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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Thoughts on simplicity

    Returning from Mt Rogers left me with some thoughts about my approach to my hammock gear setup.

    Personally, I like to have enough gear to keep me warm and dry in most conditions. One of the things I like most about using my hammock is breaking things down to only what is necessary. This is hard to do every time I see a great new piece of gear.

    Here are the things I want, but don't think I need.

    Winter Tarps.

    My tarp now only uses four stakes. Most winter tarps use from six to ten. I think I've had my hex in enough adverse conditions that it has proven to be enough to keep me dry, even in some heavy wind driven rains. A winter tarp or a tarp with add on doors is a lot of extra weight and stakes and linework for more wind and rain protection, but as we saw this weekend, nothing defeats quantum fog. We were all equally moist in that. I think I'll stay with a basic tarp.

    Quilt bag/cover

    I know a lot of people use these, and there have been times I lay awake concerned about all of that yummy down so close to the elements. But a quilt bag carries a lot of vapor concern. a lot of people go further to add a vapor barrier between them and the quilt. I'm sure there are plenty of opinions about vapor transport and underquilts. I feel like my underquilt and hammock transport vapor away pretty well. I don't use a vapor barrier, and sweat as much as the next guy, but my quilt seems to stay dry.
    I think the best thing here is good DWR treatment on the outside of your quilts.

    These are the things I didn't think I would need or want, but would wouldn't go without now

    Underquilt

    The first time I heard of these I thought the whole concept was a little esoteric. Pad works pretty good.

    Then I tried one and hammocking was a whole new ball game. I've gone with full body length and I can flop any old way in my hammock and never hit a cold spot

    Top Quilt

    I actually don't have one of these yet, and have been sleeping in a 0 down bag on my underquilt. I thought a top quilt with a foot box would have me fiddling and tucking edges all night. Somebody, I think it was Stormcrow, suggested trying my down bag as a topquilt by just unzipping it all of the way and flipping it over. I don't think I've ever been as comfortable. Sleeping bags are fine for the first ten minutes until you then try to get it just right, struggling and pulling and tugging. All of that goes away with a topquilt. As soon as I win the lottery again, I'm calling Adam and getting the finest overstuffed ripstop wrapped hungarian goose down topquilt money can buy


    These are the things I didn't think I would need or want, And still don't

    Bug net or enclosure of any kind


    Here's what I have now and I think it's just about as spare and perfect as it can be. Gets me down below zero and keeps me plenty dry

    Hennesy Hex Fly 70d PU
    Four Stakes
    Tree Hugger/Whoopie combo suspension
    Eno Doublenest
    Incubator Underquilt
    Zero SB(soon to be Burrow)


    What are the things you......

    A. Want but don't need
    B. Didn't think you'd need but now wouldn't go without
    C. Things you never wanted and still don't

  2. #2

    ἑταῖροι
    Hetairoi's Avatar
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    I'm with you on simplicity. Here are some thoughts though ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Winter Tarps.

    My tarp now only uses four stakes. Most winter tarps use from six to ten. I think I've had my hex in enough adverse conditions that it has proven to be enough to keep me dry, even in some heavy wind driven rains. A winter tarp or a tarp with add on doors is a lot of extra weight and stakes and linework for more wind and rain protection, but as we saw this weekend, nothing defeats quantum fog. We were all equally moist in that. I think I'll stay with a basic tarp.
    Not all winter tarps are alike, if you can find a Warbonnet BMJ in Spinn it's still only 4 stakes (the doors are removable and clip on, no stakes) and is lighter than my JRB sil hex tarp.

    I think you may have a few folks argue about that staying dry in the blowing fog part also

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Quilt bag/cover

    I know a lot of people use these, and there have been times I lay awake concerned about all of that yummy down so close to the elements. But a quilt bag carries a lot of vapor concern. a lot of people go further to add a vapor barrier between them and the quilt. I'm sure there are plenty of opinions about vapor transport and underquilts. I feel like my underquilt and hammock transport vapor away pretty well. I don't use a vapor barrier, and sweat as much as the next guy, but my quilt seems to stay dry.
    I think the best thing here is good DWR treatment on the outside of your quilts.
    Does add weight, minimal help for the reasons you state. I did use a sock and my tarp has partial doors (OES custom, 4 stakes) and I was dry as a bone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Underquilt

    Top Quilt
    Completely agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Bug net or enclosure of any kind
    as long as you don't head south

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Here's what I have now and I think it's just about as spare and perfect as it can be. Gets me down below zero and keeps me plenty dry

    Hennesy Hex Fly 70d PU
    Four Stakes
    Tree Hugger/Whoopie combo suspension
    Eno Doublenest
    Incubator Underquilt
    Zero SB(soon to be Burrow)
    Nice, simple, light ... no reason to change anything ... except ... shiny new thing!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    What are the things you......
    A. Want but don't need
    all of it - stoves, filters, quilts ... it's a sickness

    B. Didn't think you'd need but now wouldn't go without
    wristies!

    C. Things you never wanted and still don't
    when I think of it I'll probably want it

    Great post, looking forward to responses.
    Live by the sword, die by the arrow

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I think I'll keep the bug enclosure, particularly for the trips to the SC coast.

    As for the rest, I still need a good UQ and want a lighter hammock. Picked up the current beast for two and spend most of my time camping alone.

  4. #4
    Senior Member taylo's Avatar
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    I really want to get rid of my bugnet. I hate them, but I have had a trip ruined by mosquitoes. Plus I live in Alabama.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Joey's Avatar
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    I've used a TQ before I moved back into hammocks. Been sold on that concept a long time.

    I never was good with a pad in a hammock. This was one reason I dropped the hammock a few years ago. Picked up an UQ a little over a year ago, life has been good ever since.

    A large tarp with doors may have been over kill in the temps/weather we had at Mt Rogers this year. However, let it get in the 20's or lower with a stiff wind and the doors and extra stakes come in handy! Learned that the hard way.

    I stayed dry in the quantum fog. Just the outside of my tarp was wet. Everything underneath, to include the ground beneath me, stayed dry all weekend. Maybe I just had a good spot. Location, location, location...

    Car camping tends to see gear blow up everywhere. It's all nice and neat when I leave the house. The next thing I know it's all over the car and takes 3 trips to bring in when I get home. Haven't figured how to stop this phenomena.

  6. #6
    Member WebsterJ's Avatar
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    Too many stuff sacks.

    You only need one for food, another for your clothes (doubles as pillow), and your Misc/First Aid sack (goes on ridgline). Everything else just gets stuffed in the pack and floats in "the cloud." Hammocks, quilts, puffies, and rain gear don't need stuff sacks.

    I find that packing is faster and easier this way.

  7. #7
    Senior Member taylo's Avatar
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    I have one Large size Sea to Summit Cordura Sil stuff sack that I stuff my hammock and quilts in.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jbrianb's Avatar
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    One thing that I love about hammocking is the sheer number of unique setups to each user. I started out wanting as few moving parts as possible. Straps connected to biners, connected to the hammock. Of course, living in West Tennessee (near Memphis) bug protection isn't a question. It's a must if you hike/camp/kayak in the Southeast and Midsouth -- and I do.

    I've added:
    1) A tarp
    2) A pad
    3) Whoopies and soft shackles to get rid of the heavy biners
    4) Shorter tree huggers (more reliance on the whoopies for distance)

    I now want an underquilt. I use my sleeping bag unzipped except for the bottom with my feet tucked into that area, but my back gets cold sometimes and it's hard to find a good position with a pad.

    The point is that in addition to personal preference, there is the all-important "Where do you live and camp?" thing going on that makes me want bug protection more than an underquilt and that leaves Shane feeling the opposite.
    --
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    Now carrying the Mini Tattoo Stove!
    Light weight. Low prices. Great gear.

  9. #9
    BlazeAway's Avatar
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    Simplicity.
    Just cut of the Dutch from my tarps continious ridge line.
    I am Danish.
    Blaze


    Last edited by BlazeAway; 01-23-2012 at 17:45.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey View Post
    I've used a TQ before I moved back into hammocks. Been sold on that concept a long time.

    I never was good with a pad in a hammock. This was one reason I dropped the hammock a few years ago. Picked up an UQ a little over a year ago, life has been good ever since.

    A large tarp with doors may have been over kill in the temps/weather we had at Mt Rogers this year. However, let it get in the 20's or lower with a stiff wind and the doors and extra stakes come in handy! Learned that the hard way.

    I stayed dry in the quantum fog. Just the outside of my tarp was wet. Everything underneath, to include the ground beneath me, stayed dry all weekend. Maybe I just had a good spot. Location, location, location...

    Car camping tends to see gear blow up everywhere. It's all nice and neat when I leave the house. The next thing I know it's all over the car and takes 3 trips to bring in when I get home. Haven't figured how to stop this phenomena.

    I think it must have had a lot to do with location.

    I talked to several that had bags and full winter tarps that got moist.

    Last year I kind of enjoyed the snow flurrys going over my face all night!

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