HH Exped. Asym at Boyaca, Colombia (40-44°F)
Returned yesterday from a 4 day camping trip to the outskirts of a small town called Arcabuco know for its rainy and windy climate. I took my exped. asym with stock fly, the HH hex fly, thermarest z-lite pad which has a 2.2 R-value, and sleeping bag rated for 30°F. I hoped these could be enough, but just in case, I took fa fleece poncho(sheep fleece/wool) to put over the pad. At nights, in the hammock, i'd use regular clothing: cotton boxer shorts, cotton pants, cotton socks, cotton t-shirt. I must confess that I also asked my buddies to save me a spot inside a tent in case the wind would mess things up in the hammock or i couldn't find trees to hang it from.
The day we arrived temperature was around mid 40s and there was a very light wind. As usual, I was the only one with a hammock. The camping place had only two suitable trees, but they were part of a fence. So while everyone else setup their tents I began my search for a nice, close enough spot with trees to hang my HH. Some 15 meters away from my friends i found a group of trees and decided to hang it here. Didn't time my self, but i took way less time than my friends: I even had time to accommodate the pad and bag inside the hammock, mess around with the tarps for different settings and then go and help around with the tents. The tents (3 tents) were still not up even with my help, and it began to rain. Guess what? everything got wet but my stuff.
Night came, temp dropped to 40 and winds grew stronger. I decided to get in my hammock. I didn't used the poncho, and was able to sleep nice and comfy, although i must say it took me some time to fall asleep because of cold feet after hoping into the hammock.
Woke up to a soft rain. When it stopped i got out, met with my friends in the camp ground, and found my self to be in way better shape than my friends, who complained about the floor's irregularity with too many bumps, slopes, etc. and of coldness. I couldn't but laugh, since i slept flat and just complained from 5 min of cold feet. During this day, i realized i could hang my HH from the two trees next to the tents, i just had to remove some old metallic debree and wires which were supposed to work a as a fence but were just hanging from some branches . After i removed this, i realized the trees were on the border of a huge cliff i. Everyone said i shouldn't risk hanging it there, I would fall out: JAJAJA, its a hennessy, I wont fall out - I said. So I set it up here with out the hex fly (we used it to create a "living/dinning/meeting room" in between the tents). The side tie out of the stock fly which pointed to the cliff was tied to a rock and let the rock hang out the cliff: there was no space in between the hammock's net and the fly. The other side was tied to one of the stakes used by one of the tents: this left a space of two inches between the net and the tarp. Normally, after setting up, I let the snakeskins under the tarp to tuck the hammock in case it rains, but this time, i didnt tuck it cuz i wanted to see how much the stock rain fly would protect under those windy conditions.
During the afternoon it rained with strong wind and my hammock got wet underneath, but to my surprise, nothing inside the hammcok got wet, And the hammock dried pretty fast by itself thanks to the wind i guess.
The climate was the same during the night. Again, I slept like a baby, even warmer since this time i did put the poncho over the pad to help cover the sides of the hammock which, as predicted, got way colder than night #1 because i didn't have the extra hex fly protecting form wind.
Next two days the hammock remained in the same place. I slept with the same elements.
The third night rained harder and wind blew harder. It was the night in which i slept the hottest: not even cold feet at beginning. Still, the next morning(final day) was still raining, even though softer that during the night, but there still were heavy winds which were able to blow some water through the net on the side of the tarp tied to the tent's stake. Actually only a few drops came in, they were enough to wake me up; still, not enough to get me out. I just pulled some of the hammock's fabric upwards on that side and continued to sleep for about two hours. I woke up, and everything was dry.
Had lunch, packed everything up, and came back home.
Conclusion from this trip:
1. Can't stop loving my HH. Exceedingly practical.
2. Stock fly DOES work, even though a bigger tarp does get rid of some coverage issues under windy conditions.
3. Must save money to get the Super Shelter.
Good for you!! Nothing beats a great nights sleep in the great outdoors.
I bet that a sheep skin with the wool still on it, laid on a pad with the wool side up, would eliminate the wet backs some people get sleeping on a pad. It would add quite a bit of insulation even laying on it.
Too bad it would also be so heavy. :D
As far as wind, rain, snow or any foul weather you want to throw at it, I'll wear the sheepskin and be dry, warm and comfy. Big collar to turn up and protect the back and sides of my head and neck and close up tight to my chin.
Also, it is practically indestructible. Brush slides off the outside leather.
But it also a heavy coat. Never weighed it. I'd guesstimate it at least 5 lbs though and probably less than 10 lbs.
It doesn't get any heavier or lighter with use - even in pouring rain. The rain simply slides right off. Same with snow.
So, after a weekend of use laying on it?? Well it will be the same as the day you started out. Same after a month or a year. The wool compresses very little and wears extreme well.
Now if I was car camping, using pack mules or horses and riding, I'd take the sheepskin over down in less than an eye-blink. Backpacking - that's another consideration and would depend on how foul the weather is.
But putting that coat down in the hammock, then laying on it - instant comfort - soft and warm.
I've used sheepskin seat covers in my car - been on and in use daily for over 20 years - same car. They are as comfortable today as the day I installed them. Great to sit on on a hot summer day or very frigid winter day.
They sell sheepskin mattress covers. Never used one, but the adverts sound pretty good and from my use of the coat and seat covers, probably fairly accurate.
You know, you just gave me a great idea.
Have you ever felted wool?
It's EASY to do and so lightweight it's amazing.
I bet a person could wetfelt a pad that would be killer for use in the hammock!
Lightweight and VERY good insulation ... I just might have to try it!
The other thing a person could do is buy an old wool blanket at a yard sale.
Then toss it in the washer with HOT water, then into the dryer.
Then just cut it to size.
I bet it would work great as a pad!
Fun to read your report and appreciate the details.....
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