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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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    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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    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
    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

  6. #6
    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!

  7. #7
    slowhike's Avatar
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    cannibal... i think that even though you want your system to be flexible as possible, most people will have at least one switch planned during a thru hike of the at.
    sgt rock was talking about that this week end at hot springs. you may want to go to his site (hiking headquarters) & ask the same question of him.
    but keep in mind that he's out doors a lot & seems to be a little more warm blooded than most. this past week end as the temps dropped, he was one of the few that stayed w/ shorts & a tee shirt most of the time<g>.

    i would personally lean toward an under quilt & a 3/4 length ccf pad combo.
    this same combo would probably be lighter for the warmer stretches & thicker for the colder times. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  8. #8
    Dutch's Avatar
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    I thru'd with my HHULB in 2003. I really didn't have near the chioces we have today. HH was just developing an UQ. I used a z-rest the entire way. There were a few times I had to lay in a shelter, maybe 5. I regretted every time. I still don't have an UQ and use my z-rest, but that is because I am cheap, cheap, cheap and UQ are expensive, expensive, expensive. I think if I were to do it again I wold have an UQ for my cold weather gear. That's b4 Mt. Rodgers and after Glencliff (if you northbound). No sense carrying it through 60 and 70 degree nights. Realize that gear is important now and it is all you think about. When you start hiking it is what everyone will be talking about. Than after 150 mile it will just be food that everyone will be talking about. Remember it is only 2174 miles and they made the trail way too short.
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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  9. #9

    blah

    softie merlin 3, thermarest, and my gore tex bivy...
    Last edited by locorogue; 10-18-2007 at 12:28. Reason: addition

  10. #10

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    [QUOTE=GrizzlyAdams;28466]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[/QUOTE

    Speaking of pads being too narrow caught my eye. I believe I have pretty sweet solution. Today I bought two Wally world pads ($10) and a yard of ripstop nylon ($6). I butted the two pads side by side and glued a 12" strip of ripstop the length of the seam on one side only. I now have 40" wide pad that folds over perfectly to a 20" pad for packing purposes, with the ripstop acting as a hinge. 40" is too wide and I haven't yet decided exactly how wide I want it or if I want to cut wings. I'm thinking it will roll up better without cutting the wings. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Maybe I'll post pics of the final product. BTW....I use it with a Claytor hammock with the double bottom.

    Miguel

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