So, a quick report on my newly acquired Molly Mac Gear Hammock Sock with Dutch SEEP. I recently received mine from MacEntyre, just in time for my Elk Trail hike this past weekend. What an incredible piece of gear! With Mac's help, I ordered some Nylon Supplex in MARPAT design and sent it off to him for use in the making of my sock. Here's the finished product:
My rig for the evening consisted of the following, in order from bottom to top:
1) MMG Hammock Sock with Dutch SEEP
2) Universal IX UQ
3) Eno Single Nest
4) JRB Hudson River TQ
5) OES MacCat Deluxe with 2QZQ door and pole mods
The operating environment throughout our day:
Time = 15:56, High Temp = 72*F, Humidity = 35%
Time = 23:56, High Temp = 54*F, Humidity = 72%
Time = 06:56, High Temp = 46*F, Humidity = 93%
My initial thought was, "how in the heck do I rig this thing?". I figured I could work it out when I got to my camping spot. Unfortunately, we didn't get into our area until well after dark. Fortunately, the sock is pretty intuitive. There are three "bitter ends" of shock cord. Two main ends which are used to tie into your suspension, and one which you knot on itself to adjust the shock cord "Dutch" wall that the SEEP panel goes over (see Mac's video on the MMG page). Tying into my descender rings was no problem what-so-ever! However, I think I'm going to tie in some loops at the end of each cord to attach micro-biners. This will enable me to simply clip in the sock, while still allowing me to adjust it for variable UQ insulation choices.
I rigged my sock to support the SEEP panel over the SRL of my hammock rig, which is pretty high due to the fact that I attach my SRL at the descender rings. No worries though, there was plenty of overlap, while not becoming too cumbersome to get out of.
The sock made a HUGE difference. We were camped along the mountain (hill really) side of the trail, almost at the top with a deep valley and run at the bottom. As with any valley, the cold air moved down in the evening and the mist/fog rolled up it in the morning. This combined with LOTS of humidity made for a somewhat damp first day/night. The hammock sock did an awesome job at mitigating the outside moisture. By the next morning, the sock walls themselvers were cool and a bit damp, but the inside of my abode was nice and dry!
Since it was my first time using the sock, I didn't hang it exactly like the way Mac did in his videos. But I found myself really liking the "270*" configuration; where I would tuck the SEEP panel over itself on my SRL and could still see out of the side of my hammock. By throwing it over my SRL, I could still access all of my stuff and stay covered.
Scene from my hammock with the sock.
It was amazing how well the sock insulated the hammock. It got down into the low 40's over night, but I slept with my JRB Hudson River TQ only up to my waist. I didn't pull the entire quilt up over my chest until an hour or so before dawn. By early morning I had thrown off the quilt and pulled the SEEP panel back over the SRL. Despite the relative warmness of the sock, the “vents” created at the ends was sufficient enough to allow a great cross draft, never making the sock feel “stuffy” or claustrophobic.
...and by morning, I was up and ready for coffee!
The hammock sock turned out to be a great addition to my overall sleep system. I had originally only thought of it as an add-on piece, but I now think it will be part of my main rig during Spring/Fall and I'll add my TQ/UQ combinations for winter. I also believe it's a GREAT way to help someone make the transition from tent camping to hammock camping...due to the fact that it provides the user with all of the benefits of hammocking still providing the illusion of being "safely contained"; as if in a tent.
The next night, my buddy and I switched. At about the same time the next morning (06:56) conditions were similar to the night before. I found myself fussing with a way to keep a balance between staying warm and venting…despite the fact that I had stripped down to a single layer of clothing. By 8:00 the next morning, I got up and started a fire because I was a little cold and damp from perspiration. As I sat there drinking my coffee, I was a little jealous of my buddy who was using the sock, because I knew he had an easier time regulating temperature and was enjoying the same comfort I had the night before. Right about then, I remembered I had requested a second sock from Mac and found myself both glad I had the fore sight to do so, and getting very excited over the idea of picking up my second sock at the MAHHA group hang! At least both my buddy and I will each have a sock for that trip!