Couple Newbie Questions
Well someone is serving up the kool-aid cuz I am here lol. I blame Shug. I have never hung before but I am seriously looking into it as a way to lower my pack weight. I have a few questions and I know this is the place to ask them. So here goes.
Just to point out I am cheap...well I am married let's just say that. So dropping 200 bucks on a hammock when I have a tent already is not going to fly. But 20 bucks on a Grand Trunk Ultralight will work. So being 5' 10 and 200 pounds, will this thing hold my uncoordinated behind? Will it work into a winter setting with proper insulation? I understand that the suspension will need to be changed out to the whoopies or some such contraption. That is not a problem. But for 20 bucks I don't think I can get fabric to DIY it for less. I can DIY so when it comes to mods or the bug net I can probably pull that off too.
At what temp do you start needing an under quilt and will a pad do instead for certain temps when coupled with a pad extender to keep it in place?
I am sure I will have other questions along the way but hopefully this is a good way to be more comfortable and lower my shelter weight, currently at 5.5 pounds for a small tent. I have watched Shug's videos, in fact my 2 year old boy whooo buddys quite a bit. So I have some answers. Just need to get pointed in the right direction.
Thanks for the info.
Check out the FAQ's, articles, stickies etc... Most of your questions have been answered and can be found. I've posted a couple things that I used the search feature to find later--use it. I was in the same boat a little over a year ago. I find most of my answers without a thread. By the way welcome to your new addiction.
You'll be just fine. I have two cheap hammocks also and they sleep great. If you're handy with a sewing machine errrr..... thread injector then the sky's the limit. Welcome to the addiction.
The Grand Trunk Ultra Light(GTUL) should make a good starter hammock. Most move on to something different, like a bridge, Warbonnet Blackbird, Switchback, or a longer/wider DIY, but not always. If you do move on it would be around the time your son would need a hammock anyways. The GTUL should tell you all you need to know about hammocking.
I have found that the webbing with cinch buckles like these are the best for me; http://arrowheadequipment.webs.com/a...s/show/2575054 . Except if you're going ultra light, you may want to search whoopie slings.
I start feeling cool at 65F-70F without some instrumentation under me. If you're looking to be frugal, use your pad and sleeping bag(as a top quilt) that you already own for ground use, in your hammock,. You will also need a tarp.
As beast said, you can get by just fine with a pad and sleeping bag. I'd venture to say many people on here started out that way because they were in the same situation you are...not wanting to sink a few hundred bucks right out of the gate. Many people still use thier pads, because they haven't needed anything else. I started with a pad, and moved to an UQ pretty quickly simply because of condensation issues with my sweaty body.
How cold it will take you is a matter of how you sleep. I can go down to about 45 with nothing more than a sleeping bag, but I'm a hot sleeper, and not really the "norm" from what I can gather. A pad would easily take me into the 20s. If I had to pull out a number for "average", I'd say an SPE could take most people to 35ish.
For the record, any hammock that will hold your weight (GT is fine) will work in a winter setting with proper insulation. The tarp is what takes a little more getting used to. You'll have to concern yourself with wind more than flat ground in the winter, but hung low with tyvek doors, my tarp is just as windproof as my 3-season tent.
Welcome to the club!
I bought a Grand Trunk UL as my first hammock and personally found it too narrow for me and returned it. I am about your size 5'11" and 210lbs. I instead got a ENO DoubleNest and feel a lot more comfortable in that. I felt as though I was always about to fall out of the GTUL. My son sleeps great in his though he is just over 5feet and 100lbs. :)
Thanks for the info guys. I have been going round and round on the Grand Trunk Ultralight vs the skeeter beeter or the ENO stuff. Quite a bit to take in, and I hate buying the wrong thing from the get go. I will take a peek at the doublenest again. Bit more than the ultralight but based on some reviews seems a bit sturdier, although a bit more in weight. What is the "best" typical size for a tarp? 10x10? I am guessing a full square is a allows for better pitch options than say a rectangle.
The generally-accepted minimum for most tarps is the length of the hammock plus a foot. It's probably better if it's plus two feet (and how sharply the tarp tapers at the ends plays a large role in this, too).
There are three major styles of tarps: rectangular, hexagonal, and asymmetric diamond shaped.
Rectangular tarps are the simplest as far as design goes; the advantage here is total coverage. If you get one that is long enough and has the proper tie-outs, you can close off the end corners into "doors" that will block wind and precipitation. The wind-blocking comes into play the most during the winter, which makes these types of tarps popular with those camping in cold weather.
Hexagonal tarps are just rectangular tarps that have had their corners cut off. These types of tarps are a compromise between weight/bulk and coverage. They tend to give good coverage to a hammock (since the hammock tapers towards the ends, it needs less coverage there), while saving weight. The downside is that you can't close off the ends without additional equipment (though a poncho and some line fixes this right neatly, in my experience).
Asymmetrical diamond tarps are as minimalist as it gets. They're generally the lightest tarps out there, reducing pack volume at the same time. They're hung with the long axis running the length of the hammock and the short axis across the hammock, usually with the points at left shoulder and right knee to allow one to lay asymmetrically in the hammock and still have overhead coverage. These can be used in extreme weather (Sgt. Rock has a story about hanging in a hurricane with one of these), but require skill to set up well enough to avoid being wet under such circumstances.
So, really, what you need to balance is how much coverage you need versus how heavy a pack you're willing to carry.
I started out with a DIY hammock with ripstop nylon from the local fabric store. If you're good with the machine perhaps you could find a deal/discount/clearance/coupon at your local fabric store. That project was a total of $21.33 with suspension, and used my sleeping bag for insulation (started hanging in summer so it was ok). This link from Just Jeff was helpful for me.
My first tarp was the $7 blue Walmart special (12x10 I think) with a few tie outs added with the machine. Just remember, it doesn't have to look pretty to begin with...it just has to work.
Later I added a few asym tie outs to the hammock and its been my go to for the last 9 months.
The first hammock is always the hardest decision to make because you don't want to "get the wrong thing." Honestly, I did rock-paper-scissors to decide:D
Edit: Watch the Shug Noob videos 4 or 5 times too. And check here.
I'm also new to hammocking but i might be able to help a bit!
I bought a GTUL a few months ago and so far it seems to be a perfect starter hammock. When first got it I had no complaints (Besides the suspension), but when i set it up and got in with my pad and sleeping bag i started to realize it's a little bit narrow and i had some trouble keeping my feet from slipping out of the hammock. But i was able to fix that problem pretty easily by playing with my ridgeline and just some more practice getting situated in the hammock. And although i wish the GT was a few inches wider it is still extremely comfortable not to mention an amazing deal!
If you are trying to bring down your pack weight i would HIGHLY recommend upgrading the heavy S rings and rope they use for the suspension to something like http://arrowheadequipment.webs.com/a...s/show/2575039. For me it seems like the perfect system, Light, and really easy. My hammock with this suspension system comes in at 13.8 oz and if i remember right (I could be way off I never wrote it down...) the stock GT weighs ~11oz. And that's without rope or tree straps..
Ohh, I'm 5' 10" 230# so the GT should have no problem supporting you.