Cot underquilt?

Discussion in 'Winter Camping' started by Moondog55, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Rather like a hammocker would I'm going to make a cheap underquilt for the stretcher
    It's a cheap X-leg stretcher and it doesn't get much colder than -18C/0F so I', thinking one of those really cheap synthetic bed quilts will do the job; $10- at the local K-Mart
    As it's an X-leg I figure I can fold the quilt in half and just let it rest on the V formed by the legs internal angle and supported on each corner, maybe sewed up as well
    This will be inside the tent but a little breezy
    My main question is how much attention I sholud pay to windproofing?
    An old bedsheet or something with a tighter weave that would be considered windproof?
    Next part of the question, with the UQ do you think I'll also need the windskirt all around the cot as well?
    Neither of these are big projects, maybe 15 minutes with the sewing machine and some string
    I already have the comfort mattress and all that stuff organised form last seasons winter ski camp
  2. Jasonacraft

    Jasonacraft Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Q: how much wind do you get in the tent?

    I'd be more inclined to recommend a pad and possibly adding a pad pocket instead of trying to wedge a quilt in there. In a hammock we can hang an uq off the suspension and dial it in as needed. Not sure how that would work here...?
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  3. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Sometimes it could get quite breezy. especially if I don't get all the modifications done in time, there is a lot of mesh and sewing time is running out
    I suppose a pad pocket underneath would do the same job, I have an polyester filled woollen blanket mattress I normally use car camping with this cot as well as the usual selection of CCF pads
    I'll be doing it but I was unsure of how far to take it

    Back when I was a teenager in the CMF [ Army Reserve] we were instructed to use our gas cape/ponchos like this over our cots to stop the wind from robbing the heat from underneath us and it does work
  4. feellnfroggy

    feellnfroggy Guide

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    Just buy a whoobie. They work pretty great. With s cot you have canvas instead of nylon so that helps a bit too.
  5. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Whoah I'm on a very restricted budget here, I wish I could afford a woobie
  6. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I looked in the shed and just now I'm wondering if using reflective building foil would do the same job?
    I have a few meters of RFL left over that might be able to be taped up into a triangle and perhaps enough also to use as the windskirt
    Sometimes you have to ask the questions out loud to be able to work things out for yourself.
  7. Dave_Markowitz

    Dave_Markowitz Scout

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    FWIW, in cold weather I've had good results sleeping on a cot by putting a Thermarest Ridgerest closed cell foam pad on the cot, then a milsurp wool blanket, folded in half lengthwise. Neither compresses much under your weight so they still retain insulating value, and the wool blanket releases moisture better than just a foam pad. My sleeping bag then goes on top.
    camp casey, Cheapeats, ba13e4 and 2 others like this.
  8. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    That is one option and I will trial it
    I have a camp cot mattress here but being open cell PU foam if it gets damp or wet it will either not dry out or take an age to do so unless I sew a waterproof cover for it [ or find a big plastic bag the right size]
  9. Jasonacraft

    Jasonacraft Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yes! I used reflectix in my hammock for a couple years, excellent wind break and bottom insulator.
  10. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Thanx all
    I think I have it sorted

    A couple of layers of RFL under the cot, with an airgap and then an old woollen blanket over the cot and tied to all 3 sets of legs and then an old nylon fly from a cheap K-Mart pup tent over that, also tied to the legs. My mattress over the top then the MSS and patrol bag with a down bag inside it
    I'll protect the foam mattress with a couple of plastic bags taped on end to end and throw another woollen blanket and / or CCF pad on top for comfort if I need it
    Thanx again for allowing me to think out loud
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  11. rdec

    rdec Guide

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    An insulation layer hung under the cot will not be compressed at all. Years ago, Eddie Bauer made a cot like this insulated with down-filled tubes. Sil-nylon is windproof, very light and compact and the quilt could have extensions as wind-guards - imagine an upside down "U" hung under the cot. The insulation could be very light, compressable for packing and fluffy since NO compression would take place, not even gravity.

    A pad on top would add comfort. I've spent a fair amount of time sleeping on canvas cots and the canvas can feel hard, a pad would be much nicer.
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  12. bgf

    bgf Scout

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    Sounds like a good plan, but id put the wool on top of the matress. Except for hot weather, I always put wool under me. One thing I got from my granny is a cotton quilt backed with a thin wool layer. Folded in half with cotton side up, that is the best I have for topping whatever pad I am using. It would be pretty easy to make a crude version pretty light weight.
  13. teb_atoz

    teb_atoz Guide Bushclass I

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    get a painters tarp and wool blanket from harver freight and make your wind skrt.
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  14. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I scavenged an old single bed sheet from the linen cupboard

    I also discovered that the old bushwalking tent my grandkids use as their in-house sleepover tent fits lengthwise over the stretcher although it is wider by a good bit
    I'm thinking of the possibility of putting the tent on top of the stretcher; sans fly of course, maybe with a LW fleece blanket and sheet over the top as well in place of the fly
    it's an old Salewa Micra 1.5/2-man semi dome tent

    http://www.bogong.com.au/salewa-micra-tent.html
    Give me a good warm micro-climate and I might not even need my winter sleeping bag
  15. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Having slept a couple of cool nights in the back yard I'm tempted to say that while the air bed is more comfortable the insulation underneath the cot is way warmer
    I think all winter cot sleepers would benefit from experimenting with the concept, especially as car window thingies are so cheap as is tape
  16. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Been using the cot for 5 weeks of snow camping so far
    The 2 layers of RFL have really made a huge difference to my night time comfort, not used the wind skirt so far as the tent has a floor and a double layer sleeping compartment
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  17. 2stoves

    2stoves Scout Bushclass I

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    Cold weather camping with my cot is done via a WalMart Closed Cell Foam (CCF) pad and a 0 down quilt. I do have one of the older Walmart CCF pads that is 5/8" thick which I place on top the cot. I have the CCF put into a fleece case so I can roll it all up together or remove the case should it get wet. I have taken this set up down to -10F with appropriate clothing (Smart wool top, bottom, socks, and a watch cap on my head. I have never had a whole lot of wind inside my tent so never saw the need for a cot skirt but certainly your experience may differ.

    My preference is to not use the cot as I like my hammock set up better but sometimes hammock camping is just not gonna happen.
  18. TN_Woodman

    TN_Woodman Scout

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    I've spent a lot of time on a cot in some fairly cold weather with the army. Like you said a poncho draped over helps a lot. Then I use a pad. I lay on top in my bag with the bivi bag cover. Like you said, Reflectix adds a good deal of warmth and its fairly cheap.
  19. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    The theory seems like it should work becasue, as noted, there is no weight to crush the air out. But I went to a Thermarest years ago for the greater comfort. Now, as a certified Old Fart, I have to have that cush.
  20. CharClothed

    CharClothed Scout

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    I second the thought that if you want windproof quality, make the shelter windproof. A slight breeze is a lot easier to deal with in that V style if your shelter is windproof to start.
  21. feellnfroggy

    feellnfroggy Guide

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    You can also get a moving blanket that hangs to the ground and pin each corner to a leg. More wind protection that way. It'll create a pocket underneath you of warmer air.
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  22. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    See post #15
    The sleeping portion of my tent was a triple layer so not much air movement inside it when I zipped the door shut
    I changed tents in week 3 as my big tent got blown apart in a storm while I was out skiing, but even in the big open dome tent the cot plus RFL worked extremely well I used the cheap fly as repair material though the winter
  23. bark-eater

    bark-eater Tracker

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    A wind skirt makes a big difference with a cot. Anything to block drafts around your body makes a big difference.
  24. dmilloutside

    dmilloutside Tinder Gatherer

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    Lots of great ideas. I've been getting by with cot pad but now will take it to the next level of comfort. Thanks to all.

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