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  1. #1
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    My first hanging trip- 51*F low. Suggestions for improvement?

    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?

    Feedback/ thoughts?

    -Jim
    Last edited by slimbobaggins; 10-19-2014 at 20:10.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ksbcrocks's Avatar
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    My first hanging trip- 51*F low. Suggestions for improvement?

    I made my structural ridgeline out of Zing It. It's similar to Amsteel but smaller. It won't stretch and its stronger than paracord. Splicing it works better than tying knots.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Your tarp looks pretty good to me. A good down UQ will do wonders for keeping your butt warm.

    I see nothing wrong with your setup. Use the sleeping bag you have as a pea pod maybe.

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksbcrocks View Post
    I made my structural ridgeline out of Zing It. It's similar to Amsteel but smaller. It won't stretch and its stronger than paracord. Splicing it works better than tying knots.

    Cool, thanks for the suggestion. I knew paracord wasn't the best option, but it was the best out of what was sold at Lowes. When I placed my order on dutchweargear.com, I forgot about the ridgeline at the time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    Your tarp looks pretty good to me. A good down UQ will do wonders for keeping your butt warm.

    I see nothing wrong with your setup. Use the sleeping bag you have as a pea pod maybe.


    I doubt this one would keep me dry in a Virginia thunderstorm. I initially thought it was wide enough to hang in the other orientation, and would have reached the ground, but the hammock stuck out a few inches on either side. Luckily there was a 0% chance of rain this weekend.

    Hanging like this, the bottom of the hammock is visible below the tarp when I'm in it... a sideways rain would make things pretty wet. I could lower it a little bit, but much lower and I'd probably shake the dew off of it while getting in and out at night.

    Also, what do you guys suggest for drip lines for the suspension? Just tie a few strips of cloth to the lines near where they go under the tarp, or is there something more high tech?

  6. #6
    designer@quickdata.com's Avatar
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    Condensation and winter kind of go together. Even with a double wall tent, if it is cold enough, you'll get condensation on the inner wall. For the hammock, you might try getting the tarp closer - that means the condensation will form on the inside of the tarp - I'm guessing that's where you want it. Another option, for not too much more weight, is a hammock sock. I sleep outside almost every night and I use a sock.

    You may no be saving that much with the mummy as a cocoon. Remember, those who use and under Quilt usually also use a top quilt - not a full sleeping bag. So the weight of the UQ + TQ = 1 sleeping bag - but so much more room to move around in the TQ/UQ situation.

    As you've discovered, it doesn't matter how warm your sleeping bag is if you don't have insulation under you - because all that loft is compressed to nothing underneath you. When you are ground sleeping, that is compensated for by a ground pad and the earth itself. In a hammock (or cot for that matter) you have the convection heat loss you experienced. I'm surprised your pad moved around so much in the sleeve but maybe most camping pads are on the narrow side. There are sources for wider pads that might be more stable in your sleeve.

    Another inexpensive, low carry weight idea is to use a bottom protector (goes by various names). It is not an UQ, it is just another layer of nylon that is suspended under the hammock and it creates an air pocket. you can put your pad in it and because there is a gap between it and your hammock, your movements won't move the pad around. By "gap", I don't mean something that allows airflow. The under cover will block the air flow and the pad insulation will help.

    But if you are considering "winter", That kind of ups the ante a bit. I could go on and on about those concerns. Just things like putting the suspension on a tree is more complicated because of the "tree well" phenomenon. And instead of falling branches, you have to consider branches loaded with snow. I'm not saying is isn't fun. Just more things to deal with.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    SLIMBOBAGGINS
    Some use lashit or Zingit for structural ridge line--I think 1.75 or 2.2 size. I use 2.2 zingit and I'm thinking of changing to amsteel because when trees are spaced further apart,when the good sites are taken at a group hang I fail to get a 30degree angle of hang since I don't reach high enough. This can cause extra stress on suspension. This can be fixed by using amsteel 7/64 or 1/8. Then your ok unless you bust a strap or a tree dies on you.
    I hope you got to see others rigs and asked questions and listened. Lots of variation in hammock setups and they all work. I use 11 foot double layer hammock with top quilt and under quilt AND if it's really cold I add a large Oware Gossamer Gear pad 1/8x40x72
    Great pix your off to a flying start.

  8. #8
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    That's a good point, about the weight of the TQ/UQ. Up to this point I'd considered them equivalent to carrying two sleeping bags; it hadn't occurred to me that their combined weight would be (roughly) equivalent to one mummy sack.

    The loss of thermal efficiency due to compression was very obvious on the first night. Once I got the sack wrapped around me, I was warm, but I certainly wasn't hot or sweating, and that was with a 0* bag at 50*... I should have been overheating.

    The ground pad was fairly stiff foam... a softer foam might not have moved around so much. It was 24" or 26" wide, I forget exactly how much, but I bought that specific pad because it was wider than all the others. I'm going to give it another shot laying in the hammock itself, before I junk it and move on to another solution.

    I can certainly make a "bottom protector" from some fabric from the local store, but I suspect that won't be much different than what I have now with the double layer and the pad inserted in-between. Some sort of mummy sack or TQ/UQ is going to be required.

    Snow won't be too much of an issue for me. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've been caught in a decent snow while camping. Usually it's dry, or a light snow. I unfortunately don't have time to camp very often, but when I do I prefer it to be in the winter because I hate humidity.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom Grappler View Post
    SLIMBOBAGGINS
    Some use lashit or Zingit for structural ridge line--I think 1.75 or 2.2 size. I use 2.2 zingit and I'm thinking of changing to amsteel because when trees are spaced further apart,when the good sites are taken at a group hang I fail to get a 30degree angle of hang since I don't reach high enough. This can cause extra stress on suspension. This can be fixed by using amsteel 7/64 or 1/8. Then your ok unless you bust a strap or a tree dies on you.
    I hope you got to see others rigs and asked questions and listened. Lots of variation in hammock setups and they all work. I use 11 foot double layer hammock with top quilt and under quilt AND if it's really cold I add a large Oware Gossamer Gear pad 1/8x40x72
    Great pix your off to a flying start.
    Thanks, unfortunately I don't personally know anyone else that's trying this hammock stuff out. I had originally been planning to go tarp-only, and then I stumbled on this hammock on sale, and that's how I got to where I am now. This forum is pretty much all I've got for reference, but it's certainly chocked full of info. I also bought "The Ultimate Hang" this past week.

  10. #10

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    Designer@quickdata.c...
    What is "tree well" phenomenon? Thanks for all your posts.

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