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  1. #1
    Senior Member g2outdoors's Avatar
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    First night out with hammock setup

    I just got back from my first ever hammock trip and I have some mixed reviews.

    First of all, by the time I packed everything I needed (hammock, UQ, Tarp), I wasn't really any lighter than my tent. That was kind of annoying.

    The temperatures dipped down in the single digits and even though I didn't plan on sleeping in the hammock all night because I knew I wouldn't be warm enough, I was pleasantly surprised at how warm I was.

    Here's the setup I used:
    4 layers of clothing including a nice 850 fill down sweater
    Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Ultralight
    0 degree mummy bag (military issue)
    Thermarest trail scout pad
    PLUQ
    Vehicle sun shade from Auto Zone between the PLUQ and the hammock
    DIY Poly Hex Tarp

    I stayed fairly warm and I more than likely could have made it the entire night. I did have some pretty wicked cold spots in my lower back and thighs.

    One thing that really helped with my PLUQ was tying the corner ropes of the poncho liner to my shock cord with a taut line hitch. with that I was able to keep the PLUQ stretched to full length and control the amount of space between the bottom of my hammock and the UQ. It worked like a champ.

    What else can I do to stay warm without spending big bucks on a fancy UQ/TQ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member OldRagFreeze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gagodfrey View Post
    First of all, by the time I packed everything I needed (hammock, UQ, Tarp), I wasn't really any lighter than my tent. That was kind of annoying.
    It's a misconception that hammocking is a lighter option than tenting... The lightest option is a tarp or a tarp tent... Hammocks come in right about the same as a good, lightweight, free-standing tent.
    "We're the Sultans of Swing."

  3. #3
    Bubba's Avatar
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    You can make a segmented pad extender. It's a sleeve that your pad slides into that has "wings" that you slide cut up pieces of CCF mat. The wings protect your shoulder and sides of your legs from getting cold.

    With regards to weight, hammock gear tends to be comparable in weight to a tent set up. I've not had any significant weight savings. The advantage is in comfort.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  4. #4
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Yessir....two pads in an SPE or Eno HotSpot may do you better in single digit temps.
    I also wear less clothing to sleep and stay warmer. 4 layers of clothing may cause you to sweat a bit and chill later into the night. Just a thought.
    Carry forth.
    Shug


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  5. #5
    Senior Member g2outdoors's Avatar
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    I like the SPE idea. I'll have to knock one of those out or pick up the eno version.

    I guess I was hoping that the hammock would save some weight, but it's not that big of a deal. I could probably save some weight by investing in a better tarp setup. Mine is fairly heavy...although extremely cheap. The comfort was a HUGE difference though. A pad on the ground doesn't even compare to the hammock.

    Thanks for the feedback! I'll continue to tinker with my setup...that's half the fun anyway!

  6. #6
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you made it reasonably OK in single digits on the 1st night out! A few tweaks to figure out and you will be toast all over all night!

    I can see you are a little disappointed in the weight situation. It can get a little complicated comparing ground sleeping weights to hammocks, while keeping it apples to apples, before even considering comfort levels.

    In my case, for example, I need a thick inflatable pad to even be able to consider sleeping on the ground, and even then probably won't come close to hammock comfort ( unless maybe the snow is deep ). 1/2" of CCF would be plain miserable for me on the hard ground. So, do you use a thick inflatable pad for your ground sleeping? If so, were you including it's weight when comparing to the weight of your UQ? Most of my inflatable pads weigh a lot more than my UQs, though the new Neoairs save some weight.

    Of course, a hammock with net is going to weigh about the same as a one man tent not counting tent poles. With poles, a one man tent will run what, about 2 1/2 - 3 lbs? Instead of a tent fly you have your tarp. But, you have much more stand up room with that tarp than you do in a one man tent.

    You don't need the weight of a sleeping bag with an UQ, just a Top quilt(TQ). But if you want to stick with your sleeping bag, especially if it is pretty wide, consider experimenting to see if it will work as a pod. That is, instead of laying in the bag with the bag inside the hammock, consider wrapping the bag all the way around your hammock. Shug has some good videos on this approach. It might take some experimentation, trial and error. But if you can get it to work, you can leave out the weight of BOTH your UQ AND your pad. This could save you a lot of weight, and it allows you to avoid crushing the insulation in the bottom of your bag, so it can fully loft up like the top. Some of our folks who are real deep winter use various pod approaches. Similar to the commercial version, the Speer Pea Pod:
    http://stores.tttrailgear.com/-strse...ock/Detail.bok
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    Senior Member g2outdoors's Avatar
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    thanks Bob...that's really good input.

    I'd only done car camping in the past so we had comfortable air mattresses and sleeping on the ground wasn't a big deal. This was my first attempt at backpack camping. After I moved from the hammock to the tent the other night I was REALLY uncomfortable with my small Thermarest pad. There's no way I'd do it again. The comfort of the hammock is FAR superior. I'll just have to experiment with a better UQ/TQ or a Pea Pod like situation. Of course 95% of my camping will be in the shoulder seasons. I wanted to test out my new setup so badly and couldn't stand waiting 2 months for the weather to cooperate.

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