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  1. #1

    Ultralight "Luxury" Hammock Setup for Art Loeb 2 Night Trip

    Hi all,

    Planning a trip this April with some friends on the Art Loeb Trail in Pisgah and would love to hear any and all thoughts/advice about this hike, especially related to climatology and any hazards to look out for. Where'd you hop on/off the trail, any literature I can pick up? Maps online?

    More importantly, I'm trying to scrape together an ultralight "luxury" hammocking setup, so that includes hammock (I'm 5'8", 155 pounds), suspension (I have limited knot knowledge so I'm told dutch clips are the way to go?), top/underquilt (will I even need either?), sleeping pad, etc. This is all with the intention to lay the groundwork for a setup to build upon for a thru hike on Benton MacKaye this fall and eventually...gasp...the AT.

    Pretend money is no object here. My priorities are as follows: quality, comfort, weight, price. I have quite a bit of "heavyweight" ground-dwelling experience so I backpack quite frequently but had a major epiphany and want to devote myself to the Hammock Life! Problem is, I know NOTHING about hammocks and will continue scouring the forum to learn as much as I can. I'm very impressionable, convince me your setup is the best!

    Thanks everyone.
    Last edited by Hucksley; 03-11-2015 at 15:34.

  2. #2
    Deathstar77's Avatar
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    Here's Shug's Part 1 on the Art Loeb Trail.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd6ItNG7POs
    Always last to the camp site.

  3. #3
    Ha I love his videos, I've been watching him and Sintax77 for a bit now and they were integral in my decision to make the switch.

  4. #4
    grannypat's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind is the lead time to get some gear and learn to use it. Many vendors don't keep an inventory and make gear as ordered. You will definitely need insulation and if you have the money, I would go ahead and get an underquilt from one of the vendors here. There will probably be a Georgia group hang sometime this month. Watch the trip planning section and try to attend. You'll get to see and touch different gear, which will help you make decisions.
    Keep movin', keep believing and enjoy the journey!

  5. #5
    Member
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    I used to be a very ultralight gram weenie, but I began to sacrifice comfort which was a very bad experience. I started to create a system similar to this idea of luxury while still being light.

    Dreamhammock Darien (HyperD 1.0 SL 10' x 58')
    Not sure on the exact weight but I think without suspension that's around ~11 oz. The integrated bug net way off your face and is so much more comfortable than a detached one. If you are looking for detached, DIY a SL 1.1 ripstop hammock to your desired specs. You could also make a simple tubular net out of tulle (which is more durable and easier to work with than usually stated).


    Tarp - HG Hex Tarp (doors or no doors)

    At 5.3 without doors, that's incredibly light with very good coverage. You probably know this, but pick up some dutchware to make pitching it much easier.

    Suspension - Dynaglide Whoopie Slings or Dutch Speed Hooks

    I used speed hooks until it he stated it isn't safe, so I went back to the ultralight dynaglide whoopies. Get them from arrowhead equipment, and they are under 1 oz for the pair. Dutch's Kevlar tree straps are great, and you can just use a stick for toggles.

    Top Quilt - Burrow 40

    Since you are going in April, you should be fine with 40*. If you are still worried, add an ounce of overstuff and you will be at 13 oz

    Underquilt - Phoenix 40

    Again, you should be fine with this. Ounce overstuff will put you at 13 oz as well I think

    This is my luxury ultralight system. Has worked great and I'm very comfortable while still carrying a light load. With this system, 3 out of your big 4 weighs ~ 45 oz or ~ 2 pounds 13 oz

  6. #6
    Senior Member Atlas918's Avatar
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    If you don't want to add overstuff and are still worried about being cold you could always combine a pad with your quilts.
    I solemnly swear that I am up to no good...

  7. #7
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Quality: if you pick any of the cottage gear vendors, quality will not be a problem. Stay away from the big brands that can be found in the shops.

    Comfort: Hammocks are way more personal than tents. You'll have to try a couple to find out which one works best for you. There are people who can use just about any hammock with a certain length. I'm not one of them. I have a lot of hammocks, but I can only sleep well in a select few.

    Weight: While you can save a bit of weight with your hammock, the easiest areas to shave ounces are tarps and insulation.

    Probably the easiest item to pick is the tarp. Before ordering, it would be good to know how long your hammock will be and how much protection you need/want. With a 10' hammock, pretty much any 11' tarp will provide lots of coverage. Doors will add more coverage, but are not absolutely necessary. With an 11' hammock, doors come in handy on an 11' tarp. The lightest tarps are made from Cuben fiber - but they are also very expensive. Maybe you already know that from tent camping. Hammock Gear makes Cuben tarps. If I would shell out for Cuben, I would go for the Winter Palace. If Cuben is too expensive, have a look at the WB Mamajamba and Superfly. The MJ is a good 3-season tarp, and it would be my first choice for a trip in April (I'm not familiar with the Art Loeb Trail, though) in conjunction with my 10' hammock. Take the SF if you want/need more coverage. For the size it's amazingly lightweight.

    Insulation is more personal, and it depends on what kind of sleeper you are. Do you sleep hot/cold/normal? Have you tried quilts and do they work for you? Most people use a top quilt, but if you sleep very cold and don't deal with drafts very well, I'd recommend a sleeping bag. A top quilt weighs less and packs smaller, obviously. Hammock Gear and Undergroundquilts are the most popular hammock quilt makers. Also have a look at Enlightened Equipment - the 900FP quilts are crazy light (but also expensive)!

    With the underquilt, you'll need to decide if you want to go full-length or partial. If you sleep cold and/or don't carry a sit pad, go with a full-length. HG underquilts are a bit more weight conscious than UGQ; EE 900FP uqs are the lightest uqs I have seen, but are more expensive. If you carry a sit pad and sleep normal or warm, you can shave weight with a partial underquilt. The WB Yeti is very light and packs tiny.

    That leaves the hammock. And there are way more choices than with the other gear... First you'll have to decide if you want an integrated hammock, or a no-net hammock with bug sock. If there are no bugs, a no-net hammock would be the lightest option, and you can either add a bug sock or buy an integrated hammock later on. Dutch's hammocks are very popular no-net hammocks, but there are plenty of other options. It probably comes down to what fabric you want. With integrated hammocks, the most popular brands are Warbonnet and Dream Hammock. The waiting time is usually longer with DH than with WB, because DH makes your hammock custom for you.

    If you have the opportunity, go to a local hang and check out other people's set-ups. If you can't, read up in the forums and then go with your gut feeling. Any cottage gear sells well, should it not suit you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SwinginIt's Avatar
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    If you feel like making a trip up to the Helen area one weekend I'd be willing to let you come by and check out a variety of hammocks, insulations, tarps, and suspension doodads. I have multiple insulation ratings from multiple companies. It's always good when you can get some hands on experience before you make a decision. I'm an ultralight luxury hiker so my gear should be right up your alley.
    "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death." -Da Vinci

  9. #9
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hucksley View Post
    Hi all,
    Hello. Welcome to the madness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucksley View Post
    Planning a trip this April with some friends on the Art Loeb Trail in Pisgah and would love to hear any and all thoughts/advice about this hike, especially related to climatology and any hazards to look out for. Where'd you hop on/off the trail, any literature I can pick up? Maps online?
    I love the Art Loeb Trail. Ole Art is a rough one, but a good one. I recommend the AntiGravity Gear Pocket Profile. It has the elevation and points of interest along with all of the trail data you might want for $4 and weighs 4.4g. They also have a set of maps for the BMT and the AT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucksley View Post
    More importantly, I'm trying to scrape together an ultralight "luxury" hammocking setup, so that includes hammock (I'm 5'8", 155 pounds), suspension (I have limited knot knowledge so I'm told dutch clips are the way to go?), top/underquilt (will I even need either?), sleeping pad, etc. This is all with the intention to lay the groundwork for a setup to build upon for a thru hike on Benton MacKaye this fall and eventually...gasp...the AT.
    Great goals! I am a bit biased, but I feel that since you and I are almost identical in size, you would likely love a Bonefire Gear hammock. The idea is ease of set up and light weight and comes with an easy suspension. At two pounds (and another 5oz for the suspension), it is the lightest insulated hammock on the market. Other excellent light weight hammock manufactures are Dream Hammocks and even Dutch is making hammocks now (but I'm not sure his fall into the luxury category).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucksley View Post
    Pretend money is no object here. My priorities are as follows: quality, comfort, weight, price. I have quite a bit of "heavyweight" ground-dwelling experience so I backpack quite frequently but had a major epiphany and want to devote myself to the Hammock Life! Problem is, I know NOTHING about hammocks and will continue scouring the forum to learn as much as I can. I'm very impressionable, convince me your setup is the best!
    Thanks everyone.
    The Bonefire is the more expensive option I mentioned, but not bad when you consider buying the hammock and UQ piecemeal. Dream Hammock is on pair with most vendors and Dutch is the cheapest option for the weight that I can think of.
    Quality will be great with any of our cottage manufactures, and even many of the big name brands (though they will often not be as comfortable or light).
    While you are new, I would look for the simplest setup you can find. Watch product videos and look for reviews.

    I wish you the best of luck and will try to help if I can.
    -Jeremy "Brother Bones" Owner of Bonefire™ Gear

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    FireInMyBones; he's a mountain goat crossed with a marathoner.
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  10. #10
    Sfyre's Avatar
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    Since you listed comfort before weight, I would opt for a 20° or 30° to and bottom quilt but go with shorter/narrower versions to save weight. Nothing worse than a cold snap in the middle of a trip.

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