Hot Tent Sleeping with a Cot or on the Ground?

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Do you use a cot when sleeping in a hot tent and/or a strong R value pad and the ground?

I'm considering purchasing either the snowtrekker exp shortwall 8x10 or 9x11.5 and suppose sleeping setup will make a big difference.
I'd like to be able to go solo, +1 or +2 people and also use a pulk sled or canoe for transport.
Thanks for sharing any experience and opinions. I'd also have hunting/fishing gear to fill up space and maybe a dog at times.
 
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I have done both. As I get older, when I can, my knees prefer a cot. Either way you will need to insulate under you. In a hot tent I use the same ground insulation weather I'm on a cot or not.
 
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Both at times. During the snow less season I usually use a cot with an Exped SynMat 7 mattress and during the snow season I'll just use the Exped SynMat 7 on top of the tarp, which is on top of the snow (we can't cut boughs here in the Adirondacks for flooring).

GreenFrog have you joined http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php yet? This question seems more appropriate to that forum in my opinion...
 
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I use a Byer cot made in Maine. I must have 40-50 nights sleeping on it and it's as good as new. I agree with Cookannapurna, you need insulation under you, I forgot mine this spring and really felt the cold underneath. I only use it with canoe in type camping although I have hauled it in with a toboggan also.
 
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Hammock hangers use an underquilt for bottom insulation. I am thinking of using a sleeping bag hanging underneath as bottom insulation for a cot. Any thoughts in this? Pros and cons.
Still waiting to be accepted on Wintertrekking, I can't post there.
 
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We sleep on the ground with good mats. I tried the cot thing in our 9x11.5 short wall, but the wall are a bit short if you have the cot close to them( I don't travel solo often!)
 
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Great feedback thanks.
Bioguide, im on that forum but hold canoe campers in the highest regard so asked here first. Actually wanted your opinion 😊 and Robins, etc..

Think ground will be fine for me unless solo basecamping then I might consider a cot.

Bselect, I was thinking the same thing to use my hammock uq on bottom of a cot and bring thermarest pads additionally if necessary. Also have a usgi sleeping bag setup as an option or maybe just use the bivy and my marmot 0 bag.. Experience will help me determine those choices. Just wish I could walk into the tents to get a better feel for space..will measure out the floor tomorrow and see if that helps me make a decision.
 
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Heat rises.. so if your tent stove goes on all night the upper part of the tent will be warmer than the floor.

Though in our EXP shortwall we did not have cots so slept on Exped Symnat 7 pads over minicell flooring, which is a great insulator. However only down to about 0 F

If I sat up my head was hot and my legs just warm
 
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I have 9 x 11.5 EXP Shortwall. Use cots - even haul them in the woods and con others as well!.

I think about using an underquilt - but currently use a Exped Downmat 9. I may play with it but from what I see the UQ is only Elastic bound on the ends, and gravity of the hammock puts the insulation close to your warm body. On a cot the UQ would droop along the center due to gravity. Cots deflect only a few inches, far less that a hammock so you may end up with a void. The solution would be some elastic added to the seam lines across the cot to keep the fabric tighter to the underside of the cot.

That's my thinking any way - I have no experience hanging so not familiar with it.

These may give you a sense of the room inside.

Set up and pics of inside with cot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMHnibeWKCU

Crappy tour of the tent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVqx_m-kbwg
 
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Yellowcanoe, have you stayed out colder than 0F? Did you just bring extra floor padding beyond pad and minicell flooring? Or keep the stove going all night?

I have 9 x 11.5 EXP Shortwall. Use cots - even haul them in the woods and con others as well!.


helpful.

I'm considering the 9x11.5 shortwall or the 8x10.
Did you ever fit 3 cots in the 9x11.5 exp shortwall? or is it more like 2 cots and 1 person on ground?
 
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I'm considering the 9x11.5 shortwall or the 8x10.
Did you ever fit 3 cots in the 9x11.5 exp shortwall? or is it more like 2 cots and 1 person on ground?

Never slept three in it yet, that would be difficult on cots due to floor space. I am usually single occasionally double.

At that point I would go three across the back on the ground. You may get four in it if you don't roll around too much.

I spoke with Duane [sp?] when I ordered it and he estimated that size based on my usual sleep requirements. one or two usually and maybe three rarely. Bringing cots had him suggest the shortwall as the side is higher.
 
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I have the 9x 11.5 exp short wall, and we slept 4 in it w/o any problems, we sleep 3 in it all the time. No cots. The thing is at 4 it is a bit harder to be able to live in it, I mean when it is time for meals you need to tinker more on where every one sits and then no one moves until meal is over...
 
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Nice video of real hot tenting Gearfreak. I see where the sleeping bag under a cot would droop more since the cot deflection is less than a hammock. Some fishnet maybe? Anyway looks like foam and Exped pad on top of cot is way to go for now.
 
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I read this thread on another site and thought I would share, the author is from Wiggys outdoors. It was posted in 2009 so the comments on the pads may not reflect the R values on todays new pads with down insulation.
  • Saw the other thread and thought I'd add some notes.

    Keep in mind that there are varying degrees of comfort desired from a cold weather sleeping experience. Some trappers or mushers just want to grab a few hours of rest and then get back on the trail, and others may attempt to stay warm for most of the dark hours, which, in Alaska winter can exceed what's expected of a good niight's sleep in a sleeping bag.

    That being said, it's my belief that as long as we keep the metabolism stoked, one should be able to maintain a high level of comfort from a cold-weather sleeping experience as long as a few basic guidelines are followed.

    I always attempt to over-bag myself but without totally over-burdening myself. Take enough bag!

    The bag must fit and allow for the sleeper to roll INSIDE the bag. No insulation should be compressed by the elbows or shoulders during sleep. Compressed insulation allows heat to escape more rapidly. I always hear that Wiggy bags are heavy. That is because they FIT. We cut them generous because most grown men are WIDE. I WILL NOT sell any man a regular width bag because of this unless he is VERY narrow in the shoulders.

    Use a pad (or two) that REFLECTS heat and does not dissipate it. I would NEVER use an inflatable pad in the winter, for instance. Your body heats the air in the pad and the ground cools it, then you heat it, then it cools it... It will be a constant battle that you cannot win. I will usually take 2 pads or at least some kind of ground cloth under my pad.

    Cot camping: Always DOUBLE your pad requirement. The air beneath a cot is the temperature of the air outside. The ground is a constant 31 or so. Therefore, sleeping on a cot in -20 temperature will mean that the -20 air will constantly be below you as well as above, robbing you of precious heat.

    Therefore, choose the ground over a cot in the winter unless you've got enough pad to make up for the heat loss.

    Sleep with minimal clothing on. For the same reason that we cannot just put on a bunch of layers and flop down on the snow and get a good night's sleep, too much clothing worn in a bag will stifle the body's heat from filling up the expanse (loft) of the bag. That expanse will fill with either cold or warm air; your choice! The warm air needs to meet the cold air at the outside of the bag, not anywhere inside the bag. DISTANCE FROM THE COLD is what keeps us warm. Not any amount of clothing worn within a bag.

    Cotton clothing is not desirable as sleep clothing as it attempts to trap the natural perspiration that we lose during sleep. That moisture will demand to be cooled, and therefore it is better to be allowed to pass through the loft and meet the cold air at the shell of the bag.

    I sleep in light fleece. Silk, nylon, polyester -- all good. Just not too much of it. Naked is great, but I don't like moving my legs to the cool part of the bag. Yikes. Just a personal preference not to sleep naked. Many guys and gals prefer it and it makes sense as long as the bag drapes properly.

    Waterproofing a bag will trap moisture. Not desirable. A waterproof shell will create a damp warm environment. We are seeking a dry warm environment.

    Sleep within an enclosure. Tent, tarp, snow cave, etc. It will always be a great deal warmer within an enclosure, even a slight enclosure as long as the wind is not blowing through it.

    Want to warm water and heat your bag? Fine. I've never done that but it makes perfect sense, however, later in the night you will be warming the water instead of it warming you. As soon as the water reaches the ambient temperature of the bag it will be detrimental because the ambient temp inside the bag will be less than 98 degrees (body temp). Ambient temperature inside your bag needs to be above 80 degrees to sleep comfortably.

    Always eat before going to the bag. I usually keep cashews next to my bag and much a handful before zipping up. If you spend enough time in the bag, you WILL get chilled because you are running out of fuel, and you will need to restoke the metabolic burner! No way around that. Cashews are easy to eat and are high in calories. Slow-burning calories!

    Urinate when you must. Don't waste heat on a full bladder. I wind up emptying a jar most mornings, but I don't walk around in the middle of the night and get a chill to pee.

    I always sleep with insulated "booties" on my feet and I NEVER get chilled feet in a sleeping bag. Some prefer socks, but having had my pack boots or mukluks on all day and sweaty feet, the booties allow them to dry and be unconstricted.

    Always wear a balaclava (preferred) or a stocking cap, beanie, etc. I like mine to cover my eyes and come up to just below my mouth.

    I usually take an article of clothing inside the bag and utilize it to stop drafts or take care of cold spots. A cold spot may be caused by an elbow or shoulder compressing insulation during the night. This will happen unless you have an extremely roomy bag.

    However, a bag can be TOO roomy... Keep that in mind. But better to be roomy than tight.

    Hydrated muscles will promote heat retention within the body.

    Don't sit around until you are cold then turn-in to sleep. Always "jump start" the warming process by doing chores around camp or even exercising to warm up the body before taking it to the bag. Cold feet take a while to heat up inside a bag, for instance. Walk around a bit before turning in.

    Make sure your draft tube is on the INSIDE of the bag! You have NO idea how many customers I get in here who don't know that! Take the time when turning in to run your hand the length of the zipper to make sure the draft tube is properly covering the zipper. It will leak a ton of warmth if not properly covered.

    Sleeping warm in the cold is not rocket science, but it is not an exact science either. There are some bodies who just cannot sleep comfortably anywhere other than a heated home. There are varying degrees of cardiovascular fitness and those with circulation problems just will not sleep as warm as someone who is fit.

    Women and children generally sleep cooler than men as they do not have the muscle mass that men have. Muscles generate and hold heat. Therefore, a woman will generally need a warmer sleeping bag or more ground padding than a man. Fat requires that it be heated and will to some degree insulate, but it is metabolically inferior to muscle mass. Blood flows to a fat cell and comes back chilled. Blood flows to a muscle cell and comes back at body temperature or warmer if there is activity involved. I'm no Doctor, but just reach into your shorts and feel your butt and see if it is not cooler than your thigh and you'll see the difference!

    This should get a good dialogue started on the subject!

    Enjoy!

    Taylor





    ep 2
 
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I read this thread on another site and thought I would share, the author is from Wiggys outdoors. It was posted in 2009 so the comments on the pads may not reflect the R values on todays new pads with down insulation.
  • Saw the other thread and thought I'd add some notes.

    Keep in mind that there are varying degrees of comfort desired from a cold weather sleeping experience. Some trappers or mushers just want to grab a few hours of rest and then get back on the trail, and others may attempt to stay warm for most of the dark hours, which, in Alaska winter can exceed what's expected of a good niight's sleep in a sleeping bag.

    That being said, it's my belief that as long as we keep the metabolism stoked, one should be able to maintain a high level of comfort from a cold-weather sleeping experience as long as a few basic guidelines are followed.

    I always attempt to over-bag myself but without totally over-burdening myself. Take enough bag!

    The bag must fit and allow for the sleeper to roll INSIDE the bag. No insulation should be compressed by the elbows or shoulders during sleep. Compressed insulation allows heat to escape more rapidly. I always hear that Wiggy bags are heavy. That is because they FIT. We cut them generous because most grown men are WIDE. I WILL NOT sell any man a regular width bag because of this unless he is VERY narrow in the shoulders.

    Use a pad (or two) that REFLECTS heat and does not dissipate it. I would NEVER use an inflatable pad in the winter, for instance. Your body heats the air in the pad and the ground cools it, then you heat it, then it cools it... It will be a constant battle that you cannot win. I will usually take 2 pads or at least some kind of ground cloth under my pad.

    Cot camping: Always DOUBLE your pad requirement. The air beneath a cot is the temperature of the air outside. The ground is a constant 31 or so. Therefore, sleeping on a cot in -20 temperature will mean that the -20 air will constantly be below you as well as above, robbing you of precious heat.

    Therefore, choose the ground over a cot in the winter unless you've got enough pad to make up for the heat loss.

    Sleep with minimal clothing on. For the same reason that we cannot just put on a bunch of layers and flop down on the snow and get a good night's sleep, too much clothing worn in a bag will stifle the body's heat from filling up the expanse (loft) of the bag. That expanse will fill with either cold or warm air; your choice! The warm air needs to meet the cold air at the outside of the bag, not anywhere inside the bag. DISTANCE FROM THE COLD is what keeps us warm. Not any amount of clothing worn within a bag.

    Cotton clothing is not desirable as sleep clothing as it attempts to trap the natural perspiration that we lose during sleep. That moisture will demand to be cooled, and therefore it is better to be allowed to pass through the loft and meet the cold air at the shell of the bag.

    I sleep in light fleece. Silk, nylon, polyester -- all good. Just not too much of it. Naked is great, but I don't like moving my legs to the cool part of the bag. Yikes. Just a personal preference not to sleep naked. Many guys and gals prefer it and it makes sense as long as the bag drapes properly.

    Waterproofing a bag will trap moisture. Not desirable. A waterproof shell will create a damp warm environment. We are seeking a dry warm environment.

    Sleep within an enclosure. Tent, tarp, snow cave, etc. It will always be a great deal warmer within an enclosure, even a slight enclosure as long as the wind is not blowing through it.

    Want to warm water and heat your bag? Fine. I've never done that but it makes perfect sense, however, later in the night you will be warming the water instead of it warming you. As soon as the water reaches the ambient temperature of the bag it will be detrimental because the ambient temp inside the bag will be less than 98 degrees (body temp). Ambient temperature inside your bag needs to be above 80 degrees to sleep comfortably.

    Always eat before going to the bag. I usually keep cashews next to my bag and much a handful before zipping up. If you spend enough time in the bag, you WILL get chilled because you are running out of fuel, and you will need to restoke the metabolic burner! No way around that. Cashews are easy to eat and are high in calories. Slow-burning calories!

    Urinate when you must. Don't waste heat on a full bladder. I wind up emptying a jar most mornings, but I don't walk around in the middle of the night and get a chill to pee.

    I always sleep with insulated "booties" on my feet and I NEVER get chilled feet in a sleeping bag. Some prefer socks, but having had my pack boots or mukluks on all day and sweaty feet, the booties allow them to dry and be unconstricted.

    Always wear a balaclava (preferred) or a stocking cap, beanie, etc. I like mine to cover my eyes and come up to just below my mouth.

    I usually take an article of clothing inside the bag and utilize it to stop drafts or take care of cold spots. A cold spot may be caused by an elbow or shoulder compressing insulation during the night. This will happen unless you have an extremely roomy bag.

    However, a bag can be TOO roomy... Keep that in mind. But better to be roomy than tight.

    Hydrated muscles will promote heat retention within the body.

    Don't sit around until you are cold then turn-in to sleep. Always "jump start" the warming process by doing chores around camp or even exercising to warm up the body before taking it to the bag. Cold feet take a while to heat up inside a bag, for instance. Walk around a bit before turning in.

    Make sure your draft tube is on the INSIDE of the bag! You have NO idea how many customers I get in here who don't know that! Take the time when turning in to run your hand the length of the zipper to make sure the draft tube is properly covering the zipper. It will leak a ton of warmth if not properly covered.

    Sleeping warm in the cold is not rocket science, but it is not an exact science either. There are some bodies who just cannot sleep comfortably anywhere other than a heated home. There are varying degrees of cardiovascular fitness and those with circulation problems just will not sleep as warm as someone who is fit.

    Women and children generally sleep cooler than men as they do not have the muscle mass that men have. Muscles generate and hold heat. Therefore, a woman will generally need a warmer sleeping bag or more ground padding than a man. Fat requires that it be heated and will to some degree insulate, but it is metabolically inferior to muscle mass. Blood flows to a fat cell and comes back chilled. Blood flows to a muscle cell and comes back at body temperature or warmer if there is activity involved. I'm no Doctor, but just reach into your shorts and feel your butt and see if it is not cooler than your thigh and you'll see the difference!

    This should get a good dialogue started on the subject!

    Enjoy!

    Taylor





    ep 2
Somebody should tell Mr Wiggy that the ground round here gets considerably colder than 31 degrees. Water pipes have to be buried 8ft down to stop them freezing, plus of course we are usually sleeping on compacted snow not earth.
 
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Frontier surplus is selling surplus Cdn military down sleeping bags for a reasonable price. I have one and you cant beat it. Bulky but really gets the job done. Two piece Woods down bag,with a cloth liner, one fits inside the other. If you want to be warm, this is a good start. $170. They also sell just the single pieces for $70.


http://frontierfirearms.ca/

Christine
 
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Lots of good info, thanks! I do have a 0F down bag and a MSS sleeping system so should be good to get started.
 
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If we are in spring or fall car camp, then a cot is almost a given now, especially if the wife is travelling for all or part of the trip. Any travel by sled for us, the cot gets left behind (bulk, weight) and the sleep system for a typical 0F night is two CCF mats side by side, a poncho liner spread out over the top, 3" thermarest, then a Ridgerest pad on top...then the bag (we don't burn the stove after bedtime and sometimes I just end up in my own tipi shelter for privacy, noise, dogs, pee breaks, etc).

I would rather look forward to the hopefully comfy retreat of my shelter than dread the long chill of the nightime sleep. Your bag/sleeping system should always be good to at least -10 degrees less than your anticipated low temps. We typically add fleece or insulated pants, liner jacket, heavy balaclava, heat pacs...better to toss them from the bag at 3am than to wake up and shiver.

A really high end sleeping bag in severe conditions is much more than a luxury, giving you peace of mind for the what ifs, changing conditions, etc. I aspire to one, but so far it hasn't happened for me. The wife indicates, probably never...

(however) The initial wave of rejuvenating heat from your stove upon waking is reward far beyond the usual/normal when you are cold camping - it is life changing, career extending...:D. Having a little $10 digital thermometer in camp (and pics to prove it) can be alot of fun and bragging rights later on.
 
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If I can carry it I always prefer a cot.
-it's warmer off the floor
-you can level it by shimming the legs
-you can store stuff underneath
-you have a siting place in your tent.
-always use insulation under you-ensolite or self inflating pad
 
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