What Should I do?
So, here are the details:
1. I have a Hammock Bliss Ultralight as my first hammock
2. No tarp, pad, UQ, TQ, bug net
3. My suspension consists of two ratcheting straps (bulky/heavy)
4. No sewing machine
5. I have $25 to spend
What should I get/do? I was thinking that my first purchases would be some tree huggers and some Amsteel, so I can set up a proper suspension. I was also thinking about a DIY bushbuddy stove.
So far, I haven't done more than a few afternoon naps in my hammock. Any thoughts/inputs from the experts?
I think the whoopies and straps are a good call. You can always improve TQ/UQ and a WM tarp will get you some cover... but the hangers will help make your setup nice a fast.
This forum sure is an eclectic collection of folks when it comes to budgets. Some threads talk about electronic devices and phones that cost hundreds of dollars as though they are buying a candy bar. Then there is this where it is very limited. Just an observation about the diversity of the group.
If you can make your whoopies, you will save a bunch of $. Without the sewing machine, straps will be difficult to make. Get a cheapo foam pad for some insulation under you or the dollar store windshield reflectors for the interior can make a big difference. The k-mart blue tarp as well offers some inexpensive protection. Occasionally you will find a sleeping bag to use as a TQ at Goodwill or some other variation there of.
Site selection will be important as the tarp will not take a lot of wind. Most importantly, just do what you gotta do to get out there. We all start somewhere.
I remember fondly my early canoe trips 40 years ago with my gear in garbage bags as my "waterproof" packing. It truly is the journey.
As the weather is cooling, you are going to need to get some insulation under you! The can be done very cheaply with blue closed cell foam (CCF) pads from Walmart & the like. You need that before top insulation because you can just wear more clothes to stay warm on top.
What are you trying to do with the hammock, and what other gear do you have aside from what you listed? This will determine your needs.
Are you trying to car camp? If so, weight is a non-issue, as is volume. Price should be your guide here.
Are you trying to motorcycle or bicycle camp? If so, volume is at a premium, whereas weight isn't. Look for options that pack down small, even if they're heavier than the alternative. For example, a poncho liner is heavier than a blue Wallyworld pad, but packs down much smaller. It makes for better bottom insulation when used in this manner, even though it won't get you as low in temperatures.
Are you trying to backpack? If so, what style of backpacking are you doing? Are you going to hike into a single camp and then do day-hikes? Are you going to be long-distance hiking? If the former, don't worry so much about weight and instead work on comfort in camp. If the latter, worry about weight and don't worry so much about comfort in camp. For example, some thru-hikers don't even carry a stove, instead relying on prepared meals like Pop-Tarts and Pringles to carry them through; whereas some base campers bring Dutch ovens and full-sized wood stoves when winter camping in order to make apple pie in the field.
Look for good deals at local thrift stores and Wallyworld. Stuff can be repurposed. Example: turn Gatorade bottles or water bottles that folks toss into the recycling (after suitable cleaning and sanitizing with a bleach solution) into water bottles for the trail. Costs you nothing, and weighs less than a Nalgene. An old can of beans or coffee can is easy to turn into a hobo stove with an old-style "church key" can opener and a pair of tin snips (be careful of the sharp edges on the can when doing this).
Really, what you need to think about first is what you want to do. This will show you which sliding scale you're on and help you choose which end of it you want to weight.
First how and when are you planing on using the hammock?
If car camping now then I'd do the suspension later and get a pad.
But like he said you can make you own whoopies cheap and easy, and take the strap off the ratchet system you use now.
Do you sew? Arrowhead equipment can get you polyester webbing and amsteel for good prices. This should get you going on suspension and a ridgeline for less than your budget.
I'll probably be doing a combination of motorcycle and single-camp hiking, at least until I can sell my wife on multi-day hiking trips.
At the moment, it looks like my gear priority list is going to be tree huggers, then pad, and then as much Amsteel as I can get with what's left over. Cheap-o tarp would be the next thing, but I think that one can wait until I scrounge up some more cash.
Any suggestions on where to get the Amsteel? I've found one or two places online, running around $.43US per foot, but are there any stores that carry Amsteel on the shelf?
I would keep the ratchet straps for now and get a wide foam pad off here or Craigslist. If you want to save weight, cut the metal off the ratchet strap with a hack saw or bolt cutters. Leaving the sewn loop in tact. Buy two climbing carabiners. Attach them at the hammock and tie off to those with the webbing from the straps. If you have any money left over buy some Repel 100% DEET.
Not sure about prioritizing the list but...
A sleeping bag rigged as an underquilt seems to have worked well for several folks on here. http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=38978
You can usually pick up sleeping bags pretty cheap on Kijiji or at garage sales. Aside from that I would think you could use twine if necessary for your rigging on the Sleeping Bag UQ as it would only need to carry the weight of the bag.
You could also put an ad up on Kijiji/craigslist looking for old/ripped tents. You could get some good material for some basic DIY projects, not to mention rainflys.
Perhaps most important is enjoy your afternoon naps. They should be cherished!!!!
Good luck and happy hangin'.
Oh and by the way, it might not hurt to work out most of the kinks before the bride comes along. A smoother trip might make her more agreeable the next time, although shared troubles are sometimes the fun ones to look back on..... ah what do I know? Good luck... again.