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Hammocks The Hammocks forum is for the discussion of backpacking hammocks and related sleep systems.


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  #1  
Old 10-06-2012, 07:22 AM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 20 miles west of Chicago
Posts: 196
Need Advice for First Hang

For years I've been thinking about making the switch from tent to hammock, but was leery about the gear investment without testing it first. Well, someone has loaned me their WBBB (Warbonnet Blackbird) double-layer hammock for a trip to the Cohutta Wilderness in Georgia October 21-27. I should expect overnight temps as low as 30* F, but the WBBB is the only piece of hammock-specific gear and I can't afford an underquilt right now.

I have plenty of other gear though, including:
Integral Designs 8' x 10' sil tarp for rain cover
Thermarest full length self-inflating pad
Exped Downmat 9 inflatable pad
3/8" ccf pad 24" x 72" (1970's army issue)
Z-Lite accordian pad cut in two halves
Western Mountaineering 20* UL down bag
Mont Bell 32* UL superstretch down bag

I was planning to use the WM down bag as a top quilt, along with a pillow, warm hat, and a fleece shirt & primaloft vest if necessary.

My biggest question is what pad combo to use. I plan to use a half Z-Lite perpendicular to the other pad to provide side insulation for arms & shoulders as well as an extra layer of insulation under the torso. My inclination is to use the ccf pad in conjunction with this, but I'm wondering if the Exped Downmat 9 would provide better insulation necessary to keep me from being chilled overnight.

Howver, I'd like to avoid the extra weight of the Exped in my pack and the extra thickness (even if just slightly inflated) between the 2 layers of the hammock under me. I'll test the options in my backyard first, but I'd also like to benefit from any experience & advice that PBF members can offer.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2012, 09:32 PM
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Outdoor_Jim Outdoor_Jim is offline
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Backpack: ULA Circuit
Sleeping Gear: Golite Quilt
Shelter: BA Copper Spur UL2 or WBBB Hammock
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 149
I've got quite a bit of experience with my WBBB and I'm having a hard time being positive about going down to 30 without an UQ. You got to push it the first time don't you;->

While I think you've got a good idea making the most with your CCF pads I just don't think it will cut it. Maybe you could experiment supplementing a piece of fleece as well if you have something laying around.

When I first got my WBBB I experimented with my BA IAC (which I think is close to your Exped) and it was a nightmare trying to keep that thing positioned and having the right amount of air in it.

The key to a hammock is toying in your backyard till you get it the way you like it. You have to make time for that or you'll have a bad time in the bush. Once you have it tweaked to your liking, your set.

Last edited by Outdoor_Jim : 10-08-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2012, 10:30 AM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 20 miles west of Chicago
Posts: 196
Thanks Jim, that's the kind of advide I need (even if not the answer I hoped for).

I'll experiment in my back yard with all the options. I think the Exped Downmat 9 might provide enough insulation but it also would be the most cumbersome to use, due to its thickness. I bought the Exped when my BA IAC didn't provide adequate ground insulation; the Exped is much warmer.

The prudent thing to do is to not go on a 4-day trek in the remote Georgia mountains to find out if hanging really works for me and if the gear is adequate to whatever temps I might encounter, so now I'm leaning heavily towards a trip with some car camping the first couple nights (with gear on hand to go to ground if necessary) and a less ambitious backpacking trek. I'm not in the best of shape for a really rugged hike right now, still recovering from a nasty chest cold that has had me mostly inactive for 3 weeks.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2012, 05:14 PM
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Outdoor_Jim Outdoor_Jim is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: ULA Circuit
Sleeping Gear: Golite Quilt
Shelter: BA Copper Spur UL2 or WBBB Hammock
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Carmel, IN
Posts: 149
The cost does suck but it puts backpacking on a whole new comfort level. I just flew out to the Trinity Alps to meet with a group and they all had the latest and greatest gear but everyone wanted my hammock when night time came.

Point being, it pays off.


Last edited by Outdoor_Jim : 10-08-2012 at 05:29 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:44 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
I'm with Outdoor_Jim, the pad configuration is likely to come up short with regard to carry and use. It's likely to have an annoying fiddle factor with an insufficient payoff in warmth.

I wish there were a *better* way than the underquilt, but it's hard to beat. It's hides well in the pack. It's easy to use. Best of all, it keeps you warm and cozy.

By the way, a WB Travel Sock can provide extra warmth by keeping out a lot of the wind and wet.

Reality
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2012, 07:03 PM
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Benwaller Benwaller is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: Camelbak RimRunner, Osprey Volt 60, Kelty Redwing 50
Sleeping Gear: Kelty LightYear Down 20 / ENO Doublenest Hammock
Shelter: Granite Gear White Lightnin' tarp
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 285
+1 on what Reality and Jim said. First-time hammock use with a pad can be (and usually is) a nitemare, so I recommend that you try it close to home or base camp.

That being said there is no better rest than what a properly equipped hammock system can provide.

Take it easy and enjoy your trip.



Ben
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2012, 08:52 PM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 20 miles west of Chicago
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I had a great trip to Red River Gorge in Kentucky and slept well in the hammock, but was lucky the temps never dipped below the mid-upper 40's. The pad(s) were difficult to keep centered under me, and I woke up a couple times with cold spots I was able to assuage by tucking my sleeping bag (Montbell UL SS 32*) under the spot.

I borrowed the hammock for this trip, but now that I know I can sleep more comfortably hanging than on my Exped Downmat 9 in a tent, I will invest in a hammock & underquilt.

Thanks for the advice.
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2012, 09:14 PM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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Backpack: GoLite Pinnacle
Sleeping Gear: Moonstone Lucid 800 w/Neo Air pad
Shelter: Tarptent Sublite Tyvek & Tarptent Double Rainbow
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 430
I bought a lightweight hammock with mosquito netting for my wife for summer camping because she can no longer get up off the ground comfortably with her artificial knees. I planned to use it in Arkansas last week and took the advice here and rigged it in the back yard first. With temps around 40ºF, I froze my tail off--and I'm a warm sleeper. I tried rigging a down puffy as an underquilt but was unsuccessful. Duct tape might have gotten it to stay but it would have ruined my puffy. I went back to the tried and true tent/pad/sleeping bag combo for my hike. I'll have to do more figuring and fiddling before I take the hammock out in cooler temps.

As a teen, my brother and I camped in jungle hammocks for years, however, we only did that in the summer.
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2012, 07:48 AM
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Richtorfla Richtorfla is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drift_Woody
Thanks Jim, that's the kind of advide I need (even if not the answer I hoped for).

I'll experiment in my back yard with all the options. I think the Exped Downmat 9 might provide enough insulation but it also would be the most cumbersome to use, due to its thickness. I bought the Exped when my BA IAC didn't provide adequate ground insulation; the Exped is much warmer.

The prudent thing to do is to not go on a 4-day trek in the remote Georgia mountains to find out if hanging really works for me and if the gear is adequate to whatever temps I might encounter, so now I'm leaning heavily towards a trip with some car camping the first couple nights (with gear on hand to go to ground if necessary) and a less ambitious backpacking trek. I'm not in the best of shape for a really rugged hike right now, still recovering from a nasty chest cold that has had me mostly inactive for 3 weeks.

I have used my thermarest prolite 3 and 4 in my doublelayer blackbird partially inflated. Just enough to get some air for insulation and not stiff so its not uncomfortable laying on. Been to the uppers 30's like that. I now have a AHE underquilt which is after all more comfortable. I have used it in combo with the pro 3 to gain insulation.
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2012, 10:26 AM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 23
Hi All

I use a HH Ultralight here in the UK, I have tried again and again with pads but only seem to share a space with them and rarely seem to get intimate. Maybe I move around a lot, I don't know.
I made the move to an Underquilt only a few weeks ago and bought a Snugpac Underblanket Have I missed a treat!

The only down side to the Snugpac is the compress-ability, its not down! and it shows when you are packing it. But as a concept its the way to go.
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