First Hang train wreck
So Ive been seeing allot of people sitching to hammock camping, saying its much mkore comfortable than sleeping on the ground. Soooo i thought I would try it. Here in Ohio the nights have been running in the 30's. I bought a nice hammock at waly world to see if I liked it before investing in a more exspensive set up. So the hammock set up easily pitched a rain fly over it built a nice reflector fire good to go. I have a 0 degree mummy bag and a thermarest self inflating pad. everything looks good. well bed time comes and i get into the hammock and almost break my neck trying to wiggle in the sleeping bag (its impossible). pad pops out on the ground. I get up put the pad back in get in the sleeping bag and lie in the hammock. pretty comfortable. after about 5 minutes I notice my feet are elevated my top half is in a hole my butt is freezing and i look like a contorntionist. pad slides out again. I put my hat on a couple extra layers and just suffered through it. The hammock seemed to have stretched down some. when i woke up i was half on my belly in a near backbend. So i find some forums about under quilts and the proper sag and some suspension. now im just trying to figure out with all the extra equipment that comes with hammocking if i can fit all the gear in my pack and concerns about weight versus my solo tent. Hope you all enjoyed the story any advicd would be appreciated.
The thing with hammock camping is that there is quite a bit more tinkering involved than with tent camping. Experience and the right gear will make all the difference in the world. It took me a bit of practice time and some gear upgrades before I felt 100% comfortable with my setup. The writing was on the wall though...I could tell that if I got it right, I would be much more comfortable than in a tent, and I am.
I was in your shoes with the sleeping bag and pad. I then got an under quilt and top quilt and this made a huge difference. I spent several night hanging in my basement, tinkering with my suspension until I was comfortable with the angles and amount of sag....now I'm 10x's more comfy than I ever was in a tent.
Ya, you need the right gear for what you are wanting to do. It's a bit of an investment, but it's well worth it to me. I will never sleep on the ground again (if I have a choice)
You won't have a problem getting your gear packed. I carry a 38L pack and I can carry anything I'll need until I run out of food (4 or 5 days.) It sounds like you might have to do some work on your suspension, but without more information it's hard to say for sure. Also, if you got the hammock at wallyworld, it is probably functional, but I wouldn't think it will be very comfortable (there are a lot of factors that come into play here....fabric, length, angle...so on and so on)
My best advise would be to go out to the back yard (or a close outdoor location) and test your gear in an area that you can bail out of if you need to. Good luck, and you are surely in the right place if you are interested in hammocks :)
Also, some videos can help a lot more to understand how it all works -- watch all 10 parts of Shug's Essentials for Newbies Video Series -- he's also from up in that cold weather country, and he covers a lot, including seeing how everything packs down...
Originally Posted by Throkda
Just finished watching them. That's quite allot of gear to pack in that bag. The quilts and such must compress pretty good I would suspect.
Be sure and let the air out of the thermarest pad and leave the valve open. Otherwise, as you found out, it's a YouTube moment for sure.
Looking back I'm an experienced woodsman But, I never thought this would be this complicated. I am looking at getting the whoopee slings and structural Ridgeline with Atlas straps. I'm also considering making an under quilt out of an old sleeping bag. Does anyone have experience with the whoopee slings are they any good?
Originally Posted by dac01
Hammock, down 2/3 underquilt, small pad for his legs, tarp, and a topquilt, I think....but rather than guess, here's what he packed and how: Shug's Backpack Hammock Load for a 21° Trip - Part 1 and Part 2
Yeah as others have noted it can take some dialing in. I had the same idea when I got started with a mummy style bag. The way I would suggest to use the mummy bag is to unzip it down to about your calves and once in your hammock put your feet in and pull it up over yourself like a blanket. This is how topquilts work. Not all hammocks stretch like that either. Get yourself an Eno double or if you wanna do it on the even less expensive, get a tableclothfactory.com crinkle tafetta table cloth and sew a channel on each end. There are some threads here on them. Underquilts provide a whole new level of comfort compared to pads. Don't give up, lot's of us have been there where you are know in regards to the frustration.
LOL! Laughing because your 1st night sounds a lot like mine only it was not as cold but still chilly :)
Things I have learned since then.
Dumped my Thermarest pad and got a 15.00 Walmat CCF (closed cell foam) pad. I don't slide around on it and it stays where I put it.
I am making one of these http://www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.c...uct/A4011.html because I found my arms get cold from being against the hammock when them temp is below 50F.
Use your sleeping bag like a top cover or zip it part way up step into it, then sit in hammock/lift your feet in. Depends on how cold it it which I do.
You have to get the "lay" right. It is not a "one and done" thing. I have a HH Classic and it uses a structral ridge line. That means it lays the same every time as long as I hang it correctly from the tree. By correct I mean I put my feet about 5 inches higher than my head. The learning curve means you have to practice sitting it up, laying in it, changing things, rinse and repeat till you get it adjusted for you.
The more cross ways you lay in the hammock, the flatter you will lay. If you lay with your feet and head in a direct line with your ropes, you are doing it wrong unless you are in a bridge hammock.
Spend the time to watch Shug's videos on YouTube. He is the bomb and a great teacher. Funny too :)