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Wreck
2006-02-19, 22:44
I don't own a hammock (yet) but after reading around, it seems the way to go. But all this stuff about underquilts and all has me confused. Is that stuff in lieu of a sleeping bag? What do you more experienced hammock campers recommend for mild-warm weather (mid Atlantic states, April-May). Or hot weather, in July and August...?
Thanks! :turtle:

Mutinousdoug
2006-02-19, 23:28
I don't own a hammock (yet) but after reading around, it seems the way to go. But all this stuff about underquilts and all has me confused. Is that stuff in lieu of a sleeping bag? What do you more experienced hammock campers recommend for mild-warm weather (mid Atlantic states, April-May). Or hot weather, in July and August...?
Thanks! :turtle:
Mr Wreck,
I don't much camp in my HH where it doesn't get below 40-50f at night, so I may not be your best reference, but when I was in the service (of the USA) I slept in a GI nylon hammock (no underquilt) with a poncho liner for a top cover (and a plastic cover for rain). I don't think it ever got below 80f at night and I remember sometimes sleeping soaking wet. I rated my comfort level relative to the guys sleeping on the ground next to me, as "good". My guess would be that you need a pad or under quilt and a fleece or quilted blanket to use a hammock below 65f or so.
Some of the more hormonally driven members of this site may choose to argue. One way or the other.
I pass the microphone to them...

eyewall
2006-02-20, 03:15
Mr Wreck, I use a Big Agnes Air Core insulated mattress and my bag as a blanket in my Hennessey Hammock. That has been good to 40F for me so far. I have not tried an underquilt as of yet. There are plenty of sites available to glean more information. I would recommend these two to start off... http://www.imrisk.com/ and http://www.tothewoods.net/JeffsHikingPage.html. Jeff may chime in anyway as well. Much equipment you can make yourself, testing as you go.

HTH...

Just Jeff
2006-02-20, 03:53
Two general options for staying warm in a hammock: underquilt and pad. With a pad, you put it in the hammock, then cover up with a top quilt or sleeping bag. With an underquilt, you attach it to the bottom of the hammock (outside of the hammock body), then use a top quilt or sleeping bag inside the hammock.

Then there are PeaPods, TravelPods, WarmHammocks, Two-Layer Hammocks, etc.

Here's what I'd recommend:
- Get a hammock first and see if it suits you. Spend at least 3 nights in it before you make up your mind...sometimes little things like sore knees or necks can be overcome very easily, so the effort is worth it. But some people really can't get comfortable in them.
- If you're comfortable sleeping in a hammock, figure out how to insulate the bottom. This is largely a function of money and what conditions you'll be sleeping in. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, CCF pads will work and some people find them comfortable. If your budget is more flexible, I find underquilts much more comfortable.
- Conditions: JRB's underquilts will get you to 30s. Comfy at ~37F for me, workable at 30F...others report comfort well into the 20s. A single .5" CCF pad can get you to mild temps...people seem to vary wildly on what temps they can be comfortable at on a .5" pad. Some say 50F, some say 30F, and I've seen one guy say he was comfy well below zero with a 3/8" pad (I'm skeptical).
- For temps above ~70F you may not need anything. Remember that skeeters can bite through many kinds of fabric, so some light insulation serves another purpose even in summertime.

Like eyewall said, there are a few websites out there that might be helpful. If you don't find the answers there, you know where to ask questions!

Welcome to the hammocking crowd.

Seeker
2006-02-20, 14:52
[QUOTE=Just Jeff]
- Conditions: JRB's underquilts will get you to 30s. Comfy at ~37F for me, workable at 30F...others report comfort well into the 20s. A single .5" CCF pad can get you to mild temps...people seem to vary wildly on what temps they can be comfortable at on a .5" pad. Some say 50F, some say 30F, and I've seen one guy say he was comfy well below zero with a 3/8" pad (I'm skeptical).
- For temps above ~70F you may not need anything. Remember that skeeters can bite through many kinds of fabric, so some light insulation serves another purpose even in summertime.
QUOTE]

i'm at the far end of the cold sleeper spectrum... the lowest i've been able to take the JRB is to about 40... below that and i really start to feel it... i use a CCF pad even on the hottest summer evenings, even if it's in the 80s... i agree with jeff in suggesting you buy a hammock first to see if you can sleep in it... then try the ccf pad... if you're unhappy with that, start to experiment with underquilts... lots of fun... and welcome...

Sgt.Krohn
2006-02-20, 18:39
Wreck
this is what MutinousDoug was talking about-
In Nam we didn't really sleep at night- usually on ambush- and we normally humped it in the morning to a new AO- in the afternoon we'd try to catch a few hours of sleep before the next ambush.
this is how I was introduced to sleeping in a hammock- we used our rain ponchos for a rain fly- it works-
I still sleep with a poncho liner for a blanket ;-)

http://tinypic.com/9zxc8n.jpg

fieldcraftsman
2006-02-21, 12:45
Cool pix Sgt Krohn!

Wreck
2006-02-21, 13:45
Thanks all for the info. Just Jeff, you're web site made me get nothing done on my day off yesterday...very informative I'm thinking of going with the HH ultralite backpacker asym as my first hammock. making my own gear is great and all, but i dont think i've got the skillz, didn't do so well in home ec in 8th grade..

Just Jeff
2006-02-21, 14:52
If you have access to a sewing machine, give it a try. You might get a $10 hammock instead of $160. And if it doesn't work, you've only spent about an hour and $10 to get a good experience. But I bet you'll be surprised at just how easy it is to make a hammock.

Otherwise, the HH is a great piece of gear!

Wreck
2006-02-21, 19:09
I guess I could enslave the girlfriend into sweatshop day-labor and have her help me make one, she likes sewing...hell, if an 8 year old taiwanese kid can sew my Nike sneakers, i can make a hammock...any suggestsions which design t go with?

Just Jeff
2006-02-22, 01:17
Start with Risk's TestHammock: http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm

This one is a no-sew method for a night or two just to see if you like hammocks. If you're really gonna use it, just put a rolled hem around the perimeter...much safer and more durable that way. If your gf can already sew, it'll take about 5 minutes to run the hem.

He has a few other designs on that page once you get the basics down. Or spring for the Speer kit...$99 for everything you need - hammock, 8x10 tarp, bugnet, velcro, straps, etc. And it comes with a free copy of his book "Hammock Camping" that has all kinds of good info in there - including DIY designs. Really good deal unless you can find the materials in the Walmart $1 bin. www.speerhammocks.com

Seeker
2006-02-22, 01:21
Really good deal unless you can find the materials in the Walmart $1 bin.

jeff, that reminds me... i'm still looking for some silnylon, but they've not had any lately... i'll keep you posted.

Just Jeff
2006-02-22, 01:26
Thanks man. I was in Atlanta last week and hit three SuperWally's...not even any DWR!

Wreck
2006-02-22, 02:02
i dont know of any walmarts around here anyway....yes, thats right, a world without walmart, where will the redneck children go?

SowthEfrikan
2006-02-25, 14:24
HH is fine down south until winter rolls around, then I switch to a tent. The underquilt looks like a very good idea, but it totally destroys the weight saving the HH has over a tent so as far as I am concerned, I may as well go with a tent at that point. Besides, it is warmer to sleep on the ground in winter. But for the rest of the year, as long as you are able to string a hammock up, the HH rocks.

peter_pan
2006-02-25, 21:40
HH is fine down south until winter rolls around, then I switch to a tent. The underquilt looks like a very good idea, but it totally destroys the weight saving the HH has over a tent so as far as I am concerned, I may as well go with a tent at that point. Besides, it is warmer to sleep on the ground in winter. But for the rest of the year, as long as you are able to string a hammock up, the HH rocks.

SowthEfrikan,

I doubt that your tent,stakes, ground cloth, pad is any lighter than a hammock rig, tarp and stakes included, with an underquilt.
For example:

HH ELR no fly is 16 oz.
JRB tarp 9.4 oz
Lines and two tie stakes 1.4 oz
JRB Nest 20 oz
JRB suspension system 2 oz total is 48.8 oz or 3 lbs

What is your tent weight with pad, ground cloth if used and all stakes and lines?

Pan

SowthEfrikan
2006-02-26, 15:17
SowthEfrikan,

What is your tent weight with pad, ground cloth if used and all stakes and lines?

Pan

Hey PP - The UL tent comes in at about 4.8 pounds, with a rainfly, groundsheet and pad. There is just no way I toddle off without a rainfly. :) My HH UL backpacker setup is about 2 pounds including HH snakeskins, HH rainfly and 2 stakes. When using the HH, I add a pad which is just over another pound. As I sleep cold I don't see myself leaving the pad behind even with a quilt system.

peter_pan
2006-02-26, 18:05
Hey PP - The UL tent comes in at about 4.8 pounds, with a rainfly, groundsheet and pad. There is just no way I toddle off without a rainfly. :) My HH UL backpacker setup is about 2 pounds including HH snakeskins, HH rainfly and 2 stakes. When using the HH, I add a pad which is just over another pound. As I sleep cold I don't see myself leaving the pad behind even with a quilt system.

SowthEfrickan,

Looks like you could add an underquilt, keep your heavy pad and still be under tht 4.8 lbs and a be a whole lot more comfortable.... Just to challenge your thinking about weight....

Pan

Woods Walker
2006-03-02, 17:11
When it gets a bit cold I use the 4 season system with my explorer deluxe. I add a military poncho liner and toss in my jacket and paints liner too. This takes me down to about 20's with out a pad inside. The sil nylon part alone works good to keep the bugs for biting me though the hammock bottom in summer. I never use the snake skins to pack the hammock. I use them to keep water running down my ropes. I just toss the whole thing less my jacket and paints liner into a large stuff sack.

SowthEfrikan
2006-03-05, 07:54
For my trip to the Grand Canyon Accuweather is predicting a balmy 0F and -7F real feel. My hammock is staying home. I've never slept that cold so I do admit to being a tad nervous.

jimtanker
2006-03-05, 11:12
The one thing that gets me though, is what if you are in an area that has no trees that will support a hammok? Have you ever tried ground pitching your hammoks?

Seeker
2006-03-05, 16:01
JT, et al....

i had this same discussion (campign without trees) with a guy (actually, two or three piled on the fight eventually) over at whiteblaze... let me get a few disclaimers out of the way first, just to frame my point of view and explain why i don't use a tent/bivy/tarp...

one, i do not like grey stony mountains. the alps, the rockies, the andes, they himalayas... that kind... i do not like them in pictures, in person, with ham, green eggs, ketchup, salt and pepper, or any other way... i don't know why. but i do like hills... the black forest. the fichtelgeberg. the thuringerwald. the bohemerwald. the smokies. the adirondacks. the catskills. that sort of thing.

two, i do not like deserts. been to a couple, on two continents. yeah, some had trees, but i didn't like the scenary. and, i'm ashamed to admit it, i have seen the grand canyon and been unimpressed... i will say that i do hope to go back someday, and go down into it... i have wanted to go see that waterfall (can't remember the name that's down there). (my wife was pregnant at the time, and it wasn't a very relaxing trip to begin with... not saying my lack of awe was her fault... just that my mind wasn't where it normally is when i'm out in nature. so i owe the grand canyon a revisit and probably an apology.) arizona was beautiful only in june, when it rained every day and the grass and flowers came out. other than that, i did not like the million shades of red/brown... interesting to live there a year, but not nice enough to live there, or even go back. (oh. and i did go back a few years later on tdy for a week. same impression...)

three, i do not plan to ever hike anywhere where there are no trees. to me, they are the reason to hike. they make the scenary. they project the energy that rejuvinates me.

ok, so now that you know where i'm coming from, no, i don't ever plan on being where there are no trees to hang from. i can't fathom that anywhere i would hike wouldn't have trees. even areas that have been logged over have bits and pieces you can hang from (lots of that around here.) so i guess my point is that the possibility of there being no trees doesn't even enter the equation i use in planning for a trip. and i would never go back to tent/bivy/tarp willingly.

that said, yes, i have tried to set my hennessy up as a bivy in my yard. didn't work too well... it's hard to get in and out of, and since i use an underquilt, i wouldn't be carrying a full length (or even 3/4 length) sleeping pad. i do carry a seat, about 18" square, of blue foam. (use it to stiffen my golite gust pack, stand on, sit on, keep rain off my pack, and put under my back if i'm in that 40*-45* temp range where the underquilt tends to be a little on the cool side)... so, given my normal gear load, i wouldn't have anything to lay on... not that i couldn't make do with the seat... but the hammock doesn't make a good bivy... if i had to, i'd just figure out a way to use my single hiking staff as a pole and set the hammock's tarp up somehow and not mess with the hammock itself... i've spent more than one night on the back deck of a tank, laying on a green pad and under a tank tarp, with no support system at all, in the pouring rain... warm and dry, but hard... so i could live one night like that again... just wouldn't want to, and certainly don't ever plan on hiking an area where i couldn't hammock hang...

thus endeth the lesson... (sorry.)

jimtanker
2006-03-05, 18:59
Yea Seeker. Turret over the right side of the tank. 50 Cal turned to the right and fully elevated. Perfect place to pitch a hooch. And with that 20 foot spaghetti cord you could pull radio watch nice and warm and dry. I've got many a year doing that too.

I'm kind of just now getting into the hammok thing and was just wondering how one would do it on the off chance there werent any trees. I agree with you about one of the main reasons about backpacking is the trees. As far as I consider it, there are no real trees west of the Cascades/Sierras. Only bushes. Right ICEMAN?

But if I were in a position where I had to camp. I was just wondering how it would be sleeping in a hammok on the ground.

john pickett
2006-03-05, 19:30
Jimtanker,
Our own estimable Top Sargent has some info on using a hammock as a bivy.
http://hikinghq.net/hammock/hammock3.html
Regards,
John Pickett

jimtanker
2006-03-05, 20:38
Yep, seen it. Thanks.

I was wanting to hear personal experiences with doing it.

Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?

Seeker
2006-03-05, 21:31
JT,

i was talking about literally sleeping under an un-hootched tarp... but too tired to care... just laid out under it on the back deck... warm, but you could feel the rain on you, but since the tarp was over you, you stayed dry... (dang, i'd hafta be tired to do that now...)

REAL comfort came when you could back all four tanks up against each other, making a big box... traverse over the back deck and elevate... tie the tarp out as far as it would go off the end of the gun tube (purpose for that comes later)... everyone spreads their mats out on the deck and only 4 of the 16 of us had to pull any sort of radio watch... so you got a great night's sleep... the best part came next, in the morning... the radio watch guy started his tank... any one would do... then, and only then, as that hot, hot exhaust comes up out of the hole created by the 4 tanks being back to back, and trapped by the overhanging tarps, when it's nice and toasty out, do you get out of bed... you can hold your boots and cold clothing out in the heat and get dressed straight into nice warm clothes... after that, we'd break out those little shelves our mechanickers made for us, that hang off the rear grill over the exhaust... set a #10 can full of water on it, and you've got hot shaving water in about 5 minutes... THAT was high livin' in the field... unfortunately, it was usually only that one time, the last night there, per field problem... still, nice to drive home on a good night's sleep vs being all over the autobahn...

i also remember one of my crews had this thing for popcorn... they cooked jiffy pop over their exhaust...

none of which has anything to do with bivvies...

dropkick
2006-03-06, 03:32
Yep, seen it. Thanks.

I was wanting to hear personal experiences with doing it.

Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?
Not the same thing, but I'd be happy to answer any bivy questions you might have. Been using one for years.
Am transfering to a hammock this summer mainly due to this forum and the ground getting harder.
The ground was much softer when I was younger, someone should do a study, must be global warming or something else making it harder. :rolleyes:

jimtanker
2006-03-06, 08:22
Global hardening???

I am in the same boat. Trying to shave every Oz. off my pack too.

Mutinousdoug
2006-03-06, 11:43
For my trip to the Grand Canyon Accuweather is predicting a balmy 0F and -7F real feel. My hammock is staying home. I've never slept that cold so I do admit to being a tad nervous.

I camped in the Grand Canyon in March (This was back in the 60's) and while the rim had snow on the ground in the camp grounds, once we got into the canyon the temps were in the high 70's. Still cool at night but nowhere near freezing. Where there are beaches along the river, and up the wet canyons there are trees enough to hang your hammock from (If they are still there, 37 years later) but you may be hard pressed to find appropriate trees in the designated camp grounds. Plenty of sand to sleep on, though.
Have a nice trip.