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  1. #1
    New Member Lantern2814's Avatar
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    AT thru-hike in a Clark?

    Hey gang, complete hammock newbie here but I've decided to hang on my northbound AT thru-hike starting at the end of March this year. I've decided to go with the Clark NA hammock but I have some concerns about warmth.

    I'm planning on using a pad and overquilt so I think I'll be good to go up top, but are the pockets underneath going to be sufficient to keep my backside warm enough? I'm worried that I won't have enough clothing/material to stuff them all with since I'll only be carrying essentials and won't have a lot of extras to use as insulation.

    I haven't received the hammock yet ("last minute" is my standard operating procedure) so I don't know that I'll have a lot of time beforehand to experiment with it, so any input is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lantern2814 View Post
    I haven't received the hammock yet ("last minute" is my standard operating procedure) so I don't know that I'll have a lot of time beforehand to experiment with it, so any input is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Make the time for this! I saw several hammocks get sent home last year because people got them at the last minute and could never get it figured out just right. My on and off hiking buddy was one of them. He finally got so irritated at me for sleeping good that he got his back after a month. I guess glaring at my set-up for a few weeks did the trick for him.

    Can't speak of the Clarks, but RAW's new solution looks very cool!
    Trust nobody!

  3. #3
    Senior Member RAW's Avatar
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    I haven't done a through hike, but . . .


    Your question is a difficult one to answer.
    Without knowing if you're a warm or cold sleeper, how much clothing you plan to wear to sleep in, etc. etc. . . . . no one can tell you how you'll do.

    As Cannibal said, get out there and do some testing.
    In the meantime, read through other people's ideas for keeping warm. Try some of the options.
    For example, some people just use Zip-loc freezer bags in the pockets. Other people use leaves.


    What kind of pad will you be using? Exped Downmat? Big Agnes Insulated? CCF?

    You may want to just try getting some lengths of shockcord with mini-carabiners (like the Jacks sell) and then put some grommets into the corners of a Heatsheet emergency blanket. If you needed to, you could sling the heatsheet underneath your Clark for a boost in temp (in addition to packing leaves or clothes into the underside pockets).

    But experiment BEFORE heading out on your thru-hike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAW View Post
    For example, some people just use Zip-loc freezer bags in the pockets. Other people use leaves.
    Or use both by putting the leaves in the zip-locs, and keep your "pockets" clean.

  5. #5
    New Member Lantern2814's Avatar
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    I'm generally a warm sleeper but since I've never done this in a hammock I'm not sure how well that's going to carry over. My basic setup will be:

    • Clark NA hammock; replacing the stock rain fly with a MacCat Deluxe for more space and versatility.
    • CCF pad and a 30 mummy bag as an overquilt.
    • Filling the pockets underneath (freezer bags, leaves, clothes, DIY fill material, etc.)
    • I'll be wearing a fleece layer of clothing (pants/vest), balaclava, etc. as well. I'll have my everyday hiking clothes and a layer of raingear/poncho available if I need it too


    I'm in the Asheville, NC area and can be on the AT in less than an hour, so being able to test the setup in the mountains that I'll actually be walking through should come in handy too.

    There's so much good info out there and so many different options and opinions to choose from that it's a bit daunting when you're just getting started. I've read so many reviews, forum posts, and websites lately that everything's starting to blur together. Just writing this little bit down and getting some feedback is helping clear my mind a bit. I'll have everything in-hand early next week so I'm going to have a bit of time to test things before setting out. And I know that getting my hands on it and messing with it will go a long way to answering my questions. Especially since hanging looks to be a very personal affair with everyone's perfect hang being slightly different.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RAW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lantern2814 View Post
    I'm generally a warm sleeper but since I've never done this in a hammock I'm not sure how well that's going to carry over. My basic setup will be:

    • Clark NA hammock; replacing the stock rain fly with a MacCat Deluxe for more space and versatility.
    • CCF pad and a 30 mummy bag as an overquilt.
    • Filling the pockets underneath (freezer bags, leaves, clothes, DIY fill material, etc.)
    • I'll be wearing a fleece layer of clothing (pants/vest), balaclava, etc. as well. I'll have my everyday hiking clothes and a layer of raingear/poncho available if I need it too


    I'm in the Asheville, NC area and can be on the AT in less than an hour, so being able to test the setup in the mountains that I'll actually be walking through should come in handy too.

    There's so much good info out there and so many different options and opinions to choose from that it's a bit daunting when you're just getting started. I've read so many reviews, forum posts, and websites lately that everything's starting to blur together. Just writing this little bit down and getting some feedback is helping clear my mind a bit. I'll have everything in-hand early next week so I'm going to have a bit of time to test things before setting out. And I know that getting my hands on it and messing with it will go a long way to answering my questions. Especially since hanging looks to be a very personal affair with everyone's perfect hang being slightly different.
    I think you're in good shape actually.
    When you get out, you'll be surprised how much heat you'll capture just by closing the Clark's Weathershield. Being able to close off your tarp will also help when the wind kicks up.
    But it sounds like you'll have enough clothing on in addition to the other insulation measures, my totally uninformed opinion is that you'll be okay. Even your poncho can be used to trap more heat around you.

    Whereabouts are you located in regards to Asheville.
    My wife and I are building a house on property that allows me to walk onto the AT near Sam's Gap.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    It sounds like your setup will be fine, especially for a late march start. As for what Cannibal was talking about, a lot of people sent hammocks home, bought them later on, or started a lot later because of weather. I do believe Cannibal and I were one of the the only hammockers to start early march and keep ours. I only know of one more. All others hammockers either sent theirs home or started in April or later.
    "Oh, like an Afghan Warlord"

  8. #8
    Senior Member 6 feet over's Avatar
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    Hi Lantern,

    I'm not a hiker, so there may be issues I'm not aware of that could impact what you're willing to carry. I have gotten comfortably down to 23 degrees with a cheap Wal-Mart blue pad inside my Clark NA. I used a zero degree synthetic bag, and was dressed in long johns and wore a hat to sleep. I didn't stuff the pockets with anything except my boots, and other small items.

    Again, I'm not a hiker, but I'd have to say you'd be VERY unwise to take a long trip with ANY important gear (Clark) that you haven't tested and have confidence in. There is a learning curve to hanging, and during a windy thunderstorm isn't the time to learn how to keep warm and dry in a hammock. Your listed gear could certainly get you by, provided you use it well.

    Good luck on your adventure.
    The harder I work, the luckier I get.

  9. #9
    New Member Lantern2814's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I'll be able to test everything several times before I head out, just wanted to get a little feedback beforehand to allay my worries a bit.

    RAW: I'm about 10 miles west of Asheville in a little place called Candler (or Enka, depending on the map you're using). Takes me 45min to an hour to get to Hot Springs. Gorgeous area of the country to live.

  10. #10
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lantern2814 View Post
    RAW: I'm about 10 miles west of Asheville in a little place called Candler (or Enka, depending on the map you're using). Takes me 45min to an hour to get to Hot Springs. Gorgeous area of the country to live.
    You should go to the Hot Springs hang.

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