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  1. #1
    Member SteveToTheO's Avatar
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    First night in a hammock

    I decided to do an overnight test in the gathered end hammock I made. It started out pretty good. It was a tad chilly at 10 pm the temp was 55F. By the time 5am rolled around it was in the upper 40s and I woke up and decided to pack it in and sleep on the couch.

    I probably could have made it in a tent because it would have blocked some of the wind but all in all it was probably the most comfortable 7 hours I spent sleeping outside other than being too cold when I woke up. Typically I would have woken up cold and stiff from laying on the hard ground but with the hammock I just woke up chilled. Man its hard to goto sleep with so much going on above you. Being able to see the night sky is such a temptation its hard to keep your eyes shut at first. Thats going to take some getting used to.

    The next piece of gear that I tackle making is going to be either an underquilt or a tarp. Im tending to lean towards a tarp because the summer months are here and I think this week will be the exception for temperatures rather than the norm. what do you guys think?

    Steve-O

  2. #2
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Congrats on your first night above ground! Sounds like you had a great experience.

    I think a tarp would be necessary, or some sort of protection from the weather. If you're going anywhere cool or cold, an underquilt is a nice thing to have as well.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
    - John Burroughs

  3. #3
    Senior Member 3club's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Hey, Congrats Steve-O on the hammock. You're going to love it! I slept in mine last night, and I wasn't even outside. They're just so comfortable!

    My advice is that you need both the tarp and the underquilt first. For an easy and quick tarp, just temporary until you have time to make a real one, go to the hardware store and buy a 9x12 plastic sheeting dropcloth from the paint section. $1.99. Reinforce the corners with duct tape and GENTLY stake her out.

    Now with that out of the way, I find an underquilt is most important all year round. Even in the summer, without it you'd be pressed against the cool 70 degree night air. And mosquitoes can't bite through an underquilt!

    Now if you live in a bug free region where the morning temps never drop below 80, you might be an exception.

    One of the biggest challenges with an underquilt is getting it to fit right and snugly against you, while still not being compressed. Given my opinion that it is a year-round necessity, I suggest making it an integral part of the hammock itself, rather than a separate piece. This solves the problem of getting it to fit right, and also eliminates a sheet of material, thereby reducing both weight and cost.

    I built my last hammock this way back in 2006, and have been happily using it ever since. Happy Hanging!

  4. #4
    Member SteveToTheO's Avatar
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    Nice first post! Thanks for the info 3club.

    I havent done much research on making the underquilt due to the fact that I was under the impression it would be better to make a tarp first but you saying I should make the underquilt a part of the hammock is interesting. I have a 2 layer hammock now would I just add a 3rd layer and stuff it with down or do it in between the 2 layers I have now?

    I really think if I make one that I want it to be separate just so I have the option of not carrying it for day hikes and the sort but it does sound interesting. Tell me more.

    I forgot to mention that I had a sleeping bag in the hammock last night for insulation btw. I wasnt just hanging out in the cold. lol

    Steve-O

  5. #5
    Senior Member TadTheTinker's Avatar
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    I slept last night in my hammock also!. Used a blue pad and my sleeping bag. Warm and snug all night. Low was mid 50's when I woke up at 6.

    My thoughts are, go to Wal-Mart, and buy a tarp of your choosing. Be it a poly tarp, plastic sheeting, canvas drop cloth tarp, whatever. That will keep the moisture, wind, etc. off you. You can find lightweight and cheap that will last a year or so without much trouble.

    Make your next project that UQ. If you already have a double layer hammock, and there is a way to add anything between the layers, a pad would be a good slide in. But the UQ is going to go farther and do more than the pad will I think.

    Good luck and happy hanging!
    Help a Boy Scout Troop in your area - become a mentor.

    God created Firemen so cops would have heros.

  6. #6
    MrClean417's Avatar
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    Hopefully the colder time of the year is over for you, I'd stick a pad in there and get a Tarp first. Or you could make one of those DIY underquilts out of an old sleeping bag which I'm going to do next. Then, you have all summer in the heat to save for one of those spensive and Fancy UQs. Neither the UQ or a Pad is gonna keep you warm if you get rained on though so get a tarp.
    From Somewhere near Parkville, Mo
    William Crane
    aka MrClean
    Everything you need to know about Hammocks in vids and reading:
    Hammock in 3 minutes D. Hansen - It really is this easy to make a hammock
    Shug's Hammock Newbies videos - Takes you buy the hand and shows you in video
    The Ultimate Hang D. Hansen - now read about everything
    JustJeff's Hammock tutorial - more reference
    TableclothFactoryBlanks - shorter lengths available on sidebar
    The TurtleDog Stand thread - Hang anywhere.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jcavenagh's Avatar
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    Tarp first. Since you have a double layer, any regular pad will keep you warm underneath. You probably have one or two already. Sounds like you are a pretty cold sleeper anyway. I could never sleep through those kinds of temps with just a sleeping bag in my hammock.

    PS -When you make your tarp, don't forget to put panel pulls to give you the most flexibilty and durability in set up.

  8. #8
    Senior Member creativeKayt's Avatar
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    I agree. Tarp first. If you don't have a pad, you can get a WallyWorld special blue pad for under $10 bucks.

    Congrats on your first night out! Good job!

  9. #9
    Senior Member 3club's Avatar
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    With a double layer, anything you put between will be compressed, so I agree with the others about the blue wally world pad, as it is closed cell, so you won't squeeze all the warmth out of it. Biggest problem with closed cell is that it won't want to conform to the shape of the hammock.

    If you do the old sleeping bag on the outside trick with bungees, try to not attach to the edges of the sleeping bag, which would pull the outside up close, compressing the insulation, but try to attach the bungees maybe an inch or so inside of the edges, so the outer shell can hang looser.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    I did my first overnight in my wbbb dbl with a blue Wally pad and a 30* bag. Low of 48 and slept like a baby. I'm gonna make a summer uq now, the pad worked great, just a pain to carry and get adjusted. You can get the guide gear tarps 12x12 for $20 if you catch them on sale.

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