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  1. #1
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    Insulation question.

    I'm new to the hammocking craze, haven't even ordered one yet. I think I may go with the Blackbird though. I'm planning an AT thru-hike starting somewhere in mid to late March. I'm wondering if I should go with an UQ or if the Speer SPE would be sufficient to keep me warm, so I'd have an actual pad in case I wanted to shelter some nights? I guess I would say I'm an average sleeper as far as temperature goes. Thanks a bunch, Preston

  2. #2
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    well, it matters if you start in SOBO or NOBO mode the most... I reckon.
    a SPE is only as good as the 20" section, whereas you can use a nice fat pad - but below 40 or so, the 1/4" foam on the sides needs to be doubled up or even tripled! Ed himself states that 1/4" ccf is comfortable only above temps in the mid 50's. Of course, your body may vary as Ive been known to take a 1/4 ccf pad down to about 45 without any real discomfort. To get a true sub freezing use out of the SPE it seems the bulk really starts showing in your pack. BUT, it sure is affordable, comparitavely.
    an UQ on the other hand can keep you warmer, and can be vented (via drawstrings) on each end to accomidate your temps. Much less bulk for something like the No Sniveller and weight is pretty low too, @ 20oz. (which is the weight, if not more, of most inflatable 20" wide pads)
    if the SPE is something you want, PM me about a BA insul air core. I have one that gets little use.

    it is my opinion, if you use an SPE with a THermarest prolite 3, and 1/4" ccf in the wings, it will work well down to about 45
    if on the other hand you use an UQ (or combination 2/3 uq with leg pad of some sort) you can go much lower than that, sometimes below freezing, for under 1.5 lbs.
    To a thru-hiker, I imagine the extra bulk and additional .5lb weight of a SPE would start to grow tiresome. Of course there are many varying opinions from well respected peers on HF, so just take my 2 lightly
    mike
    Last edited by te-wa; 01-11-2009 at 11:08.
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  3. #3
    k-town represent,
    i graduated from ut in 03' was actually there visiting friends between Christmas and New Years.

    as long as you have an appropriately warm pad the spe will be warm enough. if going the ccf route, consider eva(evazote foam), it should provide more warmth for less thickness than cheaper ccf.

    what pad were you planning on putting in the spe?





    Quote Originally Posted by Big Suave View Post
    I'm new to the hammocking craze, haven't even ordered one yet. I think I may go with the Blackbird though. I'm planning an AT thru-hike starting somewhere in mid to late March. I'm wondering if I should go with an UQ or if the Speer SPE would be sufficient to keep me warm, so I'd have an actual pad in case I wanted to shelter some nights? I guess I would say I'm an average sleeper as far as temperature goes. Thanks a bunch, Preston
    Last edited by warbonnetguy; 01-11-2009 at 22:48.

  4. #4
    a thick air pad will raise you up somewhat, so the sides of your shoulders aren't pressed against the hammock to compress your topside insul as much.

  5. #5
    Dutch's Avatar
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    I thru'd with a HH and a z-rest in 03. I did stay in a shelter or two, but always regretted it. But sometimes you are too tired and it is raining hard. You lose you will to set up and just want to go to sleep. So I would say that having the ability to sleep in the shelter is nice. Also some hostels don't have mattresses. Four pines hostel comes to mind but I'm sure there are others. There was no such thing as an spe in 03 but i found a peice of a ridgerest that someone put in a hiker box and used it by putting it under my left shoulder.

    One thing good about using a cc pad on the hard shelter floor is you will appreciate your hammock more the next night.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
    ...One thing good about using a cc pad on the hard shelter floor is you will appreciate your hammock more the next night.
    Some people can sleep on ccf pads on shelter floors, but I couldn't. I needed soft ground for ccf pads and an inflatable pad for shelter floors. I had a 'toss & turn' factor for inflatable pads from 1 to 2 inches thick. Ones that were about 2.5 inches thick or thicker let me sleep pretty well on most anything.
    Youngblood AT2000

  7. #7
    a ccf should be your lightest option though. a 3/8" thick eva pad that's wide enough to cover your shoulders and tapered some (mummy shaped) will probably be your lightest setup to get you well below 32. it'll end up being 25-30" wide at the shoulders though so will be kinda bulky strapped on the outside of your pack.

    folks have been able to set up their hammock in the shelters, not saying that would be feasable everytime though.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Shelter sleeping? By a hanger on a thru? **** shame.

    I made it to Vermont and never once slept on the ground or shelter floor. Never a good enough reason. Shelters are actually cold in a hammock because you don't get the benefit of your tarp to block wind, those 3 shelter walls don't do much.

    My opinion is to go with a 3 season Yeti from Warbonnet and carry a thin GG (evazote foam) pad for under your legs. It won't provide you any cushioning for shelter sleeping, but it will serve as a motivator to hang your hammock. I started March 1 NOBO with a torso length UQ and there were maybe 3 nights that I was cold; 2 of those I was wet, so they don't really count.

    Good luck, but hurry up if you're hiking in 09'. This hanging thing takes some learnin, especially for the cold. Ask LOTS of questions here and it will help more than you know.
    Trust nobody!

  9. #9
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    I did a thru of the AT in 2004, starting Feb 28th. I took two sleeping pads for the first couple months, two 3/8 in thick ccf pads. The rest of the time I depended on a 25" wide by 66" long 3/8" ccf pad. I cut the corners to fit the hammock a little better. I was fine down to 30 degrees, but I'm a warm sleeper. I'd recommend figuring out what thickness ccf or eva pad you need. They aren't too heavy. They aren't very good at cusioning the hard floors of a sheter, but at least you won't freeze.

    I've tried Thermarest and found them to be cold. I've tried a folding zrest and was cold in 50 degree weather. I've not tried the latest down filled air mattresses, should be really warm but they can be heavy. I've tried a Speer SPE, not sure I like it but I'm undecided. I have to fiddle around too much to get the wings to stay folded out and almost always have to refold them back out everytime I get out of the hammock.

    I'd highly recommend getting a hammock ASAP and start using it as much as you can in cold weather before your hike. It can be done to the point where you'll not ever feel a need to goto ground, but there is a learning curve and finding the best solution for yourself will take time and experience.

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