I haven't camped out in the backyard since I was a kid...until last night..and by golly, it was fun!!
Lately, after receiving a ENO hammock for my birthday, I've been putting together the bits and pieces of gear needed to give hammock camping a whirl. You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I put together my big Blue Cat Tarp. This past week I've been working on putting together a DIY underquilt made from an Army surplus poncho liner. My intent was to sew it up using a combination of methods described by rjcress and dejoha but thus far my efforts have been thwarted by the USPS by not yet delivering my materials order from Backwoods Daydreamer.
Not to be denied a campout, I improvised a bit and made a temporary no-sew underquilt using a variation of rjcress's description of how to make an underguilt from a cheap WallyWorld sleeping bag. Instead of sewing in grossgrain ribbon tabs at the attachment points I simply used the ol' 'pebble and string' method attached pieces of 1/8-inch polypro utility cord (the 1/8-inch shock cord which I'd intended to use is part of the AWOL BWDD order) to the appropriate points on the poncho liner.
I intended to use a triangle thingie to attach the underquilt to my hammock suspension but since the 3/8-inch grossgrain ribbon that intended to use for the attachment points on the triangles are also part of the BWDD order (thanks again USPS!!), I had to improvise a little there too. But...in the end everything worked out quite nicely and I was ready for some sack time off the ground.
Being that the temperature was supposed to be in the mid 40s here, I decided to pull out my old Kelty mummy bag. But there was a problem...sometime over the years it must have shrunk and I was quite uncomfortable. Rather than admitting defeat I stuffed the Kelty bag back in its sack and pulled out a Coleman rectangle bag and gave it a try...much better...my feet could actually avoid each other! I will say I struggled briefly with the sleeping bag but everything worked out in the end...however, I do foresee a topquilt in my future to replace the sleeping bag. Between the underquilt, the sleeping bag and a set of midweight thermals I was snug as a bug in a rug...never even a hint of getting cold.
My buddy Alex came out and joined me for a while. He'd be a great camping companion if the little devil would just lay down, get comfortable and stay still!! But...nighttime is time to prowl so he was in and out of the hammock several different times.
I slept quite well despite being pounced and bounced during the night and probably wouldn't have rolled out of the sack when I did had nature not been calling. All in all, I've got to call this little backyard adventure a success...and I'd still like to know how a sleeping bag can shrink that much?!