I'm planning several long distances hikes, with the end game being a thru-hike on the AT in the next year or two. I'm completely enamored with hammocks, but they do present a couple challenges for that sort of trip, as everyone here is keenly aware.
In situations like an AT hike where shelters are readily available, I'd really like to use the shelters as a severe weather alternative. That really requires a pad for warmth though, as laying on an underquilt on the ground isn't much better than just laying on the ground in a sleeping bag. Pads create their own set of problems in a hammock, as I've heard repeatedly here. I hate the idea of carrying a 3 season UQ and a pad, and that has me thinking.
I'm pondering cutting up a blue closed-cell foam pad into small squares, something between 2"x2" and 8"x8", then sewing them into pockets between two sheets of nylon, like quilt batting. By placing seams between the squares, it should be very flexible, and much better suited to hugging the curves of a hammock. I'm not sure if I'd hang it as a proper UQ, or lay on top of it like a pad, but that will be something to experiment with.
Anyway, I'm thinking this design will let a pad better adapt to a hammock, while also remaining viable for use if I'm forced to go to ground. It probably wouldn't be as effective as just a blue pad, or a proper UQ unless you went nuts with insulating the seams with down or something of the sort, but I'm thinking for late spring/summer/early fall, it might do well enough. Anyone have thoughts on this idea?
They say no idea is original. Surely somebody else has tried something like this?