Went camping this weekend with some friends to shake out the hammock... this was my first time. Location was Merchant's Millpond State Park in NC
ENO Reactor Hammock/ Bugnet
Whoopie Slings/ Dutch Buckles/ 1" Webbing courtesy of Dutchware Gear
Lowes Red Paracord for the structural ridgeline and tarp suspension (going to get another set of straps for the tarp)
Old Pup tent tarp that I've had forever
Old Coleman 0*F Mummy sack
WalMart ground pad
I'd like a better fitting tarp than what I've got, but didn't want to spend any more $$$ until I knew whether or not I liked it.
First night, we got there late and I was setting up in the dark, and I didn't know it was supposed to be as cold as it was, so I skipped on the ground pad, and ended up with a cold backside in the middle of the night. I was able to mostly wrap my mummy sack around me and was fairly warm after that. Low of 51*F that night.
Night two, I stuck the ground pad in the Reactor pouch, and that kept me warmer than the night before, using the mummy sack as a blanket, although the pad was able to slide around in the pocket. I think I would actually do better to just sit it in the hammock w/ me, rather than have it in the pocket between the two layers.
I got a pretty good nights sleep and was a good deal more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, and for the most part managed to keep the dew off of me. That said, I typically camp in colder weather in the winter time in VA, 40*F or colder, and I've got concerns about whether or not I'll be able to tweak this setup to stay warm at those temps, while keeping the setup light enough to backpack. I'm no weight weenie, but don't want a 60 lb pack either.
I know a better tarp that goes to the ground will help with warmth, and I saw a thread on here that talked about getting an oversized mummy sack and using it as a cocoon. I like the cocoon idea over using an over and underquilt, from a weight savings standpoint, but that doesn't seem to be the preferred method with most on this forum.
Any suggestions on what line to use for the structural ridgeline? I know that the paracord will stretch under load. Do I buy some Amsteel for this, or is there another line that's better? Maybe I just get a spare set of whoopie slings, and use one of them as a ridgeline?