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  1. #1
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    Need help with an underquilt

    I'm fairly new to the idea of hammock camping, also new to the forum.

    I'm working on putting together my first hammock camping setup, and have already purchased a few things that I would like to use.

    ENO double nest
    ENO pro-straps
    ENO bugnet
    30* bag that I will either sleep in or use as a quilt.

    What I need now is some sort of insulation. I don't plan on camping in very cold weather, probably only down to the mid 40's at most. I have two main problems. One is that I don't really know where to start with this, or what options will really work.

    The other problem is that I don't have a lot of $$ to spend on the rest of the setup.

    I've been looking around the forum, and pulled together a couple ideas, but I would like some input, and then any other ideas that you guys have to offer.

    - wool blanket
    This would be like the army surplus wool blankets, not the super soft ones. The idea I had was to either hang it underneath as an underquilt or fold it and use it as a pad inside the hammock.
    Would it be warm enough? Which use would be better? Will the roughness of the wool wear out the ENO fabric?

    - CC foam pad
    The Walmart pads can be found for very little money, but are large.
    Would that be enough for 40* weather? Do the edges cause any additional wear on the hammock? Would it be better to cut it down (round the corners) for use in an ENO double nest?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by kykcamper View Post
    I'm fairly new to the idea of hammock camping, also new to the forum.
    Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by kykcamper View Post
    - CC foam pad The Walmart pads can be found for very little money, but are large. Would that be enough for 40* weather? Do the edges cause any additional wear on the hammock? Would it be better to cut it down (round the corners) for use in an ENO double nest?

    Thanks in advance!
    Can't tell you much about your other questions, but I'll give this a shot.

    What temps something will work for you is *VERY* subjective. The pad is likely your best option and certainly the cheapest. I've never noticed any wear caused by a pad and I don't cut mine down, but many people do, probably for comfort, weight and bulk issues.

    Will a pad get you to 40*F? eh, maybe, but you should try it in the backyard first, or somewhere where you can bail to a warmer spot if it doesn't work for you.

    Also, you might try a search for multiple pads or vapor barriers, lots of good info on how to stay warm in less expensive ways.
    Live by the sword, die by the arrow

  3. #3
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    I know that temperature ratings are very subjective. Maybe a description of myself would help out some.

    I'm 5"9', about 160 lbs, and pretty lean. I'm generally a warm sleeper, so I shouldn't need a ton of insulation to be able to stay warm. I plan to sleep with some clothes on, probably longjohns or fleece, and some wool socks. That clothing setup, combined with my 30* degree bag and my Thermarest Z-lite pad have kept me plenty warm down to 45* in a tent.

    I don't know a lot about heat loss from a hammock though, although I know you lose a lot from the bottom of the hammock.

  4. #4

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    you'd probably be fine, but test first always.

    Also, no tarp?
    Live by the sword, die by the arrow

  5. #5
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    I'll probably just get a 10x10 or 12x12. I figured I would save that question for the tarp thread section.
    Thanks for the input!

  6. #6
    Senior Member chezrad's Avatar
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    I have a homemade hammock and an Eno Bug net. My hammock is a little longer than the Eno double and has a ridgeline. I find I can get flatter in it.

    I tried a wool blanket a couple of months ago. It worked great. I was concerned with bottom insulation and the wool did the trick. My blanket is a 60" x 84" Green French surplus blanket that I got from Crazy Crow Trading Post for $29. If you want to eliminate the wool scratch, or at least greatly reduce it, wash the blanket in woolite with a good fabric softner. Really improves things.

    Only downside of the blanket was getting it adjusted. I threw half of the blanket over the side of the hammock (still inside the Bug Net) and worked like crazy trying to get things aligned. Slept great though. The biggest benefit was none of the dreaded condensation! That's what I was trying to get away from.

    One solution might be to cut the blanket up to have a bottom pad and a top quilt with a foot box. Cheers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    something I'm testing out is a military poncho liner as an under quilt. I found one at a local surplus store, used and cheap!! I just used the tie-outs that are already on the poncho liner and tied it to the bottom of my clark hammock, then tied up both ends, again using those tie-outs. It didn't look so pretty but seemed to work really well at keeping the bottom warm. Looks like it will work for those cooler nights in the summer. Might have to many air pockets for colder temps though.
    Does anyone know what kind of insulation is inside these things? The outside looks like nylon.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    good questions

    I've used all possible/available solutions.
    For a cost/weight/temperature rating ratio the closed cell foam pad is a given. It will work gauranteed and how low can you go depends on thickness; they are strong and durable but in a hammock you can experience CSW.
    CSW=cold shoulder wrap. It occurs because the hammock material will wrap around your shoulders (and hips), if you have a sleeping bag over you the hammock material due to your body weight will compress the sleeping bag at your shoulders (and hips but to a lesser degree) and cause a cold spot. The solution is a CCF (closed cell pad) that is wide enough to cross your back and go up and beyond your shoulders WHEN in the hammock. This is not a problem, Speer Hammocks and Gossamer Gear sell CCF pads wide enough. The ***** is that a pad wide enough for me is 27 inches and its hard to get that inside a backpack-so you have to roll it up and attach it to the outside of the pack....then the problem is the pad hitting branches/etc. while you hike down the trail. But something I've done many times.
    CCF pads work better in some hammocks than others. I've found that the CCF pad works well in my Speer hammock and in my Crazy Creek Crib hammock.....when I want to really push the temp envelope (relative compared to Shugs temp's) I use a CCF pad, a Speer Hammock, AND a PeaPod. For temps into the 40s as you suggest a somewhat thin CCF pad will do the job; probably 1/4 inch, which for a long and wide pad will only cost you around 8 ounces at the most---and remember you can trim a lot of material away as the pad approached the feet and save even more weight.
    There is a cool product by Speer Hammocks--it is their SPE, or segmented pad extended. It is designed to deal with CSW (cold shoulder wrap). It is very cost effective because it allows you to use a Therm-a-Rest pad (or variant) {which are by themselves too narrow to prevent CSW} and since most backpackers already have a thermarest it is cost effective compared to a down Underquilt....
    OK, so why so many words in addressing this issue-because hanging is so comfortable, so liberating from the ground, it is worth it
    Good luck in the quest!

  9. #9
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I've used the blue WM pads down to freezing and they have kept me warm. They are the best bang for the buck IMHO.
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