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  1. #1
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    advice on whether i'm a hanger at heart?

    when i got my first hammock last month, a hennessy hyperlite with zip entry, i was so delighted with how comfortable it is that i decided i would use it on my pct thru this year. i am an extremely cold sleeper and i've been using a marmot pinnacle 20+ down bag, with a liner and a neo air mattress... i even got a warbonnet superfly with doors, to attempt to give myself greater protection from the cold... even in spite of all the extra weight!!

    alas, the superfly will not work, as i have messed with it for many hours, trying to get it off my hammock and not 10 feet in the air at the same time... i've emailed him to see if he will take it back, since it's only been set up in the yard (and under the dark skies of the PNW). there went that idea...

    the only thing i can think of is getting a 0 degree bag and trying again with the stock hennessy tarp... i don't want to have to also carry an under quilt, as i want to use my neo air for going to ground scenarios (in 5-6 months on the pct, i hear there are at least a few nights! plus i'm hiking with a ground sleeper anyways) also i have strong doubts that an under quilt would even be enough...

    is it possible that i am not a hanger at heart? physically, it's like a dream. but that is part of the problem... i feel very vulnerable in the air like that and so i was half dreaming on test nights about all sorts of hammocking relating nightmares!!

    does anyone have any thoughts? or shall i just go back to the ground where i might belong?

    i wanted to thank you all for being on here- i've learned so much and had a lot of fun watching videos, reading about ideas, etc!

    ~shybird

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteelerNation's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    I wouldn't give up, if I were you. Sometimes it just takes a while. I've been messing around with my rig since October, and while I made it through the night, never really had that toasty warm feeling that I was looking for.

    Friday night, I went out with my last attempt. It got down to around 30, which is pretty decent for around here. I slept with my JRB Mt Washington 3 UQ, my new JRB Hudson River TQ and my new JRB hood. Man, I have never been so warm! I went to bed in thermal pants and top, as well as a 100 weight fleece top. In the middle of the night, I had to take off the fleece as I was roasting! Needless to say, very happy with that setup.

    I also have the Superfly with doors (separate doors - older model). I haven't really had any difficulty at all getting it exactly where I want it. A lot of the time there is a gap along the ground, but that hasn't been a problem for my sleeping. In fact, Friday I slept in porch mode so that I could see the woods when I woke up.

    I would say that you can't underestimate the importance of the TQ/UQ combination and the hood really made a huge difference. My nose is normally frozen at night, and even though the hood doesn't cover my nose, there was enough heat there that it too stayed warm all night.

    If you're having specific problems with the tarp, though, you might want to explain a little more, maybe with pictures, so that some of the smart folks on here can help you out.

    Hope you get it figured out and stay off the nasty ground

    SN

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2010
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    +1 Don't Give Up!

    I have had really hard time making the transition to hammocks. You can read my story here:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19622

    I know you said you want to stick with your pad, but the underquilt will make your experiance much, much better. I even think that the "nest-like" quality you get with down UQ's here from some of our makers here will help you feel less vunerable in a hammock. Beside, being less vulnerable in a tent or on the ground is only a perception. If you stick with it, you will figure out how to get warm and you will feel more secure as you get more night's in the hammock.

    Best of luck with your thru hike.

    ~S

  4. #4
    Dblcorona's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    I think you might want to consider trying a different pad. It would be a cheap way to adjust things. Get a closed cell pad, something like the Gossamer Gear pad. On the other hand, under quilts do work. Very efficient at holding your body heat in.
    Last edited by Dblcorona; 03-13-2011 at 20:43.
    "We don't stop hiking because we grow old,
    we grow old because we stop hiking."

    -- Finis Mitchell,

  5. #5
    Bubba's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    I say don't give up. I think you'll enjoy your trip more and hike with more energy with a good nights sleep. I'm not a thru hiker but I remember on trips, waking up a little sore from sleeping on the ground and it taking me a little time to get loosened up. Also after a long days hike, laying in a hammock would be awesome. JMO. Good luck.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Slo's Avatar
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    Well, I would suggest first, get comfortable with the ability of your gear. However you have to test it to feel good about it. The only thing that can happen to you inthe air vs. on the ground in the woods is fall. Once you get rid of that anxiety I think you'll already see a huge improvement in comfort, you wont be tense.

    Second, either try another pad, a hammock that can accomodate a pad so you dont' have to adjust or a sleeping bag that accomodates a pad if you'd like to go that way.

    You can also invest in a quilt. Nice thing about those is they hold their value here as well so if you decide it'snot for you, you could probably get all your money back or most. I've recently switched to quilts and the difference for me was huge, I can't tell you how much more comortable I was not having to mentally keep track of how I'm moving or where stuff is. When I shuffle in the night I don't want to have to wake up and move something and go back to sleep. I can honestly tell you a properly hooked up UQ was the warmest most comfortable night I've ever spent outside and it was about 30-40 degrees

    You may also want to look at an Exped Down Mat if you want to go to ground as well, there are a couple very comprehensive reviews on here that raved for it. Price is comprable to an underquilt.. maye a lil cheaper.

    Hang in there, no pun intended.
    "I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"

    - George Strait

  7. #7
    Senior Member Danalex's Avatar
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    I'll agree with the above ... get an UQ!

    I tried 5 different pads, even a Neoair and gave them all up for the toasty comfort of down. Never look back.

    Since I canoe or moto camp weight isn't so much of an issue so I'll bring my Neoair in case I have to go to ground.

    Even if you carried both, the pad just for emergencies, they both pack small and don't weigh much. You could carry a 3/4 summer quilt and if it got really cold you could still combine them both.

    Win/win.
    "Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles"
    Hunter S. Thompson

  8. #8
    Senior Member leroybrown's Avatar
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    Hey Shybird,

    Hammocks and Tinkering are nearly synonymous. You have to love the "fiddle factor" of Hammocks in order to appreciate them. There are times when I've set up camp and am laying comfortably (and smugly!) watching my fellow ground dwellers cuss and swear at their set ups; however, I've been the butt of jokes and the object of relentless harassment due to a marlin spike hitch... slip and bleed.

    Don't give up.


    What exactly is the problem? Are you cold, or is it tarp difficulties? Like every other HF member, I highly recommend that you check out our local celebrity - Shug's youtube channel. If you are attempting a PCT, you've already paid the price for your gear. I'd suggest you bite the bullet and purchase an UQTQ if cold is the problem.

    You have friends and supporters here! Let us know if we can help.

  9. #9
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    i guess even if i get a warmer sleeping bag, that won't help in a hammock, right, since i'm squashing the warmth between myself and the hammock? that is why they came up with underquilts?

    steelernation... do you set up the superfly separate from your hammock? i have already converted to whoopie slings (made them and did it all myself thanks to these fine folks) and didn't put the stock HH tarp hook things onto my new suspension... i wonder if they would help?

    basically the problem is my hammock touches (or nearly touches) the sides of the superfly, and that's before the wind starts to blow. if i widen the A-frame, then there is a huge gap between the doors. and if i tie out the sides (making my system HUGE which i very much dislike), i'm still so close to the tarp that i have to creep along it to get into the hammock. does that make sense? and is that normal? if i raise the whole tarp, i feels like i'm sleeping IN the wind with a foot or more gap between the ground and the tarp...

    sidewinder, thank you for the link, i read it all... and i'm glad you found your sweet spot... btw, i grew up in marin county. C:

    db... i have already ordered a gossamer pad, just to see the difference. C:

    bubba, you're right about better sleep=better hike... it's the weight-of the huge tarp and warmth that i need for sleeping in the air- that will also impact my hike (due to increased pack weight) that i'm concerned about... thank you!

    slo... so are you saying i should try falling out of the hammock? like back in the day when i first learned how to rock climb? practice falling? C: not a bad idea at all... the exped down mat seems awesome, but way too heavy for a 2650 mile hike... S:

    danalex... i have strong doubts a 3/4 summer UQ would be sufficient for me... early spring in the desert and spring/summer in the sierras and then late summer/fall in washington is just cold!

    does anyone know, since my only reference point is my HH hyperlite... are other hammocks just plain warmer?

  10. #10
    New Member
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    leroybrown... thank you! you guys and gals really are awesome. C:

    both cold and tarp issues. plus the added stress of the ticking clock, making tinkering difficult (we are leaving in about a month!) which is totally my fault (though i had to finish up my last quarter at WWU, i've been multitasking for years...)

    the OQUQ setup still needs good weather protection, correct? being down?

    it just seems like i'm going to have to carry a ton of stuff to feel prepared for the pct if i go with the hammock... with as little experience as i have, it may not be the best option at this point...

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