This was a fun thread to read. Thanks for posting!
This was a fun thread to read. Thanks for posting!
UPDATE: The Backyard Field Report
Last weekend was a no hang weekend, as I was on a “Family” camping trip, which gave me a reason drag out the Big Agnes Big House 6. With the vestibule, this tent is a monster; it's essentially a one bedroom apartment with an attached garage...but I digress. So, this weekend was set aside for a solo hike and camp, but I couldn't get away due to some family obligations. However, I was really chomping at the bit to try out some equipment and I just couldn't wait another couple of weeks...so...I fashioned a makeshift backyard hang. If you look closely at the pictures, you might get the impression that it's a bit rickety...and it is...but it held up just fine. I'll have to make something a little more...err...sturdy...and permanent in the future.
Alright, first things first. A couple weeks ago, on my trip to Merchants Millpond State Park, I discovered that I was not enamored with the whole hammock with pads insulation scheme. I'm sure most people cope with multiple pads, sleeping bags, etc...with no problems what so ever...I'm just not one of them. The whole point to getting off the ground was comfort and I felt I was sacrificing that with pads and a sleeping bag. Therefore, I set out to purchase an under quilt and took a trip to Jacks-R-Better. Long story short, I purchased a Winter's Nest UQ and a Hudson River TQ. This allowed me to abandon the pads altogether and the sleeping bag is now back in storage. After I got my newly acquired UQ/TQ home, I quickly hung the Hyperlite in the garage and immediately came to the conclusion that the stock Hennessy fly just wasn't going to provide me as much weather protection as I would like. Don't get me wrong, the stock fly is very adequate, but I wanted to be able to sit, cook, change, etc...without fear of getting wet. So, this week I went back to JRB's and got myself an 11x10 cat cut tarp, Self Tensioning Lines (STL's), and eight pegs.
The Jacks-R-Better 11x10 cat cut tarp
I admit, I was hesitant about adding the tarp to my backpacking arsenal. I knew that I would eventually be adding weight to my pack and that didn't appeal to me. However, after I seam sealed the tarp, I realized that it was going to provide me with more than adequate weather coverage and it's versatility convinced me that the additional weight was something that I could live with. The tarp, stuff sack, STL's, and eight tent pegs weighed in at a grand total of 25 oz, minus the 9 oz of the stock fly, I ultimately added a total of 16 oz to my base pack weight.
The first time I hung the tarp, I decided that I wanted to try something I saw on the JRB website. With the tarp hung so that the seam was perpendicular to the ridge line, I was able to “Button up” the tarp like a tent with doors. I'm sure there's a name for this configuration, but I don't know what it is. Regardless, I assumed that this would provide me the best protection from the wind and for the most part it did. However, at one point the wind shift and briefly whipped through the gaps at the top of the tarp. Brisk baby! In the morning I was able to quickly adapt the tarp into a modified Baker Hut. This was really cool and I marveled at how much protected space the tarp actually provides.
By the way, the Self Tensioning Lines are really pretty cool and a worthwhile addition to the tarp. One last note on the tarp. Since I didn't have two points to attach the tarp separately from the hammock, I decided to use the stock Hennessy tarp connectors (whatever you call'em) that are on the Hennessy suspension. This actually worked pretty well and although the tarp did sag a bit, it never touched the hammock at any time.
The Jacks-R-Better Winter's Nest UQ & Hudson River TQ
It didn't get cold enough to really put the UQ and TQ to the test, but I must say, I really prefer sleeping without any pads, so there's a big bonus! For me, it's just more comfortable and I don't have to worry about sliding off the pad. I think the temperature may have dropped down to 39F at one point, but it was probably more like low 40's for most of the night. Regardless, I was comfortable and warm all night in only shorts, socks, T-shirt, and wool cap.
I really couldn't be happier with all of my new JRB gear. The tarp is really very versatile and provides more than enough coverage. The Winter's Nest is a perfect fit for the Hennessy and it provides head to toe coverage. The Hudson River is very warm and comfortable. Close the footbox, then wrap it around your shoulders and you'll be snug, without that confined feeling you usually get in a sleeping bag. At one point, I was even able to pull the TQ over my head without it collapsing onto my face. Good to know when the weather turns really cold.
Never mock anyone for losing a tent stake. I dropped a titanium stake in the dark and I was lucky to find it the next morning.
Hanging a hammock in the dark is way harder than you think.
If you want to hang the tarp "tent style" and you have a bottom entry Hennessy, it's important to make sure you have room to exit the hammock without have to step outside of the tarp. Not a major issue, but it's difficult to get in and out of the bottom entry with the tarp pulled taut on the foot end. Non issue with a side entry though.
And welcome to the "Fraternity of Those Who Woke Up At 0-Dark-Hundred Chilled to the Bone on Their First Night Hanging"! If there is an acronynym there I cannot find one.
I basically went through the same learning curve as did you in terms of becoming disillusioned with in-the=hammock pads and fleece bags. An UQ is soooooo much easier and warmer, IMO.
And ya know, I still like the HH bottom entry. There. I saud it!
“I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy
As I recall, it was quite a shock to fall asleep in blissful comfort only to wake up chilled to the bone!
Thank you for your Hair band tips... will surely gonna try that out.