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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Cross Roads, TX
    Yukon Outfitters Mosquito Hammock
    YO Walkabout
    Snugpak Cocoon
    DIY Whoopie Slings

    Almost Two Years of Cheap Hammock Camping - Equipment Reviews

    I thought about making multiple posts but I feel like you have to review all the parts together to get a true idea of the value.

    My boys are in Cub Scouts which has given us a great excuse for some male bonding time.
    First year was the typical tent, air mattress, and sleeping bags.
    At the year end campout one of the leaders showed up with his hammock.
    Seeing the immediate benefits, especially for future backpack camping, I started researching and buying.
    However, I wanted to keep the costs low...because I'm cheap :-)

    Most of my camping has been fair weather but we did camp during a thundersnow storm with a resulting dip in temps.
    About an inch of mixed rain, sleet, and snow with the morning low at 23F.

    Here's the gear I currently use and what I think of it.
    (For each of these I typically buy 3)

    Yukon Outfitters Mosquito Hammock ($25)
    As for size it seems adequate.
    I am 5'10" and 220lbs.
    I can stow gear at my feet and head with me still in the hammock.
    This is NOT a double hammock so sleeping at a diagonal is a challenge.
    You can do it but it's tight.
    The hammock fits in a stuff sack that is about 7" in diameter and 10" in length.
    If you add compression straps it could go smaller.
    I like the fact that you can use it all 4 seasons.
    During Spring/Summer/Fall I can use the bugnet to keep the bugs at bay.
    I've never had a bug bite in this hammock.
    There are pockets in the bugnet I use to hold my ear plugs.
    The pockets could hold keys or small GPS unit but I prefer to pack those in the attached stuff sack.
    There are 6 hanging tabs sewn on the bugnet in a 3X2 configuration.
    The configuration is weird because you would have to go around 2 large trees to "open it up" like it is sewn.
    I just go through all of them with a single line and that works fine.
    You have to use shock cord (included) or loose paracord to hang it or the tabs will rip (I have NOT ripped one so I don't know what it would take to rip it).
    During the winter I flip the hammock over.
    While flipped you can use the integrated bugnet to hold insulation (but I don't use it that way).
    The hardware for suspension is heavy duty, a little too heavy.
    I replaced with whoopie slings after the second use.
    The carabiners that come with this are very strong so I'll most likely re-use them for the tree straps.
    Overall I really like this hammock.
    I bought it of Woot for cheap and have not been disappointed.

    Yukon Outfitters Hammock Rainfly ($20)
    It's a lightweight, square tarp made out of really thin material.
    It comes with lightweight pegs that you will want to replace with larger pegs.
    Packs down to 3" in diameter and about 12" in length.
    It is NOT waterproof but it will keep the wind and rain off of you.
    The morning after the thundersnow storm, the inside of the tarp was wet to the touch but did not drip.
    The size is adequate to cover the ends of the hammock with some left over.
    Any dampness on my sleep system was due to something dangling (my fault).
    If you orient your hammock and tarp correctly, wind driven moisture is not a problem.

    Wal-Mart Closed Cell Foam Camp Pad ($10)
    It's cheap, hard to pack, but works great.
    The only issues are slipping around in the hammock and your shoulders get cold.
    I've been down to 23F (with help) and never had a cold butt.
    An underquilt would probably be better but it is hard to beat the cost.

    Everest Mummy +5F/-15C Degree Sleeping Bag ($25)
    Comes with a stuff sack with compression straps.
    Full length zipper with some sort of insulation baffle on the inside of the zipper.
    Has an internal cinch you can use to gather the bag around your shoulders.
    Mummy hood can be cinched to about a 4" diameter hole.
    Has an external zipper pocket for keeping things close by (ear plugs, GPS, etc).
    Again, was able to sleep in 23F (with help).
    Overall a nice bag but I would rate this more for 30F-35F stand alone bag.

    Whoopie Slings (DIY)
    I bought the raw materials from DutchWare.
    I highly recommend you buy a dritz loop turner before doing it on your own.
    I tore up my elbow making 6 whoopie slings trying to MacGyver it.
    I replaced the hardware on my hammock and could not have been happier....except for the elbow :-)

    Wal-Mart Ratchet Straps ($10 for a set of 4)
    I use these for tree straps.
    Before whoopie slings I used the ratchet to adjust the hang.
    After whoopie slings I ditched the ratchet part and just use the straps.
    The straps have a sewn loop on one end and a metal hook on the other.
    The metal hook is too heavy so I will most likely cut off the metal hook and replace with carabiners.

    What does the (with help) mean?
    Because I do not have an underquilt or peapod (that's about to change), I rigged up a second sleeping bag (traditional rectangle bag) as makeshift underquilt / topquilt.
    I used tarp straps and some paracord to get the bag underneath and around the hammock and the extra bag length draped over the hammock like a topquilt.
    This worked great except when the part draped over my feet fell off the bag and dangled.
    I woke up to my feet being cool and draped it back over.
    It was a little damp but not so much that my feet didn't warm back up.
    So, the second bag helped mask the shoulder issues with the CCF pad and the temp issues with the mummy bag.
    I stayed warm but I could never backpack with that setup.

    Well...that's my cheap setup.
    All in about $125 total.
    I'm adding a Snugpak Hammock Cocoon to my setup this week. ($60)
    Why they call it a cocoon and not a peapod, I don't know...
    This should allow me to drop the mummy bag ($25), CCF pad ($10), and need for a second bag ($25).
    This will be a cost "wash".
    Since I couldn't find a temp rating on the cocoon I'll take my mummy bag the first time, just in case.

    I'm open to answering any question.
    Take care!


  2. #2
    Senior Member 4x4Dragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Lexington, SC
    Back to the ground.
    Yukon Outfitters
    You sure you're talking about the Yukon Outfitters "Walkabout" rainfly?? You describe it as 'square' and 'NOT waterproof' and the pegs as 'lightweight'? None of that describes the YOW rainfly I have. Best $20 I've ever spent on backpacking gear and the steel stakes that came with mine seemed like overkill.

    I'm certainly glad you've been pretty successful with sensibly priced gear though! I try to stick to that route as well.
    'I Want to See Mountains Again, Gandalf!'

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Cross Roads, TX
    Yukon Outfitters Mosquito Hammock
    YO Walkabout
    Snugpak Cocoon
    DIY Whoopie Slings
    Yes, I am talking about the Walkabout but I should have used a different word than square.
    It is rectangular, but not asymmetrical like some of the higher end rainfly's.

    I did have to replace the pegs when the wind kept pulling them out of the wet ground and/or the bend would turn and let the rainfly go.
    I tried all manner of angles...trying to bury the bend so it wouldn't turn.
    It would last for a little while but wind would work the peg in the wet ground and either turn or come up completely.
    I replaced those pegs with longer, thicker pegs from Wal-Mart...the ones with the plastic ends. I had a bunch left over from tenting.
    These did the trick during the storm.
    I'll be looking for some lighter pegs, maybe aluminum or titanium, when we get closer to backpacking.

    As for the water, I guess the right term is that the fabric "sweats".
    Water doesn't drip through, but the fabric is wet to the touch.
    When I was under the rainfly (before the freeze), at one point my back rested against the rainfly and I came away damp.
    The rainfly did keep the rain and wind off of me and my hammock so it did what is was supposed to do.
    I just can't call it "waterproof".

    I hope that clarifies...

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