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  1. #1
    Senior Member Big Papi's Avatar
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    Some Confusion here

    ok, I have been reading the forums for quite a while now and there are a couple of things that confuse me, especially being a newb. It seems like people are getting too complicated with UQs and TQs, and space liners and pads, and socks/pods, etc......

    Having spent close to a hundred nights in the backcountry, all but 2 as a ground dweller (thank God for those 2 nights, changed my life!), I am trying to figure out why all the fuss.

    After a bit of research, I bought a clarks nx-250 because it is a 4 season hammock and has a built in tent (so to speak) which will help seal in warmth on those mostly cold weather trips. I am looking to simply unzip a 15 degree mummy and use as a "top quilt" and use the big agnes insulated air core pad under me. I can see maybe adding a space blanket and maybe a fleece throw for the really cold nights. Do most other brands of hammocks have an open top? Is that why everyone needs specially made tqs and uqs? To me, the nx250 allows me to use my current backpacking gear. the only thing i am changing is going from a tent to a hammock.

    Am I looking at this too simply? Keep in mind I am a newb, so I am not trying to be offensive/arrogant, just kind of confused. Does the clarks product cost keep more people from buying it? It is my first hammock, so I am guessing I must be ignorant.

    Help?

  2. #2
    Senior Member slackmacker's Avatar
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    I believe that many of the people on HF backpack and are counting every ounce they put in to the back pack. Also if you smash the loft of the warming bag/mat ect. it tends to allow drafts in the cold weather. You will smash a sleeping bag while laying on it making it flat and then the down can not retain its insulating value. My Hammock is a top load with no bug net or quilt, So I use a Mummy bag with a zipper in the foot box and wrap it around the hammock to keep warm but it also weighs more and may not be as efficient as an UQ.

    By the way the clarks nx-250 looks like a 1 stop camping tent, in at @ $469 it should have all the things you need.
    Last edited by slackmacker; 10-08-2010 at 14:06.

  3. #3
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Naw ... we just love gear and fiddling around. Tweaking and fussing is just sorta fun for most of us.
    Simple is good ..... Glad it is working out for you.
    As to the Clark ... I do think price sends a few looking elsewhere. Seems those that have them ... love them. My buddy Hickery has been eye-balling one.
    Shug
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  4. #4
    Senior Member slackmacker's Avatar
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    Yea the fiddling, adjusting and tweaking certainly makes a fella feel in control of his situation. As for me it means I better get it right or learn where I went wrong!

  5. #5
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Using an insulated pad under you is fine. I used one until I got my UQ made. I found that because I toss and turn quilt a bit before I fall asleep, that I'd roll off the pad and then toss some more trying to get back on it. I personally, didn't like that. The under quilts are attached to the outside and I can toss to my hearts content and remain in the warmth of the under quilt.
    The weathershield on the Clarks do hold in a bit of heat. I usually keep mine a little open so that condensation doesn't build up on the inside.
    You'll need to test out your gear to find out if you've got enough insulation to stay warm.

  6. #6
    well technically the clark is the most complicated (least simple) hammock there is, and a sleeping bag is also much more complicated than a topquilt.

    many people prefer an uq over a pad based on comfort alone, and they're often lighter as well. so you don't need one, but you do need bottom insulation of some kind and a uq is one of the most popular options.

    people get tq's to cut down on the weight of a sleeping bag once they realize they don't need to be fully zipped up anymore. again, not necessary, but a potential weight/bulk savings compared to a sleeping bag.

    as for overcovers, they will add 10deg or so of interior warmth, basically what the clark has built-in. folks often use a seperate/removable one so they don't have to carry it in the warmer months when it's not needed, many don't use them at all...mosquito netting gives the same effect, just not quite as many degrees added. both do an adequate job of keeping the frost off your sleeping bag, which you will often have in sub freezing weather if you have nothing but a tarp over you.

    likely these things just seem more complicated because you are not familiar with them, really they are just different versions of the same things you're already used to (top insulation, bottom insulation, fabric enclosure, etc)
    Last edited by warbonnetguy; 10-09-2010 at 01:15.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    . . . the clark is the most complicated (least simple) hammock there is, . . .
    I would agree if you were to be sewing one from scratch . . .

    But if your just standing between two trees,
    and readying your self to hang a hammock . . .

    I would say it is a simple thing to do . . .

    I have hung the NX150 and the Tropical w/attached tarp . . .

    and they are as simple as it gets,
    2 suspension lines and done,
    hello . . . it's hung.

    With the NX series, the insulation is in the pockets,
    and once it is hung so is the under insulation, Z-liner.

    Couldn't get any simpler than that.

    PS. wouldn't the above quote be in violation of
    HF Vendor Guidelines #5
    Bradley SaintJohn
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    The Transition from Ground Sleeping to Hammocks
    is the Conversion from Agony To Ecstasy,
    and Curing Ground-In-somnia.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    It is good to use what you already have- this lessens the cost of the lessons.
    when you know if you like hammocks (I think you do) and you know they will keep you warm, then you get to wondering; how much of this do I NEED to be warm and comfortable? how much will my total load be, so I know how far/hard I will have to walk while hauling it all? then you start investigating the lighter/costlier alternatives, and you might think about making your own gear so it can be just the right size and just enough for the way you like, to hike/camp/sleep the way you prefer...without all the straps and flaps and whistles and bells you do not need or want or like to have around when you are out.
    just a few thoughts, hope that helped some? KM

  9. #9
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    To answer your last question first.... yeah, I would not spend that much on a camping hammock. That's just me though... if you're happy with it, rock it! From what little I know of them, they seem like very nice rigs.

    My gear set is always evolving. I like the modular approach, and with experience (I'm guessing at least 30 nights in hammocks- probably more, in everything from sweat and skeeter season to -13F so far) I find little ways and sometimes big ways I can make things work better. If a "one stop shopping" solution works out for you that's great!

    As a n00b on HF you'll learn a lot of acronyms and lingo, one of my favorites is "HYOH" or "Hang Your Own Hammock". I've been at hangs with roughly 30 hammocks and it was 30 different setups, for me that's part of the fun!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I think that if you like camping its kind of in your nature to try to improve, talk to others about what they do, but if you find something that works then why play with it? I have an NX-250 and use the Z-liner as the UQ, an unzipped north face blue kazoo as a TQ which I like as it's really wide when unzipped and can go to low temps. That's fine for me, but I do want to give an UQ a try more to see if there is any difference more than anything, and to see how it packs down as opposed to leaving the z-liner in the hammock which makes for quite a big package especially as I leave the sleeping bag inside too for ease of set up. I've had my normal set up down to -2F with no problems (wearing thermals).

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