Packed: 23x16 cm / 9x6"
Fill Weight**: 170 g / 6 oz
Temperature: -24°C / -11°F
R-value: 5.9

Heat loss is dramatically reduced with down insulation inside the mat, as demonstrated by EMPA, the Swiss Federal Labaratories for Materials Testing and Research, and field tests by expeditions. The thick cushion of air also provides comfort and smooths out uneven ground. And as down compresses extremely well, Downmats packs smaller than other insulated mats.

· DownMat is unmatched for winter camping and sleeping on snow.

· Both low profile valves (pat. pend) one for inflation and the other for deflation ensure ease of use. As the valves are flat and not on the mat's edge they do not protrude and are therefore protected and durable.

· Light foam blocks at the mat's ends prevent down from escaping or migrating between chambers.

· Laminated polyester fabric is both durable, airtight and humidity resistant. The shell's top surface is of brushed polyester fabric that provides excellent slip resistance and comfort next to the skin. Dark colours dry quickly. The seams are high frequency welded for durability.

· Two loops at the head end can be used to secure the packsack to the mat when used as a pillow.

· Light and warm: The DownMat 7 has a R-Value of 5.9. At about the same weight a standard 2.5 cm self inflating mat only has a R-Value of 2.5. Further EMPA tests demonstrated that regular mats lose 3x more heat to cold ground than to the air. The conclusion: use a lighter weight sleeping bag with a DownMat to achieve consistent overall comfort, and still reduce weight and bulk!

· Exped only uses IDFL-certified goose down, specially treated to eliminate the effects of humidity that may reach the mat's interior.


This could be worth watching - Exped 9, even better insulation that the Exped 7. Down to -38*C
New Price is £180

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EXPED-DO...951691?hash=item1cdce30c8b:g:fp4AAOSwDwhdwdF1

http://www.exped.com/italy/en/product-category/mats/downmat-9-lw
 
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Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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The type of food you eat before you go to sleep also makes a very very very big difference:

Eat before you go in your sleeping bag some salamis, 100g of chocolate and a bit of bread and you will sleep warm and cosy!

I recommend to put the german army folding mat under the mat you just own, to eat well in the right moment, to pitch the tarp in an intelligent way and to try that out, before you spend more money.

If I am a little bit ill, I feel cold in the same equipment, which usually serves me well.

That also could be the point here, and that was the first, what I thought. The second was, that you didn't close the sleeping bag correctly.

I recommend at first to try out the stuff you just own. Usually it isn't the equipment but the person who uses it.
 
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Erbswurst

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We have in the german bushcraft forum a trusted guy who bought an exped mat, put it on the clean kitchen floor pumped it and discovered, that it didn't work, because it had holes in it.

Exped didn't take it back.

They will not sell to german bushcrafters any more.
 
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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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So, I would get a foam closed cell mat to pop under the mat you have.
Make sure you have an empty bladder before you snug down.
Keep a pee bottle nearby for emergencies so you don't have to get fully out of your bag.
Hot water bottle.. it's normal practice to fill a metal water bottle with hot water, wrap in thick sock so you don't get burned... yep I didn't wrap it properly first time I used this trick and got burned.
Use a lower/ more enclosed tarp set up so you don't get such a draught.
Eat well before bed.. peanuts chocolate etc.
Possibly take a wool or thermal fleece blanket for extra warmth
If that doesn't work then yes go for a better mat.
In my younger days I would winter camp with just a foam mat ,cheap summer bag and a blanket in a nylon 2 man tent..... must have been mad! (Or real badass!)
 
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Toddy

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We have in the german bushcraft forum a trusted guy who bought an exped mat, put it on the clean kitchen floor pumped it and discovered, that it didn't work, because it had holes in it.

Exped didn't take it back.

They will not sell to german bushcrafters any more.
I find that kind of hard to understand.
My Exped mat is now over ten years old and it's still sound, and I know of other folks who damaged theirs and had them replaced by Exped with no fuss.

I happily recommend the Exped down mat, it's a really, really good thing :) It's comfortable, firm and sound enough underneath that even my arthritic joints are supported, and it's warm, it is genuinely warm beneath me. It makes an enormous difference to camping.
It's not cheap, but mine's been worth every penny, and if it did fail, I'd buy another one.

M
 

petrochemicals

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Jul 30, 2012
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Water lying on the bag if its loft is not sufficient, usually between your legs, or compressoin of the insulation by the bivvy bag, or its own weight if you are sleeping on your side. Feet i find can poke through in a bivvy if its windy, the wind chill factor is considerable without insulation, gloves work well on the feet.
 
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Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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In Germany we use socks.


Perhaps Exped changed the service, perhaps they behave different in Britain and Germany.

I recommend to buy a closed cell foam mat or an air mat with LIFE TIME WARRANTY.
KLYMIT and THERM A REST offer this for Example.
 
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Erbswurst

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The current yellow Decathlon trekking air mats are rubbish, by the way.

They usually survive only 30 to 40 nights of use. You can change them without any problems immediatly in the shop. But I prefere something that works well.
 
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Jan 13, 2018
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Rural Lincolnshire
In Germany we use socks.


Perhaps Exped changed the service, perhaps they behave different in Britain and Germany.

I recommend to buy a closed cell foam mat or an air mat with LIFE TIME WARRANTY.
KLYMIT and THERM A REST offer this for Example.
Air mats offer very little insulation value, a 3.5 inch thick 'air space' has an R-Value of 1.1, but will depend on the type of surfaces (example - is the inside of the mat reflective surfaces).

There is an interesting article showing suggested R-Values and 'comfort temperature' :



INSULATION
One feature of a sleeping pad that’s easy to overlook is insulation. The air in an inflatable pad or the dense foam in a closed-cell sleeping pad warms with your body heat and insulates you from the cold ground. Some sleeping pads also feature a heat-reflective material in their construction, which directs body heat back toward you rather than transferring it to the ground. Temperature ratings on sleeping bags are made with the assumption you are using a sleeping pad, which underscores their importance.

Click the link for more information.

https://www.gearx.com/blog/knowledge/hikingcamping/how-to-choose-a-sleeping-pad/
 

Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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The Klymit Inertia o Zone Recon, sand works in cold conditions different than other air mats.

That's a totally different concept.

The body is kept by a rost of rubber tubes, the sleeping bag insulates the body on the ground side too, because it can loft into the valleys.

I have like the thread opener a reflective fabric in the sleeping bag.

Together that's a different technologie.

But as I wrote, I did not jet try that system in frosty conditions, because I bought the mat this summer, just for better comfort on stony french ground.
 
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Woody girl

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I've been told this doesn't work but it does I can verify! Cheapest fix for a low r value mat.
Buy a car reflective window thingy. £1 from poundland or for something a bit better the aldi ones they had last winter work well. Put it under your mat.
I used one at the moot this year in my hammock . Could feel the warmth reflected back towards me.
I've also made a larger mat out of the stuff you put behind radiators for my tent floor. Makes a vast difference . I cut a couple of 6 foot lengths and gaffa taped them together. Very light and not very bulky, won't suffer from punctures or being crushed up in your ruck. Gaffa mends any tears . And it's so cheap it's hardly worth worrying too much about damage .
 

Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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545
Berlin
But:

If that is right, such a thin and ultra light reflectiv rescue blanket should do the same job, isn't it ???

And perhaps a simple rescue bivvy bag of the same material put around the sleeping mat instead of the person would even be better???
 
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MikeeMiracle

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Aug 2, 2019
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But:

If that is right, such a thin and ultra light reflectiv rescue blanket should do the same job, isn't it ???

And perhaps a simple rescue bivvy bag of the same material put around the sleeping mat instead of the person would even be better???
The space blanckets are very thing though and prone to breaking, I wouldn't put one on the floor as a groundsheet.
 

Sub5mango

Tenderfoot
Oct 13, 2019
92
12
52
East Anglia
Have a look at the Exped DownMat. I'm very, very impressed with mine.

Having a good mat is more important than a 'good' sleeping bag - it is the mat that insulates you from the ground

It has a comfort rating of -24*C, rolls up 'fairly' small and weighs in at 880g, Built in pump,

DownMat 7 M
Size: 183x52x7 cm / 72x20x2.8"
Weight: 880 g / 31 oz
Packed: 23x16 cm / 9x6"
Fill Weight**: 170 g / 6 oz
Temperature: -24°C / -11°F
R-value: 5.9

Heat loss is dramatically reduced with down insulation inside the mat, as demonstrated by EMPA, the Swiss Federal Labaratories for Materials Testing and Research, and field tests by expeditions. The thick cushion of air also provides comfort and smooths out uneven ground. And as down compresses extremely well, Downmats packs smaller than other insulated mats.

· DownMat is unmatched for winter camping and sleeping on snow.

· Both low profile valves (pat. pend) one for inflation and the other for deflation ensure ease of use. As the valves are flat and not on the mat's edge they do not protrude and are therefore protected and durable.

· Light foam blocks at the mat's ends prevent down from escaping or migrating between chambers.

· Laminated polyester fabric is both durable, airtight and humidity resistant. The shell's top surface is of brushed polyester fabric that provides excellent slip resistance and comfort next to the skin. Dark colours dry quickly. The seams are high frequency welded for durability.

· Two loops at the head end can be used to secure the packsack to the mat when used as a pillow.

· Light and warm: The DownMat 7 has a R-Value of 5.9. At about the same weight a standard 2.5 cm self inflating mat only has a R-Value of 2.5. Further EMPA tests demonstrated that regular mats lose 3x more heat to cold ground than to the air. The conclusion: use a lighter weight sleeping bag with a DownMat to achieve consistent overall comfort, and still reduce weight and bulk!

· Exped only uses IDFL-certified goose down, specially treated to eliminate the effects of humidity that may reach the mat's interior.


This could be worth watching - Exped 9, even better insulation that the Exped 7. Down to -38*C
New Price is £180

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EXPED-DO...951691?hash=item1cdce30c8b:g:fp4AAOSwDwhdwdF1

http://www.exped.com/italy/en/product-category/mats/downmat-9-lw
Thanks, that 7 does look good. However I am trying to keep the weight down so I am looking at the thermarest xtherm which is 0.4 kg lighter but has a similar rating.
 

Sub5mango

Tenderfoot
Oct 13, 2019
92
12
52
East Anglia
The Klymit Inertia O Zone recon sand is a very convincing new concept.

It isn't noisy like the ultralight Therm a rest mats. It packs down very compact. It is very light, just 460 g.

You can pump it very fast, because it has a relatively small volume.

You don't get any stress with the pillow, because it's attached to the mat.

The surface forms on both sides mountains and valleys, what it nice in hot conditions.

But the sleeping bag can loft into the valleys, so under you it isn't flat like with every other mat.

They write the temperature would be rated more or less like the sleeping bag you use on it.

Because I bought it this summer I can't tell you if that is the trouth. I did not yet use it in really cold conditions.

https://www.recon-company.com/klymit-isomatte-inertia-o-zone-recon-sand/4625

If I use it, I use it on the original german army folding mat, 425 g to protect it. That's very comfortable.

For camping in German summer conditions, especially in the woods, I leave the air mat at home, but on French stony grounds I used it a lot in this combination during this summer.
Thanks but I prefer the idea of a flater surface.
 

Sub5mango

Tenderfoot
Oct 13, 2019
92
12
52
East Anglia
OK, you sound convinced, but I am only using an old (original) 2cm Thermarest and that's been sub-zero many times. OK, I usually use it on top of a cheap and very lightweight picnic blanket (the type you get in motorway services). If it was just the ground barrier that was the problem I think you would feel cold underneath initially - if you felt cold all over I would suggest it's more than that. I sound like a broken record I know but it is not necessary to spend lots of money to enjoy this activity unless you intend to go to extremes (camping on high peaks etc.). I have slept on the top of UK mountains in whiteout conditions using an old Karrimat in the past; you can pick up a Highlander 5 season equivalent for about £12 - use it on its own or as well as for an experiment before spending loads of dosh!

As for tarp pitching you need a few pitches that you can put up single handed in the dark and in a breeze. Google 'tarpology' and find some pitches you like the look of. On fair evenings, with a light breeze, I enjoy using a simple 'lean-to' style with a ridge line or just two sticks holding it up - that gives you maximum view, shields from a directional breeze and protects from quite heavy rain. There's nothing better than lying in your bag watching the flames die down from your campfire :). From there, when the weather gets worse, I go for a more closed in structure with the sides down - I rarely, if ever, go for a fully closed pitch.
Thanks. I really like the lean to pitch. I am so torn between spending money and trying to do it cheap. Even £12 I wouldn't want to spend if I then go for a more expensive option anyway. I'm not good with lack of sleep and feeling the cold much more than I used to. Last year I tent camped out in the winter using a good but old mountain equipment down bag and my venture mat and I froze my nuts off! That set up had been fine for the other three seasons. It's that winter experience I don't want to repeat!
 

Sub5mango

Tenderfoot
Oct 13, 2019
92
12
52
East Anglia
Thanks for everyone's input. I've ordered a thermarest xtherm just to see what they feel and look like. So expensive! I have a "spend nothing" alternative, using stuff I already have: thermarest venture mat + old ccf mat + wool blanket. There's a massive weight and size difference when packed between the two options: 430g vs 1.9kg and 21x10cm vs 49 x 22cm. I'll test drive the spend-nothing option tonight to see if a beefed up mat makes the warmth difference I'm looking for.
 
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