With our wives off at an event for a couple of days, my hiking buddy and I headed for the hills, on his first night out in a hammock, a WBBB. We found a nice spot on the river and set up camp mid afternoon. There was a trace of snow on the ground and cold rain forecast. We ended up having the whole place to ourselves, likely due to the weather and to a small washout out a mile down the road that would have stopped cars and smaller pickups.
I have modified my BB to use home made woopie slings, using the straps that were on the BB originally as tree huggers. And I had the hammock sock made out of a parachute at the foot ready to deploy. My tarp is a 8x10 and I had outfitted it with a undertarp ridgeline similar to what opie sells. But instead of biners, I was using small metal toggles to attach the tarp to the prussics. I also attached my pack cover underneath the hammock, tying a line to each end of the pack cover with a rock and clove hitch and the other end of each line to the hammock suspension right at the hammock. Adjusted tension on the lines so the the pack cover, when empty, was suspended under the hammock. Once the pack and other stuff that needed to stay outside was added, the packcover was on the ground, but shaped like a bowl to keep it's occupants dry. Because of the breeze blowing down the river, and the forecasted rain, I closed off both ends of the tarp to enclose the hammock as much as possible.
Went to bed about 7 and read for a while. Started raining about 8:30. Got up and marked my territory about 10:30, and listened to it rain for a few more hours. Slept fairly comfortably through the night and got up around 6:30am. Temp was about 30 and the rain had frozen. We ate breakfast, broke camp and then went for a run past the big washout in the road and up a mile or so until the snow got a couple of inches deep and decided we had had enough fun. This morning was beautiful and sunny, and the foothills around us were covered in new fallen snow. What a sight to wake up too.
- Using a three wrap prussic around the tarp ridgeline was not enough; it slipped. Need to wrap another time or two. The tarp was just barely covering the hammock this morning. (Anxiously awaiting for production of the Winter Dream to resume, hint, hint )
- The bolt toggles attaching the tarp to the ridgeline were unsat, especially while setting up or tearing down. They kept falling out. They will be replaced as soon as my mini s-biners arrive.
- The inside of the hammock sock was damp this morning. Need to leave it partially open or add vent holes somehow.
- The pack cover gear locker works great under the hammock.
- I like the ridgeline attached to the tarp and enclosed in snakeskins when not deployed. Simplifies the deployment. Although when the tarp is iced up. like it was this morning, my fingers were numb by the time it was put away.
- 14 foot tree huggers and woopies with a 5 foot reach are going to be too short some times. Need to consider packing an extension strap.
- Elevated sleeping beats tossing and turning on the ground all night hands down.
Earliest in the season I have ever spent a night in the Olympics. All in all a very good trip and will likely be repeated a time or two this spring before the backcountry opens up.
A view upstream from camp