Temp High 44, low 33
Wind WNW ave 10mph, gusts to 22mph
Humidity 91-100% (rained on us all night)
My hammock is a homebuilt Claytor-ish clone. It is double layer, the bottom layer is ripstop nylon, one side Marpat camo, the other is a brown PU coating (completely waterproof). The inside layer is 1.9oz ripstop woodland camo, and is also waterproof. I used the ring buckle set up with 1inch webbing.
The fabric dimensions are 60 in wide by 10ft long.
My tarp is a guide gear 12X12 tarp from sportsmans guide.
I slept in a Wiggies 0 deg bag, with an expedition rated thermarest inflatable pad between the layers.
Ok, here we go. First off, that stupid pad. I slipped it between the layers of my hammock, which kindof kept it in place. However, the pad would slide to whichever side of the hammock I was not on. Not only that, but just placing it inside the hammock completely changed the way the hammock would lay. kept feeling like I would fall out of it because of the rigidity introduced along the center of the hammock by the pad. I could certainly feel when I wasn't laying on the pad and spent a long time adjusting it.
Second, the guide gear tarp sucks ***. In the middle of the night the tarp had soaked up alot of water and became slack. Also, it sweat water all over me all night long. It was wet to the touch. I sincerely question it's waterproofing. I believe I'm going to return the tarp and use the money to buy fabric to make my own.
My hammock turned into a small pond. There was a lot of water in it, enough so that I'm not sure if it was from the tarp dripping or condensation. Half way through the night I flipped it over so I could sleep on a dry side. Inbetween the hammock layers was completely dry. I checked my suspension straps and they were only moist up to the ring buckles which I imagine acted as a drip arrest.
Luckily, my wiggies bag worked as advertised and kept me warm (so long as I was on the pad) and dry all night. For the portion of the night that I slept, I can honestly say that I slept better than I do in my bed at home. I had no sore shoulders or hips, nothing. I woke up at 3am feeling like I had slept for 12 hours and just lay there for the next hour or so listening to the rain and the creek. I remember just how much I loved sleeping outside.
So, here are my issues...
I hate having my inflatable pad in between the hummock layers. However, I am not keen on ditching the pad for an underquilt because I'm worried that I may have to go to ground on a trip. The next thing I'm going to try is a pad extender like the one speer makes. Anyone have experience with the pad extenders, and does it alleviate some of the issues with pads like them sliding out from under you? How does a CCF pad compare to an inflatable like my thermarest when used with a hammock? And if you don't use a pad at all, what do you do if you are forced to sleep on the ground?
Also, my fabric choices may not have been the best for a hammock, I dunno. The next day I saw more rain roll in on us. The clouds were low enough that it was like being in a fog bank. I'm thinking this is what happen during the night. So I'm still unsure as to how much of the moisture in my hammock was from my tarp, how much was condensation from my own body moisture, and how much was a result of being inside a storm cloud. Any one here have more info on differences of using a breathable material vs a waterproof one on a hammock? Would using a breathable material for the inside of the hammock and a waterproof one for the outer layer make a difference?
Did I mention that I hate my tarp? I may not be totally fair to it, but It really didn't do much to keep me dry. Now If I had made it from the PU coated marpat ripstop it would have certainly been waterproof, and about 10lbs. Is there any silnylon that isn't black, grey, or some hideous dayglow color? Just OD green would be great.
Again, I don't to sleep on the ground ever again if I can help it. I'm already planning to build a hammock stand in my room for those nights when my neck or shoulder is acting up.
In a nutshell I need to solve the 3 issues of back insulation, moisture, and a decent tarp. Once I get it all solved, I'm going to have all my scouts eventually switch over to hammocks.
Thanks in advance for your responses.