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Denver1911
2008-02-03, 16:15
Okay, I took the plunge and bought my first hammock. Why?

A place to relax in the back yard, somewhere to nap while car camping, and ... to hopefully reduce weight backpacking.

I want to drop my 5 lb tent, maybe my 2.5 lb thermarest, and my 2.5 lb sleeping bag in exchange for a 1 lb hammock, 2 lb tarp, and a 1.5 lb blanket. I'll be carrying 5.5 fewer pounds and sleeping more comfortably as well I hope.

So, I've got the hammock, but can't figure out how to stay warm and dry in it.

What do you guys use to stay warm? Do I need a sleeping pad in my hammock to insulate my bottom side? Do you guys just use a blanket? What kind?

Where do I start figuring out what size of tarp I need and how to pitch it over my hammock?

Thanks,
Denver

Mutinousdoug
2008-02-03, 18:37
Suggest you browse the Hammock Camping sub-forum by setting the search thingy to go back over the last year or two.
The many answers to your questions are debated there in detail.

Enjoy

dropkick
2008-02-04, 02:13
Okay...
First I have some sad news for you, while you will drop some weight it's not going to be as great a loss as you thought. On the plus side you will be tremendously more comfortable.

You still need some form of underpad for when the temperature drops below 70F.

Some people use pads in their hammocks.
I never even tried this, as I felt it would be uncomfortable and a pain to arrange (I could be wrong).

In the summer (warm nights) I quite often just lie on top of a blanket and wrap my open sleeping bag (or other cover) around me at night.

Hooking another blanket or quilt underneath the hammock works even better, as it doesn't compress and provides better insulation.
They make quilts for this, like the JRB No Sniveller.
www.jacksrbetter.com/

I made a hammock a while ago and built it with a double "floor". This gives me a place to slip some form of insulation into. Any way you can figure out to hold a blanket or quilt underneath works.

There are people who just zip their sleeping bag over top of their hammocks and are happy with this. I sleep with a dog between my legs so this wouldn't work for me.

What you might do is going to depend on how much you want to spend (or build - I make my own gear - I'm cheap) and also on what type of hammock you have.

You can find out all kinds things other people have done at Just Jeffs' site (and also links to other hammock sites):
www.tothewoods.net/


I recommend that you don't start out with a tarp that's less than 8' X 10'.
There are people who use smaller tarps but I've never been comfortable with a smaller tarp, and I think I'd also have a problem staying dry in a rain storm with a smaller tarp.

-You can use some tape and plastic sheeting and experiment with size and shape of your tarp cheaply.

yuppie_redneck
2008-02-04, 02:43
Okay, I took the plunge and bought my first hammock. Why?

A place to relax in the back yard, somewhere to nap while car camping, and ... to hopefully reduce weight backpacking.

I want to drop my 5 lb tent, maybe my 2.5 lb thermarest, and my 2.5 lb sleeping bag in exchange for a 1 lb hammock, 2 lb tarp, and a 1.5 lb blanket. I'll be carrying 5.5 fewer pounds and sleeping more comfortably as well I hope.

So, I've got the hammock, but can't figure out how to stay warm and dry in it.

What do you guys use to stay warm? Do I need a sleeping pad in my hammock to insulate my bottom side? Do you guys just use a blanket? What kind?

Where do I start figuring out what size of tarp I need and how to pitch it over my hammock?

Thanks,
Denver

Skip the blankee - keep the bag - drop a pound on the tarp by going to sil-nylon - try SG for their 20 buck version - plenty big.

Thermarest is a bit heavy - just a closed cell foam cut down to your profile is fine - plenty of advice here on how to keep it in place if you look for it under hammock thread.

Your tarp should be under a pound if you are going with one that doesn't have an integral rain fly. Check out the henessey hammocks if you want to invest in a really light combo. The military version weighs in at under 3 lbs once you replace ropes and rings if you don't have that kind of money - look to pay 20-30 bucks for the mil version. (it has a plus of mosquito netting over just a plain hammock - but can be narrow on the bum. Be sure to look for the newer ones with larger sil-nylon rainflys)

Hope that helps.

Bottom line - hammocks are cool - in more ways than one. Your body weight compresses the fill in your bag - reducing it's effective insulation there - at the same time you are subject to 360 degree air cooling (instead of 270 if you just lie on a pad on the ground). Ever wonder why they suspend meat in a meat locker - it cools faster when hung. If warmth is an issue, consider stringing your hammock a little low and getting your tarp close to the ground - that does help.

Denver1911
2008-02-04, 13:33
Okay, after I posted my request, I found the motherload ... er ... the "Staying Warm and Dry" Forum.

Anyway, thanks for all the feedback.

I still believe I'll drop 4 - 5 pounds. I pulled out my old blue closed-cell foam pad left over from my pre-thermarest days. Works great in the hammock.

Tarp: 1 - 2 lbs .. probably 2, I like the more open, yet weather worthy pitches I've seen, which means a bigger tarp (8 by 10 or larger)

Hammock: 1 lb.

Sleeping Pad: 11 oz.

Blanket: Not sure. I don't want to use my sleeping bag, but can't figure out where to get a down blanket that's 7' by 4' and lightweight.

Anyway, I'm on my way. Thanks!

Denver

oldguy52
2008-02-10, 12:38
Blanket: Not sure. I don't want to use my sleeping bag, but can't figure out where to get a down blanket that's 7' by 4' and lightweight.

Anyway, I'm on my way. Thanks!

Denver

Can't speak for anyone else, but Jacks or better has long versions of their quilts that are 86" or 7'2". I have a regular "No Sniveler" and have pretty happy with it.

http://216.83.168.206/index_files/Products%20List_files/No%20Snivelling%20Quilt.htm

Rik

Richnmcc
2008-02-10, 23:54
Hello all

this is my first post. All of this talk about cutting weight. Has any buddy tried using a larger poncho tarp over their hammock. i was thinking of the sea to summit poncho tarp because it is the largest one I've found available online under $100. Any advise ?

Rich

pure_mahem
2008-02-11, 00:11
Depending on how much you want to spend you have options like the Speer's winter tarp and the Jackrbetter winter tarp. They say winter but I personally think they make more sense because it gives you the option to batten the hatches in windy and rainy weather and still give you the versatility to pitch an open airy setup when its nice. Their like an adjustable tent tarp for your hammock. I've seen some good other options as well lately but these are just slightly over a pound in weight. And in case you haven't been there a good place to get any questions you have answered that you can't find answers to is Hammockforums.net great place with lots of freindly people!

peter_pan
2008-02-11, 08:15
Welcome to the hanging gang..... Big gang of hammockers at www.hammockforums.net.... Plenty of answers there.

Pan