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  1. #1
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    3 season Pad/UQ Hybrid?

    I'm planning several long distances hikes, with the end game being a thru-hike on the AT in the next year or two. I'm completely enamored with hammocks, but they do present a couple challenges for that sort of trip, as everyone here is keenly aware.

    In situations like an AT hike where shelters are readily available, I'd really like to use the shelters as a severe weather alternative. That really requires a pad for warmth though, as laying on an underquilt on the ground isn't much better than just laying on the ground in a sleeping bag. Pads create their own set of problems in a hammock, as I've heard repeatedly here. I hate the idea of carrying a 3 season UQ and a pad, and that has me thinking.

    I'm pondering cutting up a blue closed-cell foam pad into small squares, something between 2"x2" and 8"x8", then sewing them into pockets between two sheets of nylon, like quilt batting. By placing seams between the squares, it should be very flexible, and much better suited to hugging the curves of a hammock. I'm not sure if I'd hang it as a proper UQ, or lay on top of it like a pad, but that will be something to experiment with.

    Anyway, I'm thinking this design will let a pad better adapt to a hammock, while also remaining viable for use if I'm forced to go to ground. It probably wouldn't be as effective as just a blue pad, or a proper UQ unless you went nuts with insulating the seams with down or something of the sort, but I'm thinking for late spring/summer/early fall, it might do well enough. Anyone have thoughts on this idea?

    They say no idea is original. Surely somebody else has tried something like this?

    -Smalls

  2. #2
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    That is a wonderful idea!!!!!
    I understand your concern ......
    OK .... get off the forums and get to it. I want to see the finished product.
    Carry on......
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

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  3. #3
    Sounds like a good theory.

    I would think you might want to use a regular sleeping bag [down] instead of just a top quilt and then the bag would possibly fill the voids between the sections?

    Take lots of pictures while you work!

  4. #4
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    i dunno...i would try it and see how it works out...But
    i got a feeling it's not going to be worth it in the long run
    your going to lose heat in between the sections of pad and by the time it's all done it going to be heavy and take up a good bit of pack space that will be needed for food and other items

    you could always get a torso pad like the one the Jacks sell and use that for the ground and for your feet in the hammock by just folding it in half and use a 3/4 or 2/3 UQ ...
    the pad can also be used as your sit pad as well so it would have many uses..
    and bring a 6 foot by 3 foot section of tyvek ...this can be used under your pad in the shelter or as a ground cloth under your hammock setup
    this way your only adding 12-13oz at the most to your setup and there is no need to worry about anything
    and if you find out that your not using the pad and GC you can always just toss them or mail them home with very little money lost
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  5. #5
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    Just 'sewing' the segments of pad together directly with dental floss or monofilament would be easier and lighter than sewing an array of pockets in nylon, still give you the flexibility you desire, and probably result in smaller gaps between the sections.

  6. #6
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    But, but...if I take lots of pictures, it will be painfully obvious how much I suck at using a thread injector

    I mostly just wanted to see if anyone shot my idea down in flames with decent logic before I invested any serious time in developing it. Jackleberry, I considered doing exactly that, and I may still give it a try, but I have serious questions about durability there. I'll try it with some small pieces and some kevlar thread I've got laying around.

    greenlespaul, My thinking is, if I make the thing out of Sil to start with, I'll get some added water protection all around. By my figuring, best case, carrying a ~40F UQ and the lightest 2/3 self inflating or foam pad I can find, I'm still carrying nearly 2.25lbs. I can't see 2 yards of nylon, some thread, and some blue pad weighing anything close to that. It's worth a try at least.

    I've got the mat, a whopping $6 at wallyworld. I've got a yard or two of nylon laying around, so I'll do a quick mock-up tomorrow and see how things look. I need to figure out the ideal way to shape the thing overall, and how to shape the individual foam pieces to allow best movement. If this looks promising, I'll start a thread in the DIY section.

    Thanks guys!

    Hey Shug, you should come down here for a hang Sunday night. It's going to hit -5F here. You'd be right at home!

    -Smalls
    Last edited by smalls; 01-21-2011 at 22:24.

  7. #7
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    There is better foam than WallyBlue out there. If you're going to put that much work into this thing, go with the good stuff, like that sold by the Jacks.
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    It might be easier and faster to glue the squares onto the fabric with contact adhesive instead of sewing them. Test it first because the adhesive might eat the material or foam.
    "In your face space coyote"-HJS

  9. #9
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    I used 3M 77 spray adhesive on a Gossamer Gear pad and it worked well. Did not dissolve anything.
    Good idea!
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    Honestly, inflatable pads in hammocks aren't that bad. I've used the exped downmats (which are also crazy comfortable on the ground) many times in my hammocks. In fact, I've found my underquilts to actually be slightly MORE difficult to set up than my pads. The pad was simple - inflate it, chuck it into the Blackbird, and go to sleep. With the underquilts, I am constantly tweaking, adjusting, trying to keep it from slipping off my shoulder, trying to prevent gaps under my butt, etc. The UQ is a bit more comfortable, but it comes with more hassle, in my experience.

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