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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Opinions on an AT thru set-up

    There seems to be a lot of chatter out there about insulation; which makes sense seeing how they are dealing with ice in the Whites this morning.

    So here is my loaded question:

    I'd like to know what you'd carry (dream package) for an AT thru with regards to insulation. Flexibility is obviously an issue and it has me leaning pretty hard toward the JRB stuff, but am I missing something? I know I'll hear the arguments about down and moisture and the weight of synthetic options, but that's fine! For that matter, maybe an UnderQuilt isn't the best option (you have NO idea how hard that was for me to type).

    I keep thinking I'm smarter about this stuff than I really am; thank God for this site! I'd love to hear an open/honest discussion on your opinions. Not quite a WhiteBlaze discussion, but somewhere in between. I am planning to carry my Warbonnet unless one of my DIY builds really blows my kilt up & will be covering-up with my BlackCat.

    If you can't tell; I'm getting a little nervous. Only 5 months to go and it feels like 5 minutes. Would really appreciate some guidance here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    near Memphis, TN
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    I think the most important thing about hammocking gear on a long hike is that you are comfortable with the gear you take and trust your knowledge about what you can and can't do with it. So, if you are comfortable with underquilts and know what conditions you can deal with using them, then that's what you should use. Vice versa for pads. Knowing what YOU can do with your own gear is more important than any debate among other people about gear types and comparisons. JMO
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  3. #3
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    DIY Bridge, v0.n, where n is large
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    AS is wise as usual.

    With 5 months to go you have time to develop the experience and comfort level he suggests.

    Then my $0.05 worth of observations
    - sometimes, somewhere, you'll have to go to ground. You've been reading the trail journals and you know that.
    - much of the hike an UQ will be overkill for your under-insulation needs
    - a pad can be multi-use, something to sit on, something to give shape to your pack, etc.
    - a pad is easily rolled and lives outside your pack. Works after getting wet.
    Your pack space needs are smaller, underquilts have bulk.
    - a pad inside of the hammock can be a hassle.
    - pads are usually narrower than you want.

    If it were me I'd be looking for solutions where a pad jury-rigged to be wide enough is on the outside of the hammock, a sleeve in the body or a two-layer hammock. Maybe WBG can advise on sewing a sleeve in the bottom of his hammock design.

    If you went this way, you'd have the upcoming colder months to get thee up to the early portion of the AT and try it out.

    But what AS said...the most important thing is that you've made up your mind, and you have the kinks worked out of the system.

    Grizz

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    - sometimes, somewhere, you'll have to go to ground. You've been reading the trail journals and you know that.


    NEVER!!!

    OK, maybe if she is really cute, but even then...


    The time to practice is really my enemy here. As Grizz pointed out in another thread, it doesn't exactly get cold down here in FL. At least not the part of it that I live in. I'm going to take some trips up to N. Georgia, but that's lots of miles to drive for weekend trips when I'm trying to stuff away every penny for the hike. I will be making a trip to Colorado between now and then which will help A LOT, but even then I'm not dealing with an East Coast cold. For those who don't know; BIG DIFFERENCE! So in many ways I'm forced to listen to the "debate among other people about gear types and comparisons" that angrysparrow mentioned. I guess if that's the case, I'm in the right place.

    Anyhow, thanks for the initial posts and wise words. Except that whole going to ground thing. Guess I'm just trying to work through some nerves and doubts.

  5. #5
    Senior Member schrochem's Avatar
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    I can't help you right now, but this winter I'll be playing with different types on the Bridge hammock. I agree that you should be comfortable with what you are going to use. I know I can't handle a pad inside the hammock. It just isn't comfortable to me.
    With an adjustable bottom, I plan to see what types of combinations will work. Weight could be saved by having insulation only where it's needed. For the bridge, that will be easy to accommodate. It's known that a pad can really help insulate. Well if your pack requires a pad, that can be used as Part of your insulation system and another part can be insulation. If you have a pad, maybe you don't need as much insulation and can save weight there.
    As for sweat, etc. from a pad, I plan to try having insulation on top of the pad and then all that snugged up against the hammock. I might even make each layer adjustable, so i can keep insulation snug, but lower the ccf if it gets to clammy.
    Also, perhaps a weathershield layer...
    Of course it doesn't get that cold here in central Texas either.....

    Something else to consider is how much a tarp (like the one Youngblood came up with) will help the temperature around the hammock.
    Scott

    "Man is a stream whose source is hidden."
    RWE

  6. #6
    New Member johnnyquest's Avatar
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    im looking at taking my hammock on my thruhike. and as of now i plan on a 8-wing spe with as much blue pad as i need.

  7. #7
    2Questions's Avatar
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    I've had great success with a Walmart waffle CCF pad to about 3 degrees. (I also use an additional 3/8" CCF slipped in with it from butt to shoulders) and also additional 3/8" wings. It's cheap and all put together with velcro. Versatile, sectional, and forms my pack structure.

  8. #8
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Michele should be able to give you some good advise for your thru.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  9. #9
    New Member AngeeO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    AS is wise as usual.
    If it were me I'd be looking for solutions where a pad jury-rigged to be wide enough is on the outside of the hammock, a sleeve in the body or a two-layer hammock. Maybe WBG can advise on sewing a sleeve in the bottom of his hammock design.Grizz
    Just pulled all my materials out to begin sewing my hammock. I bought the kit( from Ed S.) because I wanted to add a sleeve on the outside for the pad.
    So glad I stopped my work to come here and read a little more. My questions are...
    Would the pad sleeve work inside the hammock?
    What if I were to put velcro around the edges of the sleeve, this way I could use it inside or outside the hammock? velcro is already in place for the bug net?
    I too, will be using this hammock for my thru-hike next year. Want to get the hammock body done before I start thinking about warmth. I live in the Catskills, so I will have many cold days to test it out.
    Hoping to get it done so that I can attend the MAHHA in October and learn, learn learn.
    Angel
    Life is not measured by the breaths we take
    but by the moments that take our breath away

  10. #10
    slowhike's Avatar
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    angel... i don't know just what you have in mind w/ the pad sleeve, but i have really considered sewing something like a SPE inside the hammock, but i would want to make it wide enough to sew it to the long sides.
    any time you think about sewing any where inside the hemmed edges of the hammock, your getting into risky thinking<g>. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

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