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  1. #1
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    "Will I be warm enough?" ...now I know

    I wanted to post this as a "mini-review" of the following products that I just used for the first time: Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 DL, Warbonnet Small Hex Tarp, Te-Wa Underquilt, and GoLite Ultra 20 Quilt (I've used the Golite before, but in much warmer weather).

    Well, I finally spent my first night in a hammock...and in the same night experienced my first cold weather outing (15*). I did this in the backyard so I could adjust equipment (or jump ship) if necessary.

    After fretting over what my "perfect" hammock set-up would be, I finally bought a WBBB 1.1 DL and the WB small hex tarp (the small tarp, in my opinion, offers plenty of coverage for the hammock - blowing snow did not get in when pitched tight).





    For insulation, I wanted something that I would use mostly for 3 season hanging, but an occasional winter trip as well. I then talked to Te-Wa and bought one of his standard UQ's and paired it with a Ridge Rest pad for my first winter hang.

    I have a Golite Ultra 20 top quilt, which many have said is not a true 20* cover. I started the night (when it was 20*) with a silk-weight baselayer, lightweight khaki pants, a cheap 100W fleece jacket, and wool socks over silk undersocks. I was also wearing a lightweight polyester (?) balaclava. Although my exposed face was cold, I was downright toasty and very comfortable. In fact, I unzipped my fleece and removed my wool socks.

    As the night went on, it got down to 15* and the wind picked up. I began to get a little chilly, so I pulled out a silk bag liner and used that (this was much easier to deploy while inside the hammock than I had expected - I just put it under my quilt and pulled it on like a sock). Towards morning I was starting to get a little cold, but not so much so that I had to get out of bed. My breathing created condensation on top of my Golite Quilt, but it didn't soak through to the down.

    Overall, this was a great first hang/first winter overnight for me, even if it was only in the backyard. I wouldn't, however, head out with the same gear if the weather was expected to get much below 15*, or if there was a chance I could get caught in much colder weather. But now I certainly feel comfortable sleeping in "freezing" temps and can adjust my gear as necessary.
    And as far as the hammock goes - I can't see myself sleeping on the ground again! It really was that comfortable!

    As a side note, my brother-in-law slept in two Big Agnes 40* bags (doubled up) on top of a Big Agnes insulated inflatable pad, inside a tent - he didn't even make it 1/2 way through the night before going inside.
    Last edited by Hanson; 12-28-2009 at 13:02. Reason: pics

  2. #2
    Senior Member JerryW's Avatar
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    Sounds like a very successful test. It's fun testing your limits and thinking of new ways to extend them.

    Where in the midwest are you located?

    Jerry
    The "Search" function is your friend!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Looks like some mighty fine hammocking weather you have there.
    Trust nobody!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryW View Post
    Sounds like a very successful test. It's fun testing your limits and thinking of new ways to extend them.

    Where in the midwest are you located?

    Jerry
    I'm from Grand Rapids, MI, but I was in the Chicago suburbs for this outing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Glad you had a good first hang hanson, looks like a great set up. It gives some encouragement to a new hanger like my self who is still waiting to get his first hang under his belt. Makes me very excited.
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  6. #6
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Hanson; sounds like you had a good first hang and learned allot. The hex tarps lookin good and glad your happy with it. I'm still waiting on my tarp but have been doing day trips and picnic at the river. I may through a write up and pics together but i don't know how interesting it would be. Have a good winter
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

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  7. #7
    Member ih8mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanson View Post
    I'm from Grand Rapids, MI, but I was in the Chicago suburbs for this outing.
    Nice! Also from Grand Rapids...I'll be testing my cold weather set up as soon as my KAQ arrives.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Perkolady's Avatar
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    WOW you jumped right in there with those low temps too! Tipping hat to you!

    Yard testing really is a great way to go to get a good idea of what's what.

    What was the wind like ? Man, can that ever make a huge difference!

    Congratulations to you! Thanks for the report- it really helps folks !

  9. #9
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Wonder how much more comfortable your hang would have been with a Speer winter tarp closed up ... or maybe with those new 2QZQ Grizz tarp end caps on the rig you have? Like Perkolady said ... that wind makes a huge difference.

    Thanks for the report ... that really helps people compare experiences.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perkolady View Post
    What was the wind like ? Man, can that ever make a huge difference!
    The wind wasn't too bad, more of a strong breeze, but, yes, it can make a huge difference.

    I pitched the tarp on the only 2 trees in the yard and soon realized that I was head-first into the breeze (so the wind was blowing from the head-end of the hammock towards the foot-end - better than blowing from the opposite direction). I hung a jacket over the ridgeline above my head and made a small "tent" which did a good job of keeping the breeze off of my face. If I were really out in the woods and it was any windier, I might have had to find two new trees and spin the whole set-up 90*.

    (I tried to write this without using "blowing on my head", "breaking the wind", "pitching a tent" so I don't get censored...I think I did a good job)

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