I haven't been on the forum for a few weeks--been sorting out work and family illness, but things have settled down enough for me to post this very belated trip report. The 2nd Colorado Winter Hang was my first hang and winter hammock campout. I learned a lot, both in terms of winter camping and hammock hanging.
Bubbyman and I drove up from Albuquerque on Friday (1/14) and got to the Rampart Reservoir in about 6 hours (around 10:30 am) using the excellent directions from JustJeff. We were the first ones there and while we were getting our gear out, another SUV pulled up. I went over and introduced myself and met a fellow named Jeff--OK, so JustJeff and party have just arrived (at least that's what we assumed and you know what they say about that). So psuedo-JustJeff and party take off and we followed them shortly thereafter.
We saw their tracks in the snow going into the first campground, Meadow, and no tracks going past to Thunder Ridge campground, so we assumed (there's that word again) the hang had changed to the backup, Meadow, from Thunder Ridge for some reason. Bubbyman and I set up our hammocks and tarps at the Meadow campground and had some lunch while waiting for the rest of the HF folks to show up.
With the extra calories nourishing my ancient brain cells, it dawned on me that, 1. no one has shown up yet, and b. the psuedo-JustJeff party was nowhere to be seen. Hmmm, were we at the wrong campsite? Bubbyman and I concluded that, yes we were but we are set up now and we'll check out Thunder Ridge the next day.
We had a good first night, temps went down to 19*F in the hammock, and I was comfortably warm. The next morning, Bubbyman and I packed up our stuff and made it over to Thunder Ridge and met up with the rest of the hangers.
We had great weather (40's day, 15*F night), good food, and most importantly met a great bunch of HF folks. I'm looking forward to another hang and will work towards getting one going in New Mexico in the Fall.
1. When meeting folks for the first time, verify that I'm meeting the right party and don't assume the first people you meet are there for the same reason you are...
2. I can sleep comfortably in mid-teens with my setup and probably can go lower to the single digits.
3. My UQs were a MacEntyre Shamu IX UQ with extra insert and a Hammock Gear Winter Phoenix 3/4 UQ. I found that I needed to crank up the suspension as tight as possible to achieve the right UQ hang--much more than I had been doing. The excellent differential cut designs of these UQs handled the tighter suspension very well and I was much warmer than I had been before "discovering" the right way to do it.
4. Nalgene bottles put really close to a campfire can turn into interesting shapes...
Here's my first attempt at doing a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWN2Cuijr1Y